We Are All Coeliac
by Mike Menkes
Today’s bread wheat is a hybrid known as Triticum aestivum, and full of gluten. This modern wheat evolved from wild emmer (T. dicoccoides). Einkorn, the first domesticated grain, is not related to emmer or modern wheat. Einkorn wheat (from German Einkorn, literally ‘single grain’) can refer either to the wild species of wheat, Triticum boeoticum (the spelling baeoticum is also common), or to the domesticated form, Triticum monococcum. Einkorn is not related to emmer or modern wheat.
Einkorn was first grown in the Karacadag Mountains in southeastern Turkey dating back 11,000 years , verified with the recent discovery of the first silos. Einkorn’s natural gluten is safe for some but not all gluten sensitives because Einkorn (T. monococcum) is a different species of wheat.
Gluten intolerance is not always recognized because the symptoms can be mild or delayed and can be wrongly blamed upon other common intestinal issues. Some symptoms come from inflammation in the intestines. Other symptoms come from a lack of nutrients, due to the failure of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract to digest food properly.
Children generally develop symptoms that include:
- Upset stomach;
- Failure to thrive or delayed growth;
- Weight loss;
- Painful abdominal bloating or distension;
- Pale, foul-smelling, greasy stools;
- Chronic or recurring diarrhoea;
In adults, symptoms may include:
- Chronic diarrhoea;
- Foul, pale stool;
- Recurring abdominal bloating;
- Type II diabetes;
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis;
- lack of menstruation [amenorrhoea];
- Bone or joint pain, or calcium loss;
- Depression, irritability or mood changes;
- Neurological problems, including weakness, poor balance, seizures;
- Itchy, painful skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis);
- Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel, sores on lips or tongue;
- Vitamin deficiency, such as scaly skin or hyperkeratosis (from lack of vitamin A), or bleeding gums or bruising easily (from lack of vitamin K).
Europeans re-discovered an ancient Egyptian accidental discovery: flour + water + airborne yeasts/fungi [we know that now] made the dough bubble up and rise. In addition, our overseas relatives noticed that when they used a ‘sour’ starter culture, which broke down the gluten, then they were able to consume the bread w/o gastro-distress. Dough starters actually increased in potency over time, as family recipes were handed down for 100s of generations. Baker’s yeast has speeded up the dough-making process to 2-3 hours instead of 3-5 days and allowed the gluten to remain.
European bakeries and specialty shops, for some unknown reason, keep it a secret that they carry sourdough bread, a/k/a/ ‘pain levain’. Use it as a transition to gluten-free baked goods.
Gluten-free flour ingredients that appear to be well-managed by humans are made from millet, amaranth, teff [an annual grass, a species of lovegrass native to the northern Ethiopian Highlands of Northeast Africa], quinoa, tapioca flour, corn starch, potato starch, oat, garbanzo, coconut, fava and rice. Organic is best, of course.
My suggestion: eliminate ALL grains for at least 1-2 weeks to see how you feel. When I shifted from what I was supposed to eat to eating what feels right, I removed all dogmas: Organic grains, Save the Planet, Veganism, macrobiotics, “Spiritual” nutrition, Eat Right for Your Blood Type, Zone Diet, South Beach, Mediterranean, and so on.
#1 Enemy = Food Pyramid. It is 65% carbohydrates, mostly from “whole grains” that will torture everyone’s intestinal tracts. EVERYONE is a COELIAC from today’s gluten-containing grains: wheat, rye, barley, spelt. If the package boldly says “all-natural”, “organic”, “kosher”, “vegan”, and even “wheat-free”, be alert, since it can still contain gluten from barley, rye or spelt. Keep in mind that eliminating gluten takes time. Temptation is in ALL media as well as gluten disguised on the back of labels:
|Label Ingredients that Indicate the Presence of Wheat Proteins|
|Bread crumbs||Whole wheat flour|
|Cereal extract||Hydrolyzed vegetable protein|
|Cracker meal||Soy sauce|
|High-gluten flour, high-protein flour||Acker Meal|
|Durum||Whole grain [must say “gluten-free”]|
|Graham Flour||Vital gluten|
Caution: Newer kids’ cereals that proudly display “gluten-free” on the front of the colourful box require reading the label on the back. Look out for “Color Added”, “Salt”, “Trisodium Phosphate”, “BHT”, “Yellow 6”, “Blue 1”.
“Enriched Bread” = Bad Joke, especially for children. There are wheat-free and gluten-free substitutes in health food stores and supermarket managers will stock them if asked.
When you see anyone with a bulging waist, keep in mind that Mike calls it their ‘bread basket”. No supplement nor drug is going to cure what can be accomplished by keeping this stuff OUT of your body.
As far as your past eating habits, FUGGEDDABOWDIT [forget about it]: We change our body chemistry every time we eat. You are as good as your NEXT meal.
PS: IMHO [in my humble opinion] the devil invented seitan [a vegetarian meat substitute] and high-gluten bagels.
James Braly MD. Dangerous Grains. Avery Trade. New York. ISBN 0-15-83331298. 2002