1. says

    Any time I read “Ancient X is good for your health,” I hear the woo siren. You are endorsing him and his credentials seem sound, but I do wish he (or his promoters) had come up with a less pseudoscience sounding poster.

  2. grasshopper says

    Decades ago, before the first gulf war, I recall a news story lauding the efforts of Australian scientists/agronomists in their attempts to eradicate the cancer-causing silicon-fibre content of wheat grown in northern Iraq. I think the prevalent cancer was of the head-and-neck type and it was remarkably common.

    The scientists were successful in selectively breeding a variety of wheat suitable for the local environment and eradicating the silicon content, and the cancer rate was markedly reduced.

    But the original wheat was ancient, and therefore excellent for your health!

  3. grasshopper says

    I forgot to add this link, which has some information about the nasty things that silicon in plants can cause.

  4. says

    It reminded me of the article that I had read in what I thought was a few days back. But alas, time runs so fast in old age it was more than an year ago.
    Today’s wheat is not your grandmas’ wheat. But I come from a rice eating society which abhorred wheat as a foreign food. But it tasted so good. I just go by my belief to behave like a rat. Never eat one thing too much – three times a day and seven days a week… except the cheesecake.

  5. says

    I can guess what the talk is about. The USDA labs in Morris do a lot of research on alternative crops — they make novel hybrids to select for advantageous traits. I suspect that it isn’t in praise of ancient stocks in themselves, but that they are a source for agriculturally useful genes that have been bred out of existing stocks.

  6. mildlymagnificent says

    Aha! Reminds me I haven’t bought everything on my reading list. There’s a great book – or it seems to be so – from a discussion I watched on Australian history. Turns out there were, and still are somewhere, a few indigenous strains of wheat here and, not so surprising once that fact is absorbed, also some indigenous forms of rice. Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe.

    Perhaps I’ll promote it through the ranks and get it a bit sooner than I might otherwise have done.

  7. markd555 says

    Well that’s damn stupid.
    The wheat gluten protein is the same stuff that screws up my stomach (celiac) for over a week no matter if it’s “ancient” or not, or what species it is.

    I’m all for preserving plant genomes, but we don’t need this BS of people saying people with gluten intolerance and celiac can eat it. If it’s even remotely in the genus Triticum that’s a hard: NO they CANNOT.

    spelt differently

    Heh heh

  8. Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority) says

    I’m reminded of the objective view on the main beneficiary of the agricultural revolution. Our self-centered view is that humans harnessed wheat, allowing us to flourish far more than ever before. The fact, especially if you look at how much of the world is covered in wheat now compared to pre-agricultural times, is that the agricultural revolution was when wheat harnessed humans to allow it to flourish as never before.