Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211


Agricultural News

Wheat Foods Council Tackles Misperceptions About Effect of Gluten in the Diet

Tue, 07 Aug 2012 20:42:11 CDT

Wheat Foods Council Tackles Misperceptions About Effect of Gluten in the Diet
Wheat is getting a bad rap in some circle with the growing popularity of the gluten-free diet. Judi Adams of the Wheat Foods Council says disseminating the truth about gluten and positive role wheat products play in a healthy diet is one of her organizations priorities for the coming year.

Speaking at the 2012 Wheat Review conducted by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, Adams said, “The Wheat Foods Council’s role is to really help improve consumers’ perception of wheat products so they will consume more, theoretically. And we think it does work. Once we get all the old wives’ tales put behind them and show them what science really says about wheat, they’re more likely to eat it.”

Gluten is, of course, a hot-button issue of late for some people, Adams said and “people are getting this misperception about the wheat that they eat today is different than it was 50 years ago. And, at this point in time, there’s no proof to that. Nobody’s done the research to show that it’s any different, that it’s not as good as it used to be so we’re trying to get those two messages out.”

She said gluten in wheat is a very serious issue for the small percentage of people who do suffer from celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, but that’s only about seven percent of the population. Even so, she said, about 30 to 40 percent of the population is looking for gluten-free products.

“So, there are a lot of people out there that are trivializing the necessity of celiac disease by using it for some sort of a fad diet.”

She said that celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Bill O’Reilly attributed benefits to a wheat free diet, and that may have provided the springboard for the fad.

“When celebrities get on something it doesn’t matter whether it’s science-based or not. People think, ‘Well, I want to look like Gwenneth Paltrow, so I’ll try it, too.’”

Adams said that gluten is a good thing for people who do not suffer from celiac disease or non-celiac sensitivity.

“In fact, one of the messages we’re trying to get out is that research shows that for healthy individuals gluten actually improves the beneficial gut bacteria.”

She said that the industry has developed a strategy to fight the misperceptions by choosing their battles carefully. Rather than try to go toe to toe and argue with the likes of Bill O’Reilly, they are trying to emphasize what the scientific research actually says and educate consumers in the process.

One of the charges leveled by proponents of the gluten-free lifestyle is that, somehow, wheat breeders have changed the protein and gluten composition of modern wheat varieties.

“If we knew that had happened, we would have to admit it,” Adams said. “We don’t know that that’s happened. You look at the protein content, and gluten’s about 80 percent of that, the average wheat in this country is remaining about 12 percent protein-for 50 years. So we know the protein content hasn’t changed. What we don’t know is the gliadin portion of the gluten, which is the portion that is toxic to people who have celiac disease, we don’t know if that has changed or not. And that’s just one of the theories about what has increased celiac disease.”

She said there are other theories about the rise in celiac disease. One is that women are not breastfeeding their babies as much as they used to and this might result in lowered immunity in their children. Another theory is that additional gluten added to bread products by bakers may be increasing sensitivity. And still another theory says that shortened rising times used by modern bakers may not be breaking down the gluten as thoroughly as in the past. She said there has been a rise across the board in auto-immune disorders in general, and celiac disease is on the list.

You can hear more from Judi Adams by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.



Judi Adams speaks with Ron Hays about the Wheat Foods Council.
right-click to download mp3


WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI


Top Agricultural News

  • Latest Road to Rural Prosperity Features Jed Green, the Founder of the Group Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action  Sat, 23 Oct 2021 18:50:06 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2 p.m. Friday, October 22, 2021  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:19:14 CDT
  • Friday, October 22, 2021, Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:15:18 CDT
  • Labor Shortages are the Root Cause of Stagnant Cattle Prices Says Justin Benavidez  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 13:14:24 CDT
  • OSU Inks Head Football Coach Mike Gundy to New Contract  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 13:11:06 CDT
  • Dairy Management Inc. 2020 Annual Report Available Online  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 12:40:03 CDT
  • Sign Up Now for the 2022 National Farmers Union Women's Conference  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 12:33:48 CDT
  • OSU Agriculture Honors Distinguished Group During Ceremony  Fri, 22 Oct 2021 11:54:25 CDT

  • More Headlines...


    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma Beef council Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment Tulsa Farm Show Union Mutual Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association KIS FUTURES, INC.


    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2021 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.