Wheat has been cultivated domestically for thousands of years. It is the primary ingredient of that most enduring and legendary of foods—our daily bread. During the last 100 years these ancient wheat varieties have been re-bred to be shorter, higher in yield, more disease resistant and better adapted to mechanized food processing. Today’s wheat now bears little resemblance to the pure stalk of nourishment it did in ancient times. As a result, many people today have sensitivities to modern wheat, ranging in severity from mild to debilitating. A potential solution for many wheat-sensitive consumers – Khorasan wheat!
Studies starting in the late 1980’s to find a wheat variety more tolerant to those with wheat sensitivities revealed that many people with sensitivities are able to tolerate products made with an ancient variety of wheat, Khorasan wheat. According to The International Food Allergy Association, a 1991 clinical study conducted by the group to measure the allergenic reactivity of wheat sensitive individuals to Khorasan wheat as compared to common wheat, showed that a majority of test subjects (70%) could tolerate Khorasan wheat grain.
Compared to modern wheat, Khorasan wheat is also higher in protein and many minerals, especially selenium, zinc and magnesium. It has a higher percentage of lipids, which
produce more energy in the body than carbohydrates.
A variety of Khorasan wheat called ‘Kamut’ was introduced and then trademarked in 1990 by a company in Montana, Kamut International, in order to protect the genetic integrity of the seed. Potential growers and grain sellers must agree to the following conditions:
1) The seed can not be genetically manipulated.
2) It must be grown as a certified organic grain.
3) It must contain a protein range of 12-18%.
4) It must be 99% free of modern wheat’s contaminating varieties.
5) It must be 98% free of all signs of disease.
6) It must contain between 400 and 1000 ppb of selenium.
7) It must not be used in products in which the name is deceptive or misleading as to the content.
8) It must not be mixed with modern wheat in pasta.
9) It should not be mixed with more than 50% of modern wheat in bread, and if mixed, it must be clearly labeled as such.
10) Products that are labeled Kamut must contain more than 50% Kamut brand grain or flour.
Look for Kamut and Khorasan wheat as grain, flour and baked goods in your local health food stores!