News Stories

Bad Bread and Good Beer

Early cultures separated into tribes (something many countries still do) in order to keep themselves safe. But they needed to mix with other tribes as well--in order to spread their DNA around, as well as to make friends.

In the March 17th edition of the New York Times, Jeffrey P. Kahn writes: "These lifesaving social instincts didn’t' readily lend themselves to exploration, artistic expression, romance, inventiveness and experimentation--the human drives that make for a vibrant civilization."

For that, Keller says, "We needed beer." It's thought that beer brewing started 10,000 years ago.

While grain was grown for food, but circumstantial evidence supports the idea that early humans grew and stored it for beer, even BEFORE they used it for bread.

The proteins called gluten, which are found in wheat and other grains, can cause celiac disease, as gluten proteins in wheat, barley and rye cause the body to turn on itself and attack the small intestine. The treatment for this is a gluten-free diet. But allergists can't figure out why this disease is increasing so rapidly--it has quadrupled in the US in the last 50 years.

30% of people with European ancestry carry predisposing genes for celiac disease, yet more than 95% of these carriers can eat all the bread and cereal they want, with no problems. So while these genes are necessary to produce the disease, they're not enough--by themselves--to cause it. This suggests that some sort of trigger--OTHER than the gluten itself--may be behind this.

Are not enough people being breast fed? Bifidobacteria, which occur naturally in breast milk, changes the response of vulnerable eaters from inflammation to tolerance. But not all breast milk is the same:. One study found that milk from overweight mothers had fewer bifidobacteria than milk from thinner mothers. This means that the obesity epidemic could be part of the problem.

In the February 24th edition of the New York Times, Moises Velasquez-Manoff quotes researcher Alessio Fasano as saying, "You’re talking about an autoimmune disease in which we thought we had all the dots connected. Then we start to accumulate evidence that there was something else."

Meanwhile, despite the fact that food isn't overly plentiful in that country, Hungary has taken a bold stand against Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1,000 acres of corn found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds. GM foods are banned in that country.

The free movement of goods within the European Union means that GM seeds can be brought into even countries where they are banned. It's too late to sow new seeds, so this year's harvest has been lost.

If you want to eat well, come to our extraordinary Revelations Nashville Symposium, May 17-19--a weekend with three of the most extraordinary thinkers in the world. To get your tickets, click here. The price includes breakfast Saturday and Sunday and lunch on Saturday (and you can skip the bread, if you want to).



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