Gluten Free ? Ask yourself this:

“How can it be that I can enjoy a freshly baked baguette in France or a delicious crusty based pizza in Italy and have no reaction, yet one slice of bread purchased at my local supermarket leaves me curled up in pain?”

The answer lies in that the guidelines are quite different for the bread making process in Europe especially France where they use the basic ingredients of flour, water, yeast and a small amount of salt.

The awareness of gluten and gluten containing foods has grown significantly over the last couple of years. One only has to look in the well-known supermarkets who now not only stock a plethora of ‘gluten free’ products but they dedicate whole sections to them.

None of us are helped by the quasi-accurate information divulged through the media and online.

A well known Nutritionist and Agro-food Engineer Dr Anthony Fardet puts the issue so eloquently in a 2015 article published in Medical Hypothesis stating

“That by drastic processing and the denaturation of cereal grains it has rendered gluten unhealthy, toxic and not easily digestible”.

Small wonder we now look for gluten free products.

Some contemporary non gluten free processing methods of wheat and grains include:-

Switching to utilising ungerminated grain, creating a less digestible gluten network and greater proportion of immunogenic compounds.

Recombining the grain with inflammatory ingredients such as fat, sugar and salt, all of which increase immune sensitivity to gluten when consumed over time.

Removing naturally occurring beneficial compounds during the fractionation and refining process, such as fibre and fibre-bound antioxidants which protect the colonic mucosa.

Combine this with various other techniques such as higher kneading intensities for bread baking, the use of baking powder instead of leaven, increased use of high temperatures and an increase in preservatives and additives and it is not surprising the struggles people face following wheat consumption.

Finally, to add further insult there is the addition of ‘vital’ gluten a purified gluten removed from its natural source so it is no longer accompanied by protective, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytochemicals. It is now so extensively utilised that consumption has tripled since the late 1970s, reflecting the same period in which we’ve seen a drastic increase in the rates of gluten sensitivity, food intolerances, leaky gut and Coeliac Disease. It does raise the question who is at fault? Is gluten the one causing harm, or is it us? It’s no coincidence that the prevalence of gluten-related disorders is significantly less in places where wheat is only minimally processed compared to countries in which wheat is highly refined and ultra-processed.

Over the years that the gluten free argument has taken place, gluten has been proposed to have various effects on our physiology, the primary of which is increasing intestinal permeability. One characteristic difference of hybridised wheat compared to wild wheat species is the presence of wheat germ agglutinins (WGAs) – a type of plant lectin. WGAs profoundly increase intestinal permeability, commonly known as ‘leaky gut syndrome’ resulting in increased translocation (movement across the gut barrier) of microbial and dietary antigens, which then interact with cells of the immune system. The intake of WGAs exacerbate gluten’s effects on gut permeability and consequent immune activity creating a variety of symptoms like bloating, gas, alternating bowel, constipation, diarrhoea, weight gain, migraines, rashes, and hives. In more chronic situations may lead to inflammatory reactions to gluten, bowel disease and other auto-immune conditions.

Another contributing factor which may exacerbate our gastrointestinal health is the application of glyphosate (trade named RoundUp®) right before harvest, a practice that has been in vogue for the last 15 years due to its potent ability to exterminate a broad spectrum of weed species.

Not only has the World Health Organization suggested glyphosate is ‘probably’ toxic to humans, but critically notes that its killing activity extends beyond weeds, all the way to our intestinal microbiota (particularly affecting Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria), causing disruption in the normal gut microbiota colony (referred to as dysbiosis).

See here for a recent landmark court $2 Billion judgement against the makers of RoundUp®

Court judgement against RoundUp® makers

Choose what you feed your body!

There are approximately 300 different additives available for food manufacturers to use and almost 320 pesticides that can be routinely used in non-organic farming and are often present in non-organic food? Organic grain is grown using fewer pesticides – organic farmers are able to use only 15 pesticides, derived from natural ingredients – meaning that when you bake with organic flour, you choose to reduce your exposure to pesticides that can make their way into the food chain.

Organic farming is a more rigorously controlled system than most “modern” farming methods. Every part of the organic farming and production chain is measured, inspected and documented. It means that the flour milled from organic grain has been produced with higher levels of environmental and animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides and no genetically modified ingredients (GM) or artificial fertilisers. When you choose organic flour, you are able to make a decisive choice about the journey your food has made from field to oven.

Baking your own bread and controlling exactly what goes into your body is a great but probably a “theoretical” answer.

We know that having the time to bake your own is not easy. But there is an Answer….

Over recent years there has been a quiet revolution in many smaller bakeries and the establishment of a growing band of artisan bakers. These bakers are using traditional ingredients and methods to bake a variety of traditional and continental breads.

But how to find a good artisan traditional baker ?

In conjunction with our sister site Perth Allergy Clinic ( ) we are creating a directory of genuine Artisan Bakers

If you know one,  Tell us – We will tell everyone !

Nominate your choice here….

Nominate an Artisan Baker

homemade bakery cereal full sight bun