In this article, we won't delve into technical aspects of wheat or gluten, as there are many excellent resources available online. Instead, we'll explore the ancient wisdom surrounding the first cultivated grain and how it has become potentially toxic for modern generations.
Wheat one of the first crops cultivated by humans and approx. 6000 years later rice has been grown, which means human animal has survived on wheat for more that 7000 years.
What oldies say ?
Mrs.Gangabhai (68 years old) says that “chapatti and poori takes very long process and so we need to plan only on Sundays or on holidays”
Mrs.Susheela (70 yrs old) says roti to “be give after delivery for the new mother and so we need to start preparing some wheat flour 5 months ahead”
Mrs. Jiju says (83 years old) “If you are going for long day travel Stack up some chapattis and but don’t forget buttermilk”
Mrs.Shobha (73 years old) “My husband (a government teacher) had to walk for more than 5km everyday to his school, rotis are best to keep him energetic all through the day, just rice can’t keep him alert to attend the classes”
These names weren’t fake, they we are real still alive sharing their way of using wheat.
So what did we get from this ? Wheat and How !
Our Ancestors' Approach to Wheat
In the race of living, the desire for everything instant has turned many beautiful things, including wheat, into something potentially dangerous for us. Our ancestors had a particular process for using wheat, involving soaking the grains, sun-drying them for several days, and then stone grinding to convert them into flour/rava. This humble process preserved all the richest proteins, vitamins, lipids, and minerals, including bran, germ, shorts, and red dog mill streams.
After the flour, it was turned into "Sour Dough," which needs at least 13 hours to make the bread (the original process involves 4-5 days). Alternatively, the "Malting" process was followed to consume wheat as a "Porridge" or "Drink," involving several days again.
Today's instant Roti, Chapatti, Kichaid etc, were completely different from our grand moms recipes whicj were made with the dough that is made at least 12hrs before. The rava was soaked at least 6-8 hours before cooking into Upma or Khichadi. Buttermilk was must along with homemade pickle which is again good bacteria. All these include the breakdown of gluten better (of course not below 20 ppm) though good bacteria.
But, now Wheat based recipes like Roti, Chapatti, Upma etc has become an instant that we can make any time and anywhere and most importantly the “affordable”
Wheat is beautiful grain when it is
Beautifully Processed &
Beautifully Produced - The Green Revolution Revisited
In the name of the Green Revolution, Norman Borlaug gave us a great grain that attended to the world's hunger but left us with the untreatable illness of celiac irritation. This so-called wheat has now replaced the original wheat in the early 20th century. Pests and rodents were wiser than us and left this well "improved" grain, technically enhanced with chemicals and genetically modified.
As common people, we can't produce or replace the original grain, but we can certainly process it better.
Beautifully Processed - Modern Man's Dilemma
Modern man, desiring everything instant and at the best price (at its lower end), is unwise with all his knowledge, looking for instantly bad things, making the good thing more bad. We wanted to purchase INR.50/Kg (less than a Dollar), which was rejected by bugs and rodents due to nutrient deficiency; they wanted only rich foods.
So, should we avoid wheat completely? Fortunately, our early generations were used to this so-called wheat, and now we have that gene familiar with this "fake" grain. What we can do now is at least process it better, not removing its kernel through modern milling processes that strip away the protein and other vitamins aiding in better digestion.
The slow and traditional process preserves its goodness and can reduce the gluten's direct effect on our villi.
Beautifully Used - Living Slow and Beautiful
Wheat is supposed to be consumed when our body needs more heat and energy. Our ancestors were 60% physically active throughout the day, allowing food to digest and absorb properly.
Being physically active meant a coordination between body and mind. For example, men used to farm without mental stress. Women, taking care of households, managed physical and mental balance without coordination with stress.
To make a porridge or roti with wheat was a 6-month process for them. During summers, they made all the arrangements to stock up the flour or the broken grain and prepare the dish. They planned it more than 12 hours ahead to make it digestible, taking it when they were physically active, not when they didn't even have time to eat.
To summarize, "it's not the Wheat, it's our modern lifestyle" and modern man's smart thinking that is making beautiful things toxic. Humans are meant to live slow and beautiful rather than unwise smartness.
Celiac Disease Foundation: A comprehensive resource providing information on celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and resources for those living with gluten-related disorders.
Mayo Clinic - Celiac Disease: Mayo Clinic's page on celiac disease offers in-depth information, including symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
Beyond Celiac: Beyond Celiac is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and providing support for those with celiac disease.
Impact of Modern Milling on Nutritional Values:
Nutritional Content of Whole Grains vs. Refined Grains: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health provides insights into the nutritional differences between whole grains and refined grains.
The Impact of Processing on the Nutritional Value of Food: A scientific article available on PubMed that discusses the impact of processing on the nutritional content of food, including milling.
The Effect of Milling and Processing on the Nutritional Value of Grains: A research paper discussing how milling and processing affect the nutritional value of grains.