Shredding wheat

Nov
30
2023
by
Lynne McTaggart
/
45
Comments

In my mid-30s, I got ill with a range of multiplying symptoms: a bad gut, hormones causing havoc, eczema and hives, cystitis and constant infections, and allergies, it seemed, to everything in the world.

In the midst of healing my gut and much more with a pioneering integrative doctor, many of these symptoms disappeared and my skin improved overnight when I made a single change: I stopped eating wheat.

As it turned out, I wasn’t celiac – I could eat oats, rye and barley, and even small amounts of wheat in gravy – but my penance for a slice of bread was a bad gut for days.

For all these years, I assumed that I was wheat intolerant, especially after our eldest daughter discovered she was wheat intolerant, as did, to some extent, our youngest.

For decades now I’ve avoided wheat in everything – bread, pasta, cakes, even soy sauce. I don’t eat much in the way of grains anymore, but if I do eat them, they’re not wheat.

The only strange exception, early on in my wheat-free journey, was a holiday in southern Italy. The freshly made bread looked so delicious that I couldn’t resist cutting off a good-sized chunk of it for myself. I waited to pay for it in the following days. . .  but nothing happened.

I just assumed that the reactions I experienced in the UK and the US, but not in Italy had much to do with the way bread was produced. The standard supermarket loaf, including ‘whole wheat bread,’ is so overprocessed and stuffed with chemicals as to be unrecognizable as food.

I also assumed it had to do with the way bread is now commercially prepared. In 1961, Britain launched what came to be known as the ‘Chorleywood’ process created by Flour Milling and Baking Research Association (BBIRA) at Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, which vastly reduced the time it took to bake a loaf of commercial bread.

Breadmaking is an arduous process, requiring mixing, kneading the dough, allowing the dough to stand for up three hours, depending on the amount of yeast added and the temperature of the mixture, so the yeast will ferment, or ‘prove.’ This transforms the dough from a dense blob into an elastic goo.

The dough then goes through more ‘proving’ (the last rising of the dough before baking so it assumes its final shape), an essential step so that the loaf will be light, before baking, cooling and slicing.

Proving ‘develops’ the gluten, the protein structure in wheat, allowing the yeast to consume sugars in the dough and exhale carbon dioxide, trapping gas in air bubbles and enabling the gluten to expand and stretch.

But with the Chorleywood process, machines now speed up those first mixing, kneading and proving steps. High speed mixing makes use of a mechanical form of rapid kneading to develop the gluten.

This initial process saves hours in the initial fermentation process, but to achieve this bakeries have to add ascorbic acid as a flour treatment agent, plus a bit of fat and an emulsifier.

Although the Chorleywood process has been hailed as ‘the greatest invention since sliced bread,’ speeding up the gluten-developing process with additives and machines may have vastly contributed to humans being unable to tolerate gluten and wheat, a food staple that has been consumed for thousands of years.

And now there seems to be another, more basic issue, as Sue Becker discovered. Becker, who holds a food science degree, has studied breadmaking for two decades, but was prompted to go deeper after a nephew of hers developed severe constipation.

She discovered that the problems with bread start with the way it is grown and milled. Most wheat these days is sprayed with pesticides – and in the States, it’s usually lyphosate – and modern milling usually grinds up wheat finely and then sifts out the bran and the wheat germ.

Although modern bread is ‘enriched’ so that three of the B vitamins and iron removed during flour making is restored, it also contains about 20 chemicals, at least one found to cause cancer.

Convinced that modern breadmaking was behind many modern diseases, Becker began making her own bread from scratch, grinding wheat berries with a small countertop grinder. Many of her own health problems and those of her children – from gut issues and sinus congestion requiring daily antihistamines to warts – disappeared.

Becker, who wrote a book about breadmaking, began holding breadmaking classes (www.breadbeckers.com), and among her students were many people who believe themselves to be sensitive to gluten, but then discover that it’s not the wheat – it’s the way it’s made. Other students with chronic constipation like her nephew and even autoimmune diseases like lupus, get healed when eating freshly ground, homemade bread.

Many talk about never feeling better in their lives.

My New Year’s resolution is to grind my own wheat berries and try making my own bread truly from scratch to see if I’m truly gluten sensitive, or it’s just the wheat itself.

And here’s one good New Year’s resolution to apply across the board: for good health, cook, as always, from scratch.

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Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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45 comments on “Shredding wheat”

  1. My local Publix now state on all their Breads, and baked goods " Bio Engineered" so as to make us aware that what we are eating has been affected by glyphosate the chemical used in Round Up weed killer. Publix now only bake one loaf called Tutti made from imported Italian flour it is chemically free. Germany, the Nederland's and most of Europe banned the approach of Monsanto to chemically engineer its food. The information pertinent to this reengineering is now printed on Publix products albeit be it small. Nature in her wisdom has now developed new superior bugs and strains of weeds to offset the intrusion by man to yet again dominant nature. The ebb and flow may continue, yet surely we should live in the balance ourselves that Mother Terra exudes.

  2. My local Publix now state on all their Breads, and baked goods " Bio Engineered" so as to make us aware that what we are eating has been affected by glyphosate the chemical used in Round Up weed killer. Publix now only bake one loaf called Tutti made from imported Italian flour it is chemically free. Germany, the Nederland's and most of Europe banned the approach of Monsanto to chemically engineer its food. The information pertinent to this reengineering is now printed on Publix products albeit be it small. Nature in her wisdom has now developed new superior bugs and strains of weeds to offset the intrusion by man to yet again dominant nature. The ebb and flow may continue, yet surely we should live in the balance ourselves that Mother Terra exudes.

  3. VERY interesting! Thank you for sharing! Also "lyphosate" is Glyphosate. It's used on everything...

  4. Dear Lynn, as usual your articles and talks are always so educational and inspiring.
    I knew already all the things you wrote about wheat as I am gluten sensitive since many years and had to investigate how I to help myself to not suffer also with sinus congestion. Eventually I stopped having any gluten and milk products as I developed not only sensitivities against a lot of grains but also milk products and other foods.
    But you inspired me to try to bake my own bread and see what happens, despite my genes saying that I am predisposed for Gluten Sensitivity. But I think it is worth the try as I love a good slice of bread. But I also started to have intentions for my sensitivities, just to see, if that can help in its own way.
    Thank you Lynn for sharing all your wisdom and especially for the way you are, Barbara

  5. In Switserland in the eighties on the countryside we used to buy organicalky grown Demeter standard grains of wheat, oat, barley and others from our local ecogroceryshop, milled just enough at home with an austrian made slow turning stone mill that shaves the grains instead of milling, used our own cultivated home yeast and gave the dow the time to do its thing before baking bread out of it. Nothing was thrown away, whole grain used up. The bread was always delicious. It is as you say, but the way of milling is usually not considered. But should be. Try.

  6. Thank you, Lynne, for (as always) a very inspiring article. For years I have felt myself to be gluten intolerant. I used to make all my own organic, wholewheat, heavy, concrete blocks in the belief that I was cutting out the chemical middle man. I still had gut issues. I had the runs, my husband, constipation. We gave up bread.....well, you would, wouldn't you? But oh, how I love the occasional crusty sourdough!!! So now I shall try my damndest to go back to basics and find organic wheat grain, grind, and 'prove', one way or another, the gluten intolerance hypothosis. I have been following you since about 1989 when I became one of your first subscribers (number 4038!) Please keep up the brilliant work. You and Bryan are vitally needed in these very dark times.

  7. Hi Lynn, it’s been a while! If you really want to get some good bread, I use sprouted wheat and sourdough. The dough only ingredients are organic wheat and salt. And it is much more simple than you might think using a no knead recipe!

  8. So first you'll have to find an organic farmer to be sure your wheat berries have not been sprayed with all the usual chemicals.
    I have treated quite a few bakers who could not go on with their profession because their hands and arms were covered with eczema. They told me that on top of the chemicals added during the growth phase of grains, the industrial flour has more than 30 additives to make a small lump of dough grow quickly into a large loaf of bread.

  9. As always, Lynne, I appreciate your extremely motivating essay. I've believed for years that I'm gluten intolerant. I used to think that by making all of my own organic, wholewheat, heavy concrete blocks, I was eliminating the need for a chemical intermediary. I was still experiencing stomach problems.

  10. pg ทางเข้ามือถือ ใหม่ล่าสุด ความสนุกสนานร่าเริงรวมทั้งตื่นเต้นที่สุดในทางเกมคาสิโนออนไลน์ PG ปากทางเข้าโทรศัพท์มือถือใหม่ปัจจุบัน! ในปัจจุบันที่เทคโนโลยีก้าวล้ำขึ้นอย่างเร็ว

  11. Tulipbet giriş adresleri belirli aralıklarda değişikliğe uğramaktadır. Sizler de bu değişiklikler sırasında giriş yaparken zorluk çekmemek için Tulipbet sosyal medya hesaplarını takip edebilirsiniz.

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