Our Endangered Food

This is about our endangered food. Our grandparents ate foods that were healthier and more pure than today’s mass produced food. Beef came from grass-fed cattle; milk came from cows that grazed on pastures; bread was baked from the old Emmer wheat or Einkorn wheat. Geneticists were not around yet, so their food was safe from adulteration.

The adulterated modern wheat

Fast forward to the late 1990’s. Now farmers around the world are growing 19 different Clearfield wheat varieties. Researchers produced them by hybridization from exposure to toxic chemicals in the 1960’s and 1970’s. At that time  GMO (genetically modified organisms) regulations were not around yet.  Hybridization with grasses using exposure to a toxic substance like sodium azide produced modern wheat. Technically this forced chemical hybridization is different from genetic engineering although in both cases there are significant genetic changes of the chromosomes in the plant. The end result with regard to wheat hybridizations were wheat varieties that grow under adverse conditions and that have much faster growing rates, higher yields and are easier to harvest because they grow only to a about 2 feet height instead of 4 feet.

Chromosomal changes of the new wheat

When compared to the older Emmer and Einkorn types of wheat there have been significant chromosomal changes. Einkorn (Triticum monoccocum) has 14 chromosomes; Emmer (Triticum diccocum) has 28 chromosomes. Modern wheat, the Clearfield variety has 42 chromosomes, like spelt. The hybridization process for Clearfield wheat by BASF is summarized in this link. Here is a discussion with Dr. Davis, the author of the book “Wheat Belly” (Ref.1), which reviews the history of modern wheat

Modern wheat has much more gliadin content

The point of mentioning all this here is that modern wheat with many more chromosomes than the original Einkorn wheat has also much more gliadin content, which is the protein that makes celiac disease sufferers sick when they eat wheat. However, despite the significant chromosomal changes of modern wheat, which his grown in 99% of the world today no safety test were done to show that it is harmless to your health. There were no animal experiments and no human exposure trials with proper controls to show that exposure to the modern wheat varieties is safe on the long-term.

The manufacturer mixes wheat  into processed foods

It turns out now in hindsight that it is not only the person with celiac disease that has to fear modern wheat. The increased concentration of gliadin in modern wheat is the protein that splits the sealant between gut cells and sensitizes your body to produce autoantibodies. The food processing plants mix wheat into soups, baby food, lip stick, sauces and a host of other foods. This increases the gliadin concentration that your system has to cope with, if you do not read labels and eliminate it. You have to be a detective in the supermarket and constantly read labels to look for wheat and avoid it, at least I do.

Modern wheat can cause antibodies against gliadin

The reason is that even low doses of wheat over a long period of time cause leaky gut syndrome and cause antibodies against gliadin. Soon after the formation of autoimmune antibodies against your own tissues form that attack your gut cells (causing irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease and ulcerative colitis); joint cells (causing rheumatoid arthritis), thyroid cells (causing Hashimoto disease) and it can even cause colon cancer.

Remember, there have never been any clinical trials to show that modern wheat is safe.

Our Endangered Food

Our Endangered Food

Alternatives to wheat

Oats used to be thought safe to eat for celiac disease patients, provided they are not contaminated with rye, wheat or barley.

As this publication shows there can still be prolamins in oats, which are different from gliadin, but may be toxic for celiac patients. Another paper showed that there are different levels of gliadin- and glutenin-like avenins in different varieties of oats. These are subunits of prolamin. It depends on what type of avenins or prolamins are in the content of an oat variety. A label on an oat package may proclaim that it is entirely gluten free. But the question remains whether the manufacturer tested the oats before they reached the shelves of the grocery store.

Are “gluten free oats” safe to eat for celiac patients?

For a celiac patient it would not be safe to eat these types of oats as labeling requirements for avenins or prolamins do not yet exist. So, the label “gluten free oats” may be misleading as oats containing prolamins or avenins still could make celiac patients sick.

So, what are safe gluten substitutes? Rice, corn, soy, chickpeas, sweet potatoes and nuts. A helpful reference can be found through this link.

As we will discover below, unfortunately in the US most rice, corn and soy is now GMO food and celiac patients will likely react much more to these as they are more sensitive and will likely produce autoantibodies easier. So stick to organic rice, organic corn and organic soy (often the package will mention” free of GMO”).

GMO foods to avoid

It is interesting that the US and Canada did not pass a law that GMO foods should be labeled. This is changing rapidly as people realize that in Europe many countries have required all GMO foods to be labeled as such. Here is a publication that shows that the GMO labeling campaign is gaining momentum.

Genetically modified corn and soy contains the Bt toxin; it has been found in babies as mentioned in this article. Bt toxin damages the small bowel (the ileum) through Cry1Ab (the protein produced in genetically modified corn and soy), which disables the absorption of vitamin B12. This in turn will cause anemia (historically the cause of pernicious anemia was found to be due to a lack of vitamin B12 absorption).

Cytochrome P450 (CYP) detoxification enzymes

Drs. Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff  stated about the effects of Roundup in a publication dated April 2013  that glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, which is a crucial detoxification enzyme complex in the liver has been overlooked when studies were done regarding toxicity in mammals. The CYP enzymes in the liver is important to metabolize and eliminate estrogens and also helps to detoxify xenobiotics, which are estrogen-like substances as residues from insecticides and other chemicals. Thus, glyphosate (=”Roundup” produced by Monsanto) amplifies the damaging effect of environmental toxins and chemical residues from non-organic food that we eat. The build-up of estrogens and xenoestrogens has been shown to be responsible for many cancers (atypical Hodgkin’s lymphoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer etc.).

The ten most common GMO foods in the US

Here is a summary of the 10 most common GM foods in the US : Sugar beets, cotton seed oil, corn, canola oil, milk, aspartame (from genetically modified bacteria), zucchini, yellow squash, soybeans, papaya. You see that genetic engineering invaded almost all of our food.

Why is that of any concern?

The problem is that it is extremely difficult to conduct safety studies for human consumption. It likely takes three generations of feeding GMO food before diseases develop. In the case of humans the reproductive cycle is 30 years. This would mean that it could take up to 90 years to obtain meaningful human safety study results. From a commercial point of view researchers perceived that 90 years was too long. Instead they opted for the standard rat or mouse model of 90 day testing. Researchers used this test model instead as a “test for toxicity for mammals”.  However, typically this does not show any change between GMO food compared to regular food as it is too short an observation time. I have described this earlier in this blog. In this recent publication pigs fed GM crops were found to have severe stomach inflammation and the female GMO fed pigs developed a 25% larger uterus than the non-GMO-fed controls.

The approval process for GMO foods is flawed

The 20-year approval process for GMO foods is flawed according to this review. Belgium researchers found virus particles in GMO foods that they did not expect to be there. Farmers feed this in feedlots to milk producing animals and beef cows. There is transmission of these particles into milk and beef. But the FDA, USDA and other official food safety agencies continue to state that GMO foods are safe. A significant proportion of the US public disagrees about the safety testing process regarding  GMO foods.  The public wants clear labeling of all GMO, so they have a choice of what they buy. We should have a choice whether we get organic food with no chemicals, no antibiotics and no GMO. Or whether we buy the cheaper regular food.

Remember, you are what you eat.


Originally researchers modified wheat by hybridization to “save” the world from hunger. The production worldwide has improved tremendously so that this objective has been reached. However, since then genetic engineers have worked on adulterating the rest of our foods. The purpose was mostly with the aim to make farming on a large scale easier. In both instances researchers never performed safety testing on animals and humans. It is only now that it is becoming apparent that there are flaws with regard to food safety testing. This is true for both wheat and GMO foods.

Leaky gut syndrome and autoimmunity

With wheat it is the higher concentration of gluten and gluten-like substances that are the problem. This causes a leaky gut, a breakdown of the gut/blood barrier. It also causes autoimmunity and colon cancer. GMO foods may transmit viral particles and Bt toxin. This can cause autoimmune diseases and fertility problems. But it also can interfere with the liver’s detoxification system. This in turn can cause cancers. The full health impact is not clear at this point. It may take another 70 years for wheat show the full ramifications. And it likely will take another 80 years for GMO foods to find out all the consequences. Some people have decided not to be part of this mass experiment and rather buy organic foods. I belong to this group.

More information on genetically modified food: http://nethealthbook.com/health-nutrition-and-fitness/nutrition/genetically-engineered-foods/


1. William Davis, MD: “Wheat belly. Lose the wheat, lose the weight, and find your path back to health.” HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., 2011.

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