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Lets Look at Modern Wheat

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by lucylocket61, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Expert

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    I think this subject is important enough to have its own thread. Lets discuss modern wheat and the effect that changing it into something different from our predecessors ate, has had.

    And perhaps why the modern wheat is something our bodies werent designed/adapted to eat and if there is a link to modified wheat (the main source of carbs these days all over the world) and the rise in Diabetes.

    And if the fertilisers (again, unnatural) could also be contributing.

    Maybe the problem isnt the quantity we eat compared to our ancestors, its the quality and additives in the wheat itself.

    http://preventdisease.com/news/12/011612_Modern-Wheat-Really-Isnt-Wheat-At-All.shtml as a starting point. Google has many links on this subject.
     
  2. Defren

    Defren · Well-Known Member

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    Lucy, wheat will never be wheat again. Companies like Monsanto have seen to that. The traditional wheat has in many countries been replaced with GM wheat. There is a project in THIS COUNTRY that is trying to find a way to GM wheat, from pea pods. The reason being, peas have little tiny factories on their root that produces nitrogen. The scientists want to make wheat have this little factory too. What many people forget, is that when you fiddle with nature, it usually has a way to come back and bite you on the ass.

    LEAVE OUR FOOD ALONE!!
     
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  3. rtee

    rtee · Well-Known Member

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    Actually this sort of messing around is forbidden in the bible.
    Whether you're a believer or not, it's bad news to try to improve on nature.
     
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  4. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    This seems to be fairly recent info on gm wheat in the UK (from campaigners against)
    http://www.gmfreeze.org/gmwheatnothanks ... happening/

    Wheat and all other crops have been developed by selection and hybridisation. This has been going on for a very long time . From the early days of farming, natural hybrids were selected and grown on (I do that with hellebores :D )
    Spelt is a hybrid .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spelt
    The wiki article on Norman Borlaug describes the hybridisation that led to modern dwarf wheat species.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Borlaug
     
  5. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    The differences between modern wheats and their ancestors are mainly down to selective breeding. NOT GM. Modern wheat has a much higher starch content than it's ancestors. It doesn't have "additives". Any of those are put in by processing. The differences caused by selective breeding over many generations can be seen easily in animals. Look at a Mastiff and a Chihuahua. they are the SAME species. their biochemistry is pretty much the same. Thus ancestral wheats and Modern ones have the same chemistry, but different outcomes. Many years ago, I worked on barley crops in East Anglia. Developing feed grain and malting barley. I clearly remember one summer with a batch of schoolkids to help me, sampling barley and measuring the length of the straw. It was around 75cm long. Look at barley this year and it' nowhere near as tall. None of this is GM it's all just selection. All the genes in that barley were always there. The short straw barley was selected for growing, because it's less susceptible to damage by the weather.
    If they do get pea style root nodules to develop on wheat, and the nitrogen fixing bacteria to settle there, It will increase yields without need for more fertiliser. Not a bad thing. It won't probably affect the structure of the starches.
    I must admit, that when I was involved, they simply undersowed the wheat crop with clover[ which also has root nodules with nitrogen fixing bacteria. and of course it all began with crop rotation, when peas or beans were sown one year in 3 to restore the fertility of the soil.
    Not all scientific advances are harmful
    Hana
     
  6. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Expert

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    Sorry, but modern wheat, whilst not GM (I never mentioned GM) or tampered with by additives (I was talking about artificial fertilisers) is NOT the same stuff.

    http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/02/13/three-hidden-ways-wheat-makes-you-fat/ read this link about how modern wheat has been hybridised to make it much higher in starch and gluten, to the detriment of our health in some cases.

    Just as the specialisation of dogs has led to chronic malformations and illnesses and early deaths in some species of them. It can hardly be called healthy and the same as always when it has been tampered with and manipulated to be hardly recognisable to both our eyes and taste and endocrine systems.

    The same genes may be there (or may not) but it is processed by our bodies in a different way.

    Just as flour, eggs, sugar and butter can make very different products depending on the way they are combined.
     
  7. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    I don't know if any of you have been watching the Wartime Farm.

    Last night gave a great insight into wheat production during WW2 which created a revolution in farming. Supplies of wheat had to be stepped up because there was no possibilty of imports and farmers were given quotas and targets to produce more crops. Farmers who had never grown wheat before had to plough up their fields and use every available space for production.

    The only way that farmers were able to meet targets was with the introduction of the combined harvester and fertilizer, something they had never had to do before. The wheat was changed forever with the addition of the fertilizer and was not the same as grown previously.

    Britain had to continue growing more and more wheat even after the war had finished as they now had a shared responsibility to feed other populations across Europe who had been devastated by WW2 and imports were not affordable as Britain was bankrupt. America also stopped any aid they had been giving and rationing carried on for several years.

    (As an added note, Harvests were celebrated as holidays were impossible and people came from far and wide for a fun day out. Food was scarce and one of the popular wartime sandwiches was tinned pilchards and shredded cabbage).
     
  8. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you whole heatedly Lucy and I think you make an extremely valid point. The problem is that modern wheat while it has massively increased crop yields has become something different to what it use to be i.e. high gluten or however you want to define it. I see it as a major contributor to what is going on. I don't think the modern breeds were developed for any malicious reasons though it just came about as a by product of getting increased yields. The problem is what to replace them with as there are 7 billion people to feed? The old breeds presumably couldn't supply the demand required even if we accept they were healthier.

    Personally I don't see what difference there really is between selective breeding and GM as both are effectively changing the genetic makeup of the thing they are being applied to its just that GM is a far more efficient way of getting to the selective breed you're after in my opinion. Both ways could and have been used to produce the modern varieties of wheat as far as I'm aware. If someone GM'ed or spent the equivalent years selectively breeding a version of wheat that was genetically similar to "old style" safe wheat but had the yields of the modern day varieties would people still object I wonder?
     
  9. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    I think it is a subject that you need to be an expert in to work out what applies to the US and what to Europe. It's hard to work out the origins of what is being grown where.
    It seems that modern chemical hybridisation results in F1 hybrids( so sterile) This iseed was developed by companies like Monsanto and marketed by Cargill and has been grown in the US since the 1980s . I haven't found how much of the US crop comes from this type of seed.
    This type of seed has ,up until now , been cultivated in relatively very tiny amounts in the UK.
    http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/ara ... 10.article

    In the whole of Europe there are 200,000 hectares in production using this type of seed ;170,000 of them are in in France.
    http://www.ble-hybride.com/Presentation-616.aspx

    It is an issue here at the moment with lots of placards demanding No taxation of saved seeds. ( not sure of the detail but farmers who save some of their seeds for next years crop are apparently to be taxed and the tax put towards research on new seed varieties, our local farmers just grow the odd field of corn for winter feed , They don't want to either pay tax or buy seeds every year.)
     
  10. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

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    That's interesting Catherine, I seen Wartime Farm advertised and meant to Sky+ it.
     
  11. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    It's been a very interesting series Nigel highly recommend you watch it.
     
  12. Defren

    Defren · Well-Known Member

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    GM wheat may not have been mentioned by the OP but it is still part of the progression of the grain, and is (in my opinion) a very bad idea. No Hana, not all scientific advances are harmful, but some are, and I believe GM is!
     
  13. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    Why would an F1 hybrid be sterile?
    F1 simply means first generation. F1 hybrids tend to be highly productive and predictable. F2s are less so. It's all just back to Mendelian genetics. All the F1 peas produced by crossing the parental short growing peas with the parental tall peas are tall. cossing F1s produces variety. Thus the F2 of F1 tall, red flowered peas produces the well-known 9:3:3:1 ratio of the 4 possible results ie, tall red. short red, tall white and short white. Nevertheless all are still PEAS
    Incidentally it's not correct that hybrids between species are always sterile. Many years ago Scientific American published a study on mules. Mules are hybrids of 2 closely related species, the horse and the donkey. F1 is a mule. It was found that amny mules are fertile [contrary to popular belief] and F2 crosses could be like pure-bred donkeys, pure bred horses or mules.
    in crop plants, the hybrids are between 2 pure breeding varieties of the SAME SPECIES.
    Hana
    PS sorry to be picky about science
    Istill think we are not meant to eat a lot of wheat, of whatever kind, but It doesn't help to confuse a species with a variety.
     
  14. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    Hana you are right, they are not sterile . To propagate hybrid wheat, they use a male sterile parent as the 'female line'. I was thinking ahead of myself.
    As the seeds will not produce a true offspring, they might as well be sterile .They are useless for a farmer or gardener wishing to save seed and produce a nice regular income for the producer.
    http://daughterofthesoil.blogspot.fr/20 ... hould.html
     
  15. GraceK

    GraceK · Well-Known Member

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    I'm not religious in the sense that I go to church but I do think the Bible is basically a book about nature. Nature has it's own way of dealing with things, it's own processes and it's own timing and mankind meddles with it at it's own peril. But we just can't help poking our nose in and trying to improve on nature.

    I remember when I was a young teenager and my Mum encouraged me to experiment with make up. My strict Dad went mad and gave me a lecture on the fact that we should be satisfied with what we've been given by nature, that we can't improve on what nature gives us because we can only ever make a pig's ear of it and make ourselves look ridiculous into the bargain.

    He was right.

    And the odd thing is ... he was an atheist ... or so he always led us to believe. :)
     
  16. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    This is off topic but if many of us had left it to nature we would be dead.
     
  17. GraceK

    GraceK · Well-Known Member

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    You're right, left to nature many of us may be dead, but we could say equally, that because we HAVEN'T left it to nature, a whole lot of us have died and another whole lot of us who haven't died have had our health compromised by too much manmade change to our foodstuffs and the food chain whilst our bodies, of course, haven't adapted to those change. The problem with scientists is they create all these products, preservatives etc., but they forget that the human body may not be able to process them without being harmed.

    My Mum constantly repeated the same thing over and over as she got older when she ate certain foodstuffs and we all thought she was just being a pernickety old fart at times. She would have me and my sister demented while we scoured the shops for different types of bread because the last loaf 'wasn't the same'. She'd taste a slice and say "It's not the same ..." We'd say, "The same as what?" She'd say "The same as it used to be, they're putting something in it now and I can taste it and taste the difference." She also used to love a Kit Kat with a cuppa and then one day we got the same response "Ewwww ... yuk ... it's not the same." Sure enough I tasted it and it wasn't the same taste as before. I checked the ingredients and there were a few different ingredients that hadn't been on the list before, one of them was a sweetener.

    But it wasn't just taste - she developed ulcerative colitis in her 60s which just happened out of the blue. She'd had asthma since the her 40's and as she got older her system became more sensitive and incidentally, so did mine. I followed a similar pattern. My whole family is very sensitive to chemicals in food and otherwise and we seem to detect even small changes in our foodstuffs that others may not notice.

    While we're looking at Modern Wheat I think we should also look at the Modern Human Body and whether it's adapting and evolving over generations to cope with chemical additives and GM foods. Are we now breeding children whose systems can cope with it all, or are we breeding children who are developing illnesses at a young age because they can't cope with it?

    That programme on TV the other night about children and food showed two groups of kids each having a party. Group A was given traditional party foods, sausage rolls, cakes, biscuits, sweets, jelly, ice cream etc. and Group B was given whole foods, sandwiches, meats, fish, fruit, juice etc. They were then observed for an hour or so afterwards and were scored on how many times they hit out at each other, fought, were cruel, shouted, screamed. The parents also observed them. There was a significant difference in behaviour between the two groups. Group A were badly behaved in general, with a lot of hitting and fighting. Group B were placid, quiet and acted kindly towards each other. Basically their nervous systems weren't being overstimulated by the **** in their food and the parents were gobsmacked.

    We can control nations by what we feed them, perhaps our Governments should sit up and take notice.
     
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  18. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Going back to the basics - the three useful seed-bearing grasses that were "domesticated" in the Middle East when we settled down and developed agriculture were emma, einkorn, and 6-row barley. The first two are "wheat". They are simply a form of seed-bearing grass, which used to be gathered seasonally, but which could be preserved by drying and which would then germinate the following year. Our clever ancestors discovered this, settled near the best-producing natural patches, and finally went on to plant the patches where and how they wanted. Meantime they hunted out the areas surrounding their settlements and became more and more reliant on crops and domesticated animals. ie, farming.

    If you imagine a modern ear of barley (the whiskery one), and then try to imagine an underdeveloped example of the same thing with only 6 rows of small seeds, you begin to realise just how much we have modified these crops. Also modified them to make them grow happily in our climate when they are in fact native to the Middle East (just like sheep!). By the 1960s (or that's when I was taught about it) plant breeding had managed to produce a variety of wheat (I think a triticale) that will produce a crop in some areas of Australia on less than 10 inches of rain a year!

    We've made the ears bigger, the stalks shorter, the nutrition balance different, just by selective breeding, which is in itself a form of genetic manipulation. This has been for our own convenience, to increase the yields and make it easier to mechanise the harvest. Now cereal products have become the basis of most humans diets, and we need to produce more to keep pace with the expanding population. Many people are fine with this, and I accept this; I am not trying to start an argument, just widen the discussion.

    From the point of view of the low-carbers amongst us, there are too many of us for everyone to eat (eg) my diet; the only way we could promote this across the planet is by reducing our population. Since I doubt this will happen, short of disease or disaster - what can we do? In other words - how can we lower carbohydrate consumption and increase protein and fat consumption across the globe? Can we do this by further altering the nutritional composition of foods such as grains? We are already doing this in some areas, eg adding vitamins to rice to fight against deficiency diseases in parts of Asia. Should it be taken further? Can we improve the diet for the populations across the globe by manipulating cereals? Should we?

    I'm not against all GM crops in principle, though there are aspects that I don't approve of. GM is quicker than the old ways of plant breeding. If we want to feed our present population, can we afford to ignore it? I'd rather regulate it better.

    Any ideas?

    Viv 8)
     
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  19. GraceK

    GraceK · Well-Known Member

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    I realise we've gone too far to halt overnight, the medical and food industries interference with food and it's manipulation of people's diets.

    Schools also take part in this manipulation when they churn out the 'healthy eating' policy and brainwash kids into thinking they MUST eat this or that or they won't be healthy. There are kids who can't tolerate gluten, wheat, fruit, sugar, chemicals - yet the 'healthy eating' advice is the same. When they're adults, the NHS gives the same message as we with diabetes know. The old saying "One man's meat is another man's poison' is very, very true.

    I noticed many years ago that lots of kids were eating chicken because chicken was being pushed as being a healthy, low fat source of protein. Noodles was another favourite. Why? Because chickens can be produced in great numbers and can be sold very cheaply so they make a good source of food for low income families. Chicken today tastes NOTHING like the chicken I ate as a child. Back in the 50's every chicken I ever saw for sale was yellow, not white, it was fresh not frozen for God knows how long, it wasn't pumped full of chemicals to preserve it and it wasn't half full of water. It was succulent and had flavour. Today's chicken tastes like cardboard to me. But the sad thing is that my grandkids generation will not know any different. They won't have the natural unadulterated foods to compare with. My daughter in law doesn't even know what a chicken looks like, she thinks it comes ready cooked, sliced and pre-packed. She'll turn her nose up when we walk past the cooked chicken deli counter but she'll buy what I call the 'clinical version' stuff. And that's the way the food industry wants it. The less we're educated about what REAL food is, the more likely we are to buy their **** and not ask any questions.

    In just one generation - we've lost a hell of a lot of REAL FOOD RIGHTS.
     
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  20. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Expert

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    The hard, cold reality is:

    If the majority of people on this plant didnt eat rubbish food, they would die.

    So they have to eat rubbish and die slowly of related illnesses and malnutition from bad food, in the hope that science will get us out of this mess before they die.

    Or they die fast from starvation.

    And remember, many people, even in the West, are malnourished because of the low nutritional value of the food they eat, which is another form of slow starvation.

    The planet cant produce enough good quality food to feed us all. Its bad, very bad, but its the way it is. :(

    There is no easy answer right now. But if all the Supermarkets and Manufacturers pulled all the pseudo-food which fill bellies but starves us of nourishment, there would be mass deaths within weeks.

    So at the expense of being unpopular, in some way these supermarkets etc are doing a service in buying the world time to try to keep people alive while they endeavour to solve this problem of good food production for all.
     
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