In the 1950s, the American PhD plant pathologist Norman Borlaug went to Mexico to help fight stem rust, a fungus that infects wheat. For the next decade, he worked with colleagues to cross-breed wheat to be disease-resistant and to have higher yields. Because the first strings of this new wheat could not stand up with its abnormally large seed head, he cross this wheat with Japanese dwarf wheat (with short, stockier stems), which resulted in semi-dwarf wheat that was more disease resistant; and wherever it was planted, yields soared.
The Green Revolution had started. Mexico, India, and Pakistan saw their yields double. Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977), and the Congressional Gold Medal (2006). He certainly had noble intentions. But for consumers, the results were not noble but decidedly unhealthy.
Mark Hyman, MD, writes that we now "eat dwarf wheat plants with much higher amounts of starch and gluten and many more chromosomes coding for all sorts of new odd proteins. The man who engineered this modern wheat won the Nobel Prize -- it promised to feed millions of starving around the world. Well, it has, and it has made them fat and sick."(1)
Dr. Hyman warns that this new "Frankenfood: has three important ways to drive obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more:
- It contains the Super Starch amylopectin A that is super fattening
- It contains a form of Super Gluten that is super inflammatory
- It contains forms of a Super Drug that is super addictive and makes you crave and eat more.(2)
The author of the best-selling book Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis, told CBS News that modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison." He says the wheat we eat today isn't the wheat our grandmothers had. "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s. This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten. I'm not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I'm talking about everybody else. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."(3)
The new dwarf wheat makes a lot of money for Big Agriculture, makes consumers fatter, and deprives them of the nutrition that the first wheat species (emmer, Einkorn) had and still have in abundance.
Einkorn (Triticum monococcum) is the wheat (chitta'im in Hebrew) first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 30:14: "And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah." A website devoted to einkorn added, "Abraham and Sarah offered einkorn cakes to the three angels that visited them"(4) -Gensis 18:4.
Stan Ness of the website einkorn.com explains the difference between Einkorn (cultivated about 7500 BC) and the 1950-60s dwarf wheat:
- "Wheat gluten studies have found einkorn wheat may be non-toxic to sufferers of gluten intolerance.(5)
- Modern wheats have 42 chromosomes while einkorn grain has just 14 (friendlier to the body's digestive system).
- Einkorn contains 3 to 4 times more beta-carotene than modern wheats (boosts immunity, helps prevent cancer and heart disease).
- Einkorn contains 2 times more Vitamin A (retinol equivalent) than modern wheats (healthy eyes, reproductive organs, and prevention of many cancers).
- Einkorn contains 3 to 4 times more lutein than modern wheats (prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Einkorn contains 4-5 times more riboflavin than modern wheats (used by the body to create energy and is an antioxidant that slows down aging),"(6)
Not mentioned in the above list of einkorn benefits is that einkorn is significantly higher in protein than hard red spring wheat.(7) Health educator Carol Kenny, PhD, quantified this: "Einkorn is nutrient-dense, with protein content equaling durum wheat and some 35%-50% higher than hard red wheat."(8)
Dr. Mark Hyman's fears about the "Super Gluten" in dwarf wheat were confirmed by the research of Dr. Alessio Fasano, a celiac expert from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Hyman writes that Dr. Fasano "discovered a protein made in the intestine called 'zonulin' that is increased by exposure to gluten.(9) Zonulin breaks up the tight functions or cement between the intestinal cells that normally protect your immune system from bugs and foreighn proteins in food leaking across the intestinal barrier. If you have a 'leaky gut,' you will get inflammation throughout your whole body and a whole list of symptoms and diseases."(10)
Dr. Hyman warns that hybridization of wheat led to the many more chromosomes of dwarf wheat, which codes for all sorts of odd new proteins. Truly what was meant to feed the world has turned out to be a real "Frankenfood."
Back to those "amber waves of grain." They are waving tall again! Einkorn cultivation is increasing in Canada and the U.S. because of the demand of health-conscious consumers who want the original "Staff of Life."
There are interesting and fun products made with einkorn wheat that can be consumed daily. Be sure to watch for them.
Young Living's Einkorn Products
Gary's True Grit Chocolate-Coated Wolfberry Crisp Cars
Gary's True Grit Einkorn Flour
Gary's True Grit Einkorn Granola
Gary's True Grit Einkorn Pancake and Waffle Mix
Gary's True Grit Einkorn Rotini Pasta
Gary's True Grit Einkorn Spaghetti
The Essential Oils Desk Reference, 7th Edition. Chapter 8: Nutritional Support - Gary's True Grit Einkorn Products
(5) Pizzuti D, et al. Lack of intestinal mucosal toxicity of Triticum monoccum in celiac disease patients. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2006 Nov; 41(11):1305-11.
(7) Abdel-Aal, ES, et al. Compositional and nutritional characteristics of a spring einkorn and spelt wheats, Ceral Chem. 72:621-624
(9) Drago S, Fasano A, et al., Gliadin, zonulin and gut permeability: Effects on celiac and non-celiac intestinal mucosa and intestinal cell lines. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2006 Apr;41(4):408-19.