As you may have seen back on the 03 August, Core were sponsors for the What’s with Wheat? documentary for Southern Sydney.
So on a cold, wet, winter’s night along with about 70 other people from the Shire and surrounds we were enlightened on what has and is happening to our wheat.
I thought it was a great doco – well presented, professional and insightful. If you get the chance, please check it out in full.
So what is with our wheat?
In a nutshell, the 2 main take away messages are:
- Wheat isn’t the problem, it’s what we’ve done to the wheat that is the problem. (Read below to find out what that is)
- Not everyone will have a problem with wheat – you need to figure out if it’s ok for you or not. (Read below to find out what the problems could be and why this is so)
12 interesting facts & information about wheat from this doco:
1. It ain’t what it used to be
The wheat we eat today isn’t what we used to eat 50+ years ago.
At some point wheat was hybridised with other varieties from all over world resulting in a shortening of the stem allowing more weight to be carried on the plant and faster harvesting.
Most wheat is grown as a monoculture – 1 plant, 1 area. This ultimately results in soil degradation i.e. nutrient depletion of the soil.
Wheat is sprayed with all sorts of chemicals/hormones throughout the growing, storing and processing. to make the stalks strong and mature at the same rate so they can all be harvested at the same time, as well as sprayed with pesticides, then once cut it gets sprayed with fumigants in the warehouse, and then there’s the processing that strips any goodness left to then be fortified with chemical vitamins and minerals. So we now have a plant that would never have naturally hybridised due to location, that is sprayed with all sorts of chemicals and comes from nutrient deplete, contaminated soil.
2. There’s so much of it
The western world produces enough wheat in a year to feed 11 billion people (690 million tonnes per year), but we’ve get a little less than 8 billion on the planet, and the western world doesn’t feed the whole world. So we are over producing wheat big time.
3. A brief history
The breakfast cereal age came about after WWII, thanks to a few different people:
- Dr Kellogg’s and his cornflakes
- Ansel Keys and his “discovery” that fat causes heart disease and the beginning of “fat is bad and carbohydrates are good”.
- US politicians and the development of the food pyramid with grains at the base. Which wasn’t based on nutritional science at all. The original draft of the pyramid, had grains at the very top, but was moved to the bottom with the reason being that poor people wouldn’t be able to afford fresh fruit and veg, fish and meat. The pyramid was pitched to the agricultural industry as an effective way to market their products!?
4. It’s in everything!
Wheat is in everything! Food, skin care, anti-caking agents, cleaners, shampoos, binders, medications, emollients, emulsifiers, additives, flavourings… every part is used – including all the by-products. Even playdough!? So if you have a sensitivity to eating it, you may have to watch other sources too.
5. The glysophate factor – Roundup
At the end of WW2 the companies producing chemicals for the war started producing chemicals for our food instead?!
Glysophate is the active ingredient in pesticides (e.g. Roundup). It is in our wheat. Arguments in favour of glysophate use is that it only affects plants and bacteria. Problem is that there are 10 times more bacteria than human cells in each person! So you could reason that it would affect us too…
Glysophates last in the ground for over 20 years. But we still spray our gardens, our sports fields, parks and foods with it.
Shikimate Pathway is affected by glysophate and our ability to create neurotransmitters and many other things because of the destruction of our microbiome.
6. The microbiome issue
Microbiome – we have 100 trillion bacteria that determines whether we are healthy or not. Affects our mood, digest our food, produce our neurotransmitters, balance point of our immune system, determine if we will be fat or lean… This microbiome is passed through the generation from mother to child. Any change/degradation of the microbiome of the mother will be passed down to the child.
Bifido bacteria is required to digest grains/wheat and break down gluten. Raw milk is the best source of this, but pasteurisation kills it.
7. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity & Leaky Gut
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity does exist! There is a study all about it here if you’d like to read more.
There No (medicare funded) tests for this, so we have to eliminate wheat and see what happens. (Note: Core has the Food Detective Test which does test for gluten and wheat intolerances, among other things).
Leaky gut – holes in your gut allowing undigested protein molecules to pass into the blood stream causing immune system issues, degenerative & inflammatory conditions – diabetes, joint pain, cancer, dementia, coronary artery disease.
8. The neural tree
Our guts are not the only part of our body affected by wheat. The most important being is our neural tree. Depending on your susceptibility depends on where the symptoms show up – gut, bloating, irritability, headaches, itches, mood issues. This is why it’s so wide spread and affects people in so many different ways.
Schizophrenia has been shown to be related to gluten sensitivity.
9. Autoimmune conditions all linked to gluten intolerance
The number of autoimmune conditions are increasing. There are also a growing number of studies linking gluten intolerance to autoimmune disease.
While wheat is not necessarily the root cause of autoimmune disease, leaky gut however, most likely is at the beginning of every autoimmune disease, and leaky gut is most likely caused by gluten sensitivity for many people.
10. It’s addictive.
Both gluten and casein (milk protein) are addictive. They are converted in the liver to morphine-like derivative called gluteomorphin & casomorphin. These substances go to our brains to give us a high.
11. “How will I eat a sandwich?” & the gluten-free product dilemma
Gluten Free products are not as great as you would hope as an alternative to wheat products. They still have carbs, fillers, numbers, additives, sugars, chemicals etc. Best to make foods from scratch, use culinary herbs, chemical free skin products, essential oils, cold pressed oils.
12. It’s not all doom and gloom
Epigenetics – 70% of genes involved in health and longevity we have control over. So our diet, environment and lifestyle greatly impacts our health. Start by listening to your body, and watch what you put into your body, and what you put on your body.
There’s lots more to the movie, these are just the bits that I thought were really interesting.
I first went gluten free 20 odd years ago, and while I do still have the odd wrap, and sour dough toast here and there, I can feel it in my body every time. First with the fuzzy head and then belly bloating. As I said at the beginning of the blog, we all react differently to wheat and some don’t react at all. But just out of interest, if you do eat it every day, try going without for a week. If you have trouble, there may be an addictive factor you might have to consider. If you do manage to not eat it for a week, try for longer, if not, try your wheat product and listen to your body – see if it has anything to say…
Furthermore, call us here at Core Naturopathics as we can answer many of such questions relating to the confusion around food sensitivities and intolerances.
Our biochemical tests, and Food Detective test can highlight many foods in your diet that could potentially be causing you grief, like wheat and gluten and dairy, that may need to be temporarily removed from your diet to allow your gut to heal.
So, don’t put it off any more, listen to your body and let us help get you back on track to optimal health, the health you deserve!