What Happened To Wheat?
Why has wheat become a problem for people?
The wheat we are eating today is not necessarily the wheat eaten by our grandparents.
During the Green Revolution of the 1950s and 60s, agricultural science was evolving. The hypothesis of food shortages took hold and intensive farming became the goal. As wheat was such a staple of much of the world's diet, increasing yields was a priority.
Through hybridization and other methods wheat yields went from 18 bushels per acre in 1948 to over 50 bushels per acre in 2019.
According to David Stelzer, organic food and healthy soil pioneer whose family has farmed in the Pacific Northwest for 100 years and who is the CEO of Azure Farm and Azure Standard, this hybridized wheat:
is shorter and stockier than its ancestor
is able to uptake more nitrogen fertilizer and grow much faster
develops glutamine first which is the active component of gluten
develops starch next
is harvested before the protein amino acid chain has fully developed
is not as nutritionally complex as it was in the past
is now primarily glutamine and starch and does not have balanced nutrients