Ok, I know I titled that with a bold statement. So before you get the desire to start throwing rotten cabbage and tomatoes at me, hear me out. I know I have shared, in the past, the particular background that we have that has given us a unique perspective. To sum it up we live in the middle of agricultural central, where many of the grains we consume in the U.S. are grown. What I haven’t shared is the extent to which our food is, yes, poisoned before it ever makes it to a food factory or flour mill. So yes, even though your digestion system may scream at you that it’s truly gluten intolerant, maybe its just the poisonous cocktails baked right in, that your body can not stand.
As you know gluten is a mixture of two proteins present in the make up of certain plants in the wheat family. Wheat, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, rye, barley, eincorn, farro and Kamut are a few of the grains that contain the protein combo that is gluten. However, wheat is the most commonly consumed.
The life of a grain of wheat
To see the big picture let me walk you through the cycle a grain of wheat goes through, from seed to plant. Keep in mind that not all farmers do everything exactly the same, but this is much of the ‘run of the mill’ practices.
- Seed wheat is treated with a chemical insecticide to prevent bugs from eating the seed before it ever gets a chance to sprout.
- The ground to be planted is often (but not always) sprayed with an herbicide (to prevent weeds) such as a glyphosate before any seeds are ever put in the ground.
- After wheat is sprouted and grown a bit, a chemical-cocktail of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides are used to both boost plant growth and try to kill weeds that are growing along with the wheat.
- At this point wheat could, but not always, be sprayed with a fungicide, to prevent unwanted fungus.
- Depending on harvest and the individual farmer, many times the wheat is sprayed with an additional layer of chemicals right before harvest. This is done to kill off the plant so that it is dry and the wheat berries are ready to harvest.
- As the wheat is harvested and hauled to grain storage where it changes hands from the care of the farmer to an agriculture company or farmers Co-Op. Here it can be treated with an insecticide as it waits in storage for the next stop it will make.
As you can see growing grains today, is less about soil, nutrients and nature and more about chemical control. The comfy cozy words that the agriculture world uses to make us feel good about all this excessive use is that the chemicals break-down. Somehow all these chemicals kill weeds, bugs and fungus, but by the time it hits our plate all that chemical has magically disappeared right?
A true story
At a small farmers Co-Op in nowheresville U.S.A. The Co-Op was storing a particularly high protein wheat. For the best financial gain the Co-Op waited to sell this grain to the next buyer until they could get premium price. Keep in mind wheat is a commodity so the prices do fluctuate. This particular load of wheat was held in grain storage for 4 years until the timing was right to get the money they wanted for this high protein wheat, (yes it is gross already, I know).
Where was this wheat headed you wonder? You got it, a flour mill. The wheat was then treated with a chemical called phostoxin, right before its trip to the flour mill. Keeping in mind this was wheat for human consumption. Surely the chemical they use there cant be so bad right? Wrong…
Not so, extremely, long before this at a different Co-Op. A worker who was treating grain with the same chemical, the insecticide known as phostoxin. This employee got some of the chemical, slightly splashed, on his pant leg. Thinking nothing about it, coming in contact with chemicals is a daily thing. Hours pass the worker returns home that night, and is greeted by his little two-year-old girl, hugging Daddy’s leg. Later that night the little girl is rushed to the hospital in a near-death situation. The slight amount of pesticides turned into poisonous toxins, in the young girls body.
Thankfully the young girl survives. Her brush with death puts these agricultural practices into question. What exactly are we doing and allowing to be done to our food, our families, and our health? Why does everyone seem to be taking on gluten intolerant symptoms in recent years? Will this stop with only gluten?
Food… fuel health or disease
Maybe, just maybe, everyone’s bodies are becoming intolerant the ever rising levels of chemicals. As agriculture continues down this path, showing no sign of changing, the microbes in both the soil and our gut are being killed off at a massive rate. Those microbes, our gut flora, are the powerhouse of the immune system, as well as our mental and emotional well-being. No wonder health is declining as cancer, depression and anxiety are all on the rise (even among children).
With the picture looking bleak you turn to a gluten-free diet, right? I don’t blame you not one bit. Your body has had enough times of gluten being the precursor to feeling horrible, rightly so. It will likely continue. Other grains get the same treatment. Is the situation hopeless? No, my friends the answer is in our grasp.
Money, the market, supply and demand. When we as people no longer choose to buy the products produced in ways that destroy both our health and our earth, then we will see change. Next time you go to a grocery store, choose organic. Find farmers markets, or build good relationships with the little pockets of people growing food everywhere. Backyard farmers, urban homesteaders, organic and sustainable farmers are popping up. Better yet start your own garden, get your kids involved. Most importantly choose quality over cheap chemically produced junk. Your health, your family and community will one day thank you ♡♡♡
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Beth is a mother of 5 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.