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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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May 17, 2017

7 Reasons to Love Wheat

By Mark Sisson
215 Comments

Inline_Reasons_to_Love_WheatWheat gets a bad rap in the alternative health sphere, receiving blame from all sides. Today, I’m here to provide the other side. Today, I’m going to give you seven solid reasons to love wheat, ranging from its effects on the environment, its role in the foundation of the American republic, its effect on gut bacteria and your health, its ability to stamp out hatred, its protective role in the lives of Bronze Age Chinese women, and its status as an enduring symbol of human rights and prosperity.

Let’s get right to it.

Wheat is a great source of glyphosate.

Just before harvest, many wheat farmers apply glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s blockbuster pesticide Roundup. It kills weeds and most importantly acts as a “harvest aid.”  If you eat conventional wheat, you’re eating Roundup, too (PDF).

Some people call Roundup the safest pesticide around. I’ll go one further and say it’s the most beneficial pesticide. It targets so-called “good bacteria” via the shikimate pathway, which really only cocoon your gut from the harsh realities of the food we eat and render our immune systems completely reliant on their microbial machinations. It’s probably carcinogenic, which really means it’s exposing the weakened, senescent cells in your body beginning to revolt against the host.

A steady intake of Roundup-laden wheat is taking the red pill for your health: It reveals and amplifies the sorry state of your physiological state, and in doing so ultimately strengthens it.

Wheat saved Bronze Age Chinese women from cancer and heart disease.

From 5000 to 2900 BC, humans living in Central China subsisted primarily off domesticated pigs, millet, and hunted foods. Stable isotope analyses reveals that both men and women ate similar diets of roughly equal amounts of plant and animal food in this period. Shortly after the introduction of wheat, that changed. Men began deriving a larger share of their caloric intake from animal foods, while women ate fewer animals and far more wheat.

Sure, this may have given rise to a male-dominated social hierarchy that persists to this day, but at least women were getting all the heart healthy whole grains and insoluble fiber found in wheat, and none of the diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and unseemly vitality and physical robustness provided by meat.

Wheat provides necessary acceleration of environmental degradation to galvanize action.

Accelerationists claim that the only way to save the world from capitalism—a lamentable ideology that’s robbed billions of the dignity of abject poverty—is to accelerate its ascent and expand its reach until the failures and horror are laid bare. The monocropping of wheat plays a similar role in environmental accelerationism: It speeds up the demise of our environment, erodes our soil health, and destroys our ability to grow food.

Wheat agriculture itself has a large environmental footprint, causing huge levels of carbon emissions.

Wheat monocropping promotes topsoil degradation. Topsoil is the nutrient-dense portion of the soil where things grow. If we grow too much of the same thing in the same patch of soil without resting or replenishing it, that topsoil erodes. Without topsoil, we can’t grow anything.

Wheat fertilizers frequently run off into waterways, creating unsightly and even dangerous algal blooms and upsetting the balance of nutrients in our natural bodies of water.

Maybe when plants don’t grow anymore we’ll start composting, start rebuilding that topsoil back up. Maybe when the algal blooms stretch for thousands of miles and grow so thick and dense entire seasteading communities establish colonies on them, we’ll rein in the fertilizer overuse. Maybe wheat’s so bad for the environment that it’s good.

Wheat built the Pyramid.

Every civilization has its monuments, its grand, usually architectural homages to the transcendent. The Ottomans had the Blue Mosque. The Incans, Macchu Pichu. Egypt, its pyramids. Rhodes, its Colossus. But not America. The foundation of the American republic rests not on the Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty, nor even the bloody grounds of Gettysburg. When migrants flocked to our shores, they came not for the enumerated freedoms, the economic opportunities. They came to be told exactly how many servings of grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, beans, nuts, dairy, and fats they should be eating. They came for the USDA Food Pyramid.

Without the Pyramid, we wouldn’t have known that meat, nuts, and legumes belong in the same category and possess interchangeable attributes.

Most importantly, without the Pyramid, we wouldn’t have known we’re supposed to eat between 6 and 11 servings of wheat.

Without wheat, the Pyramid crumbles. Without wheat, there is no America.

Wheat embraces diversity and openness.

There’s a lot of talk these days about the importance of cultural diversity and openness. There’s an almost equal amount of chatter about cultural homogeneity and closed borders. If you believe in the former set of values and reject the latter, you’d better eat some wheat. Why?

Wheat breaks down doors. It topples walls. It, with the help of gluten, initiates the production of zonulin—the molecular messenger which instructs our tight junctions to open and allow passage to all who enter. This may admit some unsavory characters and increase the risk of autoimmune disease, but it’s a small price to pay for enriching your body with the rich and diverse panoply of bacterial endotoxins, protein fragments, and foreign molecules.

Wheat prevents micronutrient overdoses.

Micronutrients can be helpful in certain contexts, but they’re easy to overdo. Too many of the foods we eat are too high in micronutrients. Modern wheat prevents micronutrient overdose by two primary routes.

First, modern wheat itself is lower in nutrient excess. The introduction of dwarf wheat coincided with a reduction in zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper to more moderate levels. Another study found that the “ancient” wheats—emmer, spelt, and einkorn—have higher concentrations of selenium than modern wheat. The moderate-nutrient content dwarf wheat also happens to be higher yield (more evolutionarily successful), so it’s able to outcompete those traditional wheats with excessive nutrient loads.

Second, wheat is high in phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that binds to minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc and prevents you from absorbing and utilizing them. Dwarf wheat is especially good here, as its phytate:mineral ratio is high.

Moderating one’s micronutrient intake is tricky. Wild animals don’t “count magnesium ions,” so why should you be expected to? And even if we do religiously track our vitamin and mineral intake, the references we use for nutrient information vary wildly in accuracy. There’s no way to really know for sure. Eating modern dwarf wheat is an easy, effortless way to ensure we’re not getting too many nutrients.

Wheat exposes the intolerant among us.

Intolerance is a social evil that deserves to be stamped out. But first, we must identify it.

Most food intolerance is silent and subtle. Carb-haters are particularly sneaky. The request to swap out hash browns for berries at the diner. The quick removal of the second corn tortilla at the street taco stand. Wheat’s power is such that the intolerant don’t even try to hide their hate. They blurt it out. Willingly. Why, I’ve overheard bigots so brazen that they openly request that their food be “gluten-free” when ordering in restaurants. They know people can hear them. They want people to hear them. They simply don’t care.

Almost every day, I hear from readers who experience real physical revulsion from wheat. They get headaches, diarrhea, even peripheral nerve pain and other physical symptoms from even incidental exposure to wheat and gluten. They call themselves “celiac,” or “gluten-sensitive,” or “gluten-intolerant,” but we know what they really are, even if we don’t want to admit it. After all, they’re our parents, teachers, colleagues. Maybe I don’t want to admit it because in accepting their patronage I’d be complicit in their hate.

If you don’t know how to incorporate wheat into your life, here are a few easy ideas:

A Ziploc bag full of pastry flour and a straw make a great snack on the go. Start slowly. Don’t inhale.

Morning porridge: whole wheat flour and water in 1:1 ratio, simmered over low heat for five minutes. Really filling.

Gluten balls: Mix a stiff dough, then knead it until it feels like an earlobe. Rest in a bowl of water for an hour. Rinse the earlobe under warm water, squeezing and kneading and later needing it. Once the water runs clear, not white, when you squeeze it, you’ve got pure gluten. Roll into balls and cook or eat directly. I like a little dusting of Roundup powder on mine.

I’m being totally, utterly serious here, folks. Wheat is the solution to, well, almost everything. 

That’s it for today. Thanks for being part of the fun. What can I say? Some days I just have to let the sarcasm out to play…. For those interested in the real Primal take on wheat, check out a few of my past posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) on the topic. Take care, everybody.

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215 Comments on "7 Reasons to Love Wheat"

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Tim
Tim
2 months 2 days ago

Uh, I’m confused.

Amy
Amy
2 months 2 days ago

Send your satire sensors in for recalibration, STAT.

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
2 months 2 days ago

Good one, Amy!

Lisa Z
2 months 2 days ago

Sarcasm…

Mark
Mark
2 months 2 days ago

I can summarize this. Don’t eat wheat.

Ross
Ross
2 months 2 days ago

Tim’s right. Mark has missed the mark, whatever it was. Satire or just plain sarcasm doesn’t work when the target is ill-defined and the shooting scattershot.

I.M. Pistoff
I.M. Pistoff
2 months 2 days ago

Really? I got it immediately, though i had to check the calendar…

Catriona
Catriona
2 months 2 days ago

I also had absolutely no issues identifying this as satire, and found it amusing.

Ross
Ross
2 months 1 day ago

I’ve got no trouble identifying satire. The problem here is the satire doesn’t hold together and ends up being somewhat confused.

I think Mark’s a good writer with an easy, relaxed style. His stuff is usually a pleasure to read. This one wasn’t.

Andrea
Andrea
2 months 18 hours ago

Is your avatar sarcastic? I’m confused.

Lady T
Lady T
1 month 19 days ago

I agree with Ross.
And add
This was poorly written and not funny –

Michelle
Michelle
1 month 9 days ago

As soon as I read this post, I thought of all the people I can share this with who DO NOT understand why staying away from wheat is so imperative. Writing in satire often will gain attention as opposed to writing a straight, information laden blog on the dangers of wheat. We have plenty of those blog posts and no one is listening.

Barbarian
Barbarian
1 month 28 days ago

I get it – your being sarcastic about Mark’s sarcasm.

Matt
2 months 1 day ago

I don’t think you should be. I follow this blog on Feedly and noticed that this post got nearly five times the amount of interest as other posts of his on any given day. From a marketing/business perspective it was pure genius. You could draw any conclusion you want from that but I see it as:

A. people love wheat products
B. people love wheat and still consume wheat even though they identify as Paleo and finally want Mark to tell them that it’s okay to eat wheat so they can come out of the closet.

Amy
Amy
2 months 2 days ago

Lulz for days Mark. ?

Amy
Amy
2 months 2 days ago

Uh, that question mark is supposed to be a laughing dog emoji…

Curt
2 months 2 days ago

Well played, sir.
Well played.

Eddy
Eddy
2 months 2 days ago

I am not confused. That was hilarious!

Shary
Shary
2 months 2 days ago

Yep. A little satire is great for getting people to see that today’s wheat ain’t quite the staff of life it may have once been. .

Sean
Sean
2 months 2 days ago

Too facetious for your blog. Many people, including first time readers, are going to be very confused.

Lisa Z
2 months 2 days ago

I kind of agree. He should probably put a disclaimer in somewhere. Sadly, we know some people just won’t or can’t understand the sarcasm and will take this as “real news.”

Christopher Grove
Christopher Grove
2 months 2 days ago

I ABSOLUTELY AGREE!

John Howard
2 months 2 days ago

I agree, Sean!

Monique
Monique
2 months 2 days ago

I’m okay with you,Sean

Mike
Mike
2 months 2 days ago

The sarcasm is strong with this one

jenella herring
jenella herring
2 months 2 days ago

Lololol!
Thank you for the morning giggle!!

Honey
Honey
2 months 2 days ago

You go!!!!….. your exquisite sense of humor might be misunderstood by some, but those of us with half a brain just LOVED IT. TOCHEE!

Lise
Lise
2 months 2 days ago

Yes I am very confused.

Barbarian
Barbarian
1 month 28 days ago

So Darwinism is real…

Brian
2 months 2 days ago

Would have been perfect for April Fool’s Day… nah, too obvious. It was perfect for today!

John Garrard
John Garrard
2 months 2 days ago

Uh, me too.

Bill
Bill
2 months 2 days ago

I had to check and see if it was April 1st. Couldn’t stop laughing. Oh Mark… Ouch!

John Garrard
John Garrard
2 months 2 days ago

Ok, now I get it, but not sure it was worth it.

Monikat
Monikat
2 months 2 days ago

We need to start worshiping at the Temples of Grain…

Alan Butler
2 months 2 days ago

Mark — you should only do a post like this on April 1st !!!!

Mike
Mike
2 months 2 days ago

The RoundUp did it for me…

Angie
2 months 2 days ago

Hahaha! There are some great lines here. I love the American Food Pyramid bit. And the earlobe. Fabulous!

Jason
Jason
2 months 2 days ago

I like to add round-up to my ziploc bag of pastry flour. Everyone thinks I’m crazy…finally someone who get’s me! 🙂

Cindy
Cindy
2 months 2 days ago

Being allergic to wheat, I particularly enjoyed the “Wheat Exposes the Intolerant” section. Thanks for making me laugh this morning! 🙂

D. Wendt
D. Wendt
2 months 2 days ago

This was weird. I assume it’s heavy sarcasm..? But last sentence is a but confusing. He must be sick of the “wheat people” I’m telling Chris Kresser and Robb Wolf, haha

Jim R
2 months 2 days ago

Mark , Nice to see your cranky side . We should all be more than cranky about lifestyle diseases and the cost to the human race. “Monsanto resistant mutants” will ensure the future of the human species.

John
John
2 months 2 days ago

Love the “Monsanto Resistant Mutants”!!

Resistance is necessary – we refuse to be assimilated…

John Campbell
John Campbell
2 months 2 days ago

Damn you wheat! You’re so tasty! I’ve been paleo/primal for ten years with cheating, but still enjoying the great effects. Butter and great bread is a treat that I cannot resist at times. Arghhhhhh…. Life is just too short not to enjoy the occasional indulgence – even if I do make it to 108 as I’m planning. I’ll eat a whole loaf with lots of butter, on my hundredth birthday.

Lisa
Lisa
2 months 2 days ago

Thanks for a good laugh!! ?

Lisa
Lisa
2 months 2 days ago

My laughing emoji didn’t work either…

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
2 months 2 days ago

Read it and wheat …

Greek Grok
Greek Grok
2 months 2 days ago

+1

Paul
Paul
2 months 2 days ago

The thing I love about white bread is that you can roll it up into a tiny ball and pop it in your pocket for a perfect snack later.

Tuba
Tuba
2 months 2 days ago
Male-dominated social hierarchy? You’re out of touch. We live in a gynocentric malstrom. Female trumps everything. You can kill males if you’re female and get away with it, you can molest boys and get away with it, 75% of the time you take all his assets in divorce, your female teachers give you better grades than the boys for less work, you’re not drugged like boys nor failing at a national rate of 35%. You’re not a bumbling fool in social media, not the dumb scum of feminists, nor the disposable AMT that non-feminist lament when there ask “where have… Read more »
Woodstock
Woodstock
2 months 2 days ago

Blimey! Are you on the right website? This was a lighthearted look at wheat, not a female-scourging session! Whilst there are no doubt some undisputed truths buried in all your let’s politely call it passion, the world largely remains weighted against females and it’s sad you have no empathy for that. Maybe if you had another look at what your eating you may find fine-tuning your diet results in a more pleasant disposition! ?

Weave
Weave
2 months 2 days ago

Wow, way to get all misogynistic on a light-hearted satire post, buddy. Maybe go try pandering your hatred elsewhere.

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
2 months 2 days ago

I think you meant to post this on iHateFemales dot com. Please seek help for seriously twisted perspective.

Barb
Barb
2 months 1 day ago

Only 22% of Congress is female, 20% of Mayor’s in the US are female, 24% of Governor’s are female, 0% of US Presidents have been female, 38% of countries have ever been run by a female for more than a year, 5.8% of the S&P 500 companies are run by females, at least two religions (Catholic and Mormon) have 0% females as their leader, and women get paid 80% of what men get paid…but don’t appear to get 20% off of anything they purchase, which makes life more expensive for the average female.

Thanks for setting me straight.

Ross
Ross
2 months 15 hours ago
And yet women make up slightly more than 50% of the population. What you need to work out is why your fellow women don’t see fit to elect more women, pay their female employees more, and seek religious and social groups that allow women to be leaders. Women are free to support and fund whoever they so choose. Illustrating the point quite nicely is the female vote split between Trump and Clinton, 42% to 54% respectively. A woman runs for president and only 54% support her? Are men to blame that she failed to impress enough women in that huge… Read more »
Barbarian
Barbarian
1 month 28 days ago
Did I miss something in the article – I thought it was about wheat ? Germany has a female president, and more than equal rights, women actually have more rights – unfortunately the female desire to help everybody has let to an inrush of invaders that is destroying the German lifestyle, and once they take over based on this bad decision and misplaced altruism, I guarantee Germany won’t have any women in any places of power for a very, very long time, if ever, again – such is the law of Islam I guess, all that hard work for equal… Read more »
Andrea
Andrea
2 months 18 hours ago

Even though we live in a male dominated social hierarchy, it is true that sexism hurts men and women alike.

Barbarian
Barbarian
1 month 28 days ago

I also picked up on marks reference to the red pill…I could be reading into too much…maybe.

Steve
Steve
2 months 2 days ago

When I saw the header in the email, I was so confused, “I’ve been following Mark for 4 years now and he always advises against wheat?!”

Well played, sir!

Paleo-Tologist
Paleo-Tologist
2 months 2 days ago

Mark, you are stooooopid. This is hilarious!

Daniel R. Meyer
2 months 2 days ago

I added 6-8 T’s of white sugar to my whole wheat flour porridge this morning. It was awesome, best morning nap I’ve had at work in a long time.

Gary Wellman
2 months 2 days ago

Outstanding!!!!! You’d need a sense of humour bypass to NOT get this.

Kevin Hatch
Kevin Hatch
2 months 2 days ago

A dusting of Roundup powder goes great on just about everything.

Alvin Danenberg, DDS
2 months 2 days ago

I love your humor!!!!! I hope everybody gets it.

Elisa
Elisa
2 months 2 days ago

Love it! I’m sending this one to my vegetarian (and wheat loving) sister!

Steve Montgomery
Steve Montgomery
2 months 2 days ago

I was getting ready to say how big was the check from Monsanto and I am so glad you were just jerking everyone’s chain.

Mare
Mare
2 months 20 hours ago

Thought the same thing… great read is Dr Mercola’s articles about glyphosate and Monsanto…

J D
J D
2 months 2 days ago

This is just wrong in sooo many ways…

Love the Roundup powder reference.

And yes, there are folks that are going to completely fall down the rabbit hole with this one.

Marcio
Marcio
2 months 2 days ago

I think the post is kind of late. It should be posted on April 1st. 😉

Ted
Ted
2 months 2 days ago
Mark, this is hilarious and well done! A real keeper. For me it serves as a strong reminder that if I eat wheat, it needs to be 100% Organic from regenerative and no till agriculture farm. The whole grain needs to be fully fermented, as in 24hr sourdough process to greatly reduce phytates in the outer shell fiber. And to reduce the volume and frequency of ingestion so as to limit the effects of zonulin on gut tight joints. I have been glutin free for about 5 years as I rebuilt my gut. I’m experimenting with Organic ancient wheat now… Read more »
Greek Grok
Greek Grok
2 months 2 days ago

Or you could just not eat wheat…not worth the hassle in my opinion.

Valerie
Valerie
2 months 2 days ago

Lol, when I received notice of your article and saw the title, I thought, has Mark flipped his lid!

Edie Wallace
Edie Wallace
2 months 2 days ago

Actually, wheat really IS the foundation of our republic. Wheat production was highly encouraged by Thomas Jefferson, it gave us freedom from British control of the tobacco market, and it was, at the time, much less exhausting to the soil. I get the sarcasm in this article, but some of it was really hard to parse. Would have been better to end it with some positive information.

barry
barry
2 months 2 days ago

LMAO. Great sarcasm. Hey if you listen to former presidential candidate Ben Carson not only did grain build the pyramid but the pyramid was built for the sole purpose of housing the grain, lol!

George Zajacek
George Zajacek
2 months 2 days ago

Mark you had me, I was ready to write a wtf letter, you should have heard the rant I was on. lol

Summer
Summer
2 months 2 days ago

When I got the e-mail of the new blog post I was VERY confused, until about the first sentence of the first section after the intro. Then I started laughing!

A+ sarcasm and Snark!

Tom
Tom
2 months 2 days ago

Thanks for wasting my time Mark, you are preaching to the converted. That’s five minutes I’ll never get back.

John
John
2 months 2 days ago

…yes, but 5 minutes of stress reduction via laughing… time well spent.

Blair
Blair
2 months 2 days ago

For real, how dumb can people be to be confused by this.

Sheila G
Sheila G
2 months 2 days ago

Ha ha! love it Mark!

Esr
Esr
2 months 2 days ago

This article is a confusing, time-consuming waste. It’ll take you forever to sift through this esoteric-sounding verbiage to consider whether it’sserious or just a joke.

Steve Daniel
Steve Daniel
2 months 2 days ago

hmm. I guess it took YOU “forever”. It took the rest of us 4 seconds. Lighten up.

Lynn Jeffery
Lynn Jeffery
2 months 2 days ago

I loved it!!

Penny
Penny
2 months 2 days ago

Love it! (Not wheat…the post)

Tee Dee
Tee Dee
2 months 2 days ago

Phew! If you could have heard what I was thinking (*^#@*!!) as I clicked on the link to this article, Mark! Thanks for the laughs 😉

Curtis
2 months 2 days ago

Make wheat great again!

Linda Gould
2 months 2 days ago

Loved this. Loved the spoofs on political correctness including many things I really do believe in. Every day needs some laughter!

Carolyn Bergey
2 months 2 days ago

I am going to have fun with this blog. Apologize to my family for my soap box rants against demon wheat and ask them to read the blog for a different point of view.

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