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Clone Food Part II

It has been called everything from convenience food, to factory food, to processed food.  I call it CLONE FOOD.  I believe it is directly linked to the recent epidemic of Celiac and many other gastro intestinal and auto immune problems.

Clone Food Part II

There are of course a few things, including some assumptions that need to be stated to understand my point of view. The first thing is that I have now come to believe that wheat barley and rye are not really human food in the first place. This does not mean that humans can’t tolerate them, but that they are in fact not really human food. Over the past few thousand years, which is just a drop in the ocean of the human history, we have started using these and other grains.  While we have found wheat particularly versatile, it doesn’t make it human food.  Still I think the real problems arrived when we started modifying it and using small parts (extracted gluten) in large quantities for food stabilization, presentation and preservation purposes.

On the Russian/Finland border, where the genetics of the population is similar if not the same, the incident rate of celiac is very different. The Fins, who are quite affluent, eat a traditional Western diet of mostly processed foods. The Russians in this area, who have for the most part lived in a degree of poverty for the last several years, could not afford to buy processed food.  While processed food appears very cheap to us, when you’re extremely poor and have no money the cheapest food is the food you grow in your backyard, and that is exactly what they have been doing for recorded history.  Home grown vegetables with no processing, no strange chemicals, simply what they grew and what they stored.  Circumstantial?  Editorial?  Not really. The scientists who invented all of these processed foods and processes are also the ones identifying, or now confirming these assumptions. Scientific information is however very slow to become public because it’s having a significant impact on the processed food industry and quite frankly they need time to come up with alternate methods.

As I mentioned in my last article, I went to Munich for a little bit of pre-Oktoberfest last year.  I visited what is probably the most famous restaurant or beer gardens in Munich called the Hofbrau House. The whole issue of processing food took on a new perspective for me. I came across a minor incident that I have run across numerous times before, but this time it really hit home. The Hofbrau House serves traditional beer and German cuisine it is a wonderful atmosphere.  I strongly recommend if you ever are within 100 miles of Munich, that you visit this establishment. As a celiac, there are many things on the menu that must be avoided and you must check to make sure that they’re aware of your condition. The meal that I wanted to eat was a traditional Hauxel and potato dumpling with natural gravy. Made the old-fashioned way there would be no gluten in this meal, but most recipes worldwide for these dumplings (especially in North America) have been modified with the substitution of potatoe starch with wheat flour because it makes the process. I checked with the wait staff, who in turn checked with the kitchen, and confirmed that the whole meal was gluten-free and that the meat was slow roasted with their traditional recipe.  The kitchen indicated that they still make their dumplings the traditional way using potato starch, potatoes, salt and their special seasoning., but that when the potatoes did not behave properly they would add a little bit of wheat flour so that each patron received a potato dumpling that not only tasted great but looked picture perfect.  I asked if they used wheat flour today, and after much ado and checking, they confirmed that the potatoes at this point were wonderful and that wheat flour had not been used in the preparation today. Accordingly I was able to enjoy the traditional meal. This did however reinforce the importance of always checking when you’re traveling to ensure that the food being prepared for you includes no wheat flour.

I have also found wheat flour added to corn flour to make traditional tortillas easier to work with.  At the end of the day there are many wonderful naturally gluten-free foods out there, but always check.  You never know when the chef is lazy and adding wheat as a short cut.

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