What's the Deal With Wheat?

What's the Deal With Wheat?
16 de ene. de 2024 · 9m 10s

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-If you found this information useful, be sure to leave a 5 star review and subscribe so you can enjoy future episodes!
-Support the show patreon.com/brain by ai
-Always consult your doctor and do not rely solely on medical advice given by this podcast.

It has been noted that American tourists visiting Europe who previously had gluten intolerance, can eat large amounts of bread while overseas with little to no issues. Here are a few considerations as to why that may be.

Not all wheat is the same.
American wheat and European wheat refer to varieties of wheat grown in different regions, primarily the United States (North America) and Europe. While both regions produce various types of wheat, there are differences in the types of wheat cultivated, growing conditions, and some aspects of agricultural practices. Here are some general comparisons between American and European wheat:

Types of Wheat:
American Wheat: The United States is a major producer of hard red and soft red wheat. Hard red wheat is often used for making bread due to its high protein content, while soft red wheat is more suitable for pastry and cake flours.
European Wheat: European countries, including France and Germany, commonly produce varieties such as soft wheat (used for pastries and biscuits) and hard wheat (used for bread).

Growing Conditions:
American Wheat: The United States has diverse climates, resulting in different growing conditions across regions. The Great Plains, particularly the states of Kansas, North Dakota, and Montana, is known as the "wheat belt" and is a significant producer of hard red wheat.
European Wheat: European wheat is cultivated in various climates, ranging from the Mediterranean region to northern Europe. Different countries have specific wheat varieties adapted to their local conditions.

Wheat Quality and Characteristics:
American Wheat: Hard red wheat from the United States is known for its high protein content, which contributes to good gluten strength. This makes it suitable for bread baking.
European Wheat: European wheat varieties may vary in protein content and gluten strength depending on the type. Soft wheat varieties are often used for pastries and biscuits.

Common Uses:
American Wheat: Hard red wheat is commonly used for bread flour, while soft red wheat is used for pastry and cake flours. Durum wheat, a hard wheat variety, is also grown in the United States and is used for making pasta.
European Wheat: European wheat varieties serve various purposes, including bread, pastries, biscuits, and pasta, depending on the specific type of wheat.

Agricultural Practices:
American Wheat: In the United States, modern agricultural practices, including the use of advanced machinery and technology, are common. Wheat farming often involves large-scale production.
European Wheat: European wheat farming practices can vary by country and region, but many areas still incorporate traditional agricultural methods, especially in smaller-scale and family-owned farms.

Regulations and Standards:
American Wheat: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets standards for wheat quality, and there are classifications for different wheat varieties based on factors such as protein content.
European Wheat: European countries have their own regulations and quality standards for wheat, often based on factors such as protein content, gluten strength, and other quality parameters.
It's essential to note that these are general comparisons, and variations exist within each region. The specific varieties of wheat, growing practices, and market preferences can vary widely within both the

American and European contexts.
The vast majority of the wheat consumed in the United States has been drastically altered from its original form. While wheat has yet to be genetically engineered it has been altered through intensive conventional breeding. In Europe it is far more common to see heritage or heirloom wheat grown by farmers. Some countries even have strict regulation banning genetically modified crops.
Heirloom wheat refers to traditional or heritage varieties of wheat that have been passed down through generations. These wheat varieties are often prized for their unique flavors, textures, and historical significance. Unlike modern hybrid or genetically modified wheat, heirloom varieties are open-pollinated, meaning they can be grown from seed and will reliably produce plants with similar characteristics as the parent plant. Many varieties of heritage or heirloom wheat have much lower gluten content, making the crop far easier for some humans to digest.

Glyphosate, also known as roundup, is a widely used herbicide, and its use in agriculture, including wheat cultivation, has been a subject of discussion and concern. It has been linked to numerous health issues and has been found in trace amounts in several foods - even after processing and cooking.

The use of glyphosate in American wheat and European wheat may vary due to differences in regulations, agricultural practices, and public perception. Here are some key points regarding glyphosate use in American and European wheat:
Glyphosate Use in American Wheat:
Pre-harvest Desiccation: In the United States, the practice of using glyphosate as a desiccant on wheat crops before harvest is more common, especially in regions where it helps synchronize the ripening of the crop and facilitates easier harvesting. This practice is not unique to wheat and is used on various crops.

Regulatory Oversight: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the use of glyphosate in agriculture, setting maximum residue limits (tolerances) for glyphosate residues on various crops, including wheat. These limits are intended to ensure that residues are within safe levels for human consumption.

Glyphosate Resistance: The use of glyphosate in American agriculture has been associated with the development of glyphosate-resistant weeds, leading to concerns about sustainable weed management practices.

Glyphosate Use in European Wheat:
Restrictions and Bans: Some European countries have implemented restrictions or bans on the use of glyphosate, particularly for pre-harvest desiccation. Concerns about potential health and environmental impacts have led to regulatory actions in certain European Union (EU) member states.
Controversies and Public Perception: Glyphosate has been a topic of controversy in Europe, with debates over its safety and potential impacts on human health and the environment. Public perception and concerns have influenced regulatory decisions regarding the use of glyphosate in agriculture.
National Variances: While the EU has established regulations governing pesticide use, individual member states may have additional restrictions or bans on certain pesticides, including glyphosate.

Global Context:
Codex Alimentarius: The Codex Alimentarius, an international food standards body, establishes maximum residue limits for pesticides, including glyphosate, in food. These standards are used as references in international trade.
Global Trade Considerations: Differences in regulations and standards regarding glyphosate use can have implications for global trade of wheat and other crops. Compliance with international standards is crucial for export-import considerations.

Some pesticides that were banned or had more restrictive regulations in Europe compared to the United States included:

Paraquat:
Europe: Paraquat, a herbicide, has faced more restrictive regulations in Europe. Several European countries have either banned or imposed strict limitations on its use due to concerns about health risks.
USA: Paraquat is still registered for use in the United States, but there are restrictions on its application, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has implemented safety measures to reduce exposure.

Neonicotinoid Insecticides (Clothianidin, Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam):
Europe: Neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides linked to harm in pollinators, have faced restrictions in the European Union (EU). In 2018, a near-total ban on the outdoor use of three neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam) was implemented to protect bees.
USA: Neonicotinoids are still widely used in the United States. While there have been discussions about potential restrictions, as of my last knowledge update, they were not subject to the same level of restriction as in the EU.

Atrazine:
Europe: Atrazine, a herbicide widely used in the United States, is banned in the European Union due to concerns about water contamination and potential adverse effects on human health.
USA: Atrazine is permitted for use in the United States, subject to certain restrictions and EPA regulations.

Chlorpyrifos:
Europe: The EU has restricted the use of chlorpyrifos, a widely used insecticide, due to concerns about its impact on human health, especially neurodevelopmental effects.
USA: Chlorpyrifos has faced increased scrutiny in the United States, and there have been discussions about phasing it out. However, as of my last knowledge update, it was still permitted for agricultural use.

Glyphosate:
Europe: Glyphosate, a widely used herbicide, has faced debates and restrictions in the EU. Some European countries have imposed bans or restrictions on its use, and the EU has set limits on glyphosate residues in certain crops.
USA: Glyphosate is still widely used in the United States, and the EPA continues to assess its safety. As of my last knowledge update, there were no nationwide bans on glyphosate.
In summary, there is evidence to
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