Upper Crust

If modern high-yield semi-dwarf wheat is the source of so many problems, just how bad are the older forms of wheat?

Recall that modern wheat is a 2-foot tall strain bred primarily for exceptional yield. It is the combination of three unique genetic codes, the so-called A, B, and D genomes, with the D genome the recipient of much of the recent genetic manipulations and the source of unique glutens and gliadins that make modern wheat such a nasty creature.

In other words, say you, me, and Sherman accompany Mr. Peabody in the WayBack Machine and we sample the wheat of bygone ages. If we go back in time, we would encounter:

Wheat of the early 20th century–i.e., Triticum aestivum with the ABD genome prior to the extreme breeding and mutation-generating interventions of the latter 20th century, with the D genome relatively untouched.

19th century and previous landraces–These are the strains of wheat that develop unique to specific climates and terrains, similar to wine grapes’ terroir. Strains adapt to a location’s humidity, temperatures, soil, and seasonal changes.

Spelt–Wheat from pre-Biblical times up until the Middle Ages that, like its successors, contained the ABD genomes, but this D genome predates genetic changes introduced by geneticists. Spelt flour is higher in protein content than modern Triticum aestivum flour.

Kamut–Probably a contemporary of emmer wheat, kamut is an AB genome wheat.

Emmer–The ancient cross between einkorn (A) and a wild grass (B), emmer is likely the wheat of the Bible.

Einkorn–The great granddaddy of all wheat, the stuff first harvested wild, and the source of the 14 chromosomes of the A genome.

Obviously, experience with the various forms of wheat, particularly ancient wheats, (each of the above categories, especially Triticum aestivum, contains thousands of subtypes) is extremely limited. But we do know a few things:

Hunter gatherer humans who first began to incorporate wild einkorn into their diet experienced a downtown in health, including more dental caries, bone diseases, and probably atherosclerosis and cancer. Likewise, modern hunter gatherer cultures who do not consume wheat are spared these conditions.

We also know that celiac disease is not unique to modern wheat, but has been described as early as 100 AD and many times since, meaning it likely occurred with consumption of emmer, spelt, kamut, and Triticum aestivum landraces, though the relative frequencies may have varied.

How much better does a wheat strain have to be in order to be acceptable to most people: 50%, 70%, 80% . . . 100%? What level of risk are you willing to accept in order to consume foods made of this grain? If I had a cigarette that posed 80% lower risk for lung cancer than conventional cigarettes, would that be something you’d consider?

There are no right or wrong answers. It will be something to consider in the coming years as information and experience with the older forms of wheat grow. In the meantime, given what we know (and don’t know) about these older forms of wheat, my advice is to steer clear of all forms of wheat, new and old, and be certain you have great health and nutrition.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. greensleeves

    Hi Chris,

    Buckwheat is Fagopyrum esculentum, It isn’t a form of wheat, or cereal, or even a grass – despite the name. Nontheless, its starch is composed of 25% amylose and 75% amylopectin. The amylopectin is a problem: it means buckwheat has a glycemic index of 54, not as high as wheat, but still probably to high for those who want to lose weight and watch their blood sugar.

    • Excellent, Greensleeves!

      Yes, buckwheat is essentially a high-carbohydrate food. It lacks the awful lectin, gliadin, and other unhealthy issues of wheat, but it is still a potentially excessive carbohydrate source.

      Small portion sizes are the key with carbohydrates, if you consume them at all.

  2. Peggy

    How does sprouting wheat change it? There is some evidence that in Bible times, wheat was sprouted, as well as other grains, before being used. Did this treatment cancel the negative effects?

    • Hi, Peggy–

      I can sprout it, I can throw it in the air, I can step on it, I can call it names, I can throw Holy Water on it . . . but it’s still wheat.

      Sprouting modifies content somewhat, but the basic seed ingredients remain. It is wheat.

  3. I understand what you are saying about avoiding wheat completely, and since starting down this path a month ago I have been able to do so. However, I might be traveling to Korea this year and I do not see how it would be possible to avoid it 100%. Yes, I can avoid the obvious foods like noodles, but the problem is the soy sauce and other sauces with wheat as an ingredient. Yes, I know there is wheat-free soy sauce, but realistically I am not going to be able to find food cooked with it when I am overseas. To completely avoid it would mean I would starve. I would really like to hear your thoughts about this situation, and also about soy sauce in general. Is it permissible?

    • Uncle Roscoe

      You’re begging for a bad guy. I can be your bad guy.

      Wheat is what it is. Eat it, and it causes a reaction. Don’t eat it, and it doesn’t cause the reaction.

      For trips like plane flights I hard boil a couple of eggs, take an avocado, and throw in some white corn chips. There’s a risk from bacterial contamination. Minimizing the risk requires insulation and refrigeration. Your exposure is up to you. In general I eat from grocery stores, not from restaurants.

      Yes, I’ve been glutened from meat grills and soy sauce. It happens. I try to minimize the frequency, especially when trying to recover. Like you, I don’t see any alternatives. Does the risk of accidental glutening mean a person should give up and start eating wheat again? That’s also up to you. It seems like that plan trades the risk of damage for the surety of damage.

      I prefer to die at 110 with my sanity, feet, thyroid, gall bladder and intestines still intact. Other people can worry about the social ramifications.

      • Thanks, Uncle.

        “Glutened” . . . Reminds me of the teens getting houses toilet-papered.

        Perhaps we’ll have a new Halloween tradition: Spread slices of bread around your friends’ and neighbors’ doorsteps to scare the heck out of them!

    • Patrick

      Forget Korea, Koreatown LA is difficult to escape unscathed. I ordered a dish yesterday and made sure there was no wheat in it – but it turns out the waiter/manager didn’t know the meaning of the word, and ultimately couldn’t say if the “yam noodles” that came unexpectedly in my dish contained wheat. Then I took a sip of the free tea – which turned out to be made with corn and wheat.

      • Susie337

        Patrick, the “yam noodles” you were served were most probably shirataki noodles and would have been perfectly safe for you to eat. Google shirataki and you will find that they are called “yam noodles” by some. True shirataki noodles have no usable calories or carbs, but the more popular (now) in the US are tofu shirataki noodles which have minimal carbs from the tofu. Both forms are well known in the low carb world, and neither form has any wheat!

        • Patrick

          Thanks Susie. yeah, I looked it up too and that seems to be the case. So I would’ve been ok. Now if only there wasn’t the wheat tea and, possibly, soy sauce in the meat, I would’ve been home free. Have to learn some Korean. In fact, I would advise Kristie to get someone to help her create some index cards that explain in Korean that she has a wheat allergy. (Or she can learn how to say it in Korean, a more difficult challenge.) Show that/say that everywhere she eats. Once people understand that, she will be in better hands.

    • Depends on your individual sensitivity, Kristie.

      The most wheat- and gluten-sensitive may need to find a way to NOT go to Korea. If you are among the lucky who only experience appetite-triggering, obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory diseases with wheat exposure, maybe a little will allow you to keep your job. (Half kidding!)

      I don’t have an answer that helps you navigate the wheat landmines in Korea. But perhaps that is precisely the issue: It is difficult . . . BY DESIGN.

    • Adam

      I think you are worrying about nothing. Unless wheat is in pepper sauce, it should be easy to avoid. Soy sauce might be far less common in South Korean cooking than you fear. I do not know what wheat-containing “other sauces” you had in mind.

      No need to starve! Gim-bap usually contains pork and (U.S.?) beef, so it might be dangerous due to the red meat, but I doubt it has wheat in it. Probably avoid mandu. Eat plenty of gim-chi, especially from a traditional market — if you want some heat and have not yet done so, try pa-gim-chi. In addition to gim-bap and gim-chi, rice, chicken, eggs (might be inconvenient to cook if you stay in a hotel, but you can find hardboild ones in dak-boki), seafood, and fruit are plentiful.

  4. Martha

    The misinformation intentional or not marches on ….. 6 Carbs to Add to Your Diet to Help You Stay Slim.
    Here are 6 “great” carbs to keep in your diet. Really?

    Notice how whole wheat is in the 1st place.
    Whole-wheat pasta.
    Quinoa
    Barley
    Bulgur
    Wheat Berries
    Popcorn

    And this comes from a person with a master’s degree in nutrition and food sciences, with a focus in weight management. Scary.

  5. Heather

    I’ve been a fan of Gary Taubes ( good calories/bad calories) for years and I’m encouraged how your book and his, compliment each other and support what I believe. Some day the ADA and the AHA will have a lot to answer for.
    I have finally realized that to succeed at eating this way (no wheat/ low carb) in the western world, you will be deemed fanatical and in fact, they will be right.
    But for now, at the end of the day I feel well, my clothes fit and I have energy. (nothing tastes as good as that!)

  6. Barb

    We’ve been wheat free for 7 weeks now and have received many positive benefits. However, today I noticed something that hasn’t been mentioned here previously. I was writing out checks to pay bills and noticed my handwriting had changed. It has reverted back to the neat, carefully formed letters that I had thirty years ago…I’m happy to see this change but wonder why. It was totally automatic; there was no more thought given to my writing than usual.

    • Sandra

      You discovered one of the tests neurologists use: handwriting. Comparing before and after handwriting is the way they test how well your brain is functioning, because it involves fine motor skills. Congratulations!

  7. Firebird

    I’ve tried spelt and quinoa in the past and I got the same reaction that I got from wheat and rice, a quick spike and crash.

  8. John Daer

    I just finished the book and am exhilarated to read this from a qualified professional. With no help from medics here in UK, I’ve worked out most of it myself over the last three years, since I first discovered the subject of celiac/ non celiac intolerance. After twenty years of ill health, fatigue, migraine, aching body, skin rash and obesity, I found the cure was gluten free. Best of all I lost sixty pounds and weight is now stable with no effort. I have wondered how unique my experience has been, and what could have caused the obesity epidemic to accelerate around 1980. So far as I can make out, it seems that soluble wheat protein was invented in 1977, and industrial production for processed food began coincident with the epidemic. Surely, if you take an insoluble protein, make it soluble by chemical manipulation, deconstruct it to constituent peptides, and reassemble to form new and unnatural proteins in myriad forms for different required manufacturing, then the safety of the products must be questionable. I don’t know what you call it in USA, but over here, food labels can just call it gluten, or vital gluten, as if it is essential, and nobody knows that they are eating Chemically ReArranged Proteins. I see what you say about high yield dwarf varieties, and as anything which increases the potency of a gluten rich diet must be suspect, do you think that C.R.A.P. should be put under the spotlight?
    Dr. Davis, you deserve a vote of thanks for taking on the entire health profession combined with the farming and food industry.

  9. Edward

    Dear Dr Davis,

    I haven’t completed your book yet but I am well into it.

    I am seeing a good focus on the particular effects of modern wheat which I find refreshing. It is important to continue to recognize that prior to this recent hybridization of wheat we were able to eat it without getting wheat bellies. I don’t buy the caveman diet is supreme. That was way too long ago to be relevant. They have been farming and eating whole wheat chapatis (flat bread) in India for at least 20,000 years and until recently the whole continent was lacto-vegetarian. I’m sorry western science suppresses this information but there is archeological evidence of cities and farming in India that dates 20,000 years.

    It is very common now to just bash all carbs or gluten but there is no one diet that works for everyone so to say everyone should stop eating carbs, gluten, or grains etc. just doesn’t work. I think there are diets that don’t work for anyone however, such as ones that include modern wheat, refined foods and packaged foods made with preservatives, chemicals, and nutritionless ingredients like corn syrup, white flour, white sugar etc. And I think we all need encouragement to get plenty of fresh organic fruits, vegetables, and legumes and to avoid overdoing the higher GI grains and vegies like potatoes but to just permanently eliminate them from our diets will only work for a fraction of people whose genome is suited to that diet.

    I think that very few people will maintain a lifelong commitment to no wheat of any variety. I think we need to draw the hard line at modern wheat with encouragement to experiment with other wheats once we are healthy. Otherwise most people who go fanatical and haven’t found healthy replacements will probably fall back into modern wheat after a while and then maybe after a while get back to the wheat-free diet once they have suffered enough and just unhappily go back and forth. At least I can speak for myself that I don’t want to give up all bread and pasta. I have previously gone off wheat for a while to experiment and used brown rice and brown rice pasta and done well even though brown rice is high carbs and has a high GI.

    What I like about your research and your book is it distinguishes modern wheat from ancient wheats. It’s not just about carbs or gluten or even GI. It’s about the genome and the unknown reasons it causes so many problems as well as the known reasons why such as extremely high GI. I don’t agree with throwing the baby out with the bath water just to be safe. I’m into restoring wheats natural place it had before I was born.

    I will shortly begin a completely wheat free diet and keep on it until I am sure I know what healthy is. I’m going to start keeping a journal now and start wheat free in about 10 days. After I lose my wheat belly and its 30 pounds or so in 30-90 days or so I will begin to experiment with the ancient grains to see how they effect me. I have found online sources for Einkorn and Emmer wheat and will make my own bread and pasta. There’s even a site where you can buy Einkorn pasta. I don’t know how re-engineered today’s durum wheat is but that has been my primary wheat of choice for making bread and pasta and it would be great if I can get back to it but I think it’s more likely to be Emmer or Spelt I end up living with.

    Edward

    • Hi, Edward–

      I believe I have done my part if a smart, thoughtful guy like you is entertaining thoughts about the place of ancient wheat, while questioning the benefits of “healthy whole grains.” I can say, however, that durum wheat, for reasons not entirely clear to me, is quite deleterious, perhaps no different in end physiologic effect from bread wheat.

      Please report back your experience, as we are all learning.

      • Lynn

        I’m really enjoying your book, though I’ve drawn similar conclusions as Edward. A recent study shows that fermented wheat (by sourdough starter) can reduce gluten content up to 98%. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14766592)

        From my reading, it seems that the modification of wheat was only one part of the perfect storm. The other factors were an abandonment of traditional preparation methods (fermentation), the departure from consuming probiotic foods (fermented dairy, vegetables, etc.), and the destruction of gut health (from antibiotic overuse, NSAIDS, crummy nutrition, etc.). In our family, we make our own spelt and einkorn breads made with a sourdough starter and fermented for 24 hours.

        • Dr. Davis

          I’m not so quick to embrace sourdough fermented wheat, Lynn. For one, the study used a specific sourdough strain. Two, what about wheat lectins that induce abnormal intestinal permeability? And three, how about the amylopectin A that triggers extravagant insulin/glucose?

          It seems to me that trying to turn this thoroughly corrupt food into something less corrupt still leaves us with something that is still quite destructive.

          Perhaps your solution of sourdough fermented spelt and einkorn are reasonable compromises. In future, it would be interesting to perform a metabolic assessment to see whether these practices still manage to trigger the usual range of metabolic derangements characteristic of wheat.

  10. Elizabeth

    Regarding the “pseudo-grains (buckwheat, etc)

    The problem for me is that I am an occasional meat eater (primarily fish and chicken). I prefer to eat lower on the food chain because I feel better about it – environmentally and because I simply don’t really like it very much. I have given up wheat (and all grains) for two reasons 1) better health and 2) the extra 20-25 pounds I’m carrying around.

    I just started 8 days ago. It’s going well so far, however, I don’t stand a chance of eating a varied enough diet without some chickpeas, kidney beans, quinoa, amaranth and brown or wild rice, and even the occasional buckwheat cereal for breakfast. Will this be possible being just a part time meat/cheese eater?

  11. Lisa

    Hi I have been wheat free for a week now and my tummy is feeling much better. I have just started to read the book and am interested in the einkorn bread that you made. You say it had no ill effects on you. I am not missing bread too much myself but the rest of my family ( who are all very slim btw) cannot think about giving up their sandwiches or cheese on toast! Would it be ok to buy the 100% organic einkorn flour to bake bread for them?

  12. Jeri

    I”m about 2 weeks into living wheat free. Mental fog is gone as are headaches. No weight loss, yet. I have been experiencing fluctuations in body temperature (experiencing the feeling of freezing & hot flashes). I was diagnosed with hypOthyroidism a few years ago and have been taking low dose synthroid (0.05 mg). Has anyone else experienced this? and why is this happening?

    • I wonder if it”s just part of your withdrawal syndrome and/or transitioning bowel flora sans wheat.

      If it persists, a thyroid evaluation is in order.

  13. Dana

    I have psoriasis, so have been eating this way for a number of years. About a year ago, I convinced myself that I should try to add more foods to my diet. I began incorporating ”gluten free” foods. I got sick, suffered an injury and gained 25 or more lbs.
    I do not eat dairy and very seldom eat red meat or citrus fruit. However, it was my understanding that quinoa was not a grain but a leafy green? I having been eating it in moderation and find that I can tolerate it far more than I can brown rice. How much quinoa is reasonable on WB?
    Also, I enjoy popcorn from time to time. How much is allowable, if any?
    I ordered your book and cannot wait for it to arrive! I”m sure I will have more questions as I get into the book.

    • You are getting into the issue of individual tolerance to carbohydrates, Dana.

      There are a number of posts on this blog way back. In a nutshell, most people can tolerate around 15 grams “net” carbs per meal without triggering trouble like high blood sugars.

  14. JosieRosie

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    Finished your book a couple of weeks ago, and it all made perfect sense to me. Though I have to admit, overwhelming (in a good way). Anytime in the past that I go off wheat.. I seem to feel better.

    I’m getting into the whole “sprouting seeds” kick, and keep coming across how “amazing” wheat grass and it’s juice is for you (supposidly). Again, like you replied to Peggy last december, would you just say it’s still just wheat?

    • Dr. Davis

      I say I don’t really know for sure, but I remain concerned about the potential lectin exposure.

      When I’ve either commissioned an analysis or locate one, I will report back.

  15. Airmid

    I haven’t received the book yet, but I’ve listened to the interview on Red Ice Radio, and done some reading in the blog.
    My question is about the wheat grass found in green powders. Do you have information on that?

    • Dr. Davis

      See the many posts on this blog about that question, Airmid, by searching “wheat grass.”

  16. Felicity

    I have just begun reading your book and am fascinated. I am curious whether heirloom wheat strains (I note the availability of Emmer flour online, for example) might be less deleterious, at least on an occasional basis (like in a birthday cake). Would love your thoughts!

    • Dr. Davis

      If you scroll back, Felicity, you will see this question discussed many times.

      Suffice it to say that they are better, but not necessarily good.

  17. Jenny

    Is popcorn a good snack food? My family is going wheat free this Friday and I am trying to get prepared. Your book was life changing!

    • Dr. Davis

      Yup, though a less harmful form.

      But be careful, David: Just because something is less bad, doesn’t necessarily mean it is good.

      Spelt is less destructive for health, but not necessarily healthy.

  18. Katie

    So at the beginning of your book you say that our grandparents and great-grandparents were slim even though they did not exercise. You basically state that this is because of the kind of wheat they consumed. But what you’re actually saying here is that just because they were thin does not mean they were healthy?

    • Dr. Davis

      Thin is healthier than fat but, as you likely know, thin people can still express health problems, perceived or not.

  19. “Hunter gatherer humans who first began to incorporate wild einkorn into their diet experienced a downtown in health, including more dental caries, bone diseases, and probably atherosclerosis and cancer. Likewise, modern hunter gatherer cultures who do not consume wheat are spared these conditions.”

    How do you know this? Can you give me a reference?

    Thanks!

    • Dr. Davis

      The archaeological studies documenting these findings are all referenced in the appropriate place in the Wheat Belly book.

      Alternatively, search pubmed.org for “Cordain,” “hunter-gatherer” or other relevant search terms.

      • Heather

        Other than evolutionary hypothesis, is there any proof that the ancient wheat, Einkorn, was malicious. As an avid follower of the 1930′s Dr. Weston A. Price’s work throughout the world, I have to wonder about the validity of the evolutionary info re: this compared to the living subjects he observed.

  20. Thanks. I found this:
    “Ground stone mortars, bowls, and cup holes first appeared in the Upper Paleolithic (from 40000 y ago to 12000 y ago) (29), whereas the regular exploitation of cereal grains by any worldwide hunter-gatherer group arose with the emergence of the Natufian culture in the Levant ≈13000 BP (30).”
    http://www.ajcn.org/content/81/2/341.long

    13,000 years does allow some evolutionary response doesn’t it?

    • Dr. Davis

      Hardly. Imagine us humans 13,000 years from now: hardly any different.

      Recall that, from an evolutionary perspective, 13,000 years is but the blink of an eye.

  21. Ragaberto

    In her well-written book, “The Diet Solution,” nutritionist Isabel De Los Rios only advocates eating Food for Life’s brand’s Ezekiel 4:9 organic sprouted whole grain products; if one is to eat wheat at all.

    Among its benefits she says that ” … sprouting breaks down the complex sugars responsible for intestinal gas and transforms a portion of the start into sugar. It also inactivates aflatoxins, which are toxins produced by fungus and potent carcinogens often found in grains … ”

    She does caution, however, that if one is intolerant of gluten or wheat, you should avoid their products (breads, cereals and muffins.) She details symptoms of gluten intolerance (which I don’t think I have), lists foods to be avoided, and then goes on to recommend other gluten-free foods such a amaranth, arrowroot, etc., not to mention lean proteins, veggies, fruits in moderation, raw nuts, water, olive and coconut oils, etc., etc.

    For example, its 7 Sprouted Grains Bread is made from: organic sprouted wheat, filtered water, organic malted barley, organic sprouted rye, organic sprouted barley, organic sprouted oats, sprouted millet, organic sprouted corn, organic sprouted brown rice, fresh yeast, organic wheat gluten and sea salt.

    What is your take on Food for Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain products?

    BTW: I am recovering from quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery in early July, at the ripe age of 57. Prior to my surgery, I usually worked fairly regularly (high intensity interval cardio and mostly bodyweight resistance routines; that is until I started having chronic migraines about 12 years ago; then my 5-6 cardio and weight workouts diminished substantially. Over 12 years, I probably gained about 20 or so pounds. Still: I don’t eat or drink junk food, kept my carbs to a minimum (or so I thought) and otherwise tried to live healthfully. But here I am–still needing to get my BMI lower (doc wants me down to near 180 pounds), still have a wheat belly, love handles, “man glands” and … am recovering from surgery. Can’t really aggressively workout until mid-October again.

    Thanks in advance for your expertise, time and consideration.

    • Dr. Davis

      I urge you to read the book, Ragaberto.

      You will find that:

      1) Sprouted wheat is . . . still wheat with all its problems. Just because it contains a bit less carbohydrate and aflatoxin does NOT mean it is now healthy.

      2) The number one cause for coronary artery disease, such as that leading to bypass surgery, is an excess of small LDL particles. The number one cause of small LDL particles? The amylopectin A of wheat!

      “Healthy whole grains” . . . cause heart disease!

  22. candy

    I’ve read several different opinions on “wheatgrass” – some say not a wheat but a grass others say it is a sprouted wheat.
    What are your thoughts about including wheatgrass in my “wheat-free” diet?
    Thank you!

  23. RK Dingman

    Doc,
    I have your book and I know it will help me to de-program over 40 plus years of whole grain propaganda. That is 1/2 the battle. The other battle is finding practical substitutes for the ubiquitous foodstuffs like bread.
    Do you have a short list of permitted breakfast cereal?

    Thanks,

    RK D

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, easy: None.

      I don’t know of ANY commercially prepared breakfast cereal that is not, in effect, junk.

      Have you tried the Grainless Granola recipe on this blog? Top with some coconut milk and it is delicious.

      • Tanya

        I actually tried the idea from the Quick & the Dirty pt2 page of using flax meal as a hot cereal the other day: I expected it to be gross but it wasn’t bad! I heated some almond milk (commercial, unsweetened), and added in a sprinkle or two of cinnamon and a dash of turmeric and nutmeg for taste. It got thick & goopy but ok, was a perfect warm bedtime snack. I would have added in some chia seeds for added fibre but I’ve just moved and haven’t unpacked them yet!

  24. cab

    Is it okay to eat old fashioned rolled oats? Are you condemning all grains? We must substitute coconut flour and ground nuts (flax seeds okay?) — and what about the Diamond D yeast products for animals that we’re told are good for people too — and if you add this to your kefir or milk it ferments it and makes it taste cheesy, and is supposed to be good for you, makes it have a beery taste. Not good?

    I bought a lot of organic spelt wheat to plant a time ago. Is there anything at all I can do with it, other than sell it?

    Thank you for your good information I heard on Kim Greenhouse’s show.

  25. Escabeche

    I enjoyed reading your book and agree with you on most points, and especially the point that eating wheat that’s mass-produced in the US (whether “organic” or “sprouted”) is not to be trusted. I already don’t eat–and haven’t ever really eaten–many of the wheat products (including bread) that’s made in the US.
    However, I am curious if it’s ok to eat products containing wheat that’s EITHER produced in the US that ISN’T mass produced (such as Organic Sprouted Wheat Kernels grown by One Degree Organic Food–it says it’s grown on a “family farm”), OR the following products produced in other countries (mainly in the EU) that strictly regulate/don’t allow GMOs:
    –Organic Italian Pearled Farro (Earthly Choice)
    –Finn Crisp crackers (Finland)
    –Wasa (Germany)
    –RyCrisp (England)
    –Walker’s Shortbread Cookies (Scotland. On Walker’s website they indicate all the wheat used in their products is grown in Scotland and is GMO free)
    –Cookies and baked products from France (which strictly regulates/doesn’t allow GMOs)
    Many thanks in advance and look forward to your response. I will be perfectly happy giving up the junk produced in the US such as Nabisco, Kraft, etc), but I love the European (and one American) product listed above and don’t want to give them up if I don’t have to.

  26. Sandra

    The lectins in corn are not good for many people. It helps to add the mineral lime, as some of the first users of corn, did, as it modifies lectin damage–according to Dr. D’Adamo, an expert on lectins. (He also advises against wheat, especially for blood Type O’s, and against gluten for many.)

  27. I’m researching various kinds of consumption and disease trends, and am wondering if the wheat (flour) consumption chart shown here:
    http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/wheat/wheats-role-in-the-us-diet.aspx
    is reliable.

    The narrative says “flour”, so I’m wondering if it includes whole-wheat products and/or wheat-contaminated processed foods.

    It also indicates that per-capita wheat (flour) consumption was higher prior to the introduction of semi-dwarf hybrid wheat in 1960. The peak is around 2x today’s levels in 1879. The bottom is 1972.

    If that’s total per-cap wheat consumption, it certainly implies that heirlooms were more benign. But I’m inclined to think that the data is grossly incomplete, and omits modern processed foods that aren’t obviously and principally wheat flour.

  28. Hello Dr. Davis and WB community! WB is not entirely new to me, three family members followed the diet and saw rapid weight loss with improved weight distribution. I’ve worked at a gluten-free lifestyle since 2009, when 3 doctors refuted my suspicion of gluten allergy/intolerance, but after 5 minutes of electrodermal testing, a naturopath diagnosed me with gluten & gliadin allergies. Recently I found no overt, adverse reaction either to a dish cooked with locally-grown, organic/heritage Emmer wheat berries, or to bread made with a custom-milled, organic/GMO-free flour, a natural starter, and 24-hour fermentation. After a couple months of euphoric bread consumption, someone shared “10 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance” with me, which in turn led me to your 50-minute video scientifically explaining why modern dwarf wheat, is the root (stalk?) of virtually all modern health ills. I visited the blog looking for information supporting moderate consumption of organically grown, GMO-free ancient grains. Did I misunderstand… do you advocate no grains whatsoever, no matter their provenance or preparation? Thanks in advance for your reply (or replies from others)!

    [Info below copied/pasted directly from the baker; would appreciate your thoughts on these statements]

    * long fermentation time gives the natural levain time to work on the bran of the grain, breaking it down to make it more digestible, and neutralizing the phytic acid that can be difficult to metabolize.
    * with naturally leavened bread, complex carbohydrates are broken down into more digestible sugars and protein broken down into amino acids. Not only does the natural leavening process aid in breaking down components into more readily digestible parts, it also contains healthful bacteria that restores the functioning of the digestive tract and enhances the entire immune system.
    * the 24-hour fermentation imparts the health benefits and depth of flavor that come only through time. The starter removes the need for outside leavening agents. (ingredients: custom-milled, GMO-free, organic flour, purified water, natural levain starter, sea salt.

  29. Luisa

    Could you please give me a link where I can find a list of products or food that can replace wheat stuff. I want to start a diet, not because I am sick ( I know), if not I’d like to keep me healthy.