What’s Happening to Wheat?

Bending wheat(Photo credit: Zugr @unsplash.com)

 

Have you noticed?  There is a lot of talking going on about wheat.  I’ve been noticing this recently, and so I wanted to look into it a little bit myself, because it’s easy to become confused about something if you haven’t investigated it.  Wheat is a much-maligned plant, and I think there may be some misunderstanding about it.  Take a look with me at some information and conversation about wheat that may not have crossed your radar yet.  It’s always good to have more information to help you form opinions and make decisions.  You shouldn’t just believe everything you hear on the internet. 😉

To start off, it’s always good to know the agricultural background of wheat cultivation.  Ever since wheat has begun to be cultivated, it has been changing.  Farmers would try to find the traits in wheat that they liked (drough-resistant, hardy, etc), and then breed future generations of wheat that contained these traits more consistently.  This is why there are so many different kinds of wheat around!  They have been bred for different purposes.  Other grains haven’t had this much breeding done to them, and so many of them, for example, spelt, remain relatively unchanged from their original planty-ancestors.  This type of wheat breeding is called “hybridization”.  Read more about it here.  Or see the Wheat wiki.

Does Genetically Modified Wheat Exist?

This is a really interesting question, and I’m not 100% confident that the answer is going to be an easy yes/no.  In looking into this, I ended up reading a great deal about Monsanto.  This is a company who brand themselves as bio-technologists and giants in the agri-business industry.  However, they historically have been involved in developing America’s first nuclear weapons, developing and producing DDT, Agent Orange, Aspirin, Celebrex, and Astro-turf, among other things.  They have indeed developed a genetically modified version of wheat.  (It’s important to know that “a genetically modified organism is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals.”(source: Wikipedia via Google definitions).  Monsanto’s version of wheat, technically called MON 71800,  was developed to be able to resist repeated sprayings with Roundup, which is a weed killer (enjoyably enough also produced by Monsanto).

However! (and this is a full-stop-worthy however).  This wheat is not available commercially.  Yes, Monsanto developed it and has had over 400 U.S. field trials with it (and 39 in Europe), and yes, it was approved by the FDA to be used as “food”, but Monsanto withdrew its application over fears of consumer rejection of the product.  See the article.  However, there was one mysterious escape of this seed which turned up in a shipment of wheat, but as of 2013, this GMO Wheat was not commerically used.  No other company has released any other GMO wheat, but there has been mentioned made that companies, including Monsanto, are now back to the wheat drawing board looking to release a commercially available GMO wheat.  Some companies rumored to be developing new GMO wheat include; ConAgra, Cargill, BASF Global, and Syngenta AG.

So, there is a significant difference between hybrid and GMO wheat.

Wheat has changed, and the wheat we are growing and eating now is very different from the wheat our parents and grandparents were using even 50 years ago.  The agricultural marketplace is also different, as there are currently 9 different crops that are grown that do use GMO versions ( soy, corn, cotton (oil), canola (oil), sugar from sugar beets, zucchini, yellow squash, Hawaiian papaya and alfalfa).In the U.S., GMOs are estimated to be in as much as 80 percent of conventional processed food, says the Non-GMO Project. (1)

The concerns with hybridization and GMO items is that, with regard to Bioenergetics, your body will not be able to recognize these items, and so it can potentially show up as an energetic stressor.  See the article about R. BIE.  It’s always wise to be aware of what you’re eating, and to know how it is made, but it is also important to not let yourself get paranoid over it.  Be responsible with the things you can be responsible for, and advocate for the things you have in your heart to advocate for, but be aware of the line that crosses over into obsession and guilt-driven behaviour.  Food isn’t supposed to run your life.  It is a tool, to help you live well.  I just wanted to share this little bit of information about the difference between GMO Wheat and Hybrid Wheat, because it’s easy to become confused with jargon of any kind.

Did you know GMO wheat isn’t currently used commercially?  Leave me a comment, and let me know!  Or, if you’ve recently discovered something about a plant or food you didn’t know might have GMO in it, let us know what it was!  I’m always curious to hear what others have found out!

Take care!  Talk to you soon!

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Green wheat

Lindsay
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Lindsay

With a background in nursing, Lindsay lives and works in Ontario, Canada.LindsayTurbull.com was created to encourage, inspire and to share life on the road to wellness and living life abundantly.Please make sure that you follow us on social media as well to get updates and other fun things.
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