There’s an argument that has been batted around in online conversations, one that I thought that, because it was so patently absurd and so readily disproven, it would simply disappear into the blogosphere . . . but it hasn’t. So let’s talk about this idea.
The idea goes like this: Because glyphosate is liberally applied to wheat, including its application as a desiccant and for weed control pre-planting, during maturation, and pre-harvest, the high concentrations of this herbicide in wheat products are the cause for all the problems that emerge with wheat consumption. It means that, minus glyphosate, wheat is now a healthy food for human consumption. As you will learn, while there is no argument from me that glyphosate is indeed a problem, given its carcinogenic and endocrine-disruptive potential, removing it most definitely does not make wheat a healthy choice for food.
First of all, if that were true, all we would have to do is consume organic wheat, i.e., wheat and wheat fields not treated with glyphosate. If you are grain-free, give that a try: You will learn very quickly that the diarrhea, bloating, abdominal discomfort, high blood sugars, joint pain, emotional effects, suicidal thoughts and other re-exposure phenomena are still provokable in the absence of glyphosate.
This is because, even minus glyphosate, modern wheat still contains:
- Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)—Modern strains of wheat have been selected for greater wheat germ agglutinin content because it confers pest resistance, making the wheat plant less susceptible to various insects, molds, and other infestations. But WGA is toxic to humans. Wheat germ agglutinin is an exceptionally potent gastrointestinal toxin and provocateur of inflammation if it enters the bloodstream (which it does, accounting for the many humans with antibodies against WGA). WGA blocks the action of the intestinal hormone, cholecystokinin, reducing bile release from the gallbladder (and causing bile stasis that leads to gallstones) and enzyme release from the pancreas, effects that impair digestion and cultivate dysbiosis. All this happens whether or not glyphosate is present.
- Phytates have likewise been enriched in modern wheat strains, also for their pest-resistance properties. But phytates bind most or nearly all iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium in the intestines and prevent their absorption, explaining why, for instance, iron deficiency anemia is common and can be resistant to iron supplementation, a condition that promptly reverses with removal of all grains. Phytates exert these effects in the absence of glyphosate.
- Gliadin—Recall that gliadin-derived opioid peptides stimulate appetite, exert a range of peculiar emotional effects, and are responsible for many forms of food obsessions and addictions. Gliadin has also been shown to be the initiating factor in type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune conditions. Glyphosate is not required for these toxic effects of gliadin to be experienced.
- Amylopectin A—Amylopectin A is the complex carbohydrate of wheat and other seeds of grasses that is highly digestible to the enzyme, amylase. Amylopectin A is responsible for the high-glycemic indexes of all wheat products, whole or processed, a glycemic index that exceeds that of sucrose or table sugar. High blood sugars, high blood insulin, and insulin resistance results from consuming foods containing amylopectin A regardless of glyphosate content.
- Allergens—Modern breeding methods have introduced dozens of changes into various proteins such as alpha amylase inhibitors, thioredoxins, gamma gliadins, and glutenins, thereby amplifying their allergic potential that can manifest as gastrointestinal upset, skin rashes, or asthma.
There’s more, but I think you get the idea. Removing glyphosate is a good thing, but it does not leave a healthy plant behind. Wheat is among the most toxic things you could consume cleverly disguised as food.