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Wheat & Writing Futures

Interesting article on CBS.com.

'(CBS News) Modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison," according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world's most popular grain.

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn't the wheat your grandma had: "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s," he said on "CBS This Morning." "This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten. I'm not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I'm talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."'


I wasn't surprised.  I'd discovered the wheat belly phenomena about a year ago.  After studying it a bit and exercising some diet changes, I concluded that my weight hadn't ballooned but wheat was causing a belly bulge. Other culprits in the belly bulge included cheese.  We were just eating too much of it, again, not a surprise when I looked at how many times a day my meal included cheese.

Davis' other point, though, that modern wheat contains another protein, gliadin, surprised me. This was something I'd suspected for some time as I played with diet and observed its impact but this is the first time I'd seen that stated. His further point, though, is that substituting 'better' modern grains for wheat is a matter of choosing between two bad options.  That was very dismaying. 

Unfortunately - and here it is, my hourly rant - this is our modern existence.  America's two party system often ends up driving us to make the lessor of two bad choices. That includes our latest President, Barack Obama.

When he began running in the primary, he was note perfect as the candidate for change.  But when he won the nomination, he shifted position to become more moderate.  Watching him govern in his first term was dismaying.  It was clear it was a center moderate and not the progressive savior so many desired as a George Bush antidote.  Truly, by the time President Obama completed his first term, there was no doubt that he favored business interests and wasn't going to reduce the military, and preferred the status quo in regard to how the US government operated.  The drone killing machine was expanded.  Gitmo remains open, banksters remain at large, and the noxious Bush signing statements remain intact.

He's noted his mainstream moderate position himself.

'President Barack Obama believes that if he were president 25 years ago, his economic policies would make him a moderate Republican.

During an interview with Noticias Univision 23, the network's Miami affiliate newscast, Obama pushed back against the accusation made in some corners of south Florida's Cuban-American and Venezuelan communities that he wants to instill a socialist economic system in the U.S. The president said he believes few actually believe that.

"I don't know that there are a lot of Cubans or Venezuelans, Americans who believe that," Obama said. "The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican."'


That's how it is in our world.  We're so often driven between bad and worse.  I will say that I didn't view any Republican candidate or nominee as a better choice than Barack Obama in either of the last two presidential elections. Obama just didn't thrill me like a new love.  He was more, okay, I guess he'll do for now.

In health matters, you can have the cure if you can survive it.  Many on the left - me, included - believe that America's health system is failing because health is dominated not by the desire to cure or save but the need to have profitable healthcare enterprises.  So it is that although the health care industry is huge in America and we spend more money on it than many other nations, the quality of our healthcare continues declining and our infant mortality rate is rising....

The bright spot for me is literature.  Thank the Gods of literature that we have so many wonderful books and decades of classic novels to fall back on, that our choices are much greater and include some sublime choices.  At least there remains brillant writers out there, expanding our insights, illuminating life, and providing some great escapism.

Power to the writers.  Write on, write on.

5 Comment count
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I like your optimistic note

I like your optimistic note at the end of your blog, Michael. Otherwise, I think I might drown in that gluten plus substance you mention. Believe me, we are the same in this country. Our new government felt like a breath of fresh air at the outset but when it comes down to the bare bones of it, they are basically the same as the previous government. I don't think I will ever vote again. I figure in the time I spend going to the voting station, I could plant at least one tree, several packages of seeds and practice some personal life-enchancing movements that will result in a better me and in turn a better world, oh and possibly bake an amazing cake that will promote goodwill and happiness to those who happen to eat it. I could drive to the charity shop with some marvellous things that they could sell for the homeless in our society and I could thank the gods of life that I am not a crooked politician who goes back on his/her word at every hand shake, wave and nod going, never mind a photo-op. Good blog, Michael. You seem to be on a roll. m

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I still vote, Mary ~

My heart is usually not in it, although Jeff Merkley has lived up to his campaign as one of Oregon's Senators.  I like the use of your time, though.  Trees and plants are needed.  Good food is always effective for securing good will.  I've not had your food but your descriptions are always undermining my determination to eat healthy and watch my weight. 

Thanks for reading and commenting.  Always wonderful to hear from you.  Cheers, M

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A friend, Kristin Glover, has written

an excellent screenplay on genetic farming and its dangers – ``Fleur.'' Your  piece made me think of it. The script is out and about. It would take a producer of some guts to do it, and I'm not talking about the wheat belly phenomena you describe.

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I hope it gets produced, Steve ~

People are inundated with misconceptions and outright lies. The Internet, which had so much potential to be a vehicle for clarity, has joined television as muddy source for information.  Good writers and film makers can do much to improve understanding, and we seriously need understanding.  It's horrible that Congress has been shrugging its shoulders over GMOs.  "Oh, the company says it's safe so it must be safe."  Because, of course, no company out to make a profit has ever lied or put its profits above others' health and safety. 

Hope Fleur makes it to the theaters.  Thanks for reading and commenting.  Cheers, M

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Michael, your timing is good.

Tying in with the protests against Monsanto – or ``March Against Monsanto'' – around the world. Some hope. People like Kristin Glover have known it was a problem for years. Good you are speaking out.