If you haven’t heard about “Dwarf Wheat” you may be interested in learning more. This form of wheat is a genetically modified staple food taking heat for creating inflammation, illness and obesity. Why is the wheat in our food genetically modified?
I picture little gnomes in a large field of height challenged wheat. Yes, this is kind of what is happening here folks. The idea of a short, stubby wheat plant nicknamed “FrankenWheat“- high in gluten and starch was created to help mitigate world hunger and starvation. It was incredibly successful in these endeavors but forever changed the constitution of the wheat we once ate.
Unfortunately, this new variety of dwarf wheat has evolved with twice as many chromosomes as traditional wheat. Dwarf wheat is also blessed with a greater amount of gluten and triggers for celiac disease. Is this why it is so hard to get an appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist these days? (all kidding aside it takes months)
The humanitarian vision of dwarf wheat was quite incredible and its accomplishments are far reaching across the globe. This genetically modified wheat plant garnered a noble prize to its creator.
Fast forward to the average size of the American today- who didn’t need dwarf wheat and its adaptations in their daily food supply. Take a seat on a bench and look at the obesity epidemic pass you by. It’s no secret many Americans are eating themselves to death on a daily basis, while others across the globe are starving to death. It is a troublesome situation at best. The numbers of chronically ill and obese are escalating along to the sounds of a Las Vegas slot machine unloading its change-
CHING, CHING, CHING …
Bread is well loved and so is wheat, which is literally in nearly every processed food. It has been engrained into our minds that wheat is good, wheat is healthy, the more wheat the better, right? Wheat is found in things you may not think of, especially if you don’t have exposure to a friend or loved one with celiac disease. It lives in wooden spatulas, toothpaste, tea bags, lotions, shampoos, make up, double dipped condiments, toasters and so many other places. Your house is infested by these creepy little crumbs, I know it is.
According to Dr. Hyman in the Huffington Post:
“The history of wheat parallels the history of chronic disease and obesity across the world. Supermarkets today contain walls of wheat and corn disguised in literally hundreds of thousands of different food-like products, or FrankenFoods. Each American now consumes about 55 pounds of wheat flour every year. ”
Dr. Hyman points out that these changes have occurred to one of our primary food sources over the past 50 years. Wheat is now a different grain than it was for our ancestors- who were much healthier in many respects than today’s population. It is no surprise then to see the increase in diagnosis of wheat intolerance, wheat allergies and celiac disease. Nor is it a surprise to see increases in a plethora of autoimmune diseases, obesity and diabetes.
Dr. Hyman outlines these three important points about the dwarf wheat we currently consume:
- It contains a Super Starch — amylopectin A that is super fattening.
- It contains a form of Super Gluten that is super-inflammatory.
- It contains forms of a Super Drug that is super-addictive and makes you crave and eat more.
If that hasn’t sold you on a self analysis of your diet, what will? All of this leads us back to the basics- a diet rich in whole foods.