Wednesday, February 1, 2012

So what is wrong with wheat?

I don’t want my tiny space here in the blogosphere to concentrate on weight loss, but I would like to answer a question posted in yesterday’s comment section. The granddaughter of a wheat farmer asked, “so what is wrong with wheat?”

Gentle reader, I do not mean to disrespect the life work of your grandfather and the crop he grew to feed this nation. The wheat in your grandfather’s day was very different than the wheat that is produced today. Today’s wheat has been genetically modified to not only resist disease but to up its production from 8-9 bushels per acre to 80-110 bushels an acre.

It is this genetically modified wheat that is causing problems.

 

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Photo courtesy of Kahlil Group

After reading something several years ago about the mechanics of the body, I had begun to wonder if I could be insulin resistant. I didn’t know how to go about reversing this problem, and life went on. Until I recently read this and everything began to click.

Why wheat makes you fat

Reading this gave me an accurate picture of how my life had become, especially my evenings. And since I stopped eating wheat, less than two weeks ago, this cycle has completely stopped, my cravings are nonexistent, and my pants are already fitting better. I have a terribly long way to go. But finally, I feel as though I’m on the right track.

And then, when I read this, well, this is just scary. I’ve always wondered if my husband’s brain tumor was the direct cause of the use of Roundup. Several of the horse farms on which he worked over the years used Roundup for weed control and my husband was one of the people using it. I hate the stuff although I can’t deny that it works. But I never realized that it was used on wheat destined for human consumption.

A wheat farmer weighs in on Wheat Belly

I don’t want this blog to become about weight loss and the evils of Big Food. I simply made a statement about wanting to change something in my life for the better. And it’s already beginning to be better. Giving up wheat and wheat products might not be for everyone, but it’s already working for me.

And so tomorrow, I’ll be back to our regularly scheduled antics of a border collie named George, some nutty squirrels, the beauty of nature, and all that happy horseshit. (That was one of my father’s favorite expressions).

Until then, my friends . . .

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36 comments:

deb colarossi said...

I haven't clicked on the link yet, but I am terribly gluten sensitive. I absolutely feel so much better when I try to eliminate it as much as possible. We are a pasta and bread loving family, but I hate feeling 'off' and sometimes worse.

The best of luck with this.

Nancy's Notes said...

Absolutely a great post, thank you!

Bonnie said...

This is important information you are sharing. Twenty-five years ago when I did research upon learning that my sister had Multiple Sclerosis, I found that MS occurred in astounding rates in countries that fed their populations on wheat and beef.

Several members of my family are now wheat/gluten, dairy and meat free.

In terms of your husband's cancer (my daughter recently had sugery for lung cancer) you may want to invesigate "casein", a property found in beef since it has become so industrialized.

Two books which explain the effects of casein from beef are:
"Anti-Cancer", Servan-Schreiber
"The China Study", Campbell

I just ordered the book you are using. Already avoid wheat but learning additional reasons why will help keep me motivated!

Thanks.

beth said...

i think the information you have provided could even save someone's life....so don't apologize for sharing what's working for you !!!

and happy shit....i love happy shit !!

xooxo

Cloudia said...

Go for it! and you are right about manipulated food. . . a big problem I believe.



Warm Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Brynwood Needleworks said...

I look, feel and am healthier without all the sugar and grains in my regular diet. My blood type (O) prefers red meat. I read one of the previous comments, and now I see there are problems with that, too! sheesh!

I can see the huge benefit to raising all my own food, but that would be a little more "happy horseshit" than I might be able to handle! lol

Love your grandpa's term. Our ancestors were colorful folk, weren't they?
xoxo
Donna

Nellie said...

Vital information you have shared today, Kate! Thank you!

Mary said...

The link and the book are very persuasive, and I think it is very important information to share. I have been doing this since the beginning of the year, and I feel SO much better. I've lost at least ten lbs., and I have absolutely no cravings. I'm glad that you posted about it. xoxo

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

Everyone I know who has given up wheat has lost weight and felt much better. It's hard to eat gluten free so even cutting back is a good thing.

mrs mediocrity said...

hahaha, gotta love those old sayings. my mom said "you bet your sweet bippy" the other day which totally cracked me up.

and hey, it's your blog, you get to write about whatever you want.

roundup scares me. i spend hours and hours every summer pulling weeds because i won't use it. the article about farmers put it on wheat on purpose is disturbing.

JaneK said...

oh goodness, I didn't realize wheat was genetically modified!! who da' thunk!!! and the bit about round-up.... that is interesting; ignorance is indeed bliss as far as not knowing what goes in and on our food....

glad it is working for you and that you are feeling better; it is not about being a size 2 but about feeling healthy :) I keep trying to give up refined sugars.... haven't fully taken the plunge yet...

good luck and do keep us posted from time to time!!!

Hilary said...

I can cut down, but don't think I can give it up entirely while I am dealing with this headache.
Geesh......
I definitely can cut down though.
I can't repeat what MY father used to say.
Yikes.

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

I've cut waaay back on eating wheat, fats, cheese, etc. in the past two weeks. Already my brain feels less foggy and I don't feel bloated.

I lose followers whenever I say what I think about an issue on my blog, and sometimes when I give my true opinion on someone else's blog which is the case this week. Ask me if I care.

Lili said...

All very interesting points you bring up Kate. I'm frightened by what else we will find out about the effects of GMO foods. xo ~Lili

Low Tide High Style said...

You are spot on Kate. The foods our grandparents and great grandparents ate look nothing like the high yield genetically modified foods of today. I can only speak from my own experience and that is that organic, transfat free, and non genetically modified foods are the reason I am here and doing well today. Thankfully I found a doctor who put me on the path to eating the way our grandparents once did. I'm sure that her grandfather would be appalled at the way food is grown today and how big commercial farms have almost completely shut down the family farmers who tried to keep things done the healthy way, not just the profitable way.

Kat

Mary Lou said...

I'm allergic to something. If I have to cut out bread, I will die, I'm sure of it. No, you say? I've often thought of wheat...oh, here we go!! George, where are you??

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate, I am following your blog thanks to CBW. I love the poetry and your exquisite photos. I am a fan of George as well. You may have heard this a zillion times, but I was watching the 80's movie "Down & Out in Beverly Hills", and the dog in the movie, named "Matisse", could have been George's twin.
RE wheat gluten matters, and healthier eating for you & your husband both--it takes some work, but you do not have to give up much at all !! If you are near a Trader Joe's and especially near a Whole Foods, you will find gluten free items in both stores. The freezer at Whole Foods has great bread by Rudi's, and there are crackers, pastas, pancake, pizza dough and french bread mixes. I do dairy free as well as wheat free and it is not difficult. Good luck to you, it is well worth how much better you will feel!

alphabet soup said...

Oooooh.... You've run up a couple of red flags for me in your blog today Kate!!

Roundup...

the evils of Big Food.....

but as this is a comment box and not a thesis box I will move right along to wheat products. I should most certainly eat less wheat products (is there wheat in chocolate?) but I don't think it will happen this week or even next.

And as for all that happy horseshit, shouldn't you hold that over till summer and apply it liberally to the vegetable garden??

Ms Soup

Mental P Mama said...

You are so right...there is so much GMO crap out there. And it's killing us.

Heather T. said...

glad you posted this...I'll have to look into it - so smart, you are - makes sense to me....

happy horseshit HA - that cracked me up :)

MaggieGem said...

Great post, very informative. Now just to find a way to get away from wheat in my diet. Should help with weight loss too.. double bonuse!

The Japanese Redneck said...

My friend years ago told me that anything white in your diet was bad. (sugar and flour)

She is healthy, active and in very good shape.

Andi said...

Have you been reading my Facebook wall?? This is a hot topic with me right now, as I investigate food sources. Our bodies are not designed to process the modified wheats, nor all the processed food, incl processed wheat, sugar and everything that comes in shiney plastic wrappers. It is killing us.

michelle said...

What one resource would you recommend for someone trying to eat less wheat? My grandmother ate gluten free for the last 1/4 of her life - and I am type II diabetic. I have been cutting out all white and enriched flour but am now wondering about wheat as well.

What do you eat in place of wheat? Rice products? If you could point me to some resources I'd love you forever for it.

Kim said...

I am a recent follower to your blog. I can’t remember how I “found” you, but I have returned because of your beautiful photography. After a great deal of reflection, I can’t let your Wednesday post about the wheat diet go by without commenting. My husband and I farm in Kansas. He is a fourth generation Kansas farmer, and in my birth family, we are on the sixth generation of farmers here in Kansas. Wheat is our primary crop, though we also raise sorghum and alfalfa and also have a cow/calf operation.

I believe anyone has the right to choose how to eat. If you choose to exclude wheat from your diet, that’s your choice. If someone prefers to eat only organic foods, that’s their individual right. I don’t agree with your choice, and I believe much of the information in the book is inaccurate, a point of view substantiated by scientific data from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. That being said, you have the right to choose.

However, I feel I must address some inaccuracies in the information you provided. The truth is that genetically modified wheat is not present in the food stream. There are a myriad of GM foods in the food stream, but wheat is NOT one of them. Personally, I don’t have an issue with technical advances that help farms grow the crops necessary to feed the world. Some of those advances allow us to have grapes or tomatoes or other produce in the store year ‘round. I guess I don’t understand why agriculture is supposed to practice like it did 100 years ago when we embrace modern advances in every other arena of life. I wrote about this in a blog in October 2010. http://kimscountyline.blogspot.com/2010/10/sow-frustrating.html

In 1900, approximately 80 percent of the U.S. population made their living in agriculture. Today, it's approximately 3 percent. Technological advancements have made it possible for 3 percent of the population to feed the other 97 percent of U.S., plus export grains and meat to feed people all over the world. We also can't feed the world without advancements in crop genetics and the application of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. FYI: Roundup is NOT used on wheat because it would kill the wheat plant.

I don't have a problem with farmers who have made this their niche market. I understand there is a market for organically-grown food and that "local" food is all the rage right now. If consumers want to spend the extra money for organically-grown produce and free-range chickens, that's their business. And power to the producer who is making a living doing it!

But the general public needs to realize that if all of the U.S.'s food was grown this way, America's farmers wouldn't be producing as much food. And with lower production, prices at the grocery store would rise astronomically. And people in some parts of the world would starve because we wouldn't have food to export to them.

I apologize for this lengthy comment. But I thought it was important for you to actually hear from a modern day wheat farmer.

My best to you and yours.

Georgianna said...

Hi Kate, Well done on making this change for the better. It takes discipline and I really wish you the best with it. (I have got to get in shape for our traveling season and hauling all my 30 lbs of gear around. I re-signed at the gym today and hired a personal trainer. Doesn't hurt that he's young and pretty cute. :))

xo – g

Anonymous said...

Your statement that today's wheat has been genetically modified is totally inaccurate. There is no GMO wheat in food production in the world. There is some grown in laboratories. Maybe in 10 years there will be some grown for food production, but it's not available now. I believe there are many benefits GMO wheat could provide, but at this time, it's not even available. Roundup is not used on wheat because it would kill it.

Randy, a Kansas wheat farmer and a board member for Kansas Association of Wheat Growers

Country Girl said...

To Kim and Randy,
The information used in this post was taken directly from Dr. William Davis' NY Times Best Selling book, The Wheat Belly Diet. Dr. Davis also writes a blog called The Wheat Belly Blog, where wheat farmers have written comments concerning modern-day wheat growing practices. This is where I got the information on Round Up. It seems as though this is a controversial subject and Kim points out that much of the information in Dr. Davis' book is inaccurate according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. My problem is that how do we know how accurate the AJCN is? As far as the Roundup application, I'm glad to know that you don't practice this. But I read that some farmers do, specifically Keith Lewis, who is linked in the post and also comments at the end of it.
I really don't want this blog to be an argument back and forth against wheat. I don't know who to trust anymore. I just know that my body feels better. So I'm just going to list to that.
Thank you for your insightful comments, Kim and Randy.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

You know my recent story, and I can't thank you enough for posting about a possible connection between gaining weight/feeling lethargic/depression, etc. to wheat products. In the past several days I've made a conscious effort to significantly reduce my intake. Honestly, I do feel much better and can't thank you enough for posting this info.

Karen said...

Results speak. Whether you are a wheat farmer or not, The truth has to be acknowledged...MANY people are noticing a significant improvement in their health when they eliminiate or reduce wheat in their diet. I am one of them. I lost 20 lbs of belly fat in six months by significantly reducing my wheat intake. I have far less digestive distress, and a feel better over all. My results are typical of many many people doing the same thing.

Whether Wheat is now modified or grown the old fashioned way, it is now used as filler in things you would never think of... we are consuming MORE of it than our ancestors, and perhaps this is why our bodies are rebeling.

Whatever the reason, it's a truth, not a false statement. Thanks for bringing this up, Kate. I was glad to see others views on the issue all around.

Daryl Edelstein said...

Hey its your body and your blog .. so post what you like and eat what you want you owe no one an explanation

Carolynn said...

I think it's all white food, in general. Knowing that doesn't make it easier to adjust though. I'm aware and I choose to eat it anyway.

Reena Walkling said...

A great post Kate!

tainterturtles said...

Just earlier in the week, my husband and I watch "the world according to Monsanto." I was so disturbed after watching that documentary, so your post really hit home with me. Everyone should watch it.

And by the way, in 2002, Monsanto applied to grow GM wheat in the US and Canada! There was a big resistance to letting Monsanto do that so it was dropped in 2004.

I'm really glad you had the guts to talk about this subject...good for you.

Jan's camera said...

Great info. Thanks. I think I am going to go throw out the rest of my wheat bread right now.

Gail said...

My book has been shipped!!!

Genetically altered everything bothers me. That is one of the reasons we are At The Farm. Organic as much as we can be, heritage seeds when we can and save our own seeds. Grass fed beef and free range chickens. No pesticides since we have spring water...natural can be hard, but it is well worth the work.

I was fortunate to have parents that believed there was a problem before Rachael Carson wrote "Silent Spring".