In the ‘60s a cultivar was developed to increase the yield of wheat per acre. The genetically manipulated wheat strain has larger seed heads and shorter, thicker stocks. The larger seeds and shorter stocks produce a lot more grains per acre than the wheat of yesteryear. The dwarf wheat helped establish modern agriculture and certainly helped many people find nourishment through wheat agriculture. But what have the consequences been, and what are the dangers of modern wheat?
Modern Wheat Is Less Nutritious
One of the longest running agronomic studies in the world, the Broadbalk Winter Experiment, began testing multiple types of wheat cultivars in 1843. The study is apparently still running today. The researchers showed that between 1843 and 1960, the zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, and selenium content of wheat stayed constant. However, after the invention of the dwarf wheat in the ‘60s, the content of these minerals in wheat began to decrease. Concomitant to the decrease in mineral content was an increase in phytic acid.
Phytic acid binds to minerals in the gut, preventing their absorption. This can lead to mineral deficiencies. Phytic acid is most commonly found in grains and legumes.
Modern wheat thus has less minerals and more phytic acid – the reduced amount of minerals are therefore even more unavailable to the consumer.
Modern Wheat Has a Damaging Gluten Protein
Gluten is one of the primary proteins in wheat. Gluten creates inflammation, punctures the gut, and exposes the body to a host of illnesses. While ancient wheat did contain gluten, it appears that are not as damaging. There is a gluten peptide that seems to be absent in ancient wheat but common in modern wheat. This peptide triggers celiac disease.
Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease are becoming increasingly prevalent. Some researchers suggest that this caused by the prevalence of the types of gluten proteins found in modern wheat.
The Preparation Methods of Modern Wheat Aren’t Healthy
Ancient wheat was prepared by grinding the seeds and then leaving them to ferment. Fermentation breaks down the proteins (such as gluten) in wheat making it easily digestible. This helps to prevent the potential damage to the gut by these proteins.
Today, wheat is produced in to “edible” foods by refining it in to white flour and then baking it with quick rise yeast. Refined dwarf wheat combined with quick rising yeast – a quick solution to dental decay and a leaky gut.
So, if you’re going to eat wheat, make it the fresh, whole and ancient sort, prepared the old way. If not, leave the bakeries’ shelves stocked up!
How frequent do you consume wheat? Did you know the dangers of wheat before reading this article?