Gluten is everywhere. We eat bagels and toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and rolls with our dinner. The USDA recommends we eat 30% of our calories from grains and prior to myplate was recommending 6-11 servings of grain per day. Doctors and nutritionists in the mainstream media push whole grains as a solution to the problems caused by the standard American diet, which is about as effective as putting out a fire with gasoline.
We talk about being paleo and optimizing health a lot on this site but the reality is that most of the time it isn’t that easy. Whether it’s choosing a sandwich when you have 15 minutes to prepare lunch or buying flour by the drum instead of setting up a homestead, wheat is the easy way out a lot of the time.
The purpose of this series is to illustrate the health problems related to gluten specifically. This series is aimed at those of you that eat gluten occasionally, knowing it is bad but trying to minimize as much as you can.
For a while I was completely paleo compliant except on weekends, where I took ‘cheat days’ which I needed for training to epic proportion. Since cutting out gluten entirely I have seen a huge improvement in health and my hope is that by the end of this series, you’ll be able to see improvements too. And next time you eat out, you’ll feel comfortable in saying pass the rolls.
Also, for those of you that are die-hard paleo already, there should be some fun ammunition for your inevitable conversations with vegans, bageltarians, and low fat advocates.
On to the knowledge
Why the government is making you sick
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect
It’s common knowledge that fat is evil, grains are good for your heart and wheat is the bedrock of your diet. We all learned this in school, saw it supported by politics, and see it in pop culture. This serves as evidence for the majority of people who are comfortable with not questioning authority.
Many of these recommendations were developed by what our good friends over at Survival Sherpa refer to as alphabet agencies, such as the AHA and USDA. Much of the research that formed the basis for these recommendations was done in the 1950s, on research that was far from conclusive (see Todd Walker’s excellent post on that over at Survival Sherpa). However, there are many reasons that it was not looked into more.
Follow the money
Wheat production is big business. The US has produced 50-60 million tons every year for the past decade. Much of this is controlled by massive agrobusiness outfits such as Monsanto. The consolidation of local farms into these huge companies happened over the 20th century and considers to accelerate.
Where there is money, there is political influence. But surely the people responsible for our health are looking after us, right? Not trying to help out big business at the expense of our health?
In many cases they are the same people. The above diagram is from a right-leaning website but I’m sure the list would expand if you put a magnifying glass to the republican party as well. For further evidence of the government’s support of agrobusiness, check out the subsidies on wheat, which amounted to over $34 billion of your tax dollars from 1995 to 2011.
Hiding behind the image of the farmer, many justify the actions of these companies but the fact of the matter is the local farmers you see don’t need subsidies because they aren’t competing in international markets. These are the companies that in many cases turned them from business owners into employees.
And if you’re open to making your extra tinfoil into a hat, there are also those that say that big pharma is involved, keeping the population sick. After all, how much lipitor can you sell to a healthy nation?
Regardless of what you believe, the fact is that there are ulterior motives to the recommendations of the government. If this cannot be trusted, the bottom falls out for any rationalization made by the mainstream media and consumers. Think for yourself and stay tuned for some of the consequences the grains we are pushed can have on your health.