Tuesday, January 08, 2013
The Problem with Wheat
How is it that one of the world’s staples has recently become a problem for many people? How is it that wheat is now a cause of allergic reactions and other physiological problems?
In the January 2013 edition of “tasteforlife” on page 30 is an article entitled
“a closer look at WHEAT: AMBER WAVES OF TROUBLE?”
It addresses the fact that the wheat that we commonly have made available to us has been changed. It is not the same as the wheat that was available before the selective breeding, and especially cross-breeding and hybridizing, of the last 50 years. The article is available at The Problem with Wheat, but I have only been able to find the first half of the article, “The bad news,” thus far. The second half, “The good news,” points to the fact that some of the heritage varieties of wheat are still available. The heritage varieties listed are einkorn, emmer, red fife, and ladoga. These varieties are being preserved and promoted by certain groups, including, the Heritage Wheat Conservancy and Canada’s Heritage Wheat Project.
“The bad news” lists three detrimental effects of the newer wheat, effects that do not manifest as affects in the heritage varieties.
Since some groups are growing the heritage varieties and are selling them, we do have a choice. Such choices are often more costly and involve more effort to acquire, but for those who want to avoid the problems of the modern wheat, we do have a choice available to us.
More and more attempts by mankind to improve upon God’s design continue to produce more and more problems. Who can even comprehensively list the number of “improvements” that produce more problems than they presume to solve? Even the “back to nature” movement does not in itself solve problems. Back to the Lord movement does bring restoration. But no one can patent that for profit, although Christendom has suffered terrible attempts at usurpation throughout history so that today few even know what Christianity truly is. It seems that cross-breeding and hybridizing knows no limits. In fact, as Moses faithfully records, all of our problems began with selective redefinition of the proper use of creation. Wondrously, the Gospel brings us back to the definition by which all things are restored.
But we are just talking about wheat! Right?
No. Not right. It is that sort of thinking that has led to the problems that we face. Those who have developed the new toxic strains of grains imagined that the only issues to consider were issues of drought and disease and insect resistance, increased yield per acre, and storability. The questions of how good these new crops are for those who consume them were ignored. Perhaps the possibility of these changes being anything but benign was unimaginable. Regardless, the primary motive was profitability, which always pushes all other issues aside.
True concern for others has another source. People do have at least some remnant of this as the Law of God is written in their hearts. But true concern for others flows from the love of God, which is only truly known through the Gospel.
Yet even from more selfish motives, it would behoove mankind to remember that these crops are grown for food for people. Since the developers and their children and families and friends also are consumers of these grains, even from that perspective concern for the wholesomeness of these grains should prevail. However, once personal gain takes hold in the heart and mind, destruction is inevitable.
So it is good to see that at least some people are becoming aware and are seeking to preserve healthy and wholesome breeds of wheat. It would be wise for us all to support this effort. Of course legislative efforts can be pursued. But the quickest and surest way is simply to begin purchasing only these heritage wheats. Those who worship the profit margin (mammon) will surely catch on.
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