Peter’s Blog, May 3, 2011
I have to go to a meeting in a few minutes but before I do I wanted to get this info to you regarding how to order sprouted wheat flour directly from Lindley Mills. I spoke with Joe Lindley yesterday and he said, “Just have them call us here at (336) 376-6190 and we’ll work out a way to send it to them.”
The mill is located in Graham, NC, near Chapel Hill, so shipping will probably be costly for cross country orders but at least you can get it while waiting for supplies to grow enough so you can buy it off the shelf (I think that may take a while — only a few people even know about it at this point, and they are mainly the folks who read this blog). Joe said the cost of the flour will vary from week to week depending on how wheat prices fluctuate. They can send out 2 pound bags and maybe even larger ones when you talk to them. For more details on the sprouted wheat flour, read my report on the Asheville Brea Festival a few weeks back (scroll down the home page or simply go to the Peter’s Blog page).
I’ll be back later today with my report on the Charlotte Gluten Free Expo….
Hey, I’m back with Part Two:
On Saturday, April 30th, I attended the Second Annual Charlotte Gluten-Free Expo. In addition to presenting a cooking demonstration featuring a recipe from the upcoming gluten-free book I’m working on, I also had a chance to sit in on some fascinating educational sessions and, best of all, to taste lots and lots of new products. Last year about 400 people came to the festival (another 100 were turned away due to a lack of space), which was held on our campus at Johnson & Wales University. This year, the organizers moved the event to a local conference hotel and, sure enough, about 1,200 people showed up. Folks, we’re talking about a serious growth industry here.
Since I’m not “technically” gluten-sensitive — though now, after hearing Dr. Alessio Fasano and Dr. Peter Osborne, two reigning experts in the world of gluten-sensitivity, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m as safe as I thought — I listened earnestly to their two presentations on new findings in the world of gluten and am beginning to think some new health bombshells are right around the corner.
One of the things I learned, and I can’t believe I never heard this before, is that there are many more types of gluten than just those found in wheat, rye, and barley (the “big three”–wheat being the king). Bread-heads know that gluten is developed in bread dough when two small proteins, glutenin and gliadin bond to each other during the mixing phase. Scientists believe it is gliadin that is the main culprit that eventually leads to celiac disease. Once someone tips over from gluten-intolerance or gluten-sensitivity and their body crashes into full blown celiac disease, the intolerance to gluten becomes hyper-sensitive for the rest of their lives. But new findings reveal that other proteins also fall into the gluten family, even if they aren’t gliadin. This may mean that grains formerly thought to be safe may, in fact, contribute to symptoms of gluten intolerance –everything from sniffles to schizophrenia and autism, and many other things in between– even if the person does not have celiac disease. Of course, I’m bungling it here, it’s all so new, so what you should really do is to check out the websites of these two experts: http://towncenterwellness.com/ for Dr. Osborne, and www.celiccenter.org/ for Dr. Fasano.
So, the good news is that there are more and better tasting gluten-free products out there now–it has grown from a million dollar industry to a billion dollar industry–and more people are getting diagnosed early, before they kick into full blown celiac hyper-sensitivity (though the diagnostic tests are still unreliable and sometimes misused, according to the two doctors). The bad news is that more of us may be susceptible than we think. Right now, only about 1% of the population in the USA has celiac disease, and possibly 3% have gluten sensitivity or intolerance. It doesn’t sound like a big number but figure that 1% of 350 million people adds up to a lot of people for whom gluten is a life and death issue.
Okay, I’ve made my point and advise you to follow the links. I, for my part, am going to keep digging into it. I have questions such as: would sprouted wheat flour be safe or less dangerous than regular wheat? What kind of genetic changes in wheat are contributing to the growing number of diagnosed cases? And, of course, what’s a professional (or home) bread baker to do about all of this? I, for one, am taking this seriously, which is why I’m working on a gluten-free baking book. But, at the same time, I’m not ready to give up pizza and artisan bread, and most of us don’t have to. But, keep an eye peeled for late breaking news and, when it happens, I’ll report it here.
BTW, speaking of artisan bread, I tasted some really terrific gluten-free artisan hearth bread at the Expo. To learn more about it, check out: http://www.lucegfbread.com And, for more info on the Expo itself, go to: http://www.celiac.com/…Raising-Our-Celiac-Kids…Celiac…/Page1.html
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