The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wheat/Gluten

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tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Wheat/Gluten

Yesterday my bread baking world got a strong hit! My wife dragged me in a nutritional health presentation. With most of the advice and recommendations presented I have no issue and I'm ok to eat raw vegetables, fruit, add parsley and cilantro to everything and drink green smoothies.


What really bothers me was that the presenter said that wheat is an extremely harsh food and the gluten in wheat is very bad for your health. Even my beloved sourdough multigrain rolls and bread she considers as bad.


I would be interested in what we as artisan bread bakers should answer to such an opinion.


 


Thomas

Comments

proth5's picture
proth5

 This is a topic that really "gets me going" so I've tried to stay out of discussions like this, but something snapped in me today.


Yes, there really are people who have gluten/wheat allergies and they should avoid the stuff.


But for the rest - can you say the words "food faddists?" (And you didn't mention the credentials of this "nutritionist.")


I have a friend who underwent extensive testing for gluten/wheat allergies and all the results came up negative.  She still claims to be gluten intolerant because "doctors cannot be trusted." (Although she trusts her banker - go figure.) So this interests me.


There is a theory that the "Atkins lifestyle" caused the internal flora that helps us digest food to change into flora that is no longer effective at digesting wheat and if folks just kept eating wheat it would change back.


There are theories that newer hybrids of wheat are less kind to the human digestive system than older varieties.


There are the "modern" processes for making "bread" (well described just recently by Mike Avery) that produce products that can't really be good for anyone.  I, personally, react to factory prepared "bread" - but never to the stuff I bake myself.  So, why would I blame wheat?


But humans have been successfully eating grains for thousands of years.  Suddenly in the late 20th and early 21st century, these grains have become "bad for you?"  I have a word in mind, but it is too rude for TFL.


I'm just going to ignore this fad until it goes away.


And try to calm myself.


Pat

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Pat,


It was not my intention to get you going...but here are the credentials:


www.fromscratchwellness.com/jennifer_stanley.php

proth5's picture
proth5

I can take a deep breath and not type.  Today was not that day.


As far as credentials, I must say:"So, none then..." Sorry.  That's how I feel.


Because a family member is autistic and this is another area where there are claims of nutritional miracle cures, I get sucked in every now and again. 


>>deep breath<<


And what David said...


Peace.

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Well, I know what you mean and as hunter and avid outdoors man I have a lot of opportunities to deal with the tree huggers of this world. Maybe I put her in the folder "Food Hugger".


For lunch I had Chili with my multigrain rolls....



And tomorrow I go hunting with my best friend!



 


Thomas

proth5's picture
proth5

Always good and cheery things to think about!


Thanks for that!

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I typed a response and then thought better of it, but I'm glad to see I'm not hanging on a limb here.  I'm a firm believer in evidence-based science and the scientific method of inquiry.  That's simply lacking with these so-called credentials. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Relax and enjoy your bread, Thomas.


David

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Thanks David and for sure I will. There are a couple of things in my life I'm not going to give up and bread/bread baking is among them.


I just want to be better prepared the next time I run into a situation like this. I can answer to industrial vs. artisan and whole wheat vs. white flour etc., but this was a new situation for me.


Thomas

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't know how to deal with this ... (the word Pat didn't use) ... either.


It seems to me that we are accustomed to scientific arguments that assess the relative validity and reliability of contradictory experimental findings. I can do that.


Good science cannot trump religious faith. Neither can good science trump anecdotes framed in pseudoscience form.


Just remember, if the arguement is based on anecdotes, yours are as good as hers. "I've eaten nothing but vital wheat gluten and over-cooked bio-engineered peas for the past 20 years, and I haven't been sick a single day! Not only that, but I have not been struck by lightening even once since I changed to this diet."


<sigh>


David

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Thanks David, this is a good enough of an explanation and as (I believe) you are a MD it is scientifically enough......


Thomas

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

One of my neighbors has credentials similar to the person you listened to and leads her life accordingly. She is about 40, anerexic, has a gray complexion with red eyelids and a low energy level.


Not exactly a shining testament to her philosophy. Fortunately, her husband wants no part of it and her children get most of their meals from school. They all appear to be healthy and normal.


Michael

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

I will go on eating my bread to avoid red eyes, thanks for your comment.


Thomas

teketeke's picture
teketeke

For me,  I try gluten free bread when I feel like that I want to eat gluten free bread with interest, or for my friends who can't eat wheat bread.   


More than considering about healthy food, It is very important for us to eat meal with your family or friends and enjoy :)   Stress is the most bad for your health in my opinion.   Of course, People who are suffering from allergies, they must eat limited food. but they can eat tasty meal with their effort ( love?) :)


Here is a good recipe that I recommend


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20057/loaf-my-wifefinally


Cheers,


Akiko


  


 

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

You are right Akiko, let's reduce the stress level and enjoy the family and all the other good things...


Thomas


 

wally's picture
wally

So, let the nutritionist eat her green smoothies and uncooked vegetables.  While you enjoy those delicious rolls.  As Julia Child used to exclaim "Oh those food police, they've ruined everything!"


Larry

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Thanks Larry, I will avoid the food police in the future.


Thomas

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Thomas,


If you don't have wheat allergies I think that you are going to do well with the sourdough, multigrain rolls, particularly if you take pleasure in eating and sharing them!


I listened to a talk recently by a food researcher as part of a conference on sustainable farming. She was pro animal fats but came down very heavily on 'bread', until a baker in the audience asked her to define the bread she had in mind. It was industrial, with chemical additives and intensive mixing. She did not level the same criticisms at sourdough. 


If you are making sourdough at least some of the flour will be pre-fermented (even if it is just the flour in the leaven). Apparently longer fermentation helps to 'predigest' the flour and also gives other beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacilli  time and space to increase. Apparently both of these things aid digestion. 


You probably knew this - you know you are  making healthy bread - enjoy it!


With best wishes, Daisy_a

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Thanks Daisy for your comment, I was sure that others had and will have similar experiences. I will stick with my sourdough and bread baking in general.


 


Thomas

FlyinAggie's picture
FlyinAggie

There are way too many chemical foods ingested, but home baked bread is truly the staff of life I believe.  The overly processed, chemically altered stuff that's sold as food is probably damaging our DNA.  Food should be grown without excess chemicals, preferably none, prepared simply with ingredients you know are pure and tasty, cooked minimally, with a heavy amount of fresh or frozen vegetables simply prepared on the plate, and a wonderful bread to accompany the meal.  It is how food is meant to be enjoyed.  Fresh - simple - pure.  No harm done there.  Food fads come and go, and this gluten-free thing is just another fad, IMHO.  So are all those supplements that people take.  Blech.  We nurses call it self-medicating. 


 


 

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

I totally agree and I'm very happy to see that more and more organic food is available to us. The farmer on our land is farming exclusively organic!


GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

...who climbed a high mountain to ask the guru for the secret to long life.  He found the guru and asked "How can I live forever?"  The guru thought for while and said "Give up sex.  Give up wine.  And give up good bread."  The worried man, relieved to have the secret at last, asked the guru "So, if I give up sex, wine and good bread, will I live forever?"  And the guru replied "No, but it will seem like it."


Glenn

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

As the famous Scotish knight said: Every man dies. Not every man really lives!


Thomas

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

Yikes!  We are all different, and some people have problems with fiber and have auto immune diseases that cause them to not be able to eat breads with a higher fiber content.  There are also people who it simply causes them indigestion, but they can eat the white bread.  Another group, can't eat sourdough because their body reacts to it and can eat whole wheat.  Then there are those who have gluten allergies, which cause them other problems.  I just wish that they would not try to control what I eat, because they can't handle certain foods!!!!


To many people out there want to be in charge of what others do in their own homes.  They obviously know better than us what upsets our tummy's, or makes us sick.... and obviously we are just not smart enough to figure out for ourselves how we want to live our lives.  Geesh, next they will outlaw salt....  or happy meals....


Joanne

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Joanne,


We better make sure that we stay in charge of our home and what we do and eat in it. My kids would agree: From time to time a Happy Meal is great...


 


Thomas

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

@Glenn - I"m passing that tip on to my husband.  Bet it goes over like some of my brick loaves of bread! hehe

EvaB's picture
EvaB

the I'm smarter than you syndrome, and believes they are gluten sensitive. I have a relative that was certain her kids were such, they finally were tested and are not sensitive or allergic to any foods, but you can't tell her the dr knows whats right.
This same person, cut the entire centers out of the strawberries (wasting over half the pint of berries) because she didn't think the white part was good for you (just the red outside) She is not a bad person, just misguided, and rather misinformed.
I too am happy to eat smoothies, and raw veggies (as a child you couldn't get me to eat anything other than potatoes cooked anyway) and while I won't eat cilantro (hate it) I will dust everything with parsley that I can think of, and grow tons of it in summer to dry for winter.
Parsley and probably cilantro are bitters, which like arugula are good for your liver functions.
I know that Proth5 feels that one shouldn't discuss this type of thing, but why not, you don't have to scream at each other, but in the end, I would have just said to her, that I'll just continue to eat my bread, and if you believe that grain is bad, that's fine. Each to their own as the old lady said when she kissed the cow!