against the grain
Gluten is a name for the proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, semolina, spelt, farina, graham) rye, barley, etc. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten is used in many other products as well, including frozen vegetables in sauces, soy sauce, some foods made with “natural flavorings,” vitamin and mineral supplements, some medications, and even toothpaste!
How could gluten, present in a staple food
that has sustained humanity for thousands of years,
have suddenly become so threatening?
We are no longer eating the wheat that our parents ate. In order to have the drought-resistant, bug-resistant, and faster-growing wheat that we have today, we’ve hybridized the grain. These “new hybridized proteins” are part of the problem that has lead to increased system inflammation and intolerance of gluten. Today’s wheat has been deamidated, which allows it to be water soluble and capable of being mixed into every kind of packaged food. This deamidation can produce an allergic response in many people. In our world today, with fast food at our fingertips, we’re eating much more wheat than our ancestors ever did.