Hey there! Love your posts. As I was scrolling through Facebook I oversaw a conversation talking about the gluten free frenzy and a girl commented that it was due to the gmos in wheat. Being a farmer myself, I know this to not be logical, but I wondered if you had any great articles or facts to rebuttal this claim with. Thank you!
Thank you so much for the question! The gluten-free craze certainly has taken off recently, and it seems to be getting more and more outlandish. While there are individuals that are diagnosed by a doctor with a gluten intolerance, also known as Celiac’s Disease, most people have jumped on this bandwagon without a shred of evidence showing that it is good for them.
To answer your question though, let’s start by figuring out what the heck gluten actually is! Gluten is actually a major plant protein containing gliadin and glutenin. It can be found in wheat, barley, and rye. It gives the bread a structure for baking.
But there’s the catch that will stump your Facebook friend: there are no GMO wheat varieties in the world’s food system.
That means that without a doubt, GMOs are not the cause of gluten allergies or sensitivities.
The truth of the matter is, for most Americans, going on a gluten free diet is not healthy or necessary. It probably won’t make you lose weight and it certainly isn’t going to make you healthier. In fact, most gluten-free diets often lack various nutrients such as iron, calcium, many B vitamins (including folic acid), zinc, magnesium, and a host of other nutrients.
You can find out more information at Wheat Foods Council (including this awesome Fact Sheet), the Healthy Grains Institute, Dietitians of Canada, this article from the Florida Courier (which has some scientists weigh in), and my friend/nurse/blogger buddy’s article on including healthy grains — even with gluten — in your diet.
I hope this answers your question and you’re able to pass on the education to your Facebook buddy!
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Kevin Klatt says
Great post! I was up in Ithaca a few months ago and had a PhD/RD who had graduated from Cornell tell me she 'believed' this as well. So disheartening
My understanding is that there is no reliable research to support claims that any GMO crop is different from the same non-GMO crop -just branding and scare tactics to drive consumer demand for non-GMO.
I would like to point out that Gluten is found in numerous grains other than Wheat.
Could you clarify whether any other gluten containing grains are GMO or not?
The following is the only commercially available GMO crops: corn (field and sweet), soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya, squash, Innate potatoes, and the Arctic Apples. I don’t believe any of those contain gluten.