Why Are There So Many People Now Who Can’t Tolerate Wheat?

After reading my Do We Need to Be Eating So Much Bread post, a friend of mine sent me a link to this article called The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic.  I found it to be a great read, especially because this is a question I’ve asked many times the past few years as more and more people are having to cut wheat out of their diets.  Why?  Why is wheat, which has been consumed forever, suddenly giving so many people digestive trouble?

Read this and come back here to share your thoughts.

Wheat

If you can eat wheat and reading that article made you want to avoid conventionally grown grain forever and always, here are links to my favorite sources for chemical-free grain:

  • Azure Standard (If you have access to this co-op, you will love the savings and quality products.)
  • Amazon – I was glad to find this 37 pound box of chemical free hard white wheat (my fav) for $56.85 with free shipping.
  • If you live in a city, check stores specialty stores like Whole Foods or Natural Grocers.
  • If you live in a rural community, check with farmers around you to see if they grow chemical free wheat for you to purchase.

Grinding chemical-free wheat is easier than you think and incredibly tasty!  Ever since we got a Nutrimill and began grinding our own wheat (and corn) – our whole grain breads and other baked goods are more delicious than ever.  Here are all my posts on wheat and grain mills for your reading pleasure.  :)

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I also wanted to be sure you saw that it’s a free shipping weekend at Tropical Traditions!  Use the code 15223 at check-out.  You might check out their Einkorn Grain as it is fantastic quality.  Also worth noting is their Natural Soaps and their Coconut Creams are buy-one-get-one-free, which is great since you can also get free shipping.  (These links are my referral links.)

Comments

  1. Pamela says

    I’ve read this article before and was not convinced by it, partly because of the content and partly because of the reputation of the author. Although the content of Sarah’s blog is interesting, the tone in which it is communicated is hard for me to stomach (since we’re talking about digestion!!!). I decided to stop reading her blog years ago. I’m so grateful for moderate, positive, upbeat blogs like Heavenly Homemakers. Thank you for your grace and cheer, Laura!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    That was the first article of hers I’d ever read, so I appreciate you sharing your perspective on this. I also appreciate your encouragement. ;)

    [Reply]

    Pamela Reply:

    Your’re welcome, Laura. And I forgot to mention how much my family and I LOVE your recipes. Cheesy Beef and Rice Casserole is our favorite! :)

    For the sake of balance and perspective, your readers might also be interested in this Snope’s review of Sarah Pope’s article:

    http://www.snopes.com/food/tainted/roundupwheat.asp

    [Reply]

    Debbie Reply:

    Pamela,
    I am so grateful for your response. I started thinking, how am I going to make my family stop eating buns on burgers? They already think I am a nutcase since I’ve started down the real food journey and even started making my own soaps. Whew! You just brought me back to my senses after I went and read that crazy scary article. I also read the Snopes article so thanks for that!
    Thanks to you as well, Laura for all you do to help us learn and make changes, slowly. And for reminding us that God indeed is bigger than all the toxic chemicals out there!

  2. Lori says

    Is organic white flour okay? We are trying to use more organic whole wheat but my family is not accepting all whole wheat everything yet. Thanks!

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    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I think organic white flour is a great transitioning option toward whole wheat. As you make the switch, I encourage going with “white wheat flour.” It is whole wheat, but it is made with white wheat instead of red wheat. Our family likes white wheat SO much better!

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  3. Sherry says

    I think organic much as possible is great. I have read and seen documentaries showing organic uses pesticides too. So I guess grow what you can yourself and believe God is bigger than the rest! Because I know that for a FACT!

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    Laura Reply:

    Yes, organic farmers are allowed to use some pesticides too, so unless I remember the big-ness of God in this, I get overwhelmed with making food decisions. So thankful God is so big!

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  4. Shaela says

    I believe that if you can grind your own chemical free wheat you should ( I do ) . I also believe that our food supply is becoming dangerous and we should do what we can with the knowledge we have. Its so overwhelming to think of hidden dangers in everything!!! What doesn’t give us cancer now a days any way? I didn’t know this about wheat, but it is not surprising given our industrial business mentality in our food supply. It is downright scary. Thanks for sharing, knowledge is power.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    It definitely can be overwhelming. I have to remind myself when I think too hard about this that God is our protector and provider. {sigh of relief}

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  5. Kristy says

    Our WalMart sells 20 lb. bags of Wheat Montana red or white wheat. It is supposed to be a good chemical-free brand and nice that Wal-Mart carries it locally!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Our Walmart used to carry it too, but hasn’t for the past several months. Boo!

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  6. Meg says

    Wow! I have been trying to buy more organic and trying to learn about growing more of our own food, and this is really a kick-in-the-pants to do so! I appreciate your blog so much, Laura! It was one of the first Christian homemaking blogs I read years ago! You helped me feel less isolated and more inspired to do better for my family. My 3 boys and hubby really enjoy your recipes!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Thank you for your encouragement! I know we’ll still need to eat the occasional “regular wheat” but I, too, was inspired by this to really try to avoid it if possible.

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  7. Sonja says

    Laura, are you familiar with Bulk Natural Foods? That is where I get my grain from. They say “organic” but I would be interested in your opinion…

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Just checked it out – it looks like a good source!

    [Reply]

  8. Kathleen says

    Our family only uses organic wheat at home. I have a Nutri Mill for grinding whole wheat other grains, and a Kitchen Aid stand mixer to help with bread making duties. Any pre-made wheat products coming in, such as pasta or the occasional convenience item, must be made with organic wheat, no exceptions. One of our children has digestive problems and mood swings when ever he eats conventional wheat. With organic, he is fine. Thank you, Laura, for the reminder of why we made this decision.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Interesting to note that you can tell a difference in your son when feeding him conventional vs. organic wheat. Thank you for sharing this testimony!

    [Reply]

  9. michelle says

    http://www.snopes.com/food/tainted/roundupwheat.asp

    It sounds to me like that article is full of misunderstanding about how wheat is harvested. It is so frustrating that there is so much confusion regarding healthy eating.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Aha, interesting that you also found a snopes article about this subject! Thank you for the link. So confusing, indeed. :) I really do hope that most farmers are not participating in that practice. Still though, why are so many people not tolerating wheat? Hmmm…

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  10. BUSY MOM IN AL says

    Another source for wheat is your local specialty bakery. They usually order from a big company ( ours uses Dawn Advantage). We order our wheat and oats and when they get their weekly delivery, they charge us the small amount it costs them to add it to the order, which is small. It is a great local resource!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Nice idea! I think there is a bakery about an hour from me that might carry it. I haven’t looked into it because I can just order from our co-op, but I may need to look into this as an option.

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  11. Jennifer Kennerk says

    I decided just this week to cut out as much wheat from our diet as I can with a goal if going gluten free mainly to see if it would help improve my son’s asthma. So now I’m wondering if I just need to make sure that I have organic wheat on hand. However, I’ve been enjoying exploring your coconut flour recipes, Laura. Much to think about and learn!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Good idea to see if organic wheat helps. And…I also like using coconut flour (and other flours) just to give my family healthy variety. :)

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  12. says

    Thanks for this article,Laura. I`ve been coming to this conclusion myself. I`m a farm girl and I know what they put on crops!
    Have you considered that the practice of using round-up before planting and before the harvest (when it`s done growing) can still be labeled ‘grown without chemicals’ ? I`m leaning towards certified organic where round-up cannot legally be used.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I didn’t realize they could label it “chemical free” and still use round-up before planting. I suppose that’s at least a little better than dumping it on the actual crop, but not much… :(

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  13. Heather says

    I love king Arthur flour. They are an amazing “B” corporation. They have white whole wheat flour. Plus a huge varieties of flour. I can get their flours (the standard flours) at any local grocery store. They have a hotlines which you can call they have an amazing blog (Laura blog is amazing too). They explain so many reasons about recipes. And they love baking. They eveven sell gluten free mix and they talk about that too.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve used these before and am glad they are available. What is a “B” corporation? I haven’t heard of this.

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    Heather Reply:

    I copied this off another site!

    “B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.

    B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

    Today, there is a growing community of more than 1,000 Certified B Corps from 33 countries and over 60 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.”

    [Reply]

  14. Beth S says

    First, I want to thank you so much for your effort you put I to your blog. I love your recipes and just hearing about your life style. My daughter and I have a gluten intolerance and I do try to stay gluten free for the most part. For a little over a year we have been using an ancient grain Einkorn Wheat. Basically it is the original wheat. We love using it. I also sprout it before I grind it to help aid digestion. But for some of the people wanting to try gluten free I suggest looking into einkorn! It is becoming more available. I personally buy it from Jovial foods, but it is also available on Azure and even through tropical traditions.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, we’ve tried it through TT! Great stuff!

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  15. Mary says

    Having read several of the comments above regarding Snopes, I’d like to caution your readers not to believe something is ‘the God-honest truth’ just because Snopes says so. I’ve had reason to question their statements before, so I’ve done some research on them. Here’s just a paragraph that you may find interesting, from the following link (http://accuracyinpolitics.blogspot.com/2013/05/snopes-got-snoped.html):

    “Snopes is run by a man and a woman with no background in investigation using Google.
    Snopes.com has been considered the ‘tell-all final word’ on any comment, claim and email. Once negative article by them and people point and say, “See, I told you it wasn’t true!” But what is Snopes? What are their methods and training that gives them the authority to decide what is true and what is not? For several years people have tried to find out who exactly was behind the website Snopes.com. Only recently did they get to the bottom of it. Are you ready for this? It is run by a husband and wife team – that’s right, no big office of investigators scouring public records in Washington, no researchers studying historical stacks in libraries, no team of lawyers reaching a consensus on current caselaw. No, Snopes.com is just a mom-and-pop operation that was started by two people who have absolutely no formal background or experience in investigative research.”

    Friends, please do your own research when it comes to the issue of food and don’t believe something just because some ‘authority figure’ like Snopes or Monsanto says so. Stay informed and go for primary source verification whenever possible!

    [Reply]

    Bev Reply:

    I agree with not trusting Snopes on everything – I’ve read some things before that seemed like they had an agenda.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Best advice yet – everyone should do their own research. Ugh, all the contradictory information out there!!!

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  16. Barbara says

    If I can weigh in on this a bit, I would appreciate your taking a moment to read this. There is a world of difference between a gluten or wheat intolerance, a gluten or wheat allergy, and Celiac disease. People who have Celiac Disease, can’t eat wheat, rye, barley and most oats, because it kills the celia in their small intestine leaving them to not absorb nutrients. This is much different than an allergy or intolerance to wheat. Many people get this confused. The reason Celiac hasn’t really been known about before, it seems lately, is that it was often misdiagnosed, because many doctors didn’t know about it. Thanks to the Celiac foundations the word is finally getting out to the public what it is; even though most still don’t understand it. The countries of Italy and Ireland very much understand what Celiac disease is. Almost all Italian children are tested for it by the time they are in kindergarten, because one in 5 Italians is diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Many Irish are also diagnosed with it. Sometimes it is there from birth, but others can develop it later on in life, and it starts with intolerance, but takes about 10 years to become full blown. Looking back though, there are signs that someone was leaning towards, this, at least with me there were, even though I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 42 years old. When I was a child I was the only one out of six kids with very bad teeth; I put on huge amounts of weight during puberty as my eating habits changed, never feeling full, and about 35 my hair started falling out and there were skin changes, etc. I had also been in the ER many times with severe vomiting, and other problems that were always diagnosed as the flu. I also had infertility problems. I am not saying these are the signs of Celiac; but there were absorption problems with nutrients I had been having my whole life. It just came to a huge head later on in life when I was 42 years old. I almost died, as I had very little sodium and potassium left in my system and my heart almost stopped. I can’t have even the minutest amount of these forbidden ingredients enter my system, because even the smallest amount will start killing off the celia in my small intestine again. Repeatedly doing this will lead to eventual cancer of the digestive system if it isn’t watched or severe lack of absorption of nutrients to keep the body functioning. This isn’t an allergy it’s a toxicity. Gluten is found even in toiletries, office supplies, packaging and many other aspects of life. Even prescriptions and medications, lotions and cosmetics, can contain gluten. It’s been a great thing that products are becoming gluten free, because it’s a landmine going shopping, but there is a lot of misinformation out there. To be diagnosed with a true gluten problem, such as Celiac Disease, one needs to eat a certain diet, and then have their blood tested; but also a biopsy done. Yes, with wheat sensitivities avoiding wheats can and is different; and also there can be allergies due to the growth and manufacturing of wheat products, depending on how they are handled. Allergies to wheat can be diagnosed by allergy testing. It pains me greatly that wheat farmers are being singled out and blamed for a lot of health ills, as this seems to be one of the diseases of the day, where people who don’t feel well are looking for something to blame. Yes, chemicals that are put on wheat such as Round up are horrible, but also so are GMO’s and I stand behind that. I was just looking for the article I had read about physicians being mortified at the increases of antibiotic resistance in humans, and they truly believe it is connected to the fact that GMO seeds are injected with antibiotics to make them resistant to certain diseases. Our food supply overall is really messed up. If one can grow and raise as much of their own foods as possible they are better off. Only shop the perimeter of the grocery store, and support local farmers knowing what’s in their food supply, then they would be better off.. I think a lot of illnesses are tied to the chemical ridden foods that make up most of our diets today. As for Celiac Disease this is a genetic disease, and if you are reading this and of Italian or Irish descent (I would also look into it if you are from the UK), and are having problems, I would seriously have a talk with your doctor about getting properly tested. Because I have Celiac disease I don’t want to see wheat farmers being singled out as other growers of food have been over the decades as the flavor of the year or years, that have happened with other food sources, such as eggs, dairy, meat, some fish, fats (even the good ones), cholesterol (even the good ones) etc. have been. I also know I have gotten off topic, and not your piece, but I wish so much that when there are articles released about our food sources, that they were properly researched, deeply researched, instead of getting something out there for the sake of sensationalizing and ratings. Again, I am not talking about you or your blog. I have deep issues with mainstream media; they seem to be bought and owned by corporations and those corporations control what’s printed. We all just want to be informed and even though I focused mostly on Celiac disease, I constantly try to explain the difference to even family members. One grain of flour is as toxic as eating roll or a loaf of bread. It’s still hard for me 10 years later to wrap my head around this. I love bread, pasta, pizza, etc. I’m Irish and was married to an Italian, and it’s been horrible to clean out the house, and keep the house clean of the bad stuff. I just love crusty french bread!! My poor son has it coming to him from both sides of the family and I can see him starting to develop the same symptoms I had when I was his age. He too doesn’t want to give up the good stuff, but he is going to have to in order to keep his health. I guess there’s part of me that is glad that many don’t understand what this is all about and have pushed manufacturers to go mainstream gluten free foods, because they have come down in price, and they are even edible now, compared to what they used to be. For that I thank those who have gone gluten free even though they don’t have Celiac Disease or a wheat allergy. I just hate seeing the smaller farmers run out of business when sensationalized stories are put out in mainstream media, which only leaves the big guy standing. I won’t eat chicken anymore, unless it comes from a small local grower. People think that too his healthy, but if they talked to someone who works for these large chicken farms, you wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. Notice the next time you are at a store, the package will say antibiotic free, but it doesn’t say anything about being hormone free; also notice the size between organic free range chicken and mainstream chicken; the mainstream chicken breasts, legs, etc. are much larger; it’s because they are injected with growth hormones to get them to market faster via less cost raising them. Some chickens get so big they can’t support their own body weight; those are used for pet food when they can’t stand, but the rest are sent to the stores for our consumption. Thank you for the suggestions for where to purchase the more natural foods. Thank you also for starting a discussion about food issues. Keep up the good work.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Thank you for taking the time to share this! I really appreciate how you point out that so many other aspects of our food supply are compromised as well as grain products. YES! This makes me wonder if there’s any one actual source of specific food intolerance, or if all of our digestive systems are just struggling in general.

    I was unaware that celiac was so prevalent in the Irish and Italian. Glad you shared your research on this!

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  17. Kristi says

    I agree with her entirely about the herbicides but I have also read a lot on GMO’s and believe they also play a huge part in the ruining of wheat. I believe our wheat production has been sabotaged. I do not have Celiac disease but I do have an issue with grains. This problem did not happen until I got older and I usually live happily on the GAPS diet. Once in awhile when I am tempted beyond control by pizza or some carby concoction I pay for it for a day or two and realize it wasn’t worth the taste. For my family, only organic grains are used. Thanks for your blog, I have loved it for years.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I, too, have gotten to where I am hungry for something “less than good for me” but then realize it wasn’t worth the taste. It’s been a slow process for me on this, but I’m thankful that my body is now telling me more and more, “don’t eat that!” :)

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  18. Bev says

    I’ve had a lot of intestinal issues the past few years and have narrowed down several foods that cause me problems. (All this after going through a colonoscopy, testing, etc. to find nothing like a disease) One is Azure’s Hard White Whole Wheat flour – crazy I know! It is organic and all that, and I’ve used it for years but I started noticing as I noted the foods that caused me burning in my intestines, cramping and loose stools – it was all foods I had made with that flour. I can eat their white flour with no problem and I can eat wheat bread from the store with no problems. I have no idea why I can’t tolerate their whole wheat flour but my family can. A new doctor told me to try a gluten free diet but I haven’t yet because I guess I really didn’t agree with all the gluten issues that have exploded as a fad diet or sorts lately but maybe it is more real than I think.

    I too wonder why the increase in the gluten allergies and other allergies to foods, like peanuts, etc. Seems like nothing is really “safe” anymore – makes me pray over my food more before I eat it LOL!! ;-)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Azures hard white wheat? Well phooey. ;) I have heard from others that whole wheat doesn’t settle well for them but white flour does. And yes, all of this does make praying over our food much more important, huh? :)

    [Reply]

  19. says

    Just some food for thought. :-) I enjoy Sarah’s blog because she is the wife of a farmer, so she has a perspective that most of us don’t have.
    http://www.nurselovesfarmer.com/2014/11/the-truth-about-glyphosate-and-wheat/

    [Reply]

    Bev Reply:

    Thanks for linking to this as I’m curious about all this (it is new to me!) I read this and then some of the comments and what seemed odd to me is that this farmer’s wife doesn’t eat their own crops. When asked the question, she said she doesn’t but she “could” be eating it as she buys her milled flour from a local mill. I would think if I was part of a family that farmed wheat, I would be making sure I ate my own crop because I would trust it to be good. I guess that didn’t make sense to me but hey, giving her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she just doesn’t care where her wheat comes from as she trusts everyone is doing the same as she is with her crops.

    Another note, the author is Canadian – I’m assuming Canadian and American farms are run by different processes and regulations, so wasn’t sure if she was a representative of the wheat we get here in America or American farmers.

    Interesting nonetheless about how she claims this Roundup spray is safer than vinegar or coffee – I’ve never seen it defended in that way. Maybe we should all be cleaning our house with it LOL! ;-)

    [Reply]

    Bev Reply:

    Replying to myself here for others to have this info – I just read from this link of an American wheat farmer’s wife:

    Pre-harvesting wheat with glyphosate (most commonly Roundup) is not something the majority of wheat farmers across the nation do. There is a small sector and region of wheat production that practices this: mainly North Dakota, small parts of South Dakota, and parts of Canada. In the United States, North Dakota represents about 5% of total wheat acres produced. We are, however, the second hard red spring wheat producer in the nation. So the claim that this occurs everywhere is not at all valid or true since only about 5% of the total production practices this pre-harvesting.

    Wheat farmers in Kansas, Oklahoma, and the majority of the wheat belt producing regions don’t have a need to pre-harvest wheat for a number of reasons ranging from their typically dry and warm climate to the variety of wheat they grow.

    http://prairiecalifornian.com/truth-toxic-wheat/

    *So it seems that a small percentage of American wheat farmers actually use Roundup, if I’m reading correctly. That is calming to me and this whole questionable topic if it is true.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Thanks for sharing this link! :)

    [Reply]

  20. Christine says

    There is probably truth to her comments but this article appears on a blog and is not endorsed by any publication, organization or governmental agency so it is important to remember this is one person’s opinion.

    [Reply]

    Pamela Reply:

    Such a good point. Blogs are not peer-reviewed, so anyone can post anything and call it “fact.”

    [Reply]

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