Most of you have either seen the “Gluten-free” label, or heard an opinion on the folly or wisdom of a gluten-free diet.

What does gluten-free mean?

Gluten is a protein present only in certain grains. It is most concentrated in wheat, but is also found in rye and barley and sometimes in oats. Gluten largely determines the texture of bread and other products because it improves its leavening properties.  Without gluten, bread simply wouldn’t be fluffy.

What’s wrong with fluffy bread?

The interventions by agricultural scientists to create strains of wheat which make bread even fluffier did so by modifying the gluten, which is still brand new (40 years is new on the evolutionary timetable) to our digestive tract. These new strains of wheat that contain this new kind of gluten are farmed by the huge commercial farms in the US to the exclusion of most of the old wild strains. Researchers and doctors have seen a steady rise in immune dysregulation, autoimmunity, and imbalanced gut microflora over the last few decades, especially since the 1970s, when these new wheat strains were introduced to the American farmer. It is our current reality that the food we count on daily as part of a regular, wholesome diet can adversely affect many other aspects of our health.

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Photo by Mark Morgan Trinidad B

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