Experience your inner cow

You mean you’ve got an inner version of the domesticated ruminant, descendent of the wild auroch, deep inside you? You mean that you share many anatomical features with this creature with a gastrointestinal system uniquely adapted to consume grasses–a 4-compartment stomach with an abrasive reticulum equipped to abrade and break down coarse materials, a rumen housing unique microorganisms to digest the beta-1,4-glycosidic bond of cellulose, the habit of choking up a cud to rechew food, as well as a large colon to further digest fibers?

No, actually you don’t.

Cows and other ruminants have specialized apparatus that makes them uniquely adapted to a diet of grasses. They can eat the stuff growing on your front lawn, the “weeds” that grow in the cracks of the sidewalk, the grasses that appear in any piece of land lying fallow, grasses that grow wild in any field or valley. Grasses are members of the family Poaceae, a collection of plants that includes fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and zoysia grass.


Know what else falls in the grass family Poaceae? The grasses triticum, zea mays, and oryza: wheat, corn, and rice. They, too, are grasses.

When you see a field of grass, do you recognize that as food? Do you salivate when you spy someone’s freshly-mown lawn? Do you get out your fork and knife when you see some grasses growing along the sidewalk?

For the 2.4 million years that Homo species have inhabited the earth, we recognized the flesh and organs of animals, birds and their eggs, fish and shellfish, roots, fruit, the leaves and stems of some plants, mushrooms, nuts, and seeds as food. Like a cheetah, bear, or walrus, we knew instinctively what represented “food.” Around 4000 to 10,000 years ago–just a moment ago in archaeological time–most likely during a time of desperation, e.g., increasing aridity/drought, we saw grasses–ubiquitous, hardy, accessible–and asked, “Can we eat that stuff?” And we did. After all, wild ruminants like goats, yak, gazelle, and giraffes ate them.

When we recognized that grasses in their native form were inedible and made us sick (vomiting, diarrhea), we learned that we could isolate the seeds of grasses, mash and heat them, and they became edible. (Fire, incorporated something like 250,000 years ago, was therefore necessary to allow the seeds of grasses to be edible.)

So we learned that, by processing the seeds of grasses, we could consume them to live another day, even though they were not on our evolutionary menu of items recognized as food. We lived another day . . . only to pay the health price later. The grasses wheat, corn, and rice now comprise 50% of all human calories worldwide.

Your “inner cow”? Moooooo!

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98 Responses to Experience your inner cow

  1. wrotek says:

    GMO foods and intestinal inflammation


    Pigs fed a GMO diet exhibited heavier uteri and a higher rate of severe stomach
    inflammation than pigs fed a comparable non-GMO diet. Given the widespread use of
    GMO feed for livestock as well as humans this is a cause for concern. The results
    indicate that it would be prudent for GM crops that are destined for human food and
    animal feed, including stacked GM crops, to undergo long-term animal feeding studies
    preferably before commercial planting, particularly for toxicological and reproductive
    effects. Humans have a similar gastrointestinal tract to pigs, and these GM crops are
    widely consumed by people, particularly in the USA, so it would be be prudent to
    determine if the findings of this study are applicable to humans.”

  2. Neicee says:

    wrotek, that is a truly enlightening report and confirms much of what many of us are thinking about, to the point of refusing to eat the grains grown with it and filtering all the way down to refusing to eat that animal that has been fed those toxins. Wow!

    • wrotek says:

      Yeah but what could be toxic in GMO wheat that is not present in normal wheat ?
      Some chemicals used to modify it ? Pesticides ? Or perhaps different proteins ?

      • wrotek says:

        I think the answer was in the movie “Genetic Roulette”…

      • Boundless says:

        > Yeah but what could be toxic in GMO wheat
        > that is not present in normal wheat ?

        Keep in mind that only test plots of actual GMO wheat exist (theoretically). Other than that little incident in OR with the Roundup-Ready wheat, what’s on the market is also largely frankenwheat, but didn’t get that way by explicit gene insertion (GMO). It used recklessly random gene insertion. See:

        > Some chemicals used to modify it ? Pesticides ?

        Roundup Ready (RR) crops don’t just contain the frankengenes that make them resistant to glyphosate. They are also likely to have uptake of this poison, as the whole point of it is that glyphosate is applied while the plant is growing. You can google on the conjectured health effects of that. Ditto for other GMOs that are resistant to insecticides.

        We had a post in late 2011 from a farmer detailing how some operations also use glyphosate, off-label, to terminate the growth of non-RR crops to set a harvest date, including wheat.

        > Or perhaps different proteins ?

        The Wheat Belly book is all about the wacky nutritional properties of semi-dwarf hybrid wheat, which nearly double its chromosome count by “traditional” means.

        And this is why you look for both “non-GMO” and “organic” on the label.

  3. Gary says:

    Hi Doc. I have always been skeptical about your findings involving wheat and it’s ill effects on us. I am an avid exerciser and have eaten healthy……so I thought. I was convinced that wheat was such a healthy option for us and I consumed A LOT of it. In the morning it was a big bowl of cheerios. For lunch it was turkey on whole wheat and for dinner it was whatever “healthy” whole grain (wheat) side dish I could get my hands on.

    In spite of all the exercising and “healthy” eating I was going no where when it came to belly fat. I have always been happy with the rest of my body, but what is the one area that doesn’t budge? You guessed it, the belly. After doing a little reading and veiwing all of the positive testimonials I am hoping that this is the answer I’ve been looking for. Please tell me that this is the answer I’m looking for Doc. :)
    Much appreciated,

    • Alice C. says:

      Hi Gary,
      The Doc is away on vocation so I guess I will comment from what I know. Belly fat is visceral fat made by insulin using glucose. Excess glucose is from consuming sweets, starchy food and fruits. If you go on a low carb (50g per day), high good fat, moderate protein diet, you will lose the visceral fat for sure. Since wheat is so toxic and grains are mostly as bad, it would be great if you cut them back all together. You will see the benefit of wheat free plus lost your belly. Of course, unless you have other issues such as thyroid problem, then there is more tweaking to do.
      Good luck!

  4. david potack says:

    Could it be? I’ve been wheat free now for 19 months with great results. I lost 113 pounds and have settled into a easy to live with healthy regimen of great tasting foods. I wonder sometimes if I’m getting a little carried away in attributing everything to the ‘lifestyle’. Recently I had my annual eye exam. 45 of my 66 years I’ve worn glasses that increased in strength over the years to correct my near sightedness. This year for the first time my prescription decreased . Am I ‘seeing things’?

    • Boundless says:

      > … my prescription decreased . Am I ‘seeing things’?

      A number of responses on different threads have reported various improvements in vision, but I haven’t detected a specific trend. I would expect anything that reduces blood pressure and general inflammation to also reduce stress on the eyes.

    • Mary says:

      High blood glucose levels can also cause blurry vision.

    • Debbie says:

      David — I’m interested in hearing exactly what you did to lose 113 pounds. BTW–Congratulations! –Debbie

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  7. Jodi says:

    I’m just curious – if you cut out the staples of the human diet WORLD WIDE wheat, corn, and rice then what do you replace it with? More fats and more proteins. How do we expect to feed 7 BILLION (and growing quickly) people meat? Factory farms? Cram the animals in even smaller spaces? Genetically alter them so they grow even faster? And we are so spoiled in this country we can actually choose to follow the latest fad–eat more meat — don’t eat meat — all raw… what about those that do not have enough? And what do our latest fads do to the market?? Do to those that are starving? How can this feed the world? And what if you do not want to eat meat? What do you replace it with?? Just curious

    • Dr. Davis says:

      This is far too big an issue to cover in a blog comment, Jodi, as you have gathered.

      I have several BOOKS in the works that will serve to address this huge issue. Suffice to say that cheap, easy, industrialized, and commoditized calories have permitted world population to balloon to its current 7 billion people, a situation that should never have occurred. We now realize our grave error but are experiencing global warming/climate change, acidification of the oceans, overfishing of the oceans, shrinkage of the coral reef, soil erosion and salinization–all the problems that got their start with cheap, commoditized grains.

      The first step is to recognize the blunder. Only then can we take appropriate action.

      • And the imperialistic food machine marches on….while we once thought our grain was eliminating starvation in the world, the truth may be that it is CAUSING IT. Dr. D, I hope your book puts a positive spin on this because right now I’m not overly optimistic about the future of my grandchildren.

        • Neicee says:

          I read a book years ago by Dr. Dambisa Moyo (sp.?) “Dead Aid” which changed my thinking about our involvement in foreign aid. She’s a very good writer from the standpoint of being a recipient of our generosity and what it’s done to her country of origin and others. FWIW.

          • I agree Neicee…by flooding the world with cheap grains, we have annihilated many countries ability to be self sufficient….it’s ‘food politics’ at it’s worst….and very scary indeed. Maybe we’re (the US) is really the ‘dark side’! I’ll check out your book….thanks!