Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Wonder of Wheat

Don’t Eat It

As a life coach, I generally don’t advise anyone on what to eat or not to eat. However, there are several things I would advise against such as caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and the subject of this article, wheat. First of all, wheat is:

“ … grown on more land area than any other food crop (220.4 million hectares, 2014). World trade in wheat is greater than all other crops combined. In 2016, world production of wheat was 749 million tonnes, making it the second most produced cereal after maize. Since 1960, world production of wheat and other grain crops has tripled and is expected to grow further through the middle of the 21st century. Global demand for wheat is increasing due to the unique viscoelastic and adhesive properties of gluten proteins, which facilitate the production of processed foods, whose consumption is increasing as a result of the worldwide industrialization process and the westernization of the diet.”

These are no small claims made on the Wiki site for wheat. Why is one food product so domineering? Saying it’s always been that way is not a good answer. There’s a long history of humans eating wheat, but there is a longer one of them not eating it. In this article, I describe how wheat is controversial from an historical point of view, and then go on to describe some of the many negative health effects that are cropping up in scientific studies and people’s lives.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Purdue, claims that “U.S. agricultural depends on trade.” As it stands, the diet of many people in the world depends on agriculture. It seems therefore, that our lives depend on wheat since it is such a big trade item. This has actually been the case since the beginning of civilization and that’s a sad story.

A Short History of Wheat

Wheat is a cross-breed of three grass species, which probably occurred when humans began to grow plants about 10,000 years ago. Cows and horses naturally eat grasses before they go to seed, whereas, humans cannot eat grass but eat wheatberries, cereals, cereal grains, whole grains, and wheat kernels from wheat grass. Reference is to wheat seeds when talking about planting. Caryopsis is the botanical name for wheat seeds which are a type of fruit and this is true for the seeds of all grasses. Some of these terms are efforts to make wheat more palatable and attractive to consumers.

Civilization was in the making ever since humans began to eat wheat. One conjecture is that they started eating wheat in desperation and that it is the price to pay for civilization. This time frame suggests that it took 5,000 years for wheat to result in it deleterious effect on human beings because evidence suggests that civilization started in 3100 BC (about 5000 years ago). Artifacts in ancient Egyptian tombs indicate that the Egyptians grew wheat and made bread around this time. One can surmise that wheat was used to feed the workers who built the pyramids.

The British Museum has a loaf of bread from AD 79 that was preserved in volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius in Herculaneum, Italy. You can follow the link to get a recipe for this sourdough bread, which had extra gluten added to it.

Wheat fed the Roman army, and indeed, the Roman Empire. Hadrians wall that was built by the Romans in Scotland is the furthest north that wheat can be grown due to the short growing season in the north. This shows that as the Romans conquered and pillaged all over the place, they brought their wheat growing and bread-making with them. Sort of like the U.S. military today.

Professor Eric Pallant tells a story in a short video about the development of bread making with the claim that sourdough bread was first made about 6,000 years ago. He points out that sourdough bread, which is made with four ingredients, is of far superior quality to modern varieties which can have forty ingredients (see Wonder bread for example). I have made sourdough bread and agree it’s better than supermarket varieties, but still believe that the discussion below makes this a moot point. 

Well-known British author, David Icke, comments in a radio interview that “humanity started to process information in a different way to what it did before” about 6,000 years ago. Some may say that this is just an interesting coincidence that the history of sourdough also began 6,000 years ago, but these two facts could very well be connected.

Professor Pallant also mentions wheat being used to pay taxes to the lord of the manor and tithes to the church during the Middle Ages. Another era with lots of warring.

It’s a wonder that people eat wheat, except like Professor Pallant, they have become addicted to it. It was ingrained in us thousands of years ago, but just because people have been eating wheat in such abundance for such a long time, does not mean that it is good.

People did not eat wheat for a longer time before 10,000 years. Even if we only consider true homo sapiens that existed from 30,000 years ago, that is 20,000 years without eating wheat and without so-called civilization. One claim, however, is that humans have been around much longer than that … around 300,000 years or more and our predecessors go back millions of years. At any rate, it seems that peoples who have a history of eating wheat also have a history of their physical health going downhill at an ever increasing rate correlated with wheat production and consumption.

Humans also have a history of hallucinating, making up grand stories, and demonstrating lots of mental illness. The effect of this madness is snowballing. Down the ages, we have created religion, myths, ETs, the Royalty, armies, and corporations. Histrionic personalities, superiority complex, narcissism, obsessive-compulsive behavior are examples of mental conditions shared by many top executives.  It’s not just the so-called insane who are mad, but all humanity with its mad tendencies (see my article B’org Mentality for more information).

History repeats itself, and therefore, madness must be why we developed into the mess that the world is in today. Some people are awed at what man has done, like building complex structures and the space explorations. However, some people are not impressed with man-made things. But everyone can see how biodiversity is dwindling and nature is disappearing from our lives. Everyone can see how the medical profession is growing with illness, pains, and deformities. Everyone can see the wars and torture going on. A lot of scientific evidence and common sense (what’s left of it) shows that wheat had and is having something to do with this.

Wheat in the Modern World

A rapid rise in wheat production occurred in the 1960s after Norman Borlough developed the semi-dwarf, high-yielddisease-resistant wheat varieties of wheat that he spread worldwide in the Green Revolution which included increased use of chemicals and machinery in agriculture.  Experimentation with wheat continues.

Wheat is a wonder, but it’s not wonderful. When I think of all the other things people regularly put in their bodies, it’s not so surprising that people are still eating wheat. But the tide is changing (e.g., Paleo – hunter/gatherer, GAPS – why no wheat or sugar beet, low carb/keto diets, and the new Wheatbelly diet, to name a few) even though wheat is an icon, a staple, a symbol, a tradition, and cheap. It’s a huge business that ties in with other huge businesses such as the pharmaceutical industry.  But it is also bad for health, well-being and personal development.

Governments advise us to eat a lot of grains, wheat being the most popular. Authorities claim that whole wheat is better for us, but people mostly eat products made with refined white flour. In addition, governments are promoting a diet with less meat. One global program is called Meatless Mondays.  Another problem is that the other foods eaten today have less nutrients due to farming practices and the ever growing popularity of processed foods. Finally, eating 40% -60% + of ones diet with wheat (although only 30% is recommended) and another 20% to 30% sugar (although only 5% is recommended) does not leave many daily calories for more nutritional choices. Americans regularly consume on a daily basis up to 90% carbohydrates … and then add in the popular alcohol and caffeinated products and it’s a wonder things aren't worse.

Wheat is symbolic of civilization. If it wasn’t for wheat, I think there would be no civilization and that would be a good thing. I know lots of people will disagree with that as much as my writing this article, but to each his own.

Depictions of wheat ears and wreaths are used in many symbols and logos. The wheat wreath has often been used on coins. Wheat is in the U.S. Federal Reserve emblem on paper money along with laurel which is said to mean victory. Victory with Wheat.  

The “olive branches” on the UN symbol look like wheat ears to me and the same for the World Food Programme symbol. 

The World Health Organization definitely has wheat wreaths in it's symbol. The “feed the world” mantra is advertisement for a world government that controls the masses in a similar manner to the ruling classes of the Egyptians, the Romans, and the Europeans in the Middle Ages. Controlling the food supply is one way to do this. It has been used since civilization began to control the masses, also known as the peasantry, and now known as the Minions, an example of the all too common overactive imagination in today’s society.

It’s a political symbol and used by many countries. For example, here we have the Coat of arms of China, the State emblem of the Soviet Union, and the National emblem of East Germany. When we see the repetition of the wheat wreath in symbols, we might wonder about it..


Wheat in Alcohol and Industry

Beer, vodka and wheat whiskey are made with wheat. Some claim that the gluten in this alcohol is still intact. Imbibing in alcoholic drinks is a matter of choice, but there is plenty out there to say that alcohol is best left alone.

Wheat also has industrial uses, including adhesives, coatings, polymers and resins. Wheat byproducts from the flour industry are used for livestock and poultry.

Religions use Wheat

Wheaten bread represents the body of Christ, who of course ended up suffering. “Give us this day our daily bread (made of wheat).” This is in the prayer to “our father’ which is said at every church service/mass. We have pancake Tuesday in the Christian religion too. Wheat symbolism is used to represent much from God.

And Jesus said unto them “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me will never hunger...” (John 6.35)


It’s a wonder that people eat bread even without considering the ways it’s processed today which is enough to put off people if they thought about it. Or the fact that most products made with wheat are stripped of nutrients and then had artificial ones added back. Also, the enzymes and yeast used in supermarket breads are genetically modified. The bottom line though is that wheat is a drug. Yes, it’s a drug, and humans historically have liked drugs. One might even say that it is the precursor to the stronger stuff that many people are on nowadays. I say this because the body adapts to drugs so that they are no longer effective unless the dose is increased which also often leads to an allergic reaction. Many people are allergic to wheat today, others are sensitive to it and the vast majority is unaware of how it negatively affects them.

Wheat has its advantages such as a long shelf life and versatility. No other dough can be stretched and molded like wheat flour. But it’s kind of like Play-Doh when it comes to health benefits. 

Wheat is an Opiate

True, wheat is not like morphine, but it is an opiate. The modern meaning of opiate is any substance, both natural and synthetic that binds to opioid receptors in the brain (including antagonists - substances that interfere with or inhibit the physiological action of another). Opiates are also addictive drugs. A drug is simply a substance that alters the normal functioning of the body and additive means that the body becomes dependent on it. On this basis, wheat is an opiate and an addictive drug. It’s not well recognized that it is a drug, like caffeine. In fact, some people argue that it’s not a drug. But the evidence is there for the taking.

Wheat affects brain opioid peptide systems which are known to play an important role in motivation, emotion, attachment behavior, the response to stress and pain, and the control of food intake. In particular, the “opioid effect’ blocks pain, slows breathing, and has a general calming and anti-depressing effect. This effect may not sound undesirable, but taking a laxative has a positive result too. The problem is that when a substance is used to force a body/mind response, the natural response is hijacked and the body/mind becomes reliant upon the artificial stimulation. And, if done long enough, the body will lose the ability to act without the artificial stimulant without withdrawal symptoms that can be extreme.

This ties in neatly with the report of the burgeoning Big Pharma opioid painkiller drug addiction epidemic. As I mentioned above, drugs become ineffective over time and the dose needs to be increased.  With wheat, the effect is very subtle. One does not notice the high so much, but the low is recognized in various ways such as headaches (pain) and increased appetite.

Specifically, Wheat Gluten causes opioid effects
Scientists have demonstrated high opioid-like activity in isolated peptides from wheat gluten hydrolysates. I am not going to explain this science but merely mention it as a guideline for anyone wanting to research further.
·        Gluten exorphin (from gluten found in wheat, rye, barley) and
·        Gliadorphin/gluteomorphin (from gluten found in wheat, rye, barley)
·        Gliadin showed the most active peptides in the wheat gluten complex.
“The effects of these peptides vary, but they all resemble those of opiates.”  Opioid-like activity means that it disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. One could say that it re-wires the brain.

Opioid-like activity does not just affect the brain but also includes attaching to and activating the opioid receptor proteins on nerve cells in the spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs in the body.

Opioids can activate receptors because their chemical structure mimics that of a natural neurotransmitter. This similarity in structure "fools" receptors and allows the drugs to lock onto and activate the nerve cells. Although these drugs mimic brain chemicals, they don't activate nerve cells in the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, and they lead to abnormal messages being transmitted through the network.”

Thereby, an artificial response is established and if repeated often, it will create pathways that lead to a habit or when undesirable, it’s called addiction. A habit is an automated response that is seated in the subconscious and, as cigarette smokers know all too well, is hard to break. Like any other bad habit, there are lots of good reasons to quit and I review some more now.

Wheat Causes Inflammation

Skin conditions, arthritis, and gut irritation are some of the common inflammatory effects of consuming wheat. It is easy to observe because the inflammation will recede quite quickly if wheat is removed from the diet. Research also shows that wheat may activate inflammation in other chronic health conditions such as asthma and multiple sclerosis. This inflammation  will likely effect eyesight as well.

Wheat Promotes Nutritional Deficiencies

There are possible issues with wheat and magnesium, phytic acid and lectins. All of these issues potentially lead to less nutrition going from the food that is eaten to the bloodstream for distribution. Lectins are associated with unwanted substances entering the bloodstream and even crossing the blood-brain barrier.

Because of the starch in wheat, it requires a lot of magnesium to be digested. This can be a problem. I discuss it only because it is such an important mineral but is often in short supply.

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is involved in the catalytic activation of over 300 enzymes and around 18,000 other functions in the human body. We are often deficient in magnesium because of modern farming methods and food processing, in addition to chronic stress, diuretics (especially caffeine and alcohol) and highly refined carbohydrate diets that take up a lot of magnesium for digestion.

One example of the importance of magnesium is that the body requires it to utilize calcium. An interesting point made in an article by Lawrence Wilson MD (2011) is that when one’s calcium stores are used up or the body is unable to utilize the calcium that is in the blood, life ebbs out of the body. He draws an analogy to calcium representing the structure that holds the etheric energy which fuels us. Without the structure intact, the etheric energy seeps out like water from a bucket with a hole in it. 

There is a good supply of magnesium in whole wheat, specifically in the bran, but science has shown that the high phytic acid in wheat can block absorption of minerals, including magnesium.

Phytic Acid
I wrote an article about phytic acid  in 2013 and have now updated it. Wheat has a good supply of phytic acid. Some research  concludes that phytic acid blocks the absorption of minerals, but some of it shows that phytic acid can be a health benefit including preventing cancer. Whole wheat flour has more phytic acid than refined varieties. Also, the fermentation process in making sourdough bread lowers the phytic acid content.

To some degree, phytic acid can be broken down by microorganisms that can be found in a healthy gut. It’s an enzymatic process. The problem is that most humans today do not have a healthy gut because of an imbalanced inferior diet, as well as, too much stress and intake of diuretics.  Besides magnesium, iron and zinc may be particularly affected.  Iron deficiency affects a about a sixth of the global population. Iron is especially important in cognitive development.

Another problem is that a lot of scientific research in this area is for commercial purposes and focuses on farm animals and how to more effectively feed them grain which they are not designed to eat. Scientists are using genetic modification and cloning to change the phytic acid content of grains and create additives to address perceived problems with wheat and other grains in animal feed. As a by the way, I recently noticed in a supermarket, cat and dog food advertising that they were grain-free. At least the diet for these animals has improved in this respect.

Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins present in most plants and there can be health issues in relation to them in general, but the one present in wheat, wheat germ agglutinin, is documented as being very harmful to human health. Briefly, wheat germ agglutinin increases gut permeability, damages the gut along with gluten, and causes leptin resistance which interferes with satiety (feeling full).

Leptin, the hormone of energy expenditure, works in conjunction with the hormone ghrelin to regulate appetite and achieve energy homeostasis. The proteins in wheat are known to disrupt hormone production and functions.

Wheat Starch Damages the Digestive System

OK, we’re not wild horses, but it just so happens that our digestive system is not designed to process high sugar levels either. Further, Dr. William Davis says that we aren’t designed to eat wheat at all. Besides the damage done to the digestive system by gluten and wheat germ agglutinin, the starch damages the gut as well.

Whole wheat flour is comprised of 85% starch while the white variety is 96%. Starch turns to sugar during digestion. The more processed the wheat, the quicker it turns to sugar. The disaccharide sugar, maltose, is produced with the digestion of starch. These sugar molecules need to be processed by the enterocytes on the brush border that lines the small intestine. Only monosaccharides can be absorbed into the bloodstream for use as energy. Too much sugar and starch strains the enterocytes and this contributes to developing a leaky, damaged gut.

The condition of a damaged digestive system means that not only do double sugar molecules remain undigested, but foreign bodies are able to enter the bloodstream through the leaky gut. If the digestive system is in good condition, the negative health effects of wheat are lesser. However, a constant diet of wheat, sugar. caffeine, and alcohol will soon lead to a leaky gut.

It is worth mentioning as well that:

“Opioid-like peptides may also be absorbed from partially digested food (casomorphinsexorphins, and rubiscolins). The opioid food peptides have lengths of typically 4–8 amino acids. The body's own opioids are generally much longer.” Wiki: Opioid Peptide.

Wheat is Dehydrating

Digesting all that starch in wheat causes dehydration. I wrote about how sugar is dehydrating where I described the process in good detail.

Basically, starch by way of its conversion to sugar needs lots of magnesium to be digested, it needs water to be digested, and it causes the kidneys to excrete more water and magnesium, when all the while, magnesium is the energy source for maintaining cellular hydration.

This dehydration is not limited to any one part of the body. However, since a leaky gut is associated with autism, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, it would follow that the brain is a likely target. The dehydration of brains of the mentally ill was known a long time ago in the 17th century:

“Thèophile Bonet, in his Sepulchretum anatomicum, declares that the brains of maniacs, insofar as he had been able to observe them, always seemed to be in a state of dryness, of hardness, and of friability.  Later, Albrecht von Haller also found that the maniac’s brain was hard, dry, and brittle.” (Madness and Civilization)

Hard, dry and brittle. Not a very good description of a body part that should be soft, moist and pliable. Your Amazing Brain says that the “brain has the consistency of warm butter”. Of course, they are referring to a healthy brain.

Another good example is Alzheimer’s disease where the brain actually shrinks notably. It is claimed that simple aging results in the brain shrinking as well as a hoard of diseases. I would conjecture that to a large part, a shrinking brain is due to loss of moisture from dehydration at a cellular level. The healthy brain is around 73% water. Water takes up volume.

A close second common-sense observation is that because the healthy brain is around 60% fat, if the fat content of the brain were to decrease, again the size of the brain would also decrease. But meanwhile, dehydration at a cellular level involves the cholesterol package (fats) and its interaction with water. So if one loses fat (with the help of a low fat diet) and water (with the help of a starchy/sugary diet), their brain will shrink!

Since the smaller the human brain becomes from its healthy state, the less able it becomes, it can be said therefore, that wheat is part of the “dumbing down” of humanity. Unfortunately, this wheat scenario is like the frog in the pot of cold water on a stove. When the heat is turned up slowly, the frog loses its defense mechanisms and fails to jump out before it is boiled to death.

Wheat is Fattening

What do farmers give livestock and poultry to fatten them up before slaughter? Historically, wheat and other grains were used because they’re fattening, but they also caused health issues in the animals. Although antibiotics and other things are used in feedlots today, wheat and the by-products of the flour industry are still used.

Again, wheat is an appetite stimulant and this is very important for many overweight people today. The addictive quality of wheat is tied in with sugar since the starch in wheat breaks down to sugar during digestion. So the well-known sugar craving is satisfied with wheat and sugar. There is no satisfaction from eating these foods. The body does not get what it needs nutritionally so it desires more food, but the addiction kicks in as well. So the appetite is crazy and so the story goes on and on.

Furthermore, the wheat germ agglutinin interference with leptin means that you will not feel full even though you have had enough to eat. Without this signal to stop eating, in addition to cravings, it is easy understand how many wheat addicts are overweight.

Finally, too much glucose in the blood whether from sugar directly or from digesting starch causes the pancreas to produce insulin which stores the excess glucose as fat. And then, if the cells become overloaded with glucose, they become resistant. Both of these unhealthy situations contribute to weight gain.

Food technology is advancing at an exponential rate. It is already present in many processed foods with additives. In the USA, there are currently nine GMO crops which are commercially available.
  • Squash, 1995
  • Cotton, 1996 (Monsanto has a terminator seed patented for cotton)
  • Soybean, 1995 (96% soybean grown in the USA is genetically modified)
  • Corn, 1996 (86% corn grown in the USA is genetically modified)
  • Papaya, 1997 (75% grown in Hawaii is genetically modified)
  • Alfalfa, 2006
  • Sugar beets, 2006 (96% grown in the USA is genetically modified)
  • Canola, 1999 (90% of canola grown in the USA is genetically modified)
  • Potato, 2016
  • Apples, to be released in Fall 2017
Wheat is set to go GMO as soon as public opinion can be swayed a bit more. There are health issues with GMOs as well as environmental ones, but this is the subject for another article.

Final note about food technology and wheat is that nanotechnology is another up and coming technique.


Why do people eat wheat when all the above knowledge is available now and to some degree has been known for thousands of years?  One reason is that people are looking for food that costs less money. Another reason is all the tempting products made with it. Although we seem to have more disease nowadays than in olden times, I think wheat has always been a cheap, second-rate choice of food for sustenance. In addition, I don’t doubt that modern wheat has been altered to enhance properties that entice people to eat more of it and put their health at even greater risk. Many today are moving away from eating products with wheat, but many more around the world are being sucked into this addiction.

It is hard, sometimes very hard to find affordable food without resorting to wheat. This is what happens when people are taxed or kicked off their land and all lands are taken over by governments/corporations and an artificial environment is created. Feed the world means make it so that they have to eat lots of wheat.

Wheat is part of many cultures and tempting dishes of all sorts are made with it. Giving up eating wheat may seem like a fad and crazy. The truth is that we have been conned with tales of the wonder of wheat, but we still have a choice. I say, don’t eat it.

selected References

Bread and Carbohydrate Addiction by Dr Lawrence Wilson, September 2011,

Book Review: Madness and Civilization, Simple Food Remedies blog, January 22, 2012,

B’org Mentality, the B’org Food Chain blog, May 8, 2011,

Caffeine Allergy, Simple Food Remedies blog, December 21, 2011,

Demonstration of high opioid-like activity in isolated peptides from wheat gluten hydrolysates.

Dehydration during fasting increases serum lipids and lipoproteins,

by Campbell NR, Wickert W, Magner P, Shumak SL, PubMed,

Feeding Wheat to Livestock and Poultry

Gluten Sensitivity and Magnesium Deficiency with video by Dr. Osborne,  

GMOs might Feed the World if only Investors weren’t so scared, Warnings of hidden risks have hurt interest in grains resistant to the flooding and droughts made worse by climate change, by Deena Shanker, December 14, 2017, Bloomberg,

Green Revolution 2, B’org Food Chain, March 20, 2015,

How do opioids work in the brain? 12/08,
Opening Pandora's Bread Box: The Critical Role of Wheat Lectin in Human Disease, by Sayer Ji, Green Med Info,

Phytic Acid and the Holographic Universe, Simple Food Remedies blog, May 23, 2013,

Reduction of phytic acid and enhancement of bioavailable micronutrients in food grains, by Raj Kishor Gupta, Shivraj Singh Gangoliya, and Nand Kumar Singh, April 24, 2013, published by PMC, U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health,

The B’org’s Prayer, B’org Food Chain blog,

Sugar is Dehydrating, Simple Food Remedies blog, 

The Paleo Way, Pete Evans video interview with Dr. William Davis,

War on Wheat – The Fifth Estate, video with Dr. William Davis,
What is Gluten and Why is it Bad for Some People?, Medical News Today, by Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, last reviewed June 3, 2017,

What is Wrong with Grains?, Paleo Leap,

Wheat is an Opiate by Dr William Davis, April 17, 2012,

Why Gluten is Bad for Your Health video by Dr William Davis,

Why No Sugar or Starch, Simple Food Remedies blog,

Photo References
(with thanks)

Frankly Good Wonder Bread (they said it, not me):

SPQR , phrase Senātus PopulusqueRōmānus ("The Roman Senate and People", or more freely as "The Senate and People of Rome"; 
By Ssolbergj - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

United Nations symbol which is said to contain crossed conventionalized olive branches to represent peace, but somehow they look the same as the wheat wreaths in the other logos in this article,

World Food Programme -WFP (headquarters in Rome), symbol,

World Health Organization Logo:

Wreaths of wheat ears from China, Soviet Union and East Germany: