Is Being Gluten-Intolerant an American Problem?

One reader asks why gluten-intolerance is so prevalent in America, but not in Europe.

| August/September 2013

Racks of European Breads

Why would European breads sit well in a gluten-intolerant American stomach? Is the problem gluten, or the wheat itself?

Photo By Fotolia/Contrastwerkstatt

I recently had a puzzling experience and wonder whether you might be able to shed some light on it. Over the past few years I’ve become increasingly unable to eat wheat without experiencing significant gastrointestinal distress, and I’ve been eating a gluten-free diet for about two years as a result.

A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Hungary and succumbed to the temptation of eating some irresistibly fabulous, crusty European bread. I figured I’d pay the price but that it would be worth it. However, nothing happened. By the end of the trip I was feasting on croissants, thin-crust pizza, layer cake and giant pretzels, and though my clothes are tighter, my digestive system was completely unaffected. In fact, it felt better than it had in a long time.

A quick Google search turned up many similar stories of those in the United States who believed they were gluten-intolerant but had no trouble eating wheat in Europe.

Why are so many Americans gluten-intolerant now? Is something going on with our wheat supply? Is the problem even gluten, or is it the wheat itself? Could it be the varieties grown here, or the way it’s processed? Surely it’s not normal for so many people to develop this problem over such a short period of time.

Any chance you could look into this? I and many others would be most grateful.

Carolyn Welch
Lawrence, Kansas

11/24/2016 1:01:54 PM

The problem with american wheat is the herbicide Roundup, which main ingredient is glyphosate. its actually an antibiotic used to kill weeds. This is contributing to killing all of our good bacteria in our guts, thus making it much harder to break down gluten and most foods! It's also toxic and leads to cancer. It's no wonder we are sick! It's mainly used on gmo products, which are not very common in Europe. They have to declare any product that has been genetically modified, which who in their right mind would buy gmo products. Many of my husbands family members are gluten intolerant and have no symptoms who they eat bread in Europe or southern countries.

7/21/2016 1:31:16 PM

've not been able to eat wheat here in the USA for over 7 years now. Well, I can eat it but then I pay the price of needing to be near a toilet for at least a week (could even be as long as a month) with constant burping and heartburn. Ahhh, France ...I can eat anything I want in France! The wheat is DIFFERENT there. Grown and processed the way it USED to be processed here in the USA. I cannot eat wheat products in England or South Africa but I can in France and Portugal. I just might have to give Italy a try next. So sad! We just got back from France last week where I indulged on croissants, baguettes, pizza, pasta ...Ahhh, France. I didn't have to worry about what I was ordering on a menu. Didn't have to worry what it was cooked in or what was in the sauce. My digestive system felt amazing! What is going on here in the USA? So sad! Lori in Florida

7/19/2016 4:12:18 PM

I found out that I am gluten sensitive for about 10 years now. I get so bloated and my intestines get so inflamed that I sometimes throw out my back and can barely get out of bed for days and have experienced autoimmune symptoms. I do follow the gluten free diet in North America and since then I barely get those symptoms and my eyesight has improved (I no longer wear glasses!). In the last 10 years I have traveled to Mexico, Philippines, Thailand and most recently Czech Republic and have eaten wheat in all those countries and have not experienced any problems. I have read and watched a study about toxic wheat in North America ( It does make a lot of sense.

7/18/2016 11:01:30 AM

There are a range of things added to bread and other related products in America, that are not included in many european countries. In fact, most American bakeries wouldn't last a week in Germany, France or other countries where they place a high emphasis on food quality. The base flour in most US supermarkets is full of pesticides and other things, as well as agents that are not used, and often not allowed to be used in various other counties. The average bread and other prepared "gluten-based" products in our supermarkets are generally even worse for us than even the flour itself,, as they often include additives like corn syrup, preservatives and other things that often cause us health problems over the long term ingestion. While there are people with actual gluten issues, celiac disease and such, many people are able to ingest products (bread products, beer, pasta, etc) without any "gluten" issues, which they cannot handle when US-sourced. This is contributing to a huge individual and collective health burden in America, which significantly contributes to the US having to spend much more per-capita on healthcare than virtually every other country in the world. We need to vote with our wallets and only purchase things that do not have a bunch of what is effectively poison in them. While some people claim they cannot afford organic, locally-sourced or other higher quality food items, research repeatedly shows that for most of us it more of a priority than cost issue, and that the extra few dollars a day are often more than offset by health costs savings-- saying nothing about the feeling better and avoiding major health problems. Further, citizens of most other countries, who are generally much poorer than the average American, generally purchase mostly the same sort of quality ingredients and prepared items that America used to have a few decades ago, prior to all of the junk we allow added and used in the fields. Unfortunately, we have allowed certain well-funded corporate interests to dominate and control our government and what they allow them to do. Over time, if the majority of us opt for only quality ingredients and prepared items, they will start to eliminate the junk from our shelves, since it will not be selling compared to high quality food items.

7/2/2016 8:31:13 PM

Don’t blame the bread! Today's US wheat, European wheat and wheat all over the world has been developed to have higher yields and grows quicker than yesteryear's but lacks in many areas nutritionally speaking. I don't think the US grown wheat is the problem of the sensitivities to gluten in the US... it's all the Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) genetically modified crops. BT grows crystals in your gut that release toxin. The BT toxin mode of action is to destroy the intestinal system. Everyone is affected differently; some don't have any problem with it others, like me have symptoms no matter what I eat or drink. (80% of our sugar in the US is from BT modified sugar beets!) Apparently many people experience digestive issues when wheat, specifically gluten is introduced. Once compromised by BT toxin the digestive system villus in the digestive tract become inflamed and goes into an autoimmune defense mode identifying gluten as a “Bad” and problems set in. So...I think the reason you were ok in Europe was because you got away from BT and the gluten didn't effect your digestive tract because there wasn't BT toxin there to aggravate it. If you give up US grown plum, sugar beet, tobacco, flax, chicory, alfalfa, canola, rice, papaya, beet, squash, potato, rapeseed, cotton, soybean, corn and everything with any GMO BT in it you may not have a problem with eating US grown wheat! Anything USDA certified organic does NOT have BT toxin or any GMO’s! The BT toxin has been found in the blood of • 93 percent of pregnant women tested • 80 percent of umbilical blood in their babies • 67 percent of non-pregnant women According to Huffington Post.

6/5/2016 7:10:54 AM

Just discovered this blog. I am from Europe and moved to the US some time ago and had to stop eating any wheat products, because your flour is way more processed than ours and the gluten is more available for the body through this process. Even my physician here in the US said that the US flour is the worst and told me not to have any. I did some research and found out that it is way more processed and has lot more chemicals than the European one. And NO EUROPE doesn't allow US flour and isn't importing it. Maybe some of you are following the news currently, but the US is trying to important certain thing that is highly forbidden in Europe. This country is been poisoned very slowly by its own government and chemical industry. After speaking to some experts I came to the conclusion that the process of making wheat the way the US are doing it is a major problem.

2/21/2016 5:51:25 PM

Cari, bless your heart but you are unfortunately very incorrect and I'm thinking you're a blog hacker. Europe doesn't import our wheat and as for your "friend" who "claimed" the bread didn't make her sick, sounds like you don't believe her. Our her intestinal issues. Friends wouldn't be so intolerant of friends physical pains. Folks, wheat used to be waist high or better. New American wheat is less than knee high. Seriously, it may not be GMO but it is highly modified. And is killing us. :(

2/17/2016 7:12:26 AM

Is all European wheat the same, i.e., does not have the undesirable GMO issue that this blog in discusses?

1/28/2016 8:47:13 PM

I am gluten intolerant and miss my buns and breads. I do not believe in all that Mumbo jumbo of GMO or chemicals causing all the problems. You get more chemicals from your own grass and weed sprays or your neighbors than you can imagine. Do the research through your ag colleges and you will get the real story!! Wheat raised in the US and is purchased by Europe. I am thinking that it is the additives or the way it's baked but I need to do more research to find that out. I also have a friend that's been to Europe and she claimed the breads did not make her sick either.

10/14/2015 6:17:24 PM

Hi Folks -- I've posted to this thread before about Potassium Bromate being a problem for me, and also being an obvious difference between most USA wheat and bread. Check this website from the Environmental Working Group for some recent findings about Potassium Bromate:

10/2/2015 7:55:55 PM

it HAS to be american wheat, because any time i eat even stone-ground whole wheat products, i sneeze and my nose runs--thankfully no digestive issues. but when i eat anything made from european wheat, no problems at all, nor with kamut or any other gluten-containing grain that has not been so entirely manipulated. greed and corruption in the u.s. has led to us being sold POISON, with no guilt whatsoever, whether it is grain-fed animals that require a constant diet of antibiotics in order to survive this unnatural diet, the unethical "patenting" of living organisms and the genetic modification that goes along with it--or the poisons used to farm them. all due to GREED--with no consideration for the "collateral damage"...

9/3/2015 11:42:32 PM

I got into this website a few months ago. Trying to proof the theory, I went to a pizzeria here in Pasadena that's a member of VPN (Vera Pizza Napolitano), and they import their flour from Italy. I had a whole margherita pizza by myself and nothing. Haven't touch pizza since I found out that I was intolerant to gluten. I'm negative for celiac. I'm a big believer that here in the U.S. The pesticide or something that they did to the wheat that change the chemical composition of gluten. That's just my personal opinion, but I've told a number of friends that has gluten problem, and they are now eating pizza with imported flour. Life is good again. Can't wait to go to Europe and feast on bread and croissant again. One day soon.

8/17/2015 7:07:26 PM

I have to agree with this reader. My mother brought back some cookies/biscuits from England a few years ago, amazed that they didn't make her stomach upset, nor did they mine! I have always been a carb-addict, and only in the last decade or so have I become sick after eating pasta, pizzas, bread and such. My brother is not affected by wheat, but in the last 4 years has suddenly become lactose intolerant! I don't know who thinks the gov't is telling us the truth about GMO crops, just go out and ask the farmers! I can tell you that my neighbors have been growing GMO seed crops of corn, soybeans, and wheat for 12 years now; Roundup is used liberally, and guess who they sell their crops to? Gov't programs. As a matter of fact, my step-father planted "field corn" this year instead of horse hay about an acre away from our neighbor's GMO corn crop (which he said was the newest and best available). When he sprayed just before collecting, the fumes wafted down to our field corn and killed a third of our crops, all which were facing the fields and through the woods facing the fields that were his. If you ever want to know about a situation, go out and ask the people who are directly involved in that situation.

8/15/2015 12:58:22 PM

Many farms use the Monsanto GMO seeds now days in America. In addition, Round up is used two weeks before harvesting wheat. They drench it with the toxic substance because the plants reaction to knowing it is dying is to produce more seed. The same thing that happens to you with wheat happens to my daughters with soy and my husband with canola, both of which are predominantly GMO in this country. My son has become intolerant to milk, likely because the cows are being fed GMO plants as feed and it gets in their milk.. These are grown adults who have never had food sensitivities or health problems of any kind in the past. Other countires have banned it, most of them I believe. Some have even called Monsanto biological terrorists. We should tell our congressman to at least label it so we can choose to eat it or not if we wish.

8/7/2015 5:01:32 PM

The past four years i have had a horrid problem with the flour products. i break out on my cheek bones and sides of the face. the break outs are so SORE, and hurt. i think it is the use of Round up ready wheat and also the dousing of wheat with Round up to dry it up so it can be harvested. That chemical has to go into the kernels!

3/17/2015 11:43:20 PM

And, might I add, even though the bigwigs are saying that there is no GMOs in our US wheat supply, they are failing to consider that pollen is tiny and it goes where the wind and insects take it. Once GMO pollen goes adrift, it is impossible to monitor it's whereabouts and where it lands. It's almost like a virus or bacterium. You can't stop it once it starts. Notice who is reporting on this issue...who supports those who report that there is NO GMO wheat in our country? Watch who you believe. The sheep will follow the grain bucket without knowing the wolf is the one carrying it. If it were true that GMO wheat was in our supply, it would devastate the export of our wheat to other countries that have banned GMOs. Think about it. And think about who might also be commenting on here, blasting individuals with an opinion. Who do they represent?

3/17/2015 11:23:58 PM

I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, therefore, I cannot consume anything with wheat, barley, or rye, including triticale. I get the itchiness, hives, eczema, horrid swelling all over, acne, ringing in the ears, swollen and inflamed joints, and it flares up the endometriosis I've had for a couple years since I had a c-section. When I do not eat these products and stay off of them for a few days, I get back to normal. These products cause major inflammation in my body. Since I've been GF, I've gotten off the thyroid meds after taking them for 20 years. My homeopathic doctor said if I could get rid of the inflammation, I could ditch the meds, and that's exactly what happened. I can't site where I have read the studies but it is suggested that ALL wheat, barley, and rye is GMO in the USA. It is nearly impossible to grow it nonGMO because of cross pollination from the air and from insects. I believe because corporations are always trying to find better and easier ways to harvest crops and keep them pest and blight free, they will go beyond what is safe for humans to make their dollars. Albeit glyphosphate, changing the genetics of the plant to be stronger or anything that alters the plant in general is harmful for human consumption. But just as we have been told it is okay to use canola oil, even though it's derived from the rape plant and is toxic to humans, we are told that this new "wheat" is good for us. We use hundreds of chemicals and practices in our country that have absolutely been banned in European countries and Canada. Big brother allows us to be poisoned because it makes the medical field and insurance companies rich. No sick people, no money. I'm sad for our people. We are so jaded about the food industry that we have been dumbed down without even knowing it. Be insulted if you will, but the big picture is the poisoning of our foods. If European flours do not contain PB and are nonGMO, then I believe we need to demand that our food supply STOP being poisoned and get back to basics because obviously, there is no harm in that. Shut down corporations like Monsanto. Use our heads a little. I want to live a long life without experiencing cancer or diabetes or MS or any other autoimmune disease caused by inflammation from toxic foods!

3/7/2015 7:34:15 PM

Dear Peter, Re: potassium bromate: apparently you are correct about its use since 1914, but I don't understand your logic re: doubting that's it. I would suggest you get some King Arthur flour and try some (without the potassium bromate) to see for yourself if it works for you. All I can tell you is that King Arthur flour doesn't bother me while others with PB do bother me. Also, PB is illegal in Europe, and I had no problems with pasta or bread in Europe. And thanks for the other interesting info.

3/7/2015 5:57:22 PM

I've had more and more trouble with wheat in recent years and had hoped to find some information here. Unfortunately, most of the comments are nonsense. First, there is currently NO GMO wheat anywhere. Nor is Roundup used as a desiccant on wheat. Finally, a good percentage of Italian dried pasta is made with American wheat. One possibility is the proteins of modern wheat are different from what they were even in the 50s - the newer hybrids (from ordinary breeding, NOT GMO) are much "stronger" than they were. I bake with spelt right now and have much less problem. But I would like to use regular wheat on occasion for high-gluten baked goods. The potassium bromide idea sounds interesting, but I think it has been used in the USA since 1914, so I doubt that is it. Oh well.

2/22/2015 1:27:29 PM

You need to look into Jeff Smith information on GMO. Also he has a DVD called: Genetic Roulette and also a book on the same topic. They are very interesting and will answer all your questions, at least it did for me. It seems that our seeds on wheat, soy, canola, corn, cotton and I'm not sure what else from here, have all been change for their seeds with the "Roundup" resistant for plants. Jeff says that it has gone beyond that and our guts/stomachs are being affected by this terribly. You have to see the DVD to understand what is really happening. I saw Jeff Smith locally at a college presentation about 5 months ago and I was naive when I went but woke up to a lot going on in our Food System and Seed System along with the Pharmaceutical System too. Hope this helps you but you are not the only one and there are a lot more that will be having the problem too. Found a video on Vimeo: Hope this helps to clarify things up.

2/21/2015 5:18:38 PM

American wheat is saturated with Roundup a week before harvest, and that is the real problem. Glyphosphate in the Roundup causes fish to have the same problems as celiac. That's why I can eat European bread with no problems.

1/21/2015 9:20:20 AM

Dear Rjwgrits -- please check my post on 11/2/14. I am not a medical professional, but have had similar experiences as your daughter has. For me, the problem seems to be consuming products made with wheat flour that contains potassium bromate, which is added to most (but not all) US wheat flour, but not used in Europe. After her good experience in Scotland, next time she's home, you may want to try making something with King Arthur flour, a US flour generally available that does not contain potassium bromate (as indicated on its bags) and see if she reacts.

1/21/2015 8:45:23 AM

My daughter has a wheat allergy and is studying abroad in Scotland. When eating anything with gluten in it in US she instantly gets nauseous and feels terrible. She has tried a couple of items in Scotland that were flour based and had absolutely NO ill effects from it! What are we doing in the US to our foods and to our citizens???

12/29/2014 1:21:44 PM

I live in America and have had a wheat allergy for about a year now. Symptoms are itchiness, rashes when I eat it, and sometimes hives/upset stomach. This week, a friend brought me sweets from Japan, all made with Japanese wheat flour. Being of Japanese descent, these are irresistible delicacies from my childhood, so I ate some. After 3 cookies, I had no reaction; if these had been "American" cookies, I definitely would've had swollen hands/eczema, etc. I have since eaten several more Japanese sweets, with no symptoms. Not sure why this is so, but it is a "self experiment" that I am happy with :)

12/14/2014 11:50:07 AM

There is also a concern about the practice of 'dessicating' wheat crops with glyphosate immediately before harvest to make more of the field harvest ready all at the same time. Glyphosate can be drawn into the seed itself at this stage and the practice is used extensively in conventional American wheat fields.

11/12/2014 10:12:07 PM

I avoid foods with gluten. Your experience with over-seas food makes me think about teff which is supposed to be gluten-free. A friend of mine made some soup with teff and it upset my stomach. Another friend suffered from gluten so much he couldn't couldn't work. He was really skinny. He moved to Mexico and there he eats everything and is doing fine.

11/3/2014 10:24:53 AM

There is some great info in the linked article below on Einkorn wheat. Spoiler: "Modern wheat also contains the D Genome of gluten, which has brought with it so many changes to the protein structure of wheat." My thought is that modern wheat in the US has become difficult to digest because it's structure is so different than what we have evolved to eat, due to incessant hybridization: "Modern wheat has been crossed with two different goat grasses over time." Add to that the fact that wheat is sprayed with Roundup and it's no wonder it causes digestive problems. and (see Page 6, wheat.)

11/3/2014 5:07:53 AM

Please people, when you say one thing doesn't cause issues, please state the issue you're having. My first thought about gluten causing problems mainly in the U.S., was pesticides and other chemicals, and even that our water is mostly fluoridated. The problem with this article and what people are saying, I thought, Europeans are said to be equal in percentage numbers to the U.S. on gluten allergies. So, there needs to be lots and lots of long term studies, that probably can't get funding. After having no issues for all my life, about two years ago I got the worst possible itchy rash mainly on the inside elbows. I quickly figured out it was triggered by the sun. Then I eliminated foods, wheat was the only food when added back in small amounts after about 6 months, that got my arms itchy. At this time the bread isle in a store made my nose water. I also noticed exercise could stop the itchiness from occurring. More recently I've been trying sourdough, but no hope, and the itchy areas now changed to my legs and further up and down my arms. So, my other idea has to do with the fat soluble toxins that build up in our body. While I haven't been husky since I was 13, I have been losing fat on and off for the last two years, and I'm getting below 10%. And now when I'm in a bread isle, I'm fine. I just don't know what to think, except I know that this can be overcome. It could even be the mental change of being in Europe that makes your body issue free. We have a lot to learn how the brain controls the body, and everything plays a part. Stay positive and eat good.

11/2/2014 8:18:55 PM

Most US wheat flour contains potassium bromate to "aid" the rising process. European wheat does not contain this additive. When I use US wheat flour without potassium bromate, e.g., King Arthur flour (available at a number of stores, like Whole Foods), I do not get the reaction I do from other US breads. And I had no problems in Italy and France eating bread and pasta. All Whole Foods breads in my area (US Mid-Atlantic States) use flour without potassium bromate. This works for me - it doesn't seem like a big mystery.

10/31/2014 2:44:25 PM

This is an interesting thread and like others have often wondered about. however, I've had my own theory about the issue. Having traveled to Europe numerous times and felt the affects in the U.S. but not in Germany, France, Italy, etc. My feeling for several years has been that it may not be issue with gluten, but possibly one of the pesticides we have used for years in the U.S. that have now managed to taint the gluten contained within the seed. Could it be that the intolerance to gluten is not the gluten itself, but the after-effects transferred via chemicals, pesticides, or GMOs in use? Europe continues to refuse he use of any GMOs as well as many types of pesticides we use over here. Does anyone know of any studies that might suggest this is true? I don't believe Gluten is the end of the trail and that we need to look far earlier into the cycle of the plant and what it is taking in to fully understand what might truely be the cause of intolerance.

9/23/2014 7:46:24 PM

Very interesting discussion and helpful, if not yet dispositive. I recently tested negative for celiac after 6 months of intolerance to all things made of or exposed to wheat. My reaction is hyper rhinitis and nasal drip, followed by sneezing bouts, followed by drainage and and upper bronchial load that neither coughs or drains itself completely. The symptoms begin within 5-15 minutes of consuming anything processed in a plant that processes wheat. Most recently, I was thrown into a sneezing and histaminic fit in a small diner when the cook tossed frozen battered shrimp into the deep fat fryer! Similar to many here, I have just returned from Europe where I was hellbent to risk it all for French chocolate pain, croissants, etc. London, Munich, Paris, Brussels -- I consumed massive quantities of breads, pastas and nuts with the same result as others: symptom free. It was the most delightful three weeks of year. Stunning contrast! Today, day four of my return to the States, I am onto my second box of kleenex having apparently taken in some wheat in what was alleged to be a key lime pie with "gluten free" graham cracker crust. Do others have the respiratory symptoms without the GI? Negative for celiac but still living gluten-free for lack of a more precise culprit? What on Earth is in this stuff here that so many of us are unable to identify? Yeast, wheat, additives, preservatives, colors, herbicides, pesticides, hybrids..who is leading the research in this area? Thanks.

8/23/2014 5:32:05 PM

I need to know the same thing! 2 years ago I discovered that not eating wheat cured my chronic reflux, indigestion and gas. However, during a trip to Italy this summer I ate locally baked pastries and fresh pasta made on-site (no dried pasta) and suffered no side effects at all. These were not whole grain, and I didn't risk eating it often. But here, in the U.S. I ate one handful of peanuts that had disguised wheat in the seasoning mix and suffered for it. Why?

8/14/2014 1:50:40 PM

I am so glad to see I am not the only one with this exact question. I have severe reactions to GMO's and I have the same reaction to typical wheat. I do not have that reaction to organic wheat. I am so super sensitive that I don't think its the glyphosate because I don't react to tap water even in farming areas. When I first discovered that I reacted to wheat corn and soy, I did a search to find the commonality. Way back then I discovered that these were the top GMO crops in production. I was shocked to find just recently that wheat is no longer considered a GMO crop. I have to wonder if the inexact science that creates transgenic foods went awry with wheat and that our typical wheat is no longer an heirloom state.

7/22/2014 6:31:42 PM

I've commented on this article before, but just found some new information. I was reading the Weston A Price summer newsletter. There's an article on wheat intolerance. One thing struck me: "...although wheat is not genetically modified (net yet!), it is treated with the herbicide Round-Up a few days before harvest. Only recently we are learning that Round-Up is associated with a host of problems, including digestive disorders, gluten intolerance and even autism." Apparently the wheat is killed with Round-Up because it makes it easier to harvest. Anyone else outraged by this information, or is it just me?

7/4/2014 8:11:05 AM

Several people were looking for ways to get non-modified wheat flour without spending a mint. I have a friend fron Bosnia that can't handle our traditional bread so she buys her flour from an international grocery. The flour costs nearly the same as what can be found in a conventional grocery, but comes from Europe. She experiences no poblems at all when consuming it.

6/30/2014 4:32:51 PM

@ thesaleboat, you made two arguments which are both fundamentally flawed. First, you state that American vaccinations are the cause of gluten sensitivity. Before even evaluating that statement, I think it's important to point out the glaringly obvious, since you missed it: even if that were true, it wouldn't explain Carolyn Welch's anecdote. The second problem with this claim (again, without even addressing the dubious claim itself) is that Europeans also vaccinate at a very similar rate. Your statement was proven logically false before you even finished typing it. The second claim you make is that GMO wheat is the cause of gluten intolerance. There is no data to support that claim, and a large reason for that is there are no commercially approved wheat crops in the USA, or indeed, anywhere in the world. Read that again and let it sink in. You couldn't buy GMO wheat even if you wanted to. The next time you have the urge to present blind conjecture as fact, you should at least make sure it's not patently and egregiously false first.

3/13/2014 12:49:51 PM

The two causes of this are the "vaccines" Americans get (which contain mercury, aluminum, among other hazardous things) and genetically modified corn and wheat grown in the USA approved by our government supported by Monsanto. "The United States and Columbia are the only two countries that allow Monsanto’s transgenic wheat." Read more:

3/3/2014 9:57:31 AM

I am looking for the answer to the same question! We just returned from Mexico. We had passed the same delicious smelling bakery, and finally succumbed. We waited for the onslaught of symptoms that never came! Is it something about the pesticides used, harvesting methods, etc. I have heard on theory about the long term storage of wheat/flour in this country- as opposed to some countries which grow closer to their own needs. This theory would seem to reflect the economic realities of a country such as Mexico. Greed kills! I'd love to know if you got feedback from any other sources.

1/21/2014 12:13:19 PM

I'm trying to read all these comments, and some of you have some crazy ideas. There's two main problems with wheat/gluten. Some people actually have an allergic reaction to it that can be seen or felt, other's it destroys the lining of the small intestine allowing bad things to get through, while at the same time some of the good things can find it hard to get though. So if you are the second type, you should have totally repaired your small intestine in 6 months or less off of gluten, meaning you can tolerate it again until the villi lining the small intestine lay down again, due to the gluten effect on it. So any tests in other countries of less than one year, really is not any evidence at all. Furthermore, the helpful flora inside our bodies are mainly in the large intestine. So while you want a healthy colon, these good guys will not help you at all directly if destroying the lining of the small intestine is the real problem. The big problem is our bodies are learning machines, and science is changing things faster than our bodies can learn them. And of course it's possible that the changes themselves are posing the real danger to everyone. Common food slightly changed even GMO food is not tested for human consumption by the FDA. We in the USA, are the long term guinea pigs, you vote with each purchase at a grocery store or restaurant for what you believe in. Swing the votes to a better future.

1/21/2014 12:10:54 PM

Beer has proteins in it; I imagine the proteins are what gives beer it's head and some of it's feel. And due to the grains used for beer, unless said otherwise, beer has the gluten protein in it. The filtering method of beer could remove some of the protein, so some types may not be as bad as others. I can eat loads of bread yeast and brewer's yeast, yeast is never a problem for me.

alicia coverdale
1/13/2014 2:12:33 PM

Do you think beer can be included with this wheat/GMO issue? I'm currently going through testing to find out specifically what's causing this GI distress every time I eat (and sometimes drink). I rarely drink beer, but when I had 2 or 3 bottles over the course of an evening, the reaction was...dramatic, and violent, as many other of my food reactions seem to be. Since we're on the topic of wheat and yeast and bread causing problems, can beer also do the same? Responses appreciated!

1/13/2014 1:32:55 PM

I'm not sure it is a US problem -- I had major problems in Germany and the hotel doctor was the first to suggest that I be intolerant to wheat. But I definitely think it has something to do with the wheat. Remember, the baby boomers are the first to experience the generically engineered wheat designed to get higher yields from the same size fields. :-)

1/13/2014 1:32:50 PM

I'm not sure it is a US problem -- I had major problems in Germany and the hotel doctor was the first to suggest that I be intolerant to wheat. But I definitely think it has something to do with the wheat. Remember, the baby boomers are the first to experience the generically engineered wheat designed to get higher yields from the same size fields. :-)

1/11/2014 6:02:52 PM

I think I "misappeared" my first effort at commenting, so I will try again. YES, there is something very wrong with the most commonly grown American wheat. This wheat is a hybrid and was bred some time ago. You can get all of the details in a fairly recent book titled, "Wheat Belly." The author is an M.D.. You will be surprised to find out about all of the symptoms/issues related to this wheat. I switched to spelt, but not American spelt. It is not a pure spelt, having been crossed with wheat many times. I fully believe that the common wheat is the problem for many people--not gluten.

12/17/2013 11:08:44 AM

Something has changed in bread...that is for sure. According to wikipedia and farmers I know confirm this..."no gmo wheat is grown in the US that we know of." That is why the Oregon wheat from the link on NPR below is a mystery. I think it is more the varieties of wheat grown? but I don't know. I would like to know why so much wheat intollerant people!

12/16/2013 3:39:41 PM

Yes, I believe the yeast is the trouble. I have been using a natural sourdough yeast starter for the past month and have no trouble eating the bread I make. I use whole wheat for the starter and bread flour when mixing the bread. Nothing I use is organic because of the extra cost. I had terrible trouble digesting my bread before I discovered sourdough starter.

12/7/2013 10:28:13 AM I don't think one Oregon farm is the extent of it.

12/7/2013 9:11:03 AM king arthur flour is GMO free

11/30/2013 6:28:35 PM

I just got a question from someone about where to get non-gmo wheat in the US. I believe any organic wheat would be non-gmo, I've been making my own breads with it and have had no problems. I have this fantastic food info/cookbook, Nourishing Traditions (found on Amazon, I'm also buying for two friends for xmas), and read this in it: "Most grains and legumes available in supermarkets have been treated numerous times with pesticides and other sprays that inhibit mold and vermin. Genetically modified grains contain foreign proteins that are likely to be highly irritating to the digestive tract." That's what I think is going on. Who knows what's in the pesticides, could be something irritating to the GI system, not to mention the modified proteins that our body doesn't recognize as food and reacts to it as it would a foreign object. Not everyone is as sensitive.

11/30/2013 6:08:54 PM

DebT--where is non-gmo organic wheat sold? It might be my answer. I'm GI here but can eat it no problem in Europe. Thanks!

11/30/2013 6:08:51 PM

DebT--where is non-gmo organic wheat sold? It might be my answer. I'm GI here but can eat it no problem in Europe. Thanks!

11/20/2013 4:34:05 PM

Check out The Gluten Summit - organized by Dr. Tom O'Bryan and has presentations from 29 of the world's most knowledgeable people regarding gluten. I am gluten sensitive and have been gluten-free for years and thought I knew pretty much everything related to gluten and I still learned a lot from this summit. Today is the final day of presentations (ends tomorrow morning at 10AM EST), so if you want to see them for free, go to It is also possible to purchase all the presentations as well as the audio and transcriptions at

11/20/2013 4:26:25 PM

Everyone can check out The Gluten Summit - it's presentations from 29 of the world's leading experts on gluten. I have been gluten free for 3 years and thought I knew almost everything there is to know about gluten and its effects on the body, but I still learned a lot. I think everyone would enjoy it. Today's the final day of the encore presentations, so they are only available until tomorrow morning at 10am EST, but if you want to check them out (for free), go to: If you want to purchase all the presentations (almost 30 hours) as well as the audio and transcriptions, go here:

11/20/2013 4:16:24 PM

The only thing I can think of that would let you eat wheat overseas is that most countries do not allow modified food in their country. Over here the wheat is modified genetically. This could be the difference.

11/7/2013 1:25:24 PM

Not sure if any of you read Acres USA but I'm sure some of you must. April 2013 issue of Acres USA mentions how researchers at Oregon state had bombarded the wheat with a vicious chemical to create herbicide- resistant seeds and embryos in the interview, and that there are millions of acres planted in the Pacific Northwest. I guess worth checking out.

11/2/2013 11:04:38 AM

I find it interesting that a lot of people focus on breads and look to other ingredients in breads that may cause gluten intolerance. A friend mentioned the yeast being used these days is not natural and may be causing the problems. But I have to point out that it's not just wheat that contains gluten, and it's not just bread that triggers GI. Wheat pasta bothers my belly and that doesn't contain yeast. I've been using non-gmo organic flour to bake at home and that doesn't bother me. I've been buying pasta that's from Italy and I'm okay with that. We may never know the answer but a documentary worth watching is Genetic Roulette, preview: I believe that GMO foods have been altered to the point that they are no longer compatible with our bodies. They're just not natural.

11/2/2013 12:13:05 AM

Please understand that there is a difference between Gluten Intolerance and Celiac disease. I don't know the exact differences though. I speak from the experience of my wife who we believe is gluten intolerant. The test for celiac disease requires going back on to wheat and she is not willing to do that. It really does give her extreme GI distress. It also seems to cause acne. I would like to believe that there is a difference between American and European wheat. It does seem very possible that GMO, anti-biotics, over-processing and simple gene selection for commercial farming practices are behind it. I haven't seen any information though, that says that is true, other that some commentaries. Maybe someone else could point us towards some specific research on that. For some gluten-free recipes, restaurant reviews and good reads please look at her blog at .

10/30/2013 5:07:35 PM

I think the problem Carolyn Welch has may be related to the high number of ingredients in commercially produced bread products in the US. For instance I just counted the number of ingredients in a loaf of high quality whole wheat bread I get from the grocery store, it has 27 ingredients. The bread Carolyn was buying in Europe probably had about 5 ingredients; flour,water,salt,yeast and sugar.

10/7/2013 7:42:09 AM

In going thru the comments no one mentioned on how we have changed the growth pattern of wheat. In the early 1900's wheat would grow 4 to 5 ft tall. Once machinery was introduced the goal was to shorten the wheat to make it easier to harvest, it now only grows 12". If one has changed the growth pattern it also changes the root pattern and the amount of the gluten within the plant. Short plant higher gluten content. If you use heirloom grains or ancient grains that still have the normal growth pattern you will have no issues.From a gluten/dairy/meat free vegan :)

9/30/2013 10:33:11 PM

Since gluten reactions aren't always visible or "feelable" it's easy to think nothing's happening even when the gut or immune system is under stress. So, it's hard to say why you reacted differently on your trip. There is some evidence that certain artisanal bread making techniques (ie long ferments, sprouted flours, wild-yeast sourdoughs, etc.) can themselves decrease or alter gluten and/or make certain nutrients more bioavailable, so maybe you benefited from this effect. Bakers & scientists have just begun to learn more about how this works so we're a ways from being able to reliably bake more digestible breads using those techniques. Celiac disease is very common in Europe and awareness is high in most areas. In fact, until recently it was thought that Europeans had a much *higher* rate of celiac than Americans. Over 5 years a massive, multi-center study was done published in the 10 February 2003 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine- read about it at ) that showed conclusively that "...celiac disease is just as prevalent in the U.S. as in Europe, where it is considered common, affecting an estimated one out of 130-to-300 people." Some of that increase is better diagnosis. However, more people are clearly affected now than in the past. Some can be explained by better treatment that allows celiac-affected children to grow up, have kids & pass on their illness- but not all. Tests done on blood samples preserved from the 1950's shows a dramatic increase since that time, Not only among young people of today but also of folks whose blood was taken back then but didn't previously have active celiac disease now showing active disease. (read more ) The fact is that many other auto-immune diseases have become more common these days. Though it's not certain, some researchers feel these increase are all caused by the same or related factors. Since the rates have been building for at least 10 years and maybe more, it's not likely to have been GMOs or other recent events. Plenty of other toxins and such are bombarding our immune systems, so there's no shortage of possibilities!

9/23/2013 9:05:03 AM

Several years ago, I became aware that more and more people were developing gluten intolerance/allergies. While we are exposed to an ever increasing amount of toxins in our environment, and suffering the effects of de-natured and genetically modified foods, this did not seem to completely explain this phenomenon. My theory quickly became linked to the ever growing use of antibiotics in ALL of our animal food products and by-products, as well as in many of our household and personal care products. Most of us are aware that when we are on antibiotics, it is advisable to eat yogurt because the ANTIBIOTICS DESTROY HEALTHY INTESTINAL BALANCES WHICH ARE REQUIRED FOR SO MANY DIGESTIVE AND ABSORBTION PROCESSES, SUCH AS DIGESTING GLUTEN. I would strongly suspect that those who had no gluten problems when in European countries were perhaps relieved because their bodies were not being inundated with antibiotic laden animal and personal care products. This use of anitbiotics in our country in all of our animal products of course extends to your butter, eggs, milk, tuna, lunch meat, as well as the obvious of all of your meat, fish, chicken, and poultry - and many Americans are washing their hands, and their dishes with anti-bacterial products as well. These practices are stripping our bodies of their God given natural balances, and are inhibiting our bodies God given natural abilities.

9/22/2013 4:36:59 PM

I just read this article in the Aug/Sept issue and felt I had to comment immediately. I too have been having GI issues, over the past few years, after eating wheat-based foods. My 18 year old son has had ever more trouble. My family went to Italy in early June this year and spent 10 days eating bread, pasta and pizza every day, with NO GI ISSUES AT ALL. It was heavenly. I'd heard that GMOs were banned in most of Europe, and so I think our problem is with American GMO wheat. Once we were back home I started buying organic flour and making breads, pasta and pizza and again, no GI issues. If I buy pasta in stores, I will only buy organic or pasta imported from Italy. I've talked about this whole thing with friends, and they've had similar experiences. So yes, I honestly feel that gluten is an American problem. And the ever-growing numbers of people over the last couple of decades reflects that. If you want to see a scary documentary about GMOs, see Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of Our Lives

9/21/2013 6:49:41 PM

I tolerated the rye crisp bread from Ikea just fine, but not the Wasa rye bread bought at the grocery store...main difference - Yeast. This would support what others here have said about natural yeast making the bread more digestable....

9/20/2013 9:51:27 AM

I am also gluten sensitive and although I have not experienced this myself, I have heard a couple of clients of mine tell me they had the same experience when they were in Europe (one was in Sweden, the other I cannot remember where she went).....I want to say I also had issues with organic wheat, but I do not recall whether or not I was exclusively eating organic wheat at the time....I thought this was interesting enough and prompted me to buy some Swedish crisp bread at Ikea yesterday to see if I tolerate that.....

9/11/2013 12:30:24 PM

I haven't yet read all of the comments, but two possibilities: Try heirloom/heritage varieties of wheat: einkorn, spelt (my fave), kamut, a few others. for gluten-free pasta, try Sam Mills Pasta d'Oro. It's corn based, but non-GMO. From Italy, I believe. yes, it's more expensive than cheap white pasta, and yes it uses fuel to transport, but it's good. I am in the middle of a three month GF test, and after that, I hope to reintroduce spelt and spelt pasta.

9/11/2013 8:09:57 AM

I often wonder if our cheaper foods are costing us a lot more with our health. I try to grow, as much of my own food as possible,trade my excesses for something I don't have etc. I use to be sick often, so about 25 years ago, went primarily vegetarian,and started to eat organic, minimally processed foods. It has made a huge difference in my health...for the better! There is a reason why food allergies,gluten intolerance, and other health problems have skyrocketed in this country. No, GMO wheat is not approved in this country, but has been found in wheat leaving the country. How can you "destroy" this after it has been grown? How far does the wind carry this from the test plots, and how many years does it take for that soil to be free of any residual? These are unknowns. There are so many chemicals put in our food sources, that it is sometimes hard to say what is causing which problem. For those of you with food issues: I had great luck getting information at my local food co-op. They also have different cookbooks, and informative books for people looking for information re: their conditions. For those of you talking about King Arthur flour, I totally agree. I also have their baking book...which pretty much pointed out everything I was doing wrong, when baking! Last year, I had someone visiting with a soy allergy (soy is in most commercially processed breads) and didn't have time to bake. Went by Panera Bread. They have a book you can look at that is sectioned into different groups, and has the ingredients in their bread listed. Good conversation here everyone!

9/10/2013 11:08:45 AM

Carolyn, I basically had the same experience as you, and in short, the key for me seems to specifically be the potassium bromate mentioned in other responses. According to Wikipedia, potassium bromate is banned in the EU and other countries, but not in the US. After getting back from a month in Italy and Paris last year, a little research led me to King Arthur flours, which are available in a number of food stores near me. I found, like in Europe, I had no reaction to baked goods we make using King Arthur products, which say, “Never Bleached, Never Bromated” on the bag. Also, the fresh bread available at Whole Foods stores in my area (and I think nationwide) are also purposely and proudly bromate-free, and I’ve eaten these with no problem. I believe there are other flours available in the US that are not bromated, and I understand that Pepperidge Farm breads are bromate-free (but have not tried these). Hope that helps you. My history, briefly: I was treated (unsuccessfully) for 5 years with various prescription meds for acid reflux until I finally had a definitive test that showed I was not refluxing ANY acid, and quickly ditched the meds and the doctors involved with no ill effects! I then, fortunately, found a brilliant doctor who diagnosed and cleared part of the symptoms I was feeling with just vitamins; then I was able to self-diagnose what I thought at the time was a mild wheat allergy. Eating wheat products in the US prompted a ‘warm throat’ for about 24 hours, starting maybe 12 hours after I ate the wheat (took a while to figure that out). Avoiding wheat made me completely symptom-free for the first time in 5 years. So I lived on a gluten-free diet for about 9 years. In 2012, we spent a month in Italy and Paris. I knew gluten-free would be a real challenge in the land of pasta, bread and pastries, so I decided to try it at the beginning of the trip. Like you, I ‘miraculously’ had no problems/symptoms while there. Toward the end of my stay and upon return to the US, my research on the Internet led me to potassium bromate. Avoiding bromated products has served me well ever since.

9/9/2013 3:24:29 PM

I have given up breads and other baked products that I used to love. I would like to know what the situation is with American wheat also. Is it possibe to get safe European Wheat here or can I oreder it? Please look into this for us. I love your magazine and all the great information in it.

9/2/2013 1:36:22 PM

So anyone know where I can purchase "safe" ancient grains and recipes for the "old" yeast recipes? store, mail order,etc? Or shoot me your recipe! We have all but given up bread, to avoid gastro issues. I miss it! Thank you!

9/2/2013 1:36:13 PM

So anyone know where I can purchase "safe" ancient grains and recipes for the "old" yeast recipes? store, mail order,etc? Or shoot me your recipe! We have all but given up bread, to avoid gastro issues. I miss it! Thank you!

8/25/2013 11:02:38 AM

Over the last few years my partner Gavin has been unable to eat any baked products in the US. When he does he has a skin reaction similar to eczema. The bigger or fluffier the baked item, the worst it got. He can tolerate pasta but it has to be cooked through. The same goes for things like pancakes or muffins; so long as it is baked through, its "okay" but there is still subtle skin indications of intolerance. He also can't drink any beer except for german beers. And he usually can't have any vinegar or fermented products made in the US. We have been blessed to have the opportunity to travel to several countries through out Europe. And just like Carolyn, Gavin can eat everything and anything to his heart content. He can drink beer. Eat bread. And gobble up everything without a single reaction. In fact, in Europe he feels healthier than he ever feels here in the States but I would say that I attribute SOME of that feeling to the fact that he IS on vacation. But none the less, the food in Europe agrees very well with him. Here in the USA we use fast active dry yeast, fast rise and quick bake. But in Europe most bakers still practice the old artisan way of slow rise, slow bake methods. Also as we understand it, the Europeans use old heritage wheat breeds and stone grinding practices. The US uses high speed milling and bleaching practices. It was explained to me once by a nutritionist that these quick high speed milling practices create a heat which affects the proteins or some other part of the wheat product. And not for nothing but the breads we tasted in France, The Netherlands and Germany were superior to anything I have ever eaten here in the United States as an adult. I use to think that my child hood memories of delicious bright yellow eggs and beautiful baked breads were overly romanticized and distant but now I know that as many of us say as we get older, "they don't make 'em like they use to" is absolutely true. That is certainly true with American made foods; right down to the ingredients we use. WE need to go back to the old way of doing things. These mechanize systems and need for speed is really messing with the purpose of food which is pure, wholesale unadulterated nutrition. At least the old world is still doing it right but we simply can't afford to keep flying to Europe just to eat a piece of bread. Our goal of building a homestead can't come quick enough. The only way to avoid to Americas over processed ingredients is to grow it and make it yourself. The proof is in the pudding.

8/25/2013 9:12:40 AM

I just finished reading all of the comments below and watched Dr. Davis' CBS video, as well. I will order his book and also "The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast" by Warnock/Richardson to further educate myself. My daughter is gluten intolerant, my wife has Fibromyalgia (symptoms similar to some described below) and I take an antacid daily. Since we are all very different complicated organisms due in part to our heritages/genetic make-ups, I doubt that there is a "silver bullet" that will work for all of the ills described below. For me, the proof is in the pudding. I intend to make some changes in my family's diet. This will not be a quick thing - old habits are hard to break - but the possible rewards are significant. It will require very different methods of food sourcing and preparation than what I am used to. I encourage anyone out there to share your successes (and failures) with your individual "tests". I feel that we are each responsible for our own welfare and cannot expect big business to respond in any positive way until they are hit in their pocketbooks or see an opportunity to make more money (i.e., a product line using European-sourced grains for those of us who wish to eat healthier). Big business is in business to be big and shareholders expect returns on their investment as their first priority with "doing the right thing" a distant second, if at all. Thank you all for your comments thus far. What a great community to learn from!

guy dasilva
8/21/2013 3:54:25 PM

MESSING WITH MOTHER NATURE I believe the answer to these questions resides in a piece of history that most people are unaware of. In the 1950s, in an attempt to end world hunger, American agronomist Norman Ernest Borlaug began developing new varieties of wheat in Mexico that were resistant to the diseases that plagued wheat crops. By 1962, he had effectively cross-pollinated the wheat a whopping 8,156 times in only 15 years, a feat that would have taken nature thousands of years to accomplish. The end product consisted of six semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties that “were going to save the world from starvation,” according to the press. The seeds were shipped off to hungry countries, and by 1968, Borlaug’s varieties were producing enough to feed all of Pakistan and India. In 1970, this increase of the food supply, dubbed the “Green Revolution,” landed him the Nobel Peace Prize. Today, Borlaug’s wheat varieties dominate the entire US supply. Coincidentally, the rates of autoimmune diseases have risen from 21% in 1975 to an incredible 93% in 2000. Even Borlaug himself died of lymphoma in 2009. And celiacs disease, a gastrointestinal manifestation of gluten sensitivity, has increased 400% over the last 50 years according to the New England Journal of Medicine. So, what’s changed? Certainly not our genes. While ending world hunger is a humbling endeavor, messing with the genetics of our food supply comes with its own set of problems. Borlaug designed his wheat to have heavy heads of enlarged grains supported by thick, dwarfed stalks. This “dwarf” wheat was, by definition, a mutation. The wheat’s genes were drastically changed in a short amount of time, and our bodies simply haven’t had time to adapt. Without any research into the possible side effects, our country has been ingesting this mutant wheat (and thus, mutant gluten) for breakfast, lunch and dinner for decades. To read more go to:

8/20/2013 9:52:11 AM

Just picked up the magazine and saw the article regarding Gluten and had to respond. I recently attended a class/seminar on Ancient Wheat & Grains which Hayden mills in Tempe Az is trying to bring back. When the machinery entered into harvesting wheat changes were made to the structure of the wheat plant reducing it to 12" versus 4 ft high to make it easier for the machinery to process it and less waste of stem structure. It is a proven fact that the current wheat grown is higher in gluten content due to the plant structure being altered. You can still find "ancient grain flour" and make your own bread. My husband was wheat gluten intolerant but no longer, though we don't purchase any type of food that has wheat gluten in it, am an avid label reader! At times this is difficult as we are also vegan and wheat gluten is used in vegan

8/13/2013 5:13:25 PM

I thought I should share the thoughts of an old school allergist I knew well.  Dr. Kaplowe was from New Haven Ct and successfully treated literally thousands, of people who were intollerant (or allergic) of mostly wheat or dairy products.  His approach and theories were the same for both.  Dr. Kaplowe was convinced that the chemicals or processing aides in these "allergens" were so unnatural (from an evolutianary perspective) and new (last fifty years or so) that they were not recognized by our bodies.  Our bodies could however, associate these chemicals with something it could recognize, if they were accompanied or associated with it multiple times.  His approach was to first remove the item from the patients diet completely for a differing period of time depending on their overall health and age (one to six months if I remember correctly) and then put them back on the organic only version of the same item they were previously  "allergic" to.  Dr. Kaplowe was an M.D. as well as a homeopathic AND Naturopathic doctor and a practicing allergen specialist.  This was in the early 1980's that I knew him.  He died at the age of 92 after slipping on ice on someones porch still doing house calls.  I would be surprised if someone he cured is not reading this right now.  Please chime in if your out there. 




8/13/2013 8:53:23 AM

I just wanted to put in my two cents.  Wheat, in reality is not a GMO project as of yet.  But people are confusing terminology between hybridized and genetically modified.
Wheat as we know it has been hybridized to death in N. America.  Even the wheat in Canada is slightly different.  So, your body no longer recodnizes it as food. We currently eat what is termed as hard wheat.  That means that the head has been enlarged and hence the stem had to be strengthened in order to be able to hold the product up in the fields as well as survive the amount of processing required to ship it all over the place.  This has been happening for the last 30 years.  In the US you have to add gluten to the flour or buy bread flour whereas in Canada you do not.  You can (in Canada) make wonderful bread with regular flours.
In Europe, they are using what is called soft wheat.  It is closer to the natural grass that once was our wheat.  So that is why people have no problems eating European breads on vacation because thus far, it has not been alterred. 

BUT and this is a huge BUT the other thing people have to figure out is that if it is gluten itself that they are reacting to or if it is bromide.  All american breads contain bromide (potassium bromate).  That is put in the bread to make it more elastic and tougher in order to again tolerate mass production.  This ingredient usually falls under the term "enriched" along with other ingredients that they removed in the processing and put back later on in order to get the "whole grain" label.  There is also another ingredient found in most baked goods, bread included that is a known carcinogen.  That is acrylamide.  All interactions with this browning chemical are also gastro intestinal so that is where the cancers develop and that is also where most intolerances occur for people who have gluten allergies and IBS and so many other issues.

You can buy wheat that has not been adulterated.  You most likely will have to order it online since most stores do not carry it since no one really knows it is available or what to do with it.  I have bought them from King Arthur flours.  There is an Irish style whole meal flour and then they also have French style and European style.  There is another one too if memory serves.  You can email them and ask them what soft wheat flours they currently have available.  You might also get lucky and find the flours in your local health food store.  It is not easy.  You can also find the flours through an organic food co-op.  Just go to the site and see if there is a co-op in your area that you can join and then you can order flours and other foods/ingredients at a cheaper rate then buyring it at the local health food store. 

I am a baker and I do not use regular flours.  My cakes are not pristine white and I tell my clients that they will never be white.  When people ask for white icings or a pure white cake I will refuse the order since in order to get that colour you have to use ingredients that are less desirable. 


I hope this helps people.  If you set yourself up to make home made bread you will never go back.  It is not that hard and you will reap the rewards.  My mother used to bake 22 loaves every month.  That day, dinner was bread and butter.  We could not get enough.  I love bread.  It is sad that such a wonderful comforting food should cause so much grief.

8/12/2013 10:30:53 AM


8/9/2013 11:22:15 AM

From Sue VAn Slooten: I've been a blogger on bread for MOTHER now about 2 1/2 years, and in my research into bread, I often asked the same question you have: Why are so many people suddenly gluten free? As an anthropologist, I also know that allergies and gluten intolerances don't happen overnight, unless there's a major mutation. The mutation is not us, it's our food. There are several serious issues with our so-called modern wheat: GMOs, preservatives and additives, not the least of which is the processing. I got very suspicious a few years ago, and started checking flour bag ingredient lists. Guess what I found? Acne medication!!! Chemicals that cause diabetes. The milling speeds are so high, it literally burns any nutrients out of the grain. Then they try to add it all back in with fortification. When I shop for flour, I go to local stone ground mills such as Upper Canada Village, Arva or import King Arthur. Barring that, there's always the local health food store. When you think we're having this discussion over one ingredient, flour, just think what they've done to our entire diet.

8/7/2013 9:32:28 PM

Everyone should read "THE PALEO SOLUTION" by Robb Wolf. It explains the science behind and evolutionary reasons why our modern grain, carbohydrate and sugar based diet is hurting us and making us all fat or sick.

I have been following the guidelines of a Paleo Diet for over a year now and I feel better and my cholesterol numbers are much improved.

8/7/2013 3:12:05 PM

My daughter became gluten intolerant when she was in college. It was really hard for me because I am an avid baker and I had to switch to glutenfree cooking when she was visiting. When I read Carolyn's letter I got all excited. I buy Polish and/or Czech flour (I am Czech myself) for some european recipes at the Polish Deli in Albany, NY. Never would I think that the flour could be different. As a test, I baked a cake with it and my daughter ate the whole thing without any stomach issues. Her wedding is coming up so I think we may even have a wedding cake with real flour!


8/7/2013 1:02:27 PM

I've read that celiac is actually very common in Italy, so I'm not sure issues with gluten are strictly an American problem. That said, I think our issues with gluten are multifacted - from poor gut bacteria at birth because we have a higher c-section rate and lower breast feeding rate than most of Europe. To the breeds of wheat we grow (not even GMO, but organicly engineered wheat that is far removed from the ancient strains - and often contains more gluten). To the heavy processing of said grains, as opposed to traditional preparation. On top of that we eat a lot of processed food in general, as opposed to nutrient rich traditional foods, which decreases our overall well-being and makes us all the most likely to have issues digesting grains, and gluten in particular.

8/7/2013 8:01:24 AM

My little boy and I share the same problem. I was diagnosed with ibs when young, now this. We now grow our own veggies and fruits, meat as well. You have to even watch what you feed your animals. :( It's the grain we can't get around. I believe it's all the work of that evil empire we all know too well, starts with M. Darn GMO's!

8/6/2013 10:31:04 PM

Well worth it to read "Wheat Belly" by William Davis, MD.  Here's a link to a 5 min. clip of an interview where Wisconsin cardiologist Dr. Davis rapidly and succinctly explains how America's "wheat" supply dangerously morphed from the ancient, heritage type wheat (called einkorn" to the harmful, inflammation-producing "semi-dwarf, high yield 'wheat'" widespread in the American diet.  There is heritage wheat, red fife and einkorn, being grown in Scotland, Canada, and the northern US, and Italy, I think.

One such source of einkorn; I'm sure there are more.


8/6/2013 6:15:35 PM

Gluten-free is the latest band wagon for Americans to jump on. I know that some folks are intolerant but I have heard mothers say "Oh I don't allow my children to have gluten.'' Huh? A gluten-free diet it not necessarily a healthy one for those who are NOT intolerant. Remember when everyone thought that oat bran was so great? Turns out that people who ate oatmeal for breakfast were less likely to eat eggs and bacon. I don't know why European bread would be so much better but maybe it has to do with other ingredients.

8/6/2013 2:45:53 PM

It is my belief that GMO's are the main culprit since most people did not have issues until this started.



8/6/2013 11:40:17 AM

I was researching this very topic about 4 months ago & came across a doctor who did research on the "new gluten intolorance" epidemic.  His conclusion was that it is the way we raise wheat in the USA now days.  He believes the heavy use of chemical fertilizers, fungicides & herbicides (not to mention GMO polenation pollution) has disrupted the nutritional value of American wheat.  I wish I could remember his name as his conclusions certainly seemed reasonable to me.  We didn't have all these problems in my grandparents day.  I don't believe that's the entire cause but one of many due to our poor farming practices now days. 

8/6/2013 11:28:51 AM

Ask Joel.  I attended the Mother Earth Fair in Seattle last year.  Joel gave one of his great lectures.  During which he mechened that wheat is harvested different now then it was years ago.  Something about allowing the grain to remain in the field for 2 to 4 weeks vs cutting it this morning and having it milled by noon.  Anyway, Mother Earth, ask Joel.

8/6/2013 8:35:02 AM

I have had exactly the same experience.  I am gluten intolerant, but on a trip to France this spring also succumbed to baguettes, croissants and brioche with absolutely no problems.  I am 100% sure it is the garbage GMO wheat the U.S. grows that is making me sick, and no longer eat any wheat products.  I have read that almost all the wheat now in the U.S. is GMO and has many times the gluten of non-GMO varieties. When, oh, when is the U.S. going to wake up and stop GMO's? 


8/6/2013 7:25:57 AM

The book entitled Wheat Belly  by William Davis, MD, explains everything in detail.  I highly recommend the book.  There is also a cookbook available that just cam out entitled The Wheat Belly Cookbook that has some great recipes for gluten-free cooking.

8/6/2013 3:57:17 AM

My Grandmother was celiac Undiagnosed, it killed her. My father was Celiac and it killed him.  My wheat stomach started early in my life.  I have it and so does my granddaughter and at least one of my children.  WE can not ever eat any kind of wheat, anchient or new, both the same when it comes to our family, we may not eat wheat, ever. For those whose body is rejecting GMOs, that is a different problem.  If you are Celiac wheat in any form is death, be strong and live well,  and yes Natural Flavors or natural flavorings are code for MSG.   Don't be fooled.

8/6/2013 2:49:11 AM

To: abqmalenurse

Perhaps some education is in order. What you say about "no strain of GMO wheat has been released for public use" is true. BUT, stop and think. The GMO wheat was raised in open-air test plots in 16 different states. The test plots were planted amongst normal wheat fields. Since wheat is wind pollinated, it would seem to me that all the normal wheat that was downwind of the test plots is normal no more. Have not seen any research on the "carry distance" of wheat p;ollen, but GMO corn pollen has been found 500 miles downwind from its point of origin. The USA sent 3 shiploads of wheat to Korea just a few months ago; when the Koreans discovered the USA wheat was GMO, they refused to accept it, since GMOs are illegal in Korea and in much of the rest of the world. My son has been diagnosed with celiac disease; when he goes to Europe he can eat any wheat products he likes without consequences.

8/5/2013 11:58:14 PM

Gluten is an American problem because of the yeast we use. Since 1984, yeast sold in grocery stores has been modified in laboratories to be quick-rising and rapid-rising and no longer pre-digests the gluten found in wheat. In Europe and most of the rest of the world, natural yeast continues to be used to make bread, the same way that bread has been made for more than 6,000 years (the earliest documented use of yeast bread was in Ancient Egypt). Natural yeast, when allowed to raise for at least 12 hours, eats the gluten found in wheat until it is gone. You don’t have to take my word for this, you can take the yeast to your doctor to have it laboratory tested. If you have full-blown Celiac disease, your insurance will pay for the lab test in most cases. Several people have taken yeast from my kitchen to their doctor and had it tested, and it tested gluten free each time.  Because natural yeast is so difficult to find, I have been giving it away on my blog for more than two years to anyone who asks. I am the co-author, with natural yeast baking expert Melissa Richardson, of the book “The Art of Baking With Natural Yeast.” Most people have never seen natural yeast, let alone know how to bake with it. Once you have a natural yeast start, you never have to buy yeast again. I have mailed thousands of dried yeast flakes across the U.S. and Canada. Natural yeast can be frozen, dried, kept in the fridge, or kept on the kitchen counter. If you don’t want to get natural yeast from me, the best way to capture it from the wild is to take two stalks of ripe organic wheat (no pesticides or herbicides) directly from a field or backyard garden (I grow my own heirloom wheat in my garden) and put the two wheat heads into a half cup of flour and a half cup minus three tablespoons of warm water. Leave this mixture in a sunny place in your kitchen for several days and you will have bubbly yeast. This is the method that bakers all over Europe have used for centuries to get their yeast, and continue to use to this day.

Gluten intolerance is very trendy right now. Many, many people have begun diagnosing themselves without even going to a doctor. But if you don’t want to be on an expensive artificial diet for the rest of your life, try natural yeast. If you don’t want to see your kids on a special diet for their whole lives, try natural yeast.

Believe it or not, natural yeast also cures heartburn, and university tests have shown that it does not spike the glycemic index when used with white flour to make bread (not that I recommend white flour to anyone). Natural yeast is also so effective at controlling allergies that there is an allergy pill on the market made of natural yeast. For much more information, please see our book. You don’t have to buy the book to get natural yeast from me. You can get your free yeast start from me at For more on this topic, visit my blog post “A Natural History of Yeast and Why It Matters” here:

-Caleb Warnock

8/5/2013 11:01:21 PM

As a farmer in the business of growing crops, it is shocking to me , how the American farmer is almost forced to grow roundup ready crops that have been geneticly modified and then dreanched in pesticides,herbicides and often fertilized with manure that contains unhealthy materials. The giant chemical companies can get Americas elected officials to allow them to do anything no matter how bad it is and then sell it to the public regardless of health issues.

8/5/2013 7:59:12 PM

I noticed on a trip to Italy that I was able to eat wheat products for breakfast, lunch and dinner while in the US I can only eat wheat on very limited occasions if I don't what the dreaded stomach cramps.  About a year ago, I read an article that clearly explained that the wheat used in the US was hybridize in the 1950's and actually has a slightly different protein than the historical wheat preferred in Europe.  Our wheat produces substanially more grain per acre, but it doesn't make bread of a quality to suit Europeans.  I believe there is a variety sold on the internet called "turkey wheat" that is supposed to be similiar or the same as what is used in Europe.  I don't think this is the same as Celiac disease--only wheat intolerance since there is Celiac disease found in Europe. This is, also, not the same as the GMO problems since the wheat was hybridized so long ago. I am sorry I can't link to the article.

8/5/2013 7:57:04 PM

Most wheat has been "developed" but is not GMO. This term is over-used and ought to be kept for plants that have had genes from other species introduced. The angst around GMO in these posts is unwarranted, unless the plants are "Roundup Ready" or have the Bacillus thuringiensis gene inserted. Most wheat doesn't.

All living things evolve and this includes genetically, between Species as well as intra-taxa. Just as an example, Europeans and Asians have Neanderthal genes (sub-Saharan people do not). They did not get there through GMO processes, 50,000+ years ago!

Yes, wheat has been "improved" (cynical here) to increase (a) the farmers' yields (makes it cheaper to buy - the wheat, the flour, bread)and to make it easier to process as it has higher gluten - the elastic factor that the CO2 acts on to rise (not raise),  the dough.

That extra gluten is one thing, but the area I would target is the production. There are many additives worked into the dough nowdays to enhance the speed of manufacture and to "preserve" the loaves once on the retail shelf. There is HUGE waste in supermarket bread, often 60% is thrown away (fed to pigs perhaps). All adds to the cost, which we - the consumers - demand to be kept low. We can't have it both ways.

It used to take between 16 and 24 hours to bake a loaf. Today that is 90 to 120 minutes. Speed makes for less labour etc, etc, etc.

Compare costs.

Today it costs me $1.48 for a 1 pound "common" loaf at the local supermarket (I by from a local baker at $4.89 by the way a 1.5lb stoneground wholemeal loaf). The median wage for the USA is $38,000 so that loaf costs ..... so 5 minute's work.

In 1955 that common loaf cost my mother 18 cents; but the median wage was $1,100 so 53c an hour. Thus the common pound loaf cost 20 minute's work!

FOUR TIMES the current cost! ...............

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch good people. You (we) want it cheaper, cheaper, cheaper and there is a price to pay. Additives in your bread - and - possibly - the high-gluten breeds of wheat.

8/5/2013 6:42:43 PM

Way back in 2000 I was seeing a holistic physicians assistant in my regular doctor's office ass he and others couldn't figure out the intense discomfort I experienced after eating.  It was a time of much stress and my weakened immune system allowed candida to invade and make a home in my intestines.  Gluten intolerance was the result diagnosed by a stool test.  Worst case Charmaine had ever seen.  So diet changes, etc. for a long time (2 years?) and I won.   No problems until recently, again during much stress, discomfort after eating and I love jalapeno bread!!!  Afraid it might be back.  We've lost our pollinators since our neighbor to the north planted corn this year instead of the hay he's planted for 20 years.   Modern big time agriculture - scary!!!   GMO and various insecticides (many banned in Europe) - not in the interest of healthy humans.  Wish I were younger - I'd be an activist!!

8/5/2013 4:34:16 PM

I have heard this also, where people who are gluten intolerant cannot eat bread in America, but can eat it just fine in other countries. I tend to think it is probably because of GMOs, but also pesticides and other enhancers that are added for a variety of reasons to American flour. It makes me want to study this and either get my grain from a local granary or order it online (organic flour). 

8/5/2013 4:21:29 PM

They started enriching flour in the US in 1998.  For many people this is the problem.  It is for me.  The Folic Acid they use is synthetic and up to 50% of the population doesn't produce enough of the enzyme necessary to process it.  Its the MTHFR gene defect.  A simple blood test checks for it. The proper supplement and avoiding enriched flour treats it the problem.

8/5/2013 3:31:00 PM

To the people claiming that their problem is due to GMO wheat strains, that's interesting. You must be buying it illegaly because NO STRAIN OF GMO WHEAT HAS BEEN RELEASED FOR PUBLIC USE.

Yes, wheat has been modified by more traditional means of hybridization.

Considering that Europe imports wheat from other countries, including the US, it is much more likely some other issue than the wheat is occurring.

I have Celiac disease and am unable to eat any wheat/gluten products from any country.

8/5/2013 3:00:43 PM

I had a small-scale baking business last year. I sold at farmers' markets and quickly developed an eye for people that have been medically diagnosed as celiac or gluten intolerant, and the people that are simply following the lead of a number of Hollywood stars. In the interest of transparency, I was misdiagnosed with celiac back in '05 and have nothing but empathy for true celiac cases.

i liked to educate my customers and this is what I said when asked about gluten-free options. Wheat, when it's fresh, is naturally sweedozens doesn't need additional sweetening. We're talking about flour that's 2-4 weeks or leold off the mill. In America, most of our wheat is grown in the Midwest and may sit in a warehouse for as long as a year, therefore it loses it's natural sweetness and needs to have it added back. In America, especially at the mass production level, that means HFCS which comes with a whole host of issues on its own.

HFCS is banned in Europe, and their flour production is decentralized. It doesn't travel as far and is used sooner.

8/5/2013 2:56:20 PM

One more thing... "organically certified" is not always possible for local farmers who can't afford the certification, or they don't want to raise the price on their produce.  Check local farmer's markets, etc., for organically grown, non GMO, but not necessarily certified products - support your local farmers and keep prices affordable!

8/5/2013 2:55:27 PM

One more thing... "organically certified" is not always possible for local farmers who can't afford the certification, or they don't want to raise the price on their produce.  Check local farmer's markets, etc., for organically grown, non GMO, but not necessarily certified products - support your local farmers and keep prices affordable!

8/5/2013 2:52:29 PM

GLUTEN (All about gluten) (by J.Hall)

The problem is with the wheat in america.  Wheat here has been hybridized for many years to contain more and more gluten.  Unless you get organic wheat (which you have to specifically order online & grow your own wheat or wheatgrass for wheatgrass juice), then you are getting hybridized wheat.  This hybridized wheat is everywhere now, in all our bread products (and any product that contains wheat flour, such as pasta, couscous, soy sauce, etc), at the grocery store & restaurants, and affects us adversely - sooner or later it will affect everyone who eats it (some may tolerate it better than others, and some may not recognize the symptoms, and doctors don't always relate the symptoms to wheat - but it will eventually cause gluten intolerance or celiac disease because of the high gluten content that is not well tolerated in our bodies).  And now the problem is going to be much worse because Monsanto has released genetically modified (GMO) wheat.  Regular gluten grains are safe unless you're already gluten sensitive or have celiac disease.  The three main gluten grains are wheat (& other species of wheat like kamut, spelt, triticale, etc), barley, & rye.   Non-gluten grains are amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, Job's tears, millet, quinoa, sorghum, teff.  Be careful of corn - if it's not organic, it's a GMO.  Oats have avenin, which is a type of gluten but usually not problematic unless you are gluten sensitive or have celiac).   It's safest to get the whole grains yourself & soak about 24 hr, then dry or sprout, and then grind your own flours for making your own bread or just cook like you would rice for a side dish or a breakfast cereal. 


Judy H., M.G. & Horticulturist (B.S. from ASU in Tempe, AZ)

8/5/2013 2:48:30 PM

I live in an area where I have easy access to freshly baked breads prepared in the European fashion - real sourdough, no chemicals added, etc.  I find I can eat these breads and feel great, while packaged store-bought breads make me lethargic, bloated and fat!  I haven't looked into it, but these local artisan style bakeries probably buy only organically grown, non GMO flours as well.  I believe it's a combination - grain quality and preparation.

8/5/2013 1:11:32 PM

To be honest, there are dozens and dozens or reasons this could be possible that have nothing to do with the wheat itself but what is used ON the wheat. The farming process and food processing are not necessarily the same between countries, nor do they use the same substances FOR this processing, so these can be the reason behind someone's poor reactions to a food in one country but not another.

For example, pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, and fungicides can differ. These are not only used in the farms but also in the grain silos where grains are stored. More toxic versions often seem to be allowed in the USA than in Europe. I swear, the prevailing concept in Europe seems to be: if it causes harm to some of us, it should be banned. While here in the USA it seems to be: unless it causes harm to everyone, it should never be banned. :-/

A nice example of this is sulfites. Sulfites to preserve some of these '-cides' are used much more commonly in the USA than in Europe.

While there can be differences in the wheat itself, potentially, there are much more significant differences that can be found in so many things that contaminate our wheat that it seems to me these should be investigated, as well. 

8/5/2013 1:07:39 PM

Contrary to the comment below, 50 years ago mature wheat was waste high.  Before the advent of combines, wheat was shocked and it was tall enough to tie into bundles.  now, I see wheat fields around me that are short and stubby and yes, it is no longer a beautiful golden color, but a burnt dull brown color.  Gives a lot less straw too.  So that is what has been going on.  It is not enough that round-up is used so copiously throughout the growing season, it has to be used to dry the crop?  Seriously?  I always assumed that the high incidence we now see of glucose intolerance was caused by something they were doing to the crop (also our high incidence of peanut allergy--we wouldn't have made it through grade school without peanut butter when I was young). 

8/5/2013 12:37:25 PM

I have just read a new book that explains it all

Wheat Belly     by William Davis, MD

He also has a Wheat Belly Cookbook.  Great recipes and newest information 2012.

8/5/2013 11:41:25 AM

There was an article in a recent "Natural Awakenings" issue, Oct, Nov or Dec 2012 about how the wheat strains were bred to be dwarf strains in the late 1970's at a Minnesota university. Since then, the wheat has been different in the way it is digested by some people. I don't believe it was GMO-bred, but bred by the old-fashion methods. It casues fat to be retained around the belly and is very hard to get rid of naturally. Getting it out of your diet is the only way to lose the belly fat. And alot of people have become gluten-intolerant as a result.

8/5/2013 11:38:21 AM

I believe it is the GMO corn.  To gain some insight read from the EPA website a document regarding Monsanto's genetically modified corn that produces a Bt protein toxic to pests in corn.  In a separate document you see in the first paragraph that "the mechanism of Bt protein pesticidal action is not well understood. It is assumed that the pesticidal protein has affinity for specific receptors in the midgut of the susceptible larvae and binds irreversibly to create holes in the gut leading to eventual death of the target larvae".  If it is true that the Bt toxin kills the larvae in this manner I wonder what chronic low level exposure would do to our gut lining, seeing how much corn is a part of our diet in the US.  Maybe you were not exposed to the amounts of GMO corn in Hungary thus making you able to eat wheat.  Another slant is the residual glyphosate as Auburn mentions below either in the drying of the wheat harvest or the rumored excessive glyphosate use in fields of other GMO glyphosate non wheat resistant crops.  I don't think there are GM wheat varieties out for commercial production, but who knows maybe things have changed since I last checked.  According to, the sugar beets used for sugar production is a GMO glyphosate resistant variety, leading to the question as to whether the culprit may be Bt or Glyphosate.  I have not researched how soy as been genetically modified.  We all have to do our research to help us find the answers.  You cannot take a superficial look at things but dig into the documentation.  We are all smart enough to do this, it just takes some of your time.

8/5/2013 11:01:00 AM

maybe the problem isn't gluten but Monsanto poisoning our grain supply!


8/5/2013 10:47:42 AM

By eating GMO'S foods like corn and soy, they mess up the gut so now you can't break down gluten.

8/5/2013 10:44:51 AM

I believe it is not gluten but the GMO (genetically modified) wheat grown in America by the big company Monsanto who is fighting against labeling our food to alert consumers who want to know if they are consuming GMO's.  Does it not stand to reason that seeds that have had toxins injected in them so that the chemical becomes an integral component of the seed/plant to kill pests would also be harmful to humans.  But try telling that to your congressmen, whom I contacted 4 times and received the same form letter 4 times in response to my correspondence.  I contacted John McCain, Jeff Flake of AZ and even Orrin Hatch of UT.  They have all been pre-deposed to all the propaganda by the FDA. And who heads the FDA?

In 2009, in a classic revolving-door move, President Barack Obama appointed former Monsanto VP and head lobbyist Michael Taylor as Deputy Commissioner for the FDA — the board tasked with regulating Taylor’s own industry.

Taylor joins the, a worldwide food giant oft-criticized for its poor environmental record and repeated aggressive legal action against small farmers over copyright issues.

“I don’t take a dime of their [lobbyist] money, and when I am president, they won’t find a job in my White House,” Obama said in a 2008 campaign speech. A little research, however, shows that claim to be a questionable one.

While the FDA’s headquarters are technically located in Maryland and not the White House, this appointment took place just seven months into the Obama presidency, with few noticing until gained popularity this weekend.

Also worth noting: how many dimes Obama has already accepted from Washington lobbyists for his 2012 campaign — more than 14,000 dimes, to be exact.

Wake up America.....when your government controls what you eat and drink, they control you.

8/5/2013 10:44:03 AM

GMO'S mess up the gut in lab animals, so why not humans? Why are we being forced fed GMO'S like some date rape drug?

8/5/2013 10:30:12 AM

I was told it is due to the fact that farmers grow wheat with more gluten now than in the past because it brought them a better price...and why the past the price has been terrible and now it is getting up there where they can make a good living and pay their bills because like the rest of us their bills have gone up too.

8/5/2013 10:09:50 AM

@ Maryann~ until you have experienced or lived with someone with a gluten-intolernece maybe you should keep your ignornat thought in your head.  For the past year my 9 year olf has had chronic headaches, abdominal pain and diarrhea. We were at the doctors for testing and it was suggested that she be tested for food allergies.  Well she has an allergy to wheat, gluten and dairy.  Since taking those culprits out of her diet almost 2 motnths ago all of her dialy complaints of not feeling well went away.  No this is not in everyone's head.  This is a true problem that people are dealing with.  As frustrated as I get at the grocery store and the outrageous cost of food I am thankful that my duaghter feels well.

8/5/2013 9:55:38 AM

I believe it is because of genetically modified wheat.  It is part of a big conspiracy between Large corporations like Monsanto and ADM, and The FDA who allow them to market GMO's in the US but have been banned in Europe and other contries.  We need to push to get GMO foods labled as such and force the FDA to ban them here as well.  You vote with your dollar!   It may cost a little more but we need to buy Certified non-GMO and certified organic foods.  The FDA and MOnsanto are in bed together and the power of the almighty dollar is what they are after.  If we as a nation say NO to GMO's This conspiracy will have to come to an end!

8/5/2013 9:46:38 AM

People need to stop referring to wheat as GMO! Wheat is not GMO! Corn (used in syrup, tortillas), soybeans and canola are almost all GMO. Wheat has been hybridized but not genetically modified. There is a difference. GMO means that the DNA has been altered and hybridized means that pollen from one plant was taken and put on another plant. Many vegetables you eat are hybrid. Hybrid plants are much more natural than GMO. So your problem is not because wheat is GMO but it could be that so much other food you eat is GMO and it has damaged our bodies so it reacts to the protein in other things like wheat, eggs, peanuts, and soy. Our health problems could be from GMO food or it could be from pesticides sprayed on the crops. I am also concerned that all the additives and preservatives in our food may be causing problems. Whatever it is, I try to buy organic and unprocessed and itt seems to keep me healthier.

8/5/2013 9:39:14 AM

We have played about with our food so much it is becoming a poison to us, we have taken millions of years to evolve with or food around us, its only 10000 years since man started to farm and minipulate his food,   

Wheat is one of our   food that we have changed by natural selection but we have now geneticaly modifided it; there is a difference and do not others tell you there's no difference, since when do you have fish DNA in wheat ? no you don't this is the problem  our bodies can not change as quick as we change or food or our enviroment remember it's all about profit, if they could market Human excrament in packets with this is a health food written on the side ; with all the benifits it had for you; you all would go mad to buy it.

look at  the corn we all eat they produce a corn syrup that is added to all your food as a filler this is the hiden poison to get you hucked on Sugar. think about it look what Corn syrup is in or modifide starch. I teach this to my students, we are not cows, but eat grass. Think about it if we did not eat grass we would be more healthy

GRASS, Wheat,Barley,Oats,Sugar cane, Corn. should I go on? all these as many of you have rightly said are modified. one way or another.


8/5/2013 9:28:56 AM

Another note of great concern is the common practice of many conventional farmers is to use glyphosate (Roundup) on the wheat one week prior to harvest as a dessicant, rather than allowing the wheat to ripen and dry-down naturally.  Many people are not aware of this practice, but we are surrounded by farmers in our area who do this, and I find it appalling, as it is allowed by the various regulatory agencies.  This is the case for even non-gm wheat varieties, as gm wheat is banned here in North Dakota.  When this practice started a few years ago, the preharvest wait time was 14 days.  Now, they have reduced it to only 7.  No one will ever convince me that this poison is "processed out" of the wheat as they claim.  Americans who eat non-organic wheat are consuming glyphosate as well, and this cannot be beneficial to human health.  During the next few weeks, we will see the surrounding wheat fields being sprayed with glyphosate prior to harvest.  The fields where glyphosate is used are easily spottable, as the wheat will not be the fully-ripe golden color, but a dingy brown. 

Use organic wheat products.  Vote with your dollar - each time we purchase pure, whole, organic foods, we are increasing the demand for safe food, and bettering the market to encourage the production of safe food without toxic pesticides.

8/5/2013 9:27:15 AM

It's GMO. Traditional weat plants are short and stubby and do not contain gluten that causes inflamation in our body. They are short and stubby, if I remember correctly, and GMO wheat plants are tall so they can be harvested easily by big mashines. GMO wheat contain unnatural gluten and other chemicals.

8/5/2013 8:34:00 AM

Wheat as a food is good for us. Clearly foods such as wheat are not the problem. The Universities that are in bed with, Monsanto Farms, and therefore subsidized buy, Government. This is where the problems begin and for the most part end. It is written right on the label if one is concerned enough to do a little research you can start with the terms they publish on the lable. Whereas the wheat you purchase fir the most part in our, U.S.A. has been and continues to BEE! A POISON! NO LONGER JUST A FOOD. The key words to look up are enriched, and bleached. 

8/4/2013 12:41:44 PM

American Wheat is played with by big money.[DNA modified] Europen wheat is not. Get heirloom seeds or Europen seed and plant your own. MEN readers need to step up.

8/3/2013 4:43:57 PM

I live in Seattle, and my eldest sister lives in Boulder, CO.  We are both gluten intolerant...have been for years now. However, while I've never been to Europe, my sister has been there many times since she was diagnosed, and can eat the wheat there with no issues whatsoever (she's tried it PLENTY in Italy, England, and France), while she cannot eat the wheat at all in America. It's eye-opening to learn that there are others with the same experience.

7/31/2013 7:29:26 PM

My husband was diagnosed as a diabetic over ten years ago. He gets neuropathy in his feet (pain) when he eats wheat. He tends towards rye, barley, and almond flours to avoid this. However, I was trying to find a wheat flour to use to make rye bread. Rye doesn't have gluten. Yeast requires gluten in order to work and cause the bread to rise hence the need for some wheat. I bought a bag of Wheat Montana Prairie Gold which is a non-GMO white spring wheat. It's called a whole grain white flour. I did one regular batch of bread to see if it would work in my old recipes. It worked perfectly. My husband started eating the rolls I had made, and he had no pain in his feet! We began to realize that GMO flour was the cause of his problems. I've been using that flour ever since. Europe requires GMO products to be labeled. Europeans won't buy GMO, and so European food manufacturers don't do it. Here in the U.S., our greedy, big food industry spends a lot of money to lobby against legislation that would require GMO labeling.

I buy Italian pasta instead of American along with many other European products especially any with grains in them. For me, the GMO soy products cause problems. I only buy soy sauce imported from Japan which works just fine. Sodium benzoate which is used as a food preservative forms a known cancer-causing agent when mixed with Vitamin C. It's hard to believe that sodium benzoate is used in lemon and lime juice along with so many other products. I do think that we are seeing a rising awareness in America of the problems with our food. As someone said, "Vote with your dollar." The more people that stop buying there products, the quicker we will see change.

7/29/2013 4:12:26 PM

You are NOT ALONE in this.   I am a late 30's male, diagnosed with Celiac's and I have been pretty much forced to a gluten free diet.  I have spent the past 6 years loggin what I eat, what it's made out of, and where those ingredients came from.  After a lengthy amount of research and modifications to my diet, I have found some very interesting results.  

I found that the majority of grains grown here in the US are GMOs.   Those grains, wheat in particular, are almost lethal to my system.  My body reacts as if it was fed a caustic acid.  However, like you I noticed that there are times when I ate a product that was made from imported wheat that I did not react to.   I have been able to conclusively prove that a certified, organic, non GMO wheat strain does not make me ill, going so far as to import that seed and grow it in my garden.  

I have also found the occaisonal imported bakery item made from wheat or grains from other countries who do not use the GMO strains grown and exported here in the US.    Again, consuming such items does not make me ill.    It sure does beg the question as to what the  __double hocky sitcks is actually in the seed stock grown here in the US.

7/29/2013 4:07:01 PM

You are NOT ALONE in this.   I am a late 30's male, diagnosed with Celiac's and I have been pretty much forced to a gluten free diet.  I have spent the past 6 years loggin what I eat, what it's made out of, and where those ingredients came from.  After a lengthy amount of research and modifications to my diet, I have found some very interesting results.  

I found that the majority of grains grown here in the US are GMOs.   Those grains, wheat in particular, are almost lethal to my system.  My body reacts as if it was fed a caustic acid.  However, like you I noticed that there are times when I ate a product that was made from imported wheat that I did not react to.   I have been able to conclusively prove that a certified, organic, non GMO wheat strain does not make me ill, going so far as to import that seed and grow it in my garden.  

I have also found the occaisonal imported bakery item made from wheat or grains from other countries who do not use the GMO strains grown and exported here in the US.    Again, consuming such items does not make me ill.    It sure does beg the question as to what the  __double hocky sitcks is actually in the seed stock grown here in the US.

7/28/2013 2:29:20 PM

Part of the problem might be in the refining or enriching of the wheat.  Look for products that have NOT been enriched.  Then you might do a small test on yourself to see what the difference is.

7/28/2013 2:27:47 PM

Part of the problem might be in the refining or enriching of the wheat.  Look for products that have NOT been enriched.  Then you might do a small test on yourself to see what the difference is.

7/28/2013 11:51:13 AM

This is an excert from Mike Avery's news letter:  Stephen Covey in his interminable habits of highly successful people books said, "Big rocks first" by which he meant we should take care of the important things in our lives first.  How, you wonder, am I going to tie that into bread baking?  More and more lately I've been hearing that "the problem" with modern bread is that the current wheats are hybridized and have the genes of their progenitors in them.  They are hexaploid.  Ancient wheats are not.  Of course, plants do hybridize in the world, though traits conferred by hybridization are not traits that tend to survive since hybrids tend to not reproduce.  Still, since it happens naturally, I suspect our digestive tracks can deal with it.   And, to be honest, I am suspicious of anyone who talks about "THE" problem or "THE" answer.  That said, let me tell you what I see as "THE" problem and "THE" answer.....

As you've guessed, I'm not convinced.  So many other things have been done to mass market breads that I'm just not sure that's the big rock, the primary cause of our problems.  EVERYTHING has changed in bread making from the mid to late 1800's until now, with the pace of change picking up after the second world war.  Up until the mid 70's or so, most commercial bakeries had two shifts because they didn't rush the bread rising.  It took two shifts to mix, rise, shape, rise and bake the bread.  Now, bread goes from mix to the delivery truck in about an hour.  Mixed, risen, baked, sliced and cooling in an hour.  From a technical standpoint, that's amazing and impressive.

However, it takes time for yeast to develop flavors in bread.  Sourdough, and to a lesser degree yeast, will soften the glutens in bread dough, and change the doughs to make them more digestible.  It takes time.

Modern breads have a witches brew of chemicals added to them to make them stand up to the abuse of modern processing.  According to Andrew Whitley in "Bread Matters", some of the chemicals convert gluten into a more toxic form.  When food additives are tested, they are tested in isolation, not in conjunction with other food additives.  Do they have synergistic effects?  It would really be impractical to test them in all possible combinations.  So, our food chemistry is largely unknown and unknowable.  I don't know if that bothers you, but it is a matter of concern for me.

When we were running our bakery more than a few times we were told, "I can't eat regular bread, it makes me sick.  But I can eat your bread without problems!"  "Sick" covered a lot of territory.

The "big rocks" in our bakery were using no additives and long slow rises.  Our fast breads took 6 hours to rise.  Our slow breads closer to 24 hours.

We have used organic flours and we have used heirloom flours and we have used spelt.  Sadly, we really didn't notice much difference.  In my view, if you want better bread - get out of the grocery store and the health food store.  Make it yourself or find a local bakery which makes bread they way you would make bread.  I think the hybridized flour is one of the little rocks.  It may make a difference, but not a big one.

I'm sure I'll hear from people who disagree with me.  And that's OK.

Until next time, may all your bread rise, even if you aren't using buckets to store your grain, and even if you're using hexaploid flour,
Mike         .......a new world of information can be found at

7/28/2013 11:42:36 AM

US wheat is not the wheat of the past.  It has been changed to yield more , to harvest easier.  Our amber waves of grain are betraying the US and the American way of life.  The wheat of this country lacks the nutrients and abilbility to satisfy those people that bake it, or buy it.  The more you eat the more you want...Wheat is Europe is closer to the original wheat that was brought to this country hundreds of years ago.  It is by far a superior product and you can eat it without worry of gluten problems like the US wheat.  Go to Joval foods and you will find European wheat and wheatberries and products made from this wheat.  It is from Italy and is pretty pricey, but you can't beat this flour.  I also mix Quinoa flour with the Eikorn wheat flour and get a double punch of goodness.  Give it a try, you'll be glad you did.  Enjoy, Virginia

7/28/2013 9:50:58 AM

Over the past 22 years my time has been split between England and France and I have been aware that I can eat French bread and pastries without problem but English flour products cause me severe digestive problems.

Recently on a two week holiday in Vancouver I found that Canadian bread also affected me the same as English products.  I understand that high gluten or 'hard wheat" is needed for industrial bread processing such as the "Chorleywood process" whereas French 'artisan' bread is made from soft wheat that has about 90% less gluten.

Call it whatever you like, IBS, bowel inflamation, it is worth avoiding.

7/25/2013 9:36:07 PM

Consider getting tested to what you are actually sensitive to (like with ALCAT). As a nutitionist, my clients find it enlightening.  Also watch on youtube the video by Dr William Davis "Wheat, the UNhealthy wholegrain" to see how wheat has changed since the 1950's.  Good alternatives are spelt and kamut.  They contain gluten, but have not been altered like modern wheat.

7/25/2013 2:45:15 PM

My stomach won't digest american sponge bread either. I am european and bake my own, with nothing but good flour (no enriched, bleached or bromated) water, yeast and salt. I think it is not the gluten, but all the other ingredients like colorants and preservatives in the sponge bread from the store, and not to forget High fructose corn syrup, which I think is poison.

7/25/2013 1:14:16 PM

No one has mentioned the Malted Barley Flour which is added to almost all general purpose flour.

I purchase organic all wheat flour and avoid all baked goods containing malted barley flour.  I am also allergic to MSG, so called "natural flavors" and am trying to find out about reaction to maltodextrin. 

7/24/2013 2:29:40 PM

Moosma - If your mother truly has celiac disease, she cannot eat any bread unless it is gluten free. Even organic bread/wheat contains gluten. When the gut digests gluten, it produces an enzyme called tissue transglutaminase. In celiacs, the immune system reacts to the tissue transglutaminase, producing what is called anti-tissue transglutaminase. This slowly erodes the villi lining the gut and in time this leads to nutrient deficiencies and leaky gut (in which the mucosal lining of the gut is no longer intact and becomes permeable). 80% of a human's immune system resides in the gut, so if the gut is not working correctly, a host of problems can occur.

It is possible that she gets no symptoms from eating some bread (even bread which is not gluten free), because she may have an allergy or sensitivity to another component of that bread completely unrelated to celiac disease. Celiac disease symptoms do not always involve the gastrointestinal tract and if she continues to eat gluten-containing products even though she has no obvious symptoms, she is silently killing herself.

Celiac disease, being an autoimmune disease, is highly correlated with other autoimmune diseases, increasing greatly her chance of getting autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's), lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

Obviously, it is her choice, but she should at least be aware of what she is doing to herself, as lots of doctors do not clarify the disease and the consequences correctly to their patients.

7/24/2013 1:45:58 PM


7/24/2013 11:59:18 AM

As noted in many of the comments, this experience is not unusual. The wheat varieties (and there aren't many different varieties grown here) grown in the US are different from the varieties grown in Europe. We also process the wheat differently, not letting it sit and start to ferment but sending it directly to be milled. Some studies show that those who are gluten sensitive can successfully eat real sourdough bread. Note - most sourdough bread purchased at the grocery store is only flavored sourdough, not actually fermented. There is a growing heritage wheat movement in this county, still small but worth checking out. I also have had good luck using Kamut.

7/24/2013 10:46:08 AM

I found an article on a website called The Healthy Home Economist and thought it might help answer the question a bit. The title was "Can Celiacs Eat True Sourdough Bread?".

7/23/2013 7:40:04 PM

One more vote for the book Wheat Belly.

I have searched for 40 years for answers.  I have just about ALL the symptoms listed in the book, which were getting more pronounced to the point I was just about disabled.  Besides the daily migraines, I could not sleep due to the joint and muscle pain. Putting on my shoes, much less tying them was almost impossible.  After reading the book I removed all the wheat from my diet.  I got a list of all the ways that wheat and gluten is “hidden” in the product  label’s from the celiac society.  In 5 DAYS I was back on my bike at 5 am riding 10 miles. READ THE BOOK!!!!!

7/23/2013 5:04:49 PM

I'm a formally trained baker and I'm of the opinion that it's a combination of the highly processed wheat in most baked goods combined with other ingredients common in mass-produced bread such as hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats; think Crisco) and high-fructose corn syrup. When I bake using unbleached organic flour and butter and sugar the bread is both more flavorful (good bread SHOULD be flavorful) and I feel better internally after eating it. There definitely is something toxic in our food supply and for too long our regulators have been taken off the job or kept from doing it. Regrettably I believe many thousands will have to start dying horribly before public pressure will grow strong enough to overcome the evil influence of corporate money.

7/23/2013 5:02:27 PM

The information out there is overwhelmingly pointing to GMO's as the culprit.  That of course is complicated with the pesticides and growth hormones that are also in our everyday foods.  For anyone to say this is psychosomatic has his/her head in the sand.  We ALL need to write to our politicians in charge and tell them that we demand safe food and the first step is to get it all labeled properly.  

I've heard about too many people who were having awful issues and cut out nearly everything in their diets (bread, cheese, milk being the main products) and then took a trip to Europe and could basically eat whatever they wanted!  That's not a coincidence.  We're eating toxic food and that's a fact.  Each of us MUST be proactive either by demanding better foods in our stores, writing to our politicians or growing as much of our own food as possible.  Monsanto and the other big corps don't give a crap about us and our health.  And they have their hands so deep in our governments pockets that it's a very murky situation.  And, I bet their families don't eat the poison they spew out.  It's simply criminal and has to stop.  Watch "Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives"'ll open your eyes!

7/23/2013 4:59:21 PM

I'm a formally trained baker and I'm of the opinion that it's a combination of the highly processed wheat in most baked goods combined with other ingredients common in mass-produced bread such as hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats; think Crisco) and high-fructose corn syrup. When I bake using unbleached organic flour and butter and sugar the bread is both more flavorful (good bread SHOULD be flavorful) and I feel better internally after eating it. There definitely is something toxic in our food supply and for too long our regulators have been taken off the job or kept from doing it. Regrettably I believe many thousands will have to start dying horribly before public pressure will grow strong enough to overcome the evil influence of corporate money.

7/23/2013 3:55:40 PM

Get a copy of the book Wheat Belly by William Davis MD.  His book reveals the genetic engineering that over the years has produced a shorter, higher yielding wheat that is used pretty much worldwide...but Europe has much more strict controls over genetically modified products unlike here in the US and in most third world countries.  This new and improved wheat was never tested on humans as to how digestible it would be so according to Dr. Davis there has been a steady increase in obesity and digestive issues which can probably be traced back to this wheat.  Eating a gluten free diet should help and if you can possibly find heirloom wheat flour that has not been grown from genetically modified wheat you may be able to enjoy the breads you so enjoyed in Europe.  Good Luck

7/23/2013 12:26:48 PM

The book The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast has a wonderful introduction talking about gluten-intolerance and the yeast used in the US. Most US yeast is a quick-rising variety that has only been around for 20 years or so. Many who can't digest regular yeasted breads in the US can eat breads made with sourdough because the yeast has a chance to more completely breat down the glutens to be more digestable.

7/23/2013 11:52:24 AM

A wonderful information resource regarding our wheat supply can be found in the book "Wheat Belly" by William Davis, MD.  While not technically GMO, it's so close the difference is negligible. Tweaking was approved in the 1970's which created shorter stalks and faster production. (Ever wonder what happened to those wavy seas of grain?) No thought was given to the effects on the human body, hence the increases in obesity and gluten intolerance we see today. Read the labels religiously. We can't fully eliminate all the issues, but we can sure make better choices (organic, non-gmo) and reduce our subjection to chemically laced foods and "tweaks" of nature. If we can't pronounce it or even know what "it" is on that ingredients list, we probably don't want to eat it!  It is not yet required to label GMO modified products, but those that aren't are proud to let us us know! 

7/23/2013 9:09:20 AM

This is all good information, but there's one point on which we need clarification: GMO wheat is not currently approved for production and consumption in the US. That's why it was a big deal when it was discovered in Oregon a few weeks ago. However, the commenters here are correct in writing that the wheat in the US has been selectively bred throughout the 20th century to be very high in gluten. And it's also correct that the methods used to create bread make a big difference too. 

7/23/2013 8:14:23 AM

I am a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner with a long history of gluten intolerance.  I specialize in getting to the root cause of health complaints by doing functional lab testing to detect malfunctions in the body and identify opportunities to restore health. From experience and testing many clients, I can say with 100% certainty that the majority of complaints are related to poor gut health, including the majority of people with gluten intolerance (as well as other food sensitivities and a host of other health problems).


To address what others have mentioned and clarify this - wheat is not a GMO product in the sense that corn and soybeans are.  Wheat was tested to be a GMO product, but the GMO version produced by Monsanto was not approved for sale and subsequently destroyed.  The wheat grown in the US and most other countries in the world is a variety which has been selectively bred (this is different than genetic engineering) for the high yield it produces.


There are actually 3 possibilities when someone reacts to wheat.  They could have an IgE-modulated immune reaction – in other words a wheat allergy; they could be gluten intolerant, which means they just cannot tolerate eating gluten-containing products; or they could have celiac disease, which is actually an autoimmune disease in which the body reacts to the tissue transglutaminase enzyme which your gut produces to digest wheat, causing the immune system to attack the gut lining and villi.

Gluten intolerance is simply when someone cannot tolerate eating gluten-containing products – this is not limited to bread.  Most products that are processed contain gluten in some form and true gluten sensitive people will respond negatively to all gluten. The list of ingredients which contain gluten is actually quite long, as anyone (including myself) who has had to go on a gluten-free diet can attest to. If someone is sensitive to bread, but not to other processed foods containing gluten (or not to bread in other countries), the problem is more than likely not the gluten, but another ingredient in the bread.  Homemade bread and bread in most other countries (I lived in Austria for 11 years and spent extensive time in Hungary as well) does not have the extensive list of “fake” foods in it that store bought bread in the US contains. Homemade bread is always going to be better than store-bought bread, but be aware that there are other issues associated with grains in general and homemade bread is really just the lesser of the two evils. I am not going to get into the issues with eating bread, but refer everyone to the suggestion by others to read Dr. William Davis’ book “Wheat Belly” or just listen to a podcast done with him through Underground Wellness at 


7/23/2013 8:09:18 AM

I am a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner with a long history of gluten intolerance.  I specialize in getting to the root cause of health complaints by doing functional lab testing to detect malfunctions in the body and identify opportunities to restore health. From experience and testing many clients, I can say with 100% certainty that the majority of complaints are related to poor gut health, including the majority of people with gluten intolerance (as well as other food sensitivities and a host of other health problems).


To address what others have mentioned and clarify this - wheat is not a GMO product in the sense that corn and soybeans are.  Wheat was tested to be a GMO product, but the GMO version produced by Monsanto was not approved for sale and subsequently destroyed.  The wheat grown in the US and most other countries in the world is a variety which has been selectively bred (this is different than genetic engineering) for the high yield it produces.


There are actually 3 possibilities when someone reacts to wheat.  They could have an IgE-modulated immune reaction – in other words a wheat allergy; they could be gluten intolerant, which means they just cannot tolerate eating gluten-containing products; or they could have celiac disease, which is actually an autoimmune disease in which the body reacts to the tissue transglutaminase enzyme which your gut produces to digest wheat, causing the immune system to attack the gut lining and villi.

Gluten intolerance is simply when someone cannot tolerate eating gluten-containing products – this is not limited to bread.  Most products that are processed contain gluten in some form and true gluten sensitive people will respond negatively to all gluten. The list of ingredients which contain gluten is actually quite long, as anyone (including myself) who has had to go on a gluten-free diet can attest to. If someone is sensitive to bread, but not to other processed foods containing gluten (or not to bread in other countries), the problem is more than likely not the gluten, but another ingredient in the bread.  Homemade bread and bread in most other countries (I lived in Austria for 11 years and spent extensive time in Hungary as well) does not have the extensive list of “fake” foods in it that store bought bread in the US contains. Homemade bread is always going to be better than store-bought bread, but be aware that there are other issues associated with grains in general and homemade bread is really just the lesser of the two evils. I am not going to get into the issues with eating bread, but refer everyone to the suggestion by others to read Dr. William Davis’ book “Wheat Belly” or just listen to a podcast done with him through Underground Wellness at 


7/23/2013 1:07:11 AM has been mentioned before but I would like to emphasize that recommendation. Eli Rogosa's main focus on that site is wheat-- old heritage varieties of wheat. There is also information on gluten intolerance. You can also purchase samples of unique heritage varieties from the site, if you wish. A very useful site for those interested in wheat, especially ancient or unique varieties. 

7/22/2013 5:51:17 PM

Carolyn may want to check out the following article:

It's not in anyone's head, the symptoms are real and varied -- from gastrointestinal to joint pain.  Apparently the type of wheat we grow is the culprit and GMO may simply make it worse.  We need farmers who are willing to grow the old wheat types.  At this point, they could make a fortune, since we who are gluten free are spending a fortune on flour blends and pre-packaged foods.  None of which, is particularly healthy for us.  Gluten intolerance to celiac is also causing problems with insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes.  We really need to address this problem at its source rather than bandaiding it with "gluten free junk food".  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to vent!

7/22/2013 12:32:28 PM

I believe it is from all the pesticides used here, and gmo what. I use only organic, non GMO what and other grains, and make all my own bread.

7/22/2013 12:17:30 PM

My niece has been seeing a doctor for months trying to find something that will stop her headaches and not give her gastrointestinal distress.  She can barely eat anything.  But when she took a European tour with other high school students, she was able to eat anything she wanted! As soon as she got home, it started all over again...

7/22/2013 12:03:56 PM


In the 30 years of grinding and making my own bread, I have learned a few things. Friends of mine that are sensitive to gluten are not having a problem with my loaves.   First, I get my wheat from an organic farm and I don't care if it is a bit pricy.  Then I do not grind the wheat until I am ready to make bread.   (I learned how to make bread from Mother Earth News back in the 1970”s)


The wheat flour cannot sit on a shelf without loosing nutrition.  Within 24 hours from grinding, all the "good stuff" is leached out.  And that includes the sweetness.  For my batch of 4 large 2lb loaves of bread, I use only 2/3 cup of honey.  Wheat is plenty sweet by itself.  Try to sprout wheat berries and see for yourself.


Wheat flour that sits for any length of time becomes rancid.  Rancid spells trouble!  That is why most of the bread in the groceries cannot be eaten nor can the wheat flour from the grocery shelf.  When big business is producing bread, they do not it justice and they use GMO wheat.


7/21/2013 9:52:13 PM

I also suggest strongly to read the book "Wheat Belly" as it explains a lot about why modern dwarf varieties of wheat are likely reponsible for many current health problems particularly autoimmune related as well as contributing to the obesity epidemic in America.  Modern wheat contains a protein that literally is addictive, it affects your brain as an appetite stimulant and it's actions are much like an opiate.  Don't think for a minute that the food industry doesn't know this also as wheat is added to everything! I have Celiac Disease and have had to deal with this for over a decade now so it's a topic I've done a lot of research on.  

Most likely in Hungary, they are still growing "real" wheat and not the mutated mess we have here in the US. Incidentally the dwarf wheat strains that are the culprits were mainly grown starting in the 1990s...about the time America's waistlines exploded.  

Read the book. It's life changing and it's about time to get the word out.'s not in anyone's's real. Read Wheat Belly. I also challenge you to give up wheat for two weeks and then try to eat it again. Most likely it will make you sick.  Most people have no idea how much "modern" wheat affects their gut health and overall well being until they stop eating it.  


7/21/2013 7:15:29 PM

I know my opinion will be considered ignorant. I think there is an element of suggestion going on. Everywhere we go we see 'gluten free'. I'm starting to wonder how much of it is all in their heads. 


7/21/2013 7:12:04 PM

Here's a good book you'll find useful: "The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast" by Caleb Warnock and Melissa Richardson (ISBN 13:978-1-4621-1048-3) from Front Table Books. It gives great directions on how to make and cultivate your own natural yeast. It's a life saver for those of us who love bread but can't tolerate American bread.

7/21/2013 7:04:43 PM

So about two years ago, my Chiro told me he didn't believe that Gluten and I got along well.  Then I went to an MD with a background in holistic healing and she said the same.  She also gave me a lab so I could get some cheek cells checked for my disposition with gluten intolerance as I didn't want to give up gluten without a fight.  I've been GF for almost two years after that test showed I was intolerant.  I've had gastro problems most of my life which have gone away since I've been GF.

Recently, dear friends went to France and I asked them to bring me back some kind of baked goods.  I devoured 2 crossants with no headache (my first sign now after eating gluten) and no gastro issues.    I plan to go to Italy in 2014 and will eat it all.  No GMO products are legal in Europe and I think they still garden, cook, and bake the old fashioned ways.  Their economy is not run by money hungry large corporaations that put their stock price in front of the people they serve as here in the great USA.  Between large pharmaceuticals and large agriculture we are fighting for the future.

Mark R

Richmond, VA

7/21/2013 5:06:49 PM

My wife gets terrible headaches from eating wheat.  She never had the problem growing up, but it has been getting progressively worse for the past six or seven years.   We went on a trip to Italy recently and she ate wheat without problems.  

Thanks for all the informative comments!  We're excited to try growing our own natural yeast and trying some hertiage strains of wheat.

7/21/2013 4:50:08 PM

I beleive, as most here do, that the problem causing Gluten-intolerance and related digestive problems is due to GMOs in America. Now, this is not my "opinion" but is substantiaded by expert research. Check out the following links and decide for yourselves.

7/21/2013 2:45:21 PM

I just went to the links people have posted here. I guess I'm of the mind that if we can find a source for making our own

from decent wheat or flour then we don't need to avoid all these foods. Yes, there is gluten free pasta etc. but it's not very appetizing. Why can we just find a source and forget American wheat and flour. maybe they'll get the hint. LOL

7/21/2013 2:37:24 PM

Does anyone know where to buy wheat products IE flour, pasta, bread etc. in Canada or Europe? We live in Michigan and we were thinking of going into Canada but we’re not sure what to buy. We were told they don’t have near as much gluten in their products as we do. They have added a ton of gluten to our wheat because the commercial companies want fast baking. Some doctors deny that gluten is a problem because Monsanto doesn’t want anyone to know (lol) what they have done. Thanks for the replies if you know where to buy.

7/21/2013 12:52:27 PM

7/21/2013 9:36:01 AM

I was so excited to respond, that I didn't even read what the other posts have commented yet. So, forgive me if I repeat anything already noted. IT'S THE YEAST! I did a small amount of research on this earlier this year. I started baking with "natural" yeast, I grow it in my refrigerator to be exact. From what I understand, the human body really isn't built to properly digest whole wheat. The process of digesting it produces large amounts of lactic acid and other biproducts that upset people. But, if you use natural yeast cultures, they break down the wheat for you, leaving only the healthy nutrients behind. This type of leavening is more time consuming, and ever since the development of commercial yeast during WWI, most bread in America has used the quickest method to rise bread. This leaves our stomachs to take the beating. I would strongly suggest that you research how to grow yeast cultures. Be careful not to confuse what I have described with sour dough. It is a similar concept, except you grow the yeast completely from scratch and keep it growing by feeding it every week. It is fun and has lots of benefits! I hope this was helpful. (Note:  some places online will charge you for a yeast starter, but I bet you can find someone who will share some of theirs for free!)

a forrestc
7/21/2013 8:47:07 AM

Everything you all have said follows closely what I have come to understand in the past few years. Between the genetic mutations in 'modern' wheat varieties, excessive refining and bleaching, and the drive for quick rising times in most bakeries in the US, we have ended up with grain products lacking in nutrition, and with an excess of mutated protein and high glycemic starch. Traditional vareties of wheat contain (especially when whole) fantastic amounts of fiber, minerals, and plenty of complex carbohydrates, which together yield a more satiated feeling that lasts longer than the highs and lows of whiter, modern wheat breads. Also, longer rising times for yeasted breads and sourdough microbes break down more fully the difficult-to-digest complex proteins of wheat, making it more available to the body with less metabolic stress. The recent discovery of GM wheat in Oregon deepens the complexity of the problem. Aside from the resources given below, I would suggest these as places where people are actively facing the problems of commodity grain culture:

7/20/2013 10:27:21 PM

Gluten-intolerance is an American disease. Real wheat (einkorn) no longer exists in America. It's all genetically modified drawf wheat here. Most places in Europe ban GMOs so American wheat isn't used there. We can thank companies like Monsanto for diseases like gluten-intolerance.

7/20/2013 7:25:52 PM

Hi Carolyn,

I had a very similar experience when I went to Paris for 6 weeks in 2004. Doctors had always told my mother that I had a nervous stomach, so I assumed that is what my problem was.

However, when I went to Paris, my tummy was much better. I ate bread, bread, bread--every shape and form with no troubles. When I returned stateside, the tummy troubles came back ferociously. After reading about gluten intolerance, I did an experiment by leaving off wheat flour. As you can expect my tummy was much better, I had more energy, and less brain fog.

In addition, this past Christmas because I was experiencing a lot of fatigue, I experimented with going completely grain-free. I also quit eating refined sugars. Now, I use honey or maple syrup for sweetners. I have dropped 16 pounds, my blood pressure is normal (instead of high normal) again, and I have never felt better. I read an article--that I cannot locate now online--that said that wheat was vigorously bred in the 50s and 60s to increase the gluten content to produce even softer breads and that many people cannot tolerate it.

Also, I consulted a PC physician and an immunologist. Because I had been off wheat (and I didn't want to experiment), the blood tests came back normal. The immunologist asked me a long battery of questions and said that he believed that it could be something used on the wheat--pesticide, herbicide, or preservative, but that he didn't think it was Celiac because there is no family history. Celiac tends to run in families. He also said that he saw no need to have the biopsy, which is considered the gold standard test for Celiac. 

Do I miss the grains? Sometimes, but feeling better is so worth it that I won't have bread or grains--unless I go back to Europe. Everyone should go to Europe just to taste the food--American food doesn't even compare. 

Another plus is that going grain-free takes many of the GM foods off my table.

Big Ag has taken over the FDA--don't expect any changes to come from them. Americans need to stop eating processed foods--there would be no demand for Doritos if there were no market for them. We have brought a large part of this on ourselves in search of instant and easier to prepare meals. It amazes me the amount of garbage that people willingly put into their bodies. If we want to see changes to our food system, best way to get corporate food companies' attention is to hit them where it hurts--in their pocketbooks. 

7/20/2013 3:52:23 PM

I agree with Lynn.  Dr. William Davis's book "Wheat Belly" explains alot.  The US has been genetically altering wheat since the 1940's and for many of us our GI tracts cannot tolerate these changes and we get sick.  Europe has done less of this and some european countries have laws that limit how much genetically altered food can be produced and marketed. The US has no laws regarding this.

7/20/2013 2:45:54 PM


Thank you for your letter.  I cannot tell you how much it meant to read this after hearing that the U.S. is the only country in the world that suffers from chronic intestinal diseases.  I was diagnosed with Diverticulosis which started out as IBS.  A nurse spoke to me about removing wheat from my diet to see if this would alleviate my problems. After 4 months, my problem has improved alot and I've lost weight.  The more I research wheat and gluten, the more I am left feeling frustrated.  I am frustrated that there are hundreds of thousands of people here in our country who have removed gluten from their diets and reaped the benefits but the FDA seems to take no notice at all.  I'm led to believe that we are using too many "extra" ingredients in our wheat processing, as well as too many pesticides on our wheat crops.  I wish someone with some authority and knowledge would do the research, share the information, and offer solutions to combat the health problems associated with eating wheat.  Additionally, the high cost of gluten-free foods is a burden on those families who cannot eat wheat.  I believe that we are being taken advantage of by those companies who make these products and sell them for such a high price.  Hopefully, we will see more articles in the future in Mother Earth News that may provide more insight. 

7/19/2013 12:56:12 PM

Read "Wheat Belly"  by Dr. Davis.  It explains it all.  Wheat in the U.S.  is barely even wheat anymore, and certainly not the same wheat it was 50-60 years ago.  Scary stuff.  Between GMOs, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc... our wheat is quite scary. 

Thank you for sharing your experience in Europe.  I was in a discussion just this week where we were wondering how much healther wheat in Europe is and if we'd feel better eating it.  You cleared that up for me!

7/19/2013 12:26:09 PM

I had the same experience in Spain where I could eat many things made with wheat (from the bakery, not the processed plastic-bagged stuff) with absolutely no side effects. I'm glad this article was posted because many of us are puzzled by this difference and I suspect that in the Americas the change has been occurring rather slowly so making connections is a challenge. Two other differences that occur to me are: 1) The recent (as in the last thirty to fifty years) existence of a new protein within the gluten polymer of wheat, and therefore wheat products: gliadin. This new-to-our-metabolism protein accompanied the introduction of high-yield, semi-dwarf strains of wheat, invented in the 1960s and 1970s, widespread by 1985 and regularly "improved" since. This protein has changed in structure and is now known to have several significant, detrimental metabolic effects. It increases appetite, causes inflammation, and appears to be associated with certain behavioural challenges (ADHD, bipolar disease and some forms of schizophrenia). Another difference is that bakery products are not forced to prove in Europe, they are allowed to rise naturally and that - among its other effects - significantly reduces the phytate concentration. Phytate / phytic acid is known to actively bind minerals, making them unavailable to build the enzymes that we require to carry out certain tasks (digestion, detox, oxygen transport, energy generation, etc.). This is doubly important because the widespread use of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) fertilizers means once soils are depleted they lack any other minerals, so mineral deficiency in crops and the people who consume them is a predictable outcome of this practice. By way of example, the World Health Organization has said that at least 80% of the population of the developed world is magnesium deficient; not a trivial deficiency since Mg is necessary for over 500 physiological reactions in our bodies.

7/19/2013 7:45:39 AM

American strains of wheat have a much higher gluten content (which is needed to make light, fluffy Wonder Bread and giant bagels) than those traditionally found in Europe. This super-gluten was recently introduced into our agricultural food supply and now has "infected" nearly all wheat strains in America.

7/19/2013 7:37:27 AM

I think gluten intolerance is caused from exposure to GMO wheat! It's like the old television add says, "It's not nice to fool mother nature!"

7/19/2013 12:16:45 AM

Wheat in the US is treated with azodicarbonamide to speed up the bleaching process.  This practice is banned in Australia and Europe (In Singapore, you can go to jail for treating food products with it). 

Azodicarbonamide is also used to make foamed plastic and synthetic leather (the same stuff used to make flip flops and sneakers).  My "gut" feeling is if I'm wearing it on my feet, why would I want to eat it? 

As an avid baker, I have gone completely organic in so far as to purchase wheat grain from an organic farmer and mill my own flour.  The flavor is much different and my family's tummy troubles have lessened considerably.  The key is to only mill as much as you need for the recipe.  Yes, it is an extra step and I bake bread every other day (because there is no preservatives added to lengthen the shelf life) but it has been so worth it.

7/18/2013 11:52:31 PM


You might want to check out this link - an interview with the author who wrote "Wheat Belly." Very informative:

Gail Williamson

7/18/2013 10:30:22 PM

I've been searching for reasons for this since the question was asked. I had the same experience when I lived in Europe for a year. I could tolerate wheat products there, unlike in the US. They taste different also. It doesn't make sense entirely because a lot of wheat is imported into Europe, from the US. But in light of the recent discovery of GMO wheat growing in Oregon, many countries are rejecting US wheat. The discovery may be the tip of the iceberg. It's possible GMO wheat is grown in the US, without our knowledge, but not elsewhere. I also had the same experience with dairy products in Europe. I can barely tolerate them in the US but in Europe had no reaction to them. I know they treat cattle much differently in Europe (no crowding, routine antibiotics, etc). Their regulations are much more strict on most all foods products and even cosmetics. I'd be interested in knowing the answer to the wheat mystery too.

7/16/2013 9:37:59 PM

HOw do I see comments?

7/16/2013 3:10:49 PM

GMO's must be labeled as such in Europe.  85% of the American food is GMO or had chemical additives to beef up flavor, fat and salt.  Try switching to an organic diet...if your symptoms cease, then you have your answer.

More than 85% of corn grown here in the states is treated with BT which causes the corn silk worms stomach to leek until they stop eating and die.  It has been suspected in "leaky gut syndrome ".  Who knows if its having the same effect on us?

Corn and corn products are added to so many food products as well as beets and canola.  So they are hard to avoid. My daughter was diagnosed with a glutin allergy and followed the diet for 5 years.  She would cheat occasionally and pay dearly.  Last year, she switched to an organic diet and she has been symptom free...she eats organic bread now, no problem.

dairy goat


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