This is well worth the read even if you yourself don’t eat wheat, you likely have friends and family who do, so you can share this info.
As some of you know, I’ve been on a gluten-free diet for about 15 years now. I was diagnosed with Celiac (way back before there were many GF options available.) So I’ve not eaten wheat myself in a very long time, but a lot of my friends and family still do.
We recently read Grain Brain, by Dr. David Perlmutter, which gave us new insight into wheat and other grains. Reading Grain Brain convinced my husband Kirk, the consummate carb-lover, to stop eating wheat cold turkey – even though he has no known issues digesting it.
We thought we knew a lot about wheat and gluten, but yesterday we read about some new MIT research that REALLY shocked us. Wait ‘till you find out what’s REALLY in your wheat…
So What’s REALLY In Your Wheat?
If you’ve been following the war on genetically modified foods, you likely know that much of the corn, soy, sugar beets, and mangos grown in the US are GMO. One reason that these GMO products are so controversial is that they are “Roundup Ready”, containing glyphosate, a chemical found in the herbicide Roundup, that keeps bugs from eating those crops.
Though there is currently no GMO wheat being grown commercially in the US today, there are some testing fields of GMO wheat. However, what you may not know, and I didn’t know until yesterday, is truly appalling.
Since the late ‘90’s (coincidently when my gluten issues started?), conventional wheat farmers have been spraying their wheat crops with Roundup several days just before harvesting.
Why is Roundup Being Sprayed on 99% of Wheat Crops?
To help save the farmers time and money:
- it kills the wheat plant
- it desiccates it or dries it up
- making it easier and quicker to cut
- dried wheat is easier on the harvesting machines
- thus the farmers spend less money repairing their harvesters or buying new ones
I talked with my sister who’s an organic farmer in Oregon, and she confirmed that this is a common practice among non-organic farmers. It’s all about the bottom line, NOT about our health and well being.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, as of 2012, 99% of durum wheat, 97% of spring wheat, and 61% of winter wheat has been treated with Roundup. You can read the full article “The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (it’s not the gluten)”, in The Healthy Economist.
Have a Side of Roundup With Your Sandwich?
Although glyphosate, one of the chemical compounds of Roundup, apparently breaks down quickly, not quite quick enough. Tests show that glyphosate regularly shows up in sandwich bread tested in the UK, and in human urine tested in the US.
Sadly, the FDA doesn’t have your back. (Did you know that the new head of the FDA was a former VP of Monsanto?) The FDA leaves it up to Monsanto to self-test for harmful effects of Roundup and other chemicals in the US. Big surprise, Monsanto tells us Roundup is “safe”. However, just because it doesn’t kill you instantly, doesn’t mean it’s actually safe.
Studies on glyphosate in Europe have shown that it disrupts the functioning of our beneficial gut bacteria. The glyphosate found in Roundup kills bugs that eat it by punching holes in their guts. Studies show that it works much the same way on our gut flora and fauna as well.
Ironically, there are very few studies being done on the ill effects of glyphosate in the US. This is partly because Monsanto donates money to major universities, and then puts the thumbscrews to them if they try to do research against GMOs. Mother Jones and Scientific American both have good articles on this.
So What Can You Do?
- Vote with your wallet: Stop eating ALL wheat unless it is organic, or you know the famer who grew it, and can be assured they are not pre-harvest spraying with Roundup.
- Talk with your local grocer and ask them to carry more organic wheat products and/or stop carrying conventional wheat products, for the health of your whole community.
- Share this post and other articles with your friends and family. The more aware everyone becomes, the easier we can all make healthier choices and live healthier lives.
Please leave a comment to let me know how you’re making healthy choices about eating wheat.