Gluten and a Brief History of Wheat

Is gluten bad for you? If you have celiac disease, the answer is definitely YES. Gluten does make you sick and you need to avoid it. You should avoid our products. We use the same machinery to handle and process all our products, including wheat and soybeans.

However, man has been eating wheat for thousands of years without issues. But modern wheat normally sold in this country today differs from what man has been eating in past millennia in a number of ways.

  • Roundup (Glyphosate) has become the most widely used herbicide in the world. And it’s also used in small grains (wheat, oats, etc.) as a desiccant. Meaning it’s sprayed directly on the seed just days before harvest to speed the harvest process and make it more efficient. It’s also used as a harvest aid. Essentially the same process, but is used to kill green weeds in the fields that slow the harvest (combining) process. Since it is sprayed so close to harvest, there is no time for the glyphosate to break down in the field. It’s also sprayed directly on the seed heads, where it is easily absorbed. This increased use by the industry has left more glyphosate in our food, especially small grains like wheat and oats. Monsanto was well aware of this increased usage, asked for, and got the EPA to increase the legal levels of glyphosate allowed in food in 2013.
  • Granary insects have been a problem in stored grain for thousands of years, until the past century. Today, most all grains are treated with an insecticide to kill granary insects. In conventional agriculture the common product recommended is STORICIDE II. One active ingredient in this is Chlorpyrifos. A widely used organophosphate insecticide that in this case is sprayed directly on the grain you will eventually eat. It’s required that farmers cover even extremely small amounts of any chlopyrifos left exposed in their fields. (It has been responsible for large numbers of birds killed after eating just a few grains of it.) It has been linked to neurologic damage, especially in kids and to ADHD and many other disorders. And yet is sprayed directly on most all conventional food grains, admittedly in small amounts.
  • The wheat varieties grown today differ from those grown even a century ago. During WWII, the U.S. built factories to manufacture explosives for the war, as well as factories to make the raw materials for these. One product needed to make explosives was a usable nitrogen which was produced in the form of ammonia (NH3) rather cheaply. After the war, with excess manufacturing capacity to make ammonia, agriculture started using it. For many crops, nitrogen is the limiting nutrient for growth. The green revolution that occurred after WWII was mostly accomplished by maintaining higher than natural nitrogen concentrations in the soils and developing crop varieties that could take advantage of this and yield more pounds of grain per acre. Many traits were changed in the wheat to allow it to tolerate higher nitrogen soil concentrations. Some intentionally and some inadvertently.

We are trying to go back and find the old food grain varieties and raise them with the soil fertility levels that were common more than a century ago. We also raise them organically, without glyphosate (or any synthetic chemicals) and without any granary insecticides. We are also looking for the varieties that tasted great, from an era where farmers grew the crops they fed their own families. And we hope you will be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Currently, only our HRW (Turkey Red Wheat) wheat is an heirloom variety. Both our SRW and HRS wheat varieties were released AFTER World War II. We are currently experimenting with and increasing other heirloom wheat varieties, but not offering them for sale yet. All our milling corns, popcorn, oats and buckwheat varieites are old heirlooms.