I know when I need my teeth cleaned or have a tooth that needs to be extracted, or really when I have any dental issues at all, I go to my optometrist. They’re a doctor too, so they can help me with all my medical issues, especially regarding my teeth, right? Just because their specialty has to do with eyes doesn’t mean they don’t have expertise regarding teeth, am I right?
No, I’m not, but stick with me.
When I want help with my teeth — I go to my dentist.
When I want help with my car — I go to a mechanic.
When I want to deliver a baby — I go to my OBGYN.
When I want help with agriculture — I go to a farmer.
And so should you.
You should not seek advice from a cardiologist about wheat, as I’ve mentioned before, either.
I was recently contacted by an Australian organic food company, that boasts the tagline “Organic, sustainable, ethical and reliable real food products…“, asking me if I would like to help spread the message of a new, exciting documentary on “wheat intolerance”. You can read the email here for yourself (I apologize if it’s too small, especially on mobile!):
My response to this affiliate manager, was that I don’t think he really did much of a background check on who I was and what I blog about before contacting me, but I introduced myself further to him, as I will to you too…
My name is Sarah, I’m a Registered Nurse who has been married to a farmer for almost 9 years and we now are raising three beautiful sons — the 5th generation on our family farm in Alberta. Our ancestors bought this land in 1929, literally with bushels of wheat, from ranchers. Wheat has been grown on our land ever since and we are very passionate about wheat. When I started my blog Nurse Loves Farmer back in 2009, I didn’t always blog about agriculture. However, when I saw how much misinformation was out there surrounding highly misunderstood topics like GMOs, pesticides, and certainly gluten/wheat, I decided to start speaking up and sharing what I learned with my readers.
To further address the points in his email I noted that:
- I would definitely argue that we are not in a global crisis, especially since wheat provides the world with 20% of it’s daily calories
- Celiac disease is far better understood, and thus more tested for and diagnosed than it ever has been, but still accounts for <1% of the total population of people truly intolerant of gluten (1/133 people in Canada)
- Are there any experts in their arsenal that are actual wheat breeders or wheat scientists or wheat farmers? Or is it just best-selling author doctors like Perlmutter who make a profit from spreading fear and misinformation about wheat?
- Many people, like Cyndi, who eliminate wheat from their diet do feel better initially because wheat can be in a lot of “junk” food like cookies, cupcakes, etc. but it doesn’t automatically mean that wheat (or gluten) is the culprit. I don’t know Cyndi’s full story, but if she feels better off of wheat, I’m happy to hear that for her or anyone who chooses that diet
- Our wheat has not changed dramatically, as I already blogged about here; wheat is the same chemically and genetically as it was 100 years ago — so don’t blame it all on the wheat
Why I Can’t Promote the “What’s With Wheat?” Documentary
I was asked to promote (and enticed with the benefit of making a 50% commission on selling this documentary and related products), but based on the 3 minute trailer, it’s not something I could ever get on board with, even a little bit. From the brief introduction into the film, the star of this documentary is nutritionalist of 30 years, the founder of organic food company “Changing Habits”, Cyndi, whom I briefly acknowledged in the points above. From what the trailer showed, she uses anecdotal evidence from an elimination diet which pointed to wheat as the culprit that caused her sudden weight gain, aches and pains. To my knowledge and brief Googling, she has not been medically tested or officially diagnosed with/for Celiac disease or other food sensitivities, and also eats an all-organic diet.
The trailer also features the notorious Dr. Stephanie Seneff, who is still attempting to whistle blow her outlandish claims that glyphosate, which she says is “used in chemical agriculture extensively”, is the cause of many health ailments today and has even gone as far to say as half of all children will have autism by the year 2025 directly related to glyphosate used in agriculture. I’ve already talked about why Dr. Seneff isn’t a trustworthy or credible source in the agriculture conversation in my piece about glyphosate and wheat.
Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) is interviewed and claims “an extreme health crisis in our children today” – talk to teachers and parents, and you’ll see! What about talking to wheat experts? WAPF is described by the website Science-Based Medicine as “a cornucopia of false information about dentistry and nutrition, [and] is full of anti-vaccine propaganda and bizarre and dangerous health advice that could result in serious harm to patients.” I also mentioned WAPF in my piece about the dangers of raw milk for infants, as their website has a recipe for homemade baby formula using raw milk — a big no-no from this mom!
Others stars of this documentary include some people I have never heard of, including Dr. Campbell-McBride author of “Gut and Psychology Syndrome“, who claims wheat is “laced with chemicals”. I hope she goes on to provide research and sources for is extraordinatry claim in the documentary, but my breath is not being held. It also has Sayer Ji, the founder of GreedMedInfo, a natural health website that also supports anti-vaccination and the anti-GMO movement, who says “the powers that be” don’t want you to know “the truth about wheat”. The documentarians even got Vandana Shiva to share her 2 cents (which is worth a lot more, trust me) in this more-so-seemingly pseudoscientific documentary. Neurologist and best selling author of “Grain Brain” Dr. Perlmutter also claims glyphosate is of “major concern” along with his claim of“the surprising truth” that gluten is a “silent germ,” and declining brain health can be blamed in large part on gluten-containing grains.
In All Honesty…
I do have to disclose that this post is based on the 3 minute trailer, as the full version has not been released yet. I have signed up to watch the full version for free the first week it’s released, otherwise you have to pay to watch it after. I have reached out to the film’s Facebook page and they did respond to me, but they also ended up deleting my post and their response, which speaks volumes to me.
They have claimed repeatedly in the comments on their Facebook page that their film doesn’t “demonize wheat”, and that “the film is looking at a larger picture”; “[they] are not just looking at wheat itself, but the body’s ability to digest various foods.” I guess they have me fooled by all the erroneous allegations against wheat in the 3 minute trailer alone. Maybe they’re just trying to lure people in with click-bait type sensationalist claims in the trailer. I guess we wait and see.
I prefer, as always, to stick with what the science says about wheat. Not what self-promoting doctors making hefty profits on best-selling books and supplements and gimmicks have to say about it. But, as you may have guessed, the film also claims that “science is the core of [their] message”. To which I retort: why are you interviewing people and organizations who go against scientific consensus on such things as the safety of vaccines and GMOs?
The description for their film is: “What’s With Wheat documentary investigates the growing epidemic of wheat intolerance, and why after eating wheat for thousands of years, it has been linked to so many health problems.” Not sure how that isn’t all about demonizing wheat, but I guess (as I keep saying) we’ll wait and see!
“You just can’t continue to douse your food in neurotoxins and not expect it to show up in the human populations.”
– What’s With Wheat
I’d also like to note that I have been criticized in the past for pointing out why various “experts” are in fact not “experts” at all regarding agriculture, and in this case, wheat. I have never claimed to be an expert myself, because I’m not, however I do strive to provide you with facts and evidence that is based on science. All of the “experts” I have briefly analyzed in this post, do not use peer-reviewed science to back up their claims, at least not that I can find.
Update May 2017
This documentary is now available on Netflix, but I am personally not going to waste my time watching it.