Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Why Whine About Wheat?

For years I've struggled off and on with an allergy, or should I say, weakness, to wheat. I've fought skin rashes and discovered that when I eliminate flour products from my diet, the rashes subside and don't return. If I stay off wheat for a long time and then eat it again I may not have a rash for while, but then one day it returns.

All this has been confusing to understand. Even more confusing because when I grind Kamut (an ancient variety of wheat) at home to use in baked goods, I never have a reaction. I've thought maybe it's because flour sits on the shelf for so long after being ground that it becomes rancid. I read that in an article one time. And that may be it, or part of it.

Recently, however, I read another article about wheat, "A Closer Look at Wheat," Taste For Life magazine January 2013 page 30. It describes the modification that wheat has endured since the 1960s. "The wheat of today has been crossbred and hybridized to make it drought- and fungi-resistant and to drastically increase yield per acre. The result? Wheat that contains 1) high levels of a starch called amylopectin A, which dramatically raises blood sugar levels and encourages overeating; 2) a 'super gluten' that causes inflammation, which can trigger autoimmune diseases obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel, cancer, and numerous other conditions; and 3) highly addictive polypeptides that keep you craving more and more wheat products," says Jane Eklund in this article.

That sounds about right for many people today. But Eklund goes on to point out that we do have options. Some farmers are growing heritage varieties of wheat. These varieties are pre-1960s. Eklund points to organizations such as the Massachusetts-based Heritage Wheat Conservancy and Canada's Heritage Wheat Project, who seek to grow and preserve wheats like einkorn, emmer, red fife, and ladoga.

I personally think Kamut is a viable option. I can buy it in the coop or natural food store whole or ground and it doesn't seem to bother me. Check out Kamut International, which sells their khorasan wheat to these stores.  Kamut is one of those ancient varieties of wheat.

**This post is linked to Old Fashion Friday (Our Heritage of Health).


  1. I'll definitely have to check out the Heritage Wheat Conservatory. I can't believe I've lived in MA my whole life and haven't heard of it before!

    Thanks for linking up to Old-Fashioned Friday! I hope you'll stop by again! :)

  2. Thanks Lori. I will. I'm on email now.