Rethinking Gluten Free
Interesting article about the food system industrialization and how it affects our health. People with gluten intolerance might want to take a look at this since it does makes you wonder what you put into your belly. I have been skipping wheat for our kids for a long time now but Im slowly re-introducing sourdough bread into their diet. They are doing great.
Gluten-free diets simply sidestep deeper problems in our food system, problems that wheat points out to us. As one of the most intensively industrialized crops in the world, wheat is giving us a glimpse of where we’re headed as we continue on this path with other foods. If we ignore these warnings, we’ll soon add other foods to our list of dietary sensitivities. But if we heed them, we have a golden opportunity to address many other pressing problems linked to our food system, including its climate footprint and its devastating impact on rural communities. So instead of ditching wheat, let’s fix the way it’s bred, the way it’s grown, and the way it’s processed.
The wheat you eat in a typical store-bought cookie or hamburger bun is very different from the wheat your great-grandparents ate. Over the course of the twentieth century, wheat was aggressively bred to improve crop yield and loaf volume — the number of loaves of bread industrial processors can squeeze out of each bag of flour by pumping as much air into the dough as quickly as possible.
In the process, the chemical composition and nutrient profile were significantly changed. Medical trials with subjects who alternated between a modern wheat and ancient wheat diet have demonstrated just what a difference these breeding programs have made to our ability to digest this staple grain. While modern wheat has been shown to cause inflammation, ancient wheat actually reduces it, improving outcomes for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.