Is Wheat Genetically Modified?

Gluten-Containing Wheat Pictured Above
Gluten-Containing Wheat Pictured Above

I look at research and if there is some concrete evidence, even if it is not proof positive, and there isn’t any other compelling reason to eat that food, I will give it up. I have given up wheat for several reasons including my body’s inability to process it. Listening to your body is the most important thing you can do.

That being said, I’ve done some research, and I’m not quite ready to hop on the give-up-all-grains bandwagon. Grains have been cultivated for centuries. I do think the genetically modified grains (GMOs) these days are NOT what our bodies are meant to handle, however. There is some question as to whether or not wheat is actually “genetically modified” or not. If you are talking about genetically modified in that genes are spliced in like Monsanto corn, then no. However, wheat has been cross-bred, and cross-bred, over and over again, until the desired effect takes place. This hurries up the natural mutations that might occur in the product and creates an effect that would occur over thousands and thousands of years in a shorter period of time, such as more resistance to disease, hardier varieties, varieties with increased amounts of gluten for bread-making, etc.

Monsanto tried to get a genetically modified wheat product to market in 2004, but withdrew their application after opposition from buyers; basically, farmers didn’t think the GMO wheat would sell (kudos to the anti-GMO campaigns) and there was also concern for contamination of the non-GMO wheat crops.

Despite the GMO wheat being a dud for almost a decade, this summer some GMO wheat was found in a random farm in Oregon on a fallow field, nowhere near the Monsanto research spots. No one knows how it got there. The only way it was discovered is that the farmer saw it, decided to kill it with roundup, and it didn’t die — because it’s “Roundup Ready”.  He sent it off for testing, and sure enough, it is the illegal, unapproved, Monsanto research GMO wheat. This caused an international frenzy, and currently other countries have either refused to buy our wheat, or have increased their testing of the products they do buy. Not really that great for our market and credibility, if you ask me.

This is scary stuff, I have to admit. It makes my decision to give up wheat products due to my body’s gluten sensitivity a little bit easier; however, not all grains are evil in my book. Non-GMO, Certified Gluten Free Oats are a good choice, in my opinion. Non-GMO Quinoa is another example of a grain I love.

If you can find any evidence of why grains in general are bad for everyone, please send it my way. I have found a multitude of bloggers on this so-called anti-grain bandwagon, but most of their research pertains to either gluten, or other aspects of wheat. I am BEGGING you to show me the research. Once I find the smoking gun, I will gladly set down my oatmeal, quinoa, and other grains. I just don’t see any reason to do it yet. I guess it’s back to the books for me.

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