Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Wheat is NOT Genetically Modified…so why so Many Sensitivities?

March 1st, 2013 · 150 Comments · Food for Thought

I used to get really upset when I was wrong.

About anything.

I’m not sure how I thought I should always be right, and I bet I put my poor parents through a lot with this tendency.

A lot of people recognize that teenagers’ lack of life experience gives them that “invincible” mentality that makes them blind to the dangers of reckless driving and other death-defying behavior. For me, I was invincible in judgment, even though I was far too young and inexperienced to have any sort of good judgment!

Now that I’m older and wiser, I realize that I’m wrong a lot. Like all the time.

And you know what?

It still upsets me.

I just have learned a bit better to either do something about it, fix the fallacy, or let it go and improve next time.

In this case, I get to fix the fallacy.

I’ve been saying, in person and online, that one of the reasons gluten sensitivity is on the rise is that wheat has been altered so that it has higher gluten content.

It hasn’t.

The article linked above will explain much better than I can how wheat has changed and why it causes our digestive systems to react poorly. (And yes, I said our, as in everyone’s, according to Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly.)

Nutrimill grain mill 1st try (2) (475x356)

I’ve also been gently and lovingly corrected (the beautiful part about writing about stewardship and food through the eyes of faith is that my readers will forgive me as sisters in Christ when I mess up!) when I mistakenly wrote a few weeks back that wheat’s problems originated because wheat is genetically modified (GMO).

There is no genetically modified wheat on the market in 2013.

(Yet.)

The post containing my mistake, Does Satan Hate Bread? is a pretty interesting read, including the comments, if you missed it. I edited it for factual correctness as soon as I realized my mistake.

Wheat is in the process of experimentation for genetic modification, which is never a good thing. Learn more and take action against it here.

That said, wheat is already quite a mess and causing a health crisis that few are even aware of. It’s not GMO, but it has been altered, including at the genetic level, which is why I made the mistake of using the (very) wrong terminology.

UPDATE 5/2013: Uh oh. They’ve found rogue GM wheat from the trials still hanging out in Oregon after 12 years. Read more HERE. Nobody really knows what is going on…

No “Round Up Ready” Wheat, BUT…

There IS wheat on the market that is herbicide-resistant. It is not genetically modified but altered through a process called chemical mutagenesis, which sounds pretty scary (and rightfully so).

It involves exposing the seed to a super-poisonous chemical as well as radiation, with the intent of introducing a mutation. This is all unregulated and does not need labeling because it still counts as “traditional breeding methods” or “hybridization” rather than genetic modification, which is more highly regulated. No safety testing is required. Read more here.

Modern Wheat has been Unrecognizably Hybridized

Dr. William Davis has a lot of bad things to say about wheat, but he generally starts by explaining why “wheat” of today shouldn’t even be called wheat anymore:

Modern wheat is the product of 40 years of genetics research, intensive efforts aimed at increasing yield-per-acre. The result: a genetically unique plant that stands 18-24 inches tall, a “semi-dwarf” strain, not the 4 1/2-foot tall “amber waves of grain” we all remember. Traditional wheat is long gone, a product that has not been on store shelves since around 1985. Today, virtually all products made with wheat flour, regardless of whether it is organic, sprouted, multigrain, etc., originates from this high-yield, semi-dwarf creation of genetics research.

The genetic distance modern wheat has drifted from its ancient origins exceeds the difference between chimpanzees and humans. Chimps and humans genes differ by only a few percent, sharing at least 90%—but what a difference a few percent can make! But that’s more than modern wheat is genetically removed from its ancestors.

Read more here from Dr. Davis.

Dr. Davis tackles the “Wheat is not GMO” issue head on, saying that he believes the methods used to create modern wheat are “worse than genetic-modification” and like mating a human with an orangutan…and then worse.

Is Wheat Worse Than Sugar?

(photo source)

I’d be hard-pressed to find anyone, even people who eat a Standard American Diet of junk food and convenience quickies, who would honestly say that sugar is good for you. Many say it’s “okay in moderation,” but no one is touting the health benefits of sugar. (I think. I hope! I could be wrong again; it’s happened before.)

As a doctor treating many patients with diabetes and heart disease, Dr. Davis was shocked by the fact that “two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than six teaspoons of table sugar.” He began investigating and learned many disturbing facts about wheat and how it reacts in our bodies.

Wheat is not genetically modified…but it may be worse for you than sugar.

Does Wheat Wage War on the Intestines?

(photo source)

One of the parts of wheat altered by all the “hybridization” is called wheat germ agglutinin. It’s a lectin protein that functions as the defense system for the plant to battle mold, fungus, and insects, much like our immune system battles viruses and bacteria for us.

The “new” wheat lectin now wreaks havoc on the digestive system of lab animals (when administered by itself) and in humans, it “disables the normal discriminatory capacity of the human intestinal tract that helps it determine what should remain in the intestine and what should be allowed entry into the bloodstream,” causing many forms of digestive distress including heartburn, acid reflux, and IBS. (source) (Seriously, how many infants do you know of who are on prescription medication for reflux??? That scares me…)

Wheat is not genetically modified…but it is darn right modified.

Does Wheat Act Like a Gluttony Drug?

(photo source)

The final major change in wheat that is NOT a result of genetic modification but is serious nonetheless is the way gliadin, a certain wheat protein, has been altered over the last half decade.

Gliadin has always been in wheat, but it now acts as an opiate. Yes, an opiate, the same class of drug as heroin or morphine. You won’t be free from pain when you eat wheat (far from it), but you might get the munchies. The “new” gliadin stimulates the appetite by suppressing the body’s system of telling you “I’m full.” Research shows that people who eat wheat eat an average of over 400 calories more, every day than people who don’t eat wheat. (more here)

Wheat is found in just about every processed food there is, so the majority of the country is eating lots of wheat, all the time. And we’re obese, in epic proportions.

Is wheat the culprit? Dr. Davis asks some scary questions that bring me back to MY original hypothesis, that perhaps Satan really does hate wheat, and he’s using our sinfulness – including greed and power, not just gluttony – to exploit what God created to be good.

Are you concerned yet?

I am. I don’t want to jump on any “hype” bandwagons, but our changing wheat is definitely an issue I’ll be following closely over the next few years to see what happens.

What About GMOs?

If wheat becomes genetically modified, my heart tells me, without doing a speck of research, that only bad things will come of it. Humans don’t seem to have the foresight to interfere with God’s creation without screwing things up royally.

You can learn about what foods are currently GMO in this Non GMO Shopping Guide that a reader shared in the “bread” post.

There are also tools to find and avoid GMOs and other health threats in The New Health Paradigm by Anthony Gucciardi, as well as many resources for gluten-free living and healthy eating in the Extreme Health Library Sale, 53 resources bundled together for 95% off through next Thursday only. Read more about this unique deal HERE.

How about you? Does genetic modification play a role in deciding what you purchase and eat?

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150 Comments so far ↓

  • Tress via Facebook

    Ok, I just read this article and now understand why even when I use my high quality flours and make my own bread just a slice can cause reflux, pain, headaches and who knows what else. I was raised on a farm outside Chicago. We grew or raised 90% of our food. We were not sick or over weight but once leaving the farm in the 80′s our diets have changed as has our health. I’m now 38 living on 10 acres trying to slowly to get back to the basics. I do not want to give up bread. Is there any way to get real wheat seeds and grow it myself? Either that of we will have to go gluten free but I just so love the comfort of bread. May God forgive us for our transgressions on His creation.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Don Reply:

    Believe me; I understand. Purity Foods specializes in an ancient wheat (spelt) that has not undergone the extensive hybridization to increase yield. Why? Because it has a hull which makes it impractical for you to grow and more expensive than modern hybridized wheat.

    Modern science is somewhat out of control in that those practicioners fail to remember that nature has created a certain structure and some scientists want to break free of the structure. In the case of wheat, they have not just done crosses; they have utilized x rays, gamma rays , etc to create new varieties all directed at increasing yield. Problem is the new varieties, much like gmo varieties of other products require more water and fertilizer and the yields are not that exceptional

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    Carri Reply:

    I just came across this website a few minutes ago. They have a slightly different response on this issue and sell heritage grains. I’m sure there MUST be a place here in the U.S. that also sells heritage grains (the grains our grandparents used before they were altered) Check it out: http://www.grainstorm.com/pages/modern-wheat

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    Q-Who Reply:

    gluten free ? stop demonising gluten. few people have an actual gluten intolerance and if you dont, theres absolutely no problem with gluten.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Some experts say up to 1 in 3 Americans have a gluten intolerance (only 1% have true celiac, but many more are affected in other ways). But you’re right- for many people, gluten is not an issue.

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    reba Reply:

    I think more people have a intolerance to wheat/gluten than most pple realize. I personally know 13 pple who have been tested for gluten intolerance and only 2 out of 13 didn’t have an issue with gluten. I also know a handful or more including myself who just stopped eating gluten to test for themselves and have had their symptoms or overall heath improve or go away! So going gluten free is not for everyone but for the majority of the US who suffer from sickness, pains, ADD, eczema, autoimmune disorders, pcos, acid reflux and the list goes on, it may just help.

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    Mrs. Lori Shafaye Reply:

    No problem with gluten but the inferior wheat is the problem! To avoid the inferior wheat, we choose to go gluten free! I’ve had IBS & Colitis for 38 years! The only relief was to go gluten free! However, spelt, emmer, farro do not bother me!

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  • Tiffany via Facebook

    I have to say as a newbie to whole foods this is on my top 5 (maybe #1) of frustrating topics. By that I mean I read a lot, & there are A LOT of disputing articles on this topic! Many say we should never eat wheat, or it should be eaten only if sprouted. Many swear by wheat belly, while many researchers say there is no science or proof behind it. Several gluten free diets, on & on & on :). I may pull out my hair soon. I just want to eat healthier & feed my family well, ugh!!

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    keith Reply:

    what you eat is most important but what you igest and absorb nutrients realy is what leads to healthy cells most of us today take vitamins and antioxidants for the long term results can you ever say i felt almost right away better

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Ave via Facebook

    I went wheat free for over a year and noticed no benefits. My chronic fatigue and other issues showed no improvement. This is very different from the positive changes I notice when I substituted good fats for bad in my diet and cut out most refined sugar. Also, I see quite a few very healthy people who eat a lot of wheat and unhealthy people who don’t. From my personal experience, I wonder if modern wheat is truly intrinsically evil. I know a lot of people feel so much better after removing it from their diet, but I don’t seem to be one of them.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Shonda Hector Reply:

    I gave up wheat and it didn’t do any good either. But when I gave up grains (including polysaccharides of starchy potaotes) – that made a world of a difference. I’ve been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for about a year (same as GAPS) with lots of natural probiotics and I’ve started eating a bit of potatoes and some organic corn here and there just this year. You might want to try it…the thought of it is overwhelming, but the results are amazing! I have been renewed! You can read my story at my blog. I wish you the best.

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    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Way to go, Shondra! Thank you so much for sharing your success! :) Katie

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  • Bethany via Facebook

    I wonder about the safety of spelt? and heritage grains like einkorn? as an alternative.

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  • Joli

    So….to my way of thinking, this mean that buying and using an ancient wheat (like einkorn) would circumvent these issues associated with wheat that has been tinkered with. Is this correct???

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    Margaret Reply:

    I hope so! I just bought some Einkorn berries to sprout, dehydrate and then grind into flour.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Joli,
    Yes, good point! Hopefully our systems haven’t already been too damaged by the wheat we’ve eaten…but yes, einkorn isn’t as bad as wheat. I know Dr. Davis did some experimenting with einkorn, and here he calls it “less destructive, not non-destructive” – http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2011/09/21/interview-with-wheat-belly-author-dr-william-davis-part-two/ and here’s his official take on it: http://blog.trackyourplaque.com/2011/01/is-einkorn-the-answer.html Not so great.

    So…once I looked that up, I guess einkorn is only the answer once a year for a birthday cake. Shoot.
    :/ Katie

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  • Rebecca via Facebook

    We have been trying to slowly cut it out and debating totally cutting it out. It is frustrating as there really is no answer but I have a husband with add, a 7 month old with food allergies and a 9 yr old that always looks tired with spd so trying anything is normally worth a shot if I can make it work in our budget.

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  • via Facebook

    I certainly have noticed stomach issues in my family with gluten in general. That said, in the future I would like to try true, homemade sourdough with a long fermentation period to see how we do. I would also love to try some of the heritage grains like einkorn.

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  • Amanda via Facebook

    I had many stomach issues for a long time. I eliminated corn (organic as well) from my diet. I tried to do no wheat but corn as well. My solution was the elimination of corn. Wheat gives me no trouble now. Because of this, I’ve wondered how many other people are possibly eliminating the wrong things? Gluten seems to be the favorite to point fingers at. I don’t know, I just know I’m often left scratching my head by all the contradicting info.

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  • farmer_liz

    Thanks for explaining that Katie, I had been confused about this too. As the previous comment alluded, I guess this means we should be using more ancient grains such as spelt, kamut and rye in our bread? I wonder if the ancient wheat seeds even exist now, or is it too late to go back? what a shame.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Yes, good point! I think I’ll add a note about einkorn at the end of the post. :) Katie

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  • Lyndee via Facebook

    Use Kamut, it bakes beautifully, and my mother who is seriously allergic to wheat can eat the Kamut. It is an ancient, untinkered with winter wheat.

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  • Jane via Facebook

    Where would you find Kamut? Is it terribly expensive?

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  • Tress via Facebook

    the other issue to think about is, the meat we eat. grain fed. What if we cut out the bad wheat but are still affected by the grain that is being fed to the animals. I pay more for grain fed but what if this is also making us sick.. The matrix of food trouble is terrible. I’m going to do my best and ask God to bless my food. Only God can protect us! Use wisdom and trust God!

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  • Melanie

    Hi Katie! I’m a casual reader first time commenter (I think). Your posts are always thought provoking. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but my husband has actually been reading a health blogger lately who advocates the benefits of sugar. :)

    Also, I’m a little puzzled by this bit: As a doctor treating many patients with diabetes and heart disease, Dr. Davis was shocked by the fact that “two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than six teaspoons of table sugar.” I had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy, so I’ve done quite a bit of reading about diabetes and blood sugar. I’m not sure why that would be surprising to anyone who understands how blood sugar works. Unless I misunderstand the comparison somehow, 6 tsp of sugar is only 90 calories while 2 slices of whole wheat bread must be at least twice, maybe three times, that. When it comes to blood sugar, total calories (esp. carbs) matters more that sugar itself. Perhaps there’s more to the comparison that I don’t understand, but it seems like to have a real comparison you would have to compare equal calories of bread and sugar.

    In fact, if I understand correctly, table sugar would be expected to have less of an impact on blood glucose than starches. This is because table sugar is part glucose and part fructose. Fructose causes less of a spike in blood sugar. Starches are converted directly to glucose by the body.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Melanie,
    Oh, drat it all! ;) I bet it’s Matt Stone. Totally forgot about that. Hail to sugar! ;)

    I probably misspoke (ahem, it’s happened before) when I said that he was ‘surprised.’ That’s me putting an expression on poor Dr. Davis’s face that may not have been there. Let’s just say I was surprised, since “whole wheat” is supposed to be good for diabetics (at least that’s what my diabetic MIL’s darn doctor told her, although I’d like to give him a piece of my mind anyway). Here’s what I want to know, since we’re talking blood sugar and carbs: What would an equal amount of brown rice or oatmeal do to blood sugar, compared to the wheat? Is he demonizing wheat amongst all grains unfairly or is it really the worst of the grain family? Your explanation is awesome; I’m glad you took the time to comment today!! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Melanie Reply:

    It’s an interesting question. My personal experience is that rice, even brown rice, is worse than wheat. But that’s just for me. Most people have certain foods that are worse for them, and it varies somewhat from person to person. There are many things about diabetes that are not well understood.

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    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Melanie,
    We really need to learn our own bodies…most Paleo folks say that white rice is the best grain if you must eat a grain. So strange!
    :) Katie

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  • Sheila via Facebook

    I love wheat bread so much. And I’ve fallen back on baking a lot more now that we’ve cut out the processed crap. I wonder so often — should I be feeling guilty about my delicious sourdough English muffins that I make for breakfast every morning now? I admit I am addicted to them … but on the other hand, I have no health problems and the kids don’t seem to either. My husband’s currently gluten-free, though, and I’m hoping it helps.

    I know some people have great results cutting out grain, but isn’t it possible that some of us are just fine with it? It’s not hunter-gatherer traditional, but it’s pretty dang traditional.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sarah via Facebook

    I used to make bread every. single. day. Now half my family can’t tolerate it and I think its probably bad for the others too so I haven’t made any in over a year. We do miss that yummy smell.

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  • Amanda Dykstra

    So is any one aware of heirloom wheat seeds that haven’t been altered in some forms or other

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Yes!!

    You can use spelt, I think, and DEFINITELY einkorn wheat, which is available through Jovial Foods http://jovialfoods.com/ (on Amazon: http://amzn.to/Vk2sBf) or Tropical Traditions that I know of: http://secure.ttpurchase.com/4944C955-1E0B-90B3-0E3BE2E12B2072FC

    We tried einkorn, and it’s actually really good! I love the einkorn pasta, such a hearty, nutty flavor. Awesome in homemade mac and cheese. :) Katie

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  • Autumn via Facebook

    Oh no! Another taboo food! It seems like all we can eat is raw veggies and some of them are ‘bad’. Lord help us! I think it was Paul who said that we can eat whatever if it is received with thankfulness, I’ll believe God’s Word and leave the worry to Him :) of course I’m trying to put the most healthy things in the Lord’s temple. God bless you!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Peggy

    I tried a wheat-free diet because of some digestive problems I’ve been having. I couldn’t maintain it long enough to see if it helped. It’s just way too hard.

    It was hard enough to switch to ONLY soured and sprouted grains. I did that and felt a little better, but just can’t do the total wheat-free thing.

    It was my understanding that the fiber in the bread (in the bran and germ) would tend to balance the sugars, which is why whole wheat bread was superior to white bread for diabetics, but now what he’s saying about the agglutinin would make me lean toward white, unbleached rather than whole grain wheat.

    Ugh. I am having a hard time caring, to tell the truth. It’s just all too much.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Peggy, my dear friend! I hear you:
    “I am having a hard time caring, to tell the truth. It’s just all too much.”
    There are many days I feel that way.

    Did you buy a bag of coconut flour? Having a few baked goods that we can eat made SUCH a difference in the beginning (and still does). One bag will last a really long time. If you didn’t, and you want to give wheat-free a try again, email me. I’ll send you some favorite simple recipes with coconut flour so you can still have biscuits, muffins, pancakes and wraps!
    {hugs} Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Peggy Reply:

    I have messed around a little with coconut flour. I’m fairly easy to please, a muffin is a muffin whether wheat or spelt or coconut in my book, but the family is a different story entirely. Most of them would rather skip breakfast than eat a coconut pancake or muffin. And the howls I get when I try to serve a sandwich on coconut bread…you’d think I was beating them.

    I guess it’s just “information overload” that gets to me. That I’m just now catching up to 20 year old research doesn’t help! Thanks for your kind words!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Got a perfect one for you – no howling, I promise! This recipe, soaked rice and millet (or a million different options in the comments), and make paninis out of it (we use our George Foreman; a cast iron skillet would make a killer grilled sandwich with these, too) – http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2012/03/gluten-free-flatbread-recipe-made-from.html

    And these pancakes don’t taste like coconut flour pcakes: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/recipes/orange-vegetable-pancakes/

    :) Katie

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    Peggy Reply:

    OOOH! Thanks! My grass farmer has just introduced a locally-grown organic rice, now I have a reason to buy it! :D

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    Lenora Reply:

    Katie, I would LOVE some coconut flour recipes! I found this blog because I was looking up whether organic wheat was hybrid wheat or not.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Lenora,
    I use coconut flour a lot, but I guess I haven’t posted very many recipes on the blog yet – there are some favs in a couple of my ebooks, and on the blog you can skim them all at http://kitchenstewardship.com/tag/coconut-flour

    Welcome and Enjoy! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Plus this one, which we make all the time in the fall especially but doesn’t have tags, apparently: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/recipes/orange-vegetable-pancakes/

    [Reply to this comment]

    Lenora Reply:

    THANK YOU! :)

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  • M

    This is awful!!!

    Have they been playing with spelt as well or is it okay?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    M,
    I am fairly certain, although haven’t asked the question directly, that spelt is much more tolerated by many people with gluten sensitivities because it is much less altered (or not at all). Good question though… :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Mary P

    Katie, very thought provoking post. However I take issue with your saying that relfux in infants could be caused by wheat. I realize you don’t say that, but you intimate it. My daughter was 100% breast fed and had horrible reflux from day 1. I could not lay her on her back without her screaming in agony (I thought it was because she just wanted to be held). Once we realized that the reason everything was coming back up and that she could not lay down was reflux, my life was changed.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Mary,
    I did suggest that…and I’m okay with you taking issue with it, and yikes, I’m so sorry your little one had such a rough start (and her mama too!). One question though: were you eating wheat?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Mary P Reply:

    Hmm. I was told to eliminate dairy (which I did) but never wheat. I see lots of references to it now that I look it up, but I can’t actually find any scientific articles about it. Hopefully my next child doesn’t have issues! My DD is 2 now, and eats everything, so maybe her stomach was just immature then? We’ll never know for sure.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Mary,
    Good for you to go dairy-free for your DD! That’s a mother’s sacrifice, and believe me – I’d rather give up bread than cheese. And yogurt. Mmmmm… ;)

    If DD ever has eczema, digestive issues, allergies…just try a gluten elimination diet and see what happens…because you’re right, you’ll never really know. Could have been a zillion things, not food related at all.

    Good for you to be a thought-conscious mama and learning about all these things! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Nicole via Facebook

    I am seriously considering going gluten-free because I feel gluten-containing products have the “gluttony” effort this post mentions. But what about products that may contain trace elements of gluten, such as oats that are not labeled gluten-free?

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sherra Kinder

    Thank you for the detailed study on how wheat has been modified!!! Good research!!! Thank you!!!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Nicole

    Argh! My hubby needs to be gluten free, although it didn’t seem to make any difference for me and the kids. We have just made a major move, partially renovated a house and lived for weeks with a sink, microwave (I know, cringe), a crockpot and a skillet. I was so looking forward to eating well again and making bread and tortillas from scratch. Now, I don’t know what the heck to do! :(

    [Reply to this comment]

    K Bissontz Reply:

    There’s a lady who did crockpot cooking for 1 year, gluten free. Try http://www.365crockpot.blogspot.com (if I remember the link…)

    [Reply to this comment]

    K Bissontz Reply:

    Oops, try crockpot365.blogspot.com instead.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Bernadette Black

    Hi Katie,
    Thanks for the information. I have to be honest it is overwhelming. Especially to those of us who are trying to educate a somewhat reluctant family. My husband has been making our bread for years with high quality organic wheat flour. I was going to make your tortillas but neither I guess neither of these are good for us. Fortunately none of us have any digestive issues.
    But honestly…so confused!
    Praying for wisdom.
    Bernadette

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Bernadette,
    But. I don’t know that this information fits everyone…and I really can’t imagine Jesus would have set us up with the “Bread of Life” if the wheat of his time was even bad. So hopefully those ancient grains are still okay, and really – if you have no issues – moderation. I’m not even sure if I’m sworn off wheat forever either…

    Prayer is the way to go! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sharon

    There was an interesting article recently in the New York Times on Celiac Disease: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/opinion/sunday/what-really-causes-celiac-disease.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&ref=general&src=me. More food for thought.

    Wheat doesn’t seem to give me any trouble. Thankfully. But then, I rarely eat any wheat that isn’t part of a long-ferment sourdough. I wonder how much difference that makes…

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much bothered by what has been done to our wheat over the past generation, and even more worried about what may come. But none of those horrible afflictions brought on by wheat consumption have afflicted me in the least…

    [Reply to this comment]

    Mareth Reply:

    Thanks for posting the above link, Sharon.

    It made me wonder, and Katie, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this: My two yo son has never had wheat and is still nursing. My brother has Celiac and I believe I have gluten sensitivity. We went gf a few months after my son was born. Have you heard any info whether it would be a good idea to let my son try wheat while I’m still nursing him? Do I need to introduce wheat back into my diet to aid his response via nursing? A side note, my daughter’s allergist thought I may have helped my daughter overcome her egg allergy (noticed at 9 mo and not present at 3 yr check-up) by nursing her till 28 mos. and keeping eggs in my diet.

    Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Mareth,
    I wish I knew more! Anything I might add would be purely a guess, so not helpful at all. I wonder if Heather at Mommypotamus or Kristen at Food Renegade would know more, since they write specifically about babies and nutrition. May even Donielle at Naturally Knocked Up b/c she has some gluten sensitivity in her own household that seems to be genetic. Yay on the egg allegy clearing up!!!! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sandra

    First let me say that i have been fresh milling for 9 years now and have told countless others of the “benefits” of doing the same. I have read the wheat belly cookbook and tried going wheat free. The hardest part was substituting bread ( i made dr. davis’ bread and it was pretty good) and tortillas too. Muffins,cookies,and other treats were fairly easy. I like the ideas I learned such as using flax seeds for delicious chicken nuggets ( recipe on web – search wheat belly chicken nuggets). I have been using buckwheat for waffles and pancakes on occasion, but my family prefers a mix of buckwheat and grains. I just made the coconut flour muffins, love this recipe, as well as, all of Katie’s recipe. Another site I love with gluten free/low sugar recipes is detoxinista.com . I have six children and it can be disheartening with what you read. There are some days I just want to say forget it all and eat whatever. I try to practice moderation. In regards to the wheat thing, I think most Americans eat too much and many eat it in such a highly processed way, along with their TV dinners, soda, high juice intake and so on. The one difference I think i noticed is that I did not have much sinus drainage when I was off the wheat. I have tried the einkorn pasta and loved it. I still use wheat, but more moderately. Thanks for all your work Katie ,love your website.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Sandra,
    This was my day today too:
    “There are some days I just want to say forget it all and eat whatever.”

    Big time!

    It sounds like you’re doing the best you can for your family, and I honor that so much! If cutting wheat didn’t show big improvements for anyone, well, then, moderation sounds perfect. ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Melissa via Facebook

    I think the thing to do is listen to your body. If you are having chronic issues, pay close attention to what you eat and how you feel afterwards. Try eliminating the top known culprits like wheat and dairy and see what happens. Then go from there. Everyone is different and responds differently. That’s where this information can come in handy, in helping you know what foods could most likely be causing your issues – if you are having issues. My .02. :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Stacy Makes Cents

    Friend, I am really, really struggling with this. Like, A LOT. I’m sure you know my stance on bread…I don’t think Jesus would have called himself The Bread of Life if bread were “evil.” However, our bread now isn’t the same bread as then…I understand that. As humans, we’ve really messed up. We took what God intended for good and tried to make it “better.”
    Man has really screwed up – and it makes me angry.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    You know, me too! I am feeling a lot of anger about food, wheat especially, recently too.

    So let’s think about this: anger is a clear sign that something is not of God. So is it that obsessing about food is our sin? Is it that we are feeling righteous anger over the sin of others? What is not of God here?

    I wish I knew the answer.

    What I do know is that at a church thing this morning, there were about 30 or more things brought “to pass” and exactly one, other than my own, did not contain both wheat and white sugar. Harumph. That makes me upset because wheat is SO PREVALENT in our society, because I feel horribly that all those kiddos tanked up on white flour and sugar at 9:30 in the morning, and just as horrible that my kids had to sit there and eat power bars, string cheese, and fruit (the one thing we could eat from the table). AND I’m frustrated that as a parent, I have to be the meanie because I’m so darn informed. I know ignorance isn’t bliss…but it feels like it might be preferable, some days.

    What we’re going to do after a gluten-free Lent, I do not know. I need to pray more, that I know.

    We’re in the boat together…but I’d rather be breaking bread together! :p Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Stacy Makes Cents Reply:

    Actually, I think we have to get angry in order to finally get something done about it. The Bible doesn’t speak against anger – only sin. “In your anger do not sin.” Ephesians 4:26
    Doesn’t say NOT to get angry – just not to sin BECAUSE we’re angry.
    So, if we’re angry we can just keep each other accountable that we don’t sin. :-) Right?
    I’ve kicked the last of the wheat-berries out of my house – I do, however, still have a 50 pound bucket of spelt berries in the canning room. :-)

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Oooo, I still have many pounds of wheat berries in my basement. To where did you kick yours? I still like to make rolls for taking meals to friends and such. ??? And there are a few favorite recipes I still make with wheat flour, but it’s just getting less and less. :( I have 5 lbs of spelt and kamut, too, that I still need to explore using. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Stacy Makes Cents Reply:

    YES! Do more posts on spelt and kamut! I have both. :-)
    I used the rest for baking for friends and taking things to church. Is that awful?

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  • Heather

    Reading your article last week re: Dr. Davis’ Wheat Belly opened open an absolute CAN OF WORMS here in my house. I have logged so many hours on the internet since then, because so much made sense with our experience. I make everything here at home and LIVE the Traditional Foods life. But that hasn’t been enough. We eats LOTS of grain (properly prepared), and are really feeling it. You shed so much light on the subject, and I thank you for that. BUT…. I am sad. I do NOT want to give up my wheat. My knee-jerk reaction was, “Okay, we’ll just buy einkorn instead”. Yet, evidently that doesn’t sprout well (which is how I make our quick breads and desserts). I KNOW what must inevitably happen. I just so SAD about it…. like, I’ve cried about it. I just feel like, “We’ve already done SSOO much away from the American diet, why must we give up more?” Friends and family have already written us off as whacky, this is yet another step away from them. Just so sad.

    [Reply to this comment]

    watchmom3 Reply:

    Heather, I can totally feel what you are expressing, add to that, I have a daughter who has food issues and tends to become compulsive about all this…I know that is not what God intended..anyway, I do think that we have to do what is best for our family without obsessing or letting it become our “god.” Don’t let it sap your energy so that you can’t serve God with joy…do the best you can, and then pray over it and take little steps everyday. God loves to be trusted! Hope this encourages you… God bless.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Heather Reply:

    Thank you so very much. You are right, of course and said much of the same that my husband did. I appreciate the time and thought you spent on me.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Heather,
    I hear you, sister! It is soooo hard because food is so VERY very social. We exclude ourselves from family when we can’t just go out, eat, and have a good time. This is very, very hard.

    watchmom3′s advice is very sage, and I can’t add anything to it on the spiritual level. On the food level, let’s hope this: you do an elimination diet for a while, get the gut in order, and can have your amazing sprouted wheat goodies in moderation with no problem. I’m hoping that for our family too!!!
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • via Facebook

    Tress Boor There is heirloom wheat called einkorn which is pretty cool and definitely not been messed with. It’s grown from seeds found on that frozen caveman from 10K years ago! http://amzn.to/Vk2sBf Also, you can get some decent bread without wheat. My favorite super simple flatbread: http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2012/03/gluten-free-flatbread-recipe-made-from.html

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  • via Facebook

    Tiffany Guge For me, too! I agree with Melissa Swain Wood though – listen to your body. I had just a little grain (gluten grains) after being grain-free for 2 weeks, and I noticed a difference right away. Not a big bad difference, but an obvious one. Just take a different baby step and try not to read articles about grain or wheat… ;)

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  • via Facebook

    Nicole Beard Wilson I’d just start by cutting wheat, and let the oats stay. At some point you may want to cut all grains for at least a week (once you get some coconut flour recipes under your belt, it’s not so hard), then introduce rice, then oats, etc and see what happens to your digestion/mood/appetite whatever.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • via Facebook

    Ave Maria I’m sure there’s a part of you that wishes your were gluten sensitive so your fatigue would have gone away…but at least you did the challenging thing and ruled it out. Good for you!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • via Facebook

    Bethany Kirk – I left some links for info and resources on einkorn and spelt in the comments at this post now…

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  • via Facebook

    Lyndee Wayne I have some kamut berries in my basement I haven’t touched yet! I really should…do you need special kamut recipes or can you just use it 1:1 with whole wheat? Thanks!

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    Lyndee Reply:

    Actually I have only used Kamut recipes to make bread but use it like wheat in pancakes and such. It is actually a “winter wheat” if that means anything to you. It has a great flavor, my family inhales a fresh loaf :)

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  • via Facebook

    Tress Boor I’m sure you’re thinking along the right lines!! Don’t pay more for grain-fed meat, though – cows weren’t created to eat grain, but grass. Pay more for grassfed. :) http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/05/03/monday-mission-got-meat-where-does-your-meat-come-from/

    [Reply to this comment]

  • via Facebook

    Sheila Marie Connolly I’m sure hoping that too!!! We’ve had quite a number of years to “evolve” or whatever for our systems to get used to bread… ;)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Heather via Facebook

    So is biting the bullet and buying Eikorn wheat an alternative then?

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Theresa

    Here’s the thing, he is against many grains other than Wheat such as oats because they increase the blood sugar although they do not contain the D-genome and problematic wheat proteins.

    So which is it? The immunologic issues or the fact grains and other carbohydrates have high glycemic indexes? My personal opinion is that carbohydrates are really really easy and cheap to get today. So we eat lots of them and that is bad. Not sure it matters which ones we choose, be it potatoes, rice, or wheat. William Davis doesn’t site hardly any references. You are looking at what one man says who doesn’t back up his opinions. And how does he make his money? By selling a book scaring people about the big bad wheat monster.

    Wheat like all foods has changed throughout the millenium. More traditional hybrids and plant breeding selections make larger changes than GMO’s since they are less controlled. They do the same things. All domestication, breeding, and now modern genetic engineering changes the genome of the plants. If you want to go against domestication of species, there isn’t really much to eat. There are reasons why people domesticated species. So they could feed their growing populations. The work of plant breeders during the green revolution saved hundreds of thousands of people from starvation during the middle of the last century. Are you advocating a return to hunting and gathering of species untouched by human stresses? The starvation of millions of people due to reduced yield?

    If it really was that wheat had become particularly poisonous, he wouldn’t need to advocate the elimination of the other carbs in his diet. He like many others is trying to make money off of the sound advice all our grandmothers knew, that carbs make you fat.

    Genesis says “And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it”

    Not, “don’t you dare breed that wheat to better feed your families”.

    I like your recipes but it seems like there is an awful lot of focus in your blog on controlling every little thing when perhaps a little more trust in God is the wiser course.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Theresa,
    I’m just exploring issues and trying to figure things out like anybody else. Wheat is a major culprit for many people, although you aren’t the only commenter to point out that Dr. Davis also recommends cutting most other carbs. I wonder if his early results, where he sounds like he just said, “Cut wheat,” were really only after cutting wheat, not all grains?

    It’s hard not to want to control my family’s diet in this day and age of food fiddling, beyond just making sure people have food to eat. We’re obese and nutritionally deficient as a nation, and what an awful combination. We’re reaping our harvest of sin…I just need to figure out what to feed my family. Sigh. It’s never easy or fun.

    I’m not picking on you – you make a really good point, in fact:
    “If it really was that wheat had become particularly poisonous, he wouldn’t need to advocate the elimination of the other carbs in his diet. He like many others is trying to make money off of the sound advice all our grandmothers knew, that carbs make you fat.”

    So hopefully – and I say this because I really do love bread, pizza, cookies, etc, and hate the truly high cost of baking grain-free – wheat in moderation, not at every meal, is going to work for our family. ???

    Glad you enjoy the recipes here!
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    renee Reply:

    Try Europe, they do not allow biologenetic s

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Virginia via Facebook

    Wow. I’m not sure I can even process this.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Gayle via Facebook

    Dr. Davis says that if you are going to eat wheat it needs to be Einkorn. I bought some but I am having the hardest time trying it in recipes. How does everyone else feel about Einkorn.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Devon via Facebook

    Huh…would this include spelt, since its a wheat relative???

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Devon via Facebook

    Amanda Kloos Byrd have you seen this?

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Robin via Facebook

    In college in the mid 70′s I ground my own wheat to make bread. For years just ate from the store, till 5 years or so ago I thought my husband was developing Ephysema, while guit for nearing 20 years he had been a heavy smoker. Till I noticed no other physical signs I should see, I’m and RN. I did notice a connection between him eating breads, crackers and short of breath and wheezing. Went back to buying organic wheat, grinding own, limiting commercial breads and NO more respiratory issues. To much wheat probably isn’t good for any of us, it does hit the waistline. I’m just starting to experiement with Eikhorn but at the cost it can never be our main flour. I watch out for GMO, try to buy as little as possible from the grocery store, eat real fats, read alot and experiment to see what makes us feel best.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jeanette via Facebook

    It needs to be fermented then it’s not as hard on the system

    [Reply to this comment]

  • via Facebook

    Heather Bishop Meyer Einkorn is better, but still not great, according to Dr. Davis. Of course, I’ve never been a “one source wonder” kind of person, so I’m open to lots of ideas. Einkorn, at least, has not been messed with in recent years.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • via Facebook

    Jeanette Diender-Mix According to Dr. Davis, even sprouted or soured (fermented) wheat still has almost all the same problems. It’s not just about phytic acid here, unfortunately. That said, we haven’t totally given up on wheat in our house yet…but I haven’t had a sourdough starter, which I used to use about 3x/week, for 2 years. :( I miss it.

    [Reply to this comment]

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I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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