Sourdough Vs GM

JohnD's picture

SOURDOUGH vs GM……………..


Recently the Australian CSIRO announced that it is considering human trials for its genetically modified wheat. The wheat has been genetically modified to make it a low GI wheat, which means it wont cause blood sugar spikes when eaten.

As one gasps for air and mutters “WHAT?” to oneself, lets look at the thought trail which leads to this absolutely ridiculous “science” and massive waste of public money, not to mention the mind-boggling lack of awareness of the world outside the test-tube which so many modern researchers display.

The problem is diabetes. Presently the Industrialised nations are facing a new plague, not from microbes or the black death of old, but the white death of new. This is diabetes, which I refer to as the white death, which apart from being a parody of the Australian slang for factory white bread, is a disease which is largely caused by diet…a diet of “white” foods…all largely refined to whiteness: white flour, white rice and white sugar being the major culprits, and also largely a disease of white man`s culture, white man`s foods. This would appear harsh until one understands that for example the indigenous people of Australia and America (not-white)suffer severely from this condition, which disappears once they return to a pre-white-man`s diet. ( Reference: O’Dea K. Marked improvement in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in diabetic Australian aborigines after temporary reversion to traditional lifestyle.Diabetes, 1984;33:596-603). But we suffer from it as well and the rates of diabetes, coupled with over-weight are spiralling out of control in the USA, Australia and Europe, but increasingly in China as well.

You don’t catch diabetes. It is a systemic disease which is definitely co-related to refined foods. It has other causes as well, but the major cause today is refined food. Diabetes was known and documented in antiquity, but was rare…until very recently.

These refined causative foods are well known, and a chart was constructed to show which foods have the greatest tendency  to increase blood sugar levels. This is called a Glycemic index (GI). White refined wheat flour is high on the list, (in fact white bread is used as a (high) standard to measure other foods against), and because it is one of the commonest foods today, our scientists in their wisdom thought it a good idea to impact this tendency by breeding wheat which has a low GI.  Instead of putting their efforts into reforming the industrial food system which creates these foods simply to value add to them and make money, todays solutions way too often tends towards the “bandaid” solution. The other side of GI reality is that the foods eaten in a traditional diet (one which many moderns have in fact reverted to), such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit and grass-fed meat/dairy, are all in the low GI range.

White wheat flour is very largely used to make white factory bread. Every new effort to reduce the factors which are supposedly causing  pathologies in our advanced societies, from vitamin deficiencies to salt, is played out in bread production….bread is such a widely eaten food, that these additives from iodine to low salt to folate, are dumped in our bread in attempt to fix us up. Ive already ranted about the salt question. So again, bread has to be singled out to carry the new low GI wheat, what next?

Problem is, as many of you are aware, the way to reduce the GI in bread, is to make bread as it always was…by the sourdough method, or with a long fermentation which develops lactic bacteria. It is very clear  that fermentation uses up the overt sugars/carbohydrates in any situation and transforms them. That bread is no longer fermented, means that the gross carbohydrate fraction is left-as-is…unaltered and able to cause blood sugar spikes, especially if its white. Fermenting is the ancient well proven way to increase digestibility of foods, and has numerous applications in food and eating, indeed most traditional food systems are based on it from beer to miso to tempeh to cheese and yes bread.

The first scientists to be aware of the low GI of genuine sourdough were amazed, but this awareness has not been sufficiently corresponded to other researchers, so we have the situation today where the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing with respect to food research. Even the whole idea of GI can be called into question, because of clear anomalies. To genetically modify wheat on this basis is at least shaky, at worst arrogant. Simply doing a “wiki” search on GI will point out that white rice eaters in Asia and potato eaters in Peru, hardly get diabetes, or are over-weight, but perhaps more importantly that foods vary in their GI rating depending on the method of processing, time of day they are eaten, and simply variations between people.. Pity those responsible for creating even the idea of a GM low GI wheat didn’t even read Wiki!!!...which shows how rarefied they must be, they certainly don’t appear to be on planet earth! (lizards?).One suspects it’s just the kids in the kitchen, unfortunately they are cooking the main meal.



jem 2011 July 23

ouch - I'd love to read this but the font isn't really readable on my screen :(

JohnD's picture
JohnD 2011 July 23

Amazing what people read which isnt there....please highlight the "medical advice" and I will remove it.......and im not technically "a baker".....but given the amount of Iatrogenic illness, you might as well consult your cat these days!

tranquillity's picture
tranquillity 2011 July 24

Getting important facts such as these into the right hands is very important.  The salt article was of a similar nature.  Rare to get factual info in cyberspace.    I appreciate your efforts. Keep up the good work.

panfresca 2011 July 27

Having some knowledge of this area, I'm flabbergasted at the complete lack of any factual basis for these claims.

Diabetes is "the white death"???? Just because you say so? Alarmist much?

And which of the three kinds of diabetes are you talking about? Or do you lump all kinds into one?

"Type 1 diabetes is partly inherited and then triggered by certain infections, with some evidence pointing at Coxsackie B4 virus. There is a genetic element in individual susceptibility to some of these triggers which has been traced to particular HLA genotypes (i.e., the genetic "self" identifiers relied upon by the immune system). However, even in those who have inherited the susceptibility, type 1 diabetes mellitus seems to require an environmental trigger."

Funny, no mention of "white death" there.

Or are you talking about adult onset diabetes? Again, the reality is very far removed from your misleading and simplistic (not to mention dangerous) misrepresentations.

You attack the CSIRO, one of the world's most respected scientific organisations. What are your credentials to do so? 

John, I don't intend to have a slanging match with you over this - I have seen how you argue in other threads. 

I just wanted to put these thoughts on record in this thread so that any visitors might think twice before swallowing these "ideas" without questioning.




JohnD's picture
JohnD 2011 July 27

Why must an exchange of opinions be characterised as a "slanging match"? and why should you be afraid of it?

As for saying "ive seen how you argue in other threads", well im sorry, but if you dont like the heat, get out of the kitchen. I am never offensive.

Of course im largely talking about type 2, however most information available unless it is specifically medical uses the cover-all term "diabetes".

As for "facts"/factoids, well google the term if you require them, there are numerous references to what im writing about in this article, im not exactly making it up, and is why i inserted the reference to K O`Dea`s research....did you read that? 

 My piece is a general discussion largely about rhe "environmaental triggers" which is pointed out in your quotation. As for the "inheritance" also pointed out in your quotation, this is well known to be largely epi-genetic, passed on by the previous or even 2 generations removed who have also been victims of the industrial diet. In the same way, coeliac and wheat sensitivity seems to be following the same pathway.

As for the CSIRO, well ive worked with their department of nutrition developing functional breads. The chief nutritionist complained to me that he would love to investigate the therapeutic qualities of sourdough bread, which he agreed is preventative and perhaps curative in a diabetic situation. However, because the focus of the CSIRO has been changed, they must now be commercially oriented in their research, which means he could not pursue his investigation into sourdough, which he would dearly have loved to do. The only people who will benefit from the low GI wheat are the commercial interestes who will market it.

This opinion of mine which ive been following for some time, was triggered by a well-known customer who was diabetic, and himself informed me that he felt so much better when he ate my genuine sourdough bread. I was very suprised and he kept me updated on his the point that he was very ill in a canberra hospital, when his wife rang me and asked for some bread to be sent as he was craving it. She told me that to everyones suprise, as he ate the bread he almost instantly started to feel better, and was out of the hospital within days. This is my first experience with diabetes, virtually as a by-stander, so you see it was personal and corresponded. 

Why are you so antagonistic to a benign and simple expedient which would alleviate a lot of suffering, and which is well known by those conducting advanced research into all forms of diabetes.?

CraigP 2011 July 29

 Thankyou for your article John. I have always appreciated reading your perspectives on a range of topics. As for diabetes, the main point for me is fermentation. As you indicate, so many people are eating "quick-time bread" loaded with yeast and given to minimal fermentation time. It simply wasn't meant to be.

I guess on the up-side there is more and more fermented artisan bread becoming available, albeit plenty of questionable stuff as well (but labelling is another issue). 

Thankyou again,



JohnD's picture
JohnD 2011 July 29

So glad you enjoyed it and realise its just my perspective. I really appreciate that. thanks Craig. 

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