You’ve probably heard about the gluten-free diet. Those who have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, and even those who avoid it just in case, have sworn off products containing gluten, including wheat. But some evidence shows that gluten may not be the reason why wheat creates problems. Americans should be worried instead about why wheat has so recently become the bad guy. In fact, the real culprit is far worse.
Why Wheat May Be Causing Problems
Did you know? These days, farmers use chemical sprays to harvest their grain crops. In fact, the protocol for wheat harvesting in the United States is to drench the wheat field with the herbicide Roundup several days before the harvester. This kills the wheat quickly by drying the plants. Then farmers can work through the fields quickly, as dead wheat plants are easier on the farm equipment and allow for an earlier, easier, and bigger harvest. Roundup and other herbicides contain a deadly active ingredient to crops known as glyphosate. Farmers began using herbicides pre-harvest as early as 1980. Now, it’s routine to dry crops with herbicides 7-10 days before harvest.
Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT has studied the issue in-depth and has even presented her findings at nutrition conferences. She found that desiccating (drying) non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate just before harvest was very popular by the 1990s. As a result, most of the non-organic wheat in the United States has become contaminated with it. She explained that when you expose wheat to a toxic chemical such as glyphosate, it releases more seeds, resulting in a slightly greater yield.
Farmers Use More Herbicides
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 99% of drum wheat, 97% of spring wheat, and 61% of winter wheat had been treated with herbicides as of 2012. This shows a dramatic increase over the past two decades. Durum wheat has shown an 88% increase, spring wheat has shown a 91% increase, and winter wheat has shown a 47% increased since 1998.
Farmers use Roundup to kill their wheat plants and allow an earlier and more plentiful harvest. Unfortunately, no governing body licenses this practice. Consumers are eating processed wheat products that undoubtedly contain traces of Roundup. This practice is common in other countries as well, but some are beginning to see the dangers. In the Netherlands, the use of Roundup is completely banned.
While the farmers are profiting, consumer health is suffering.
The herbicide industry maintains that glyphosate is minimally toxic to humans, but research published in the journal Entropy shows exactly how glyphosate disrupts physiology. The active ingredient in Roundup lethally disrupts the important pathway found in beneficial gut microbes. And did you know? These same bacteria are responsible for the synthesis of critical amino acids. Friendly gut bacteria — probiotics — play a critical role in keeping the body healthy. Gut bacteria aid in digestion, synthesize vitamins and strengthen the immune system. Research has found that Roundup significantly disrupts this process.
Glyphosate also inhibits the enzymes that the gut microbiome produces. These enzymes are critical to detoxifying chemical compounds that bombard the body. Humans exposed to glyphosate through the use of Roundup become even more vulnerable to the damaging effects of other chemicals and environmental toxins they may encounter.
Glyphosate causes inflammation over months and years of exposure, leading to consequences such as gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, to name a few. Even if you don’t have a problem digesting wheat, keeping conventional wheat in your diet can harm the body in many ways, leading to illness and disease. But if you don’t have a sensitivity or allergy to wheat, maybe consider sticking to organic, low gluten, Einkorn wheat. Just to be safe.
Listen to David Wolfe interview Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology on the dangers of glyphosate.
h/t: real farmacy