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This turned the country’s agricultural regions into bread baskets with a major increase in the productivity of food and cash crops like wheat, rice, pulses, jute, sugarcane, tea, cotton and so on. The productivity of wheat and rice crops registered a threefold increase during this period.
The changes rung in by the Green revolution certainly fed people and alleviated hunger—but at the cost of malnutrition and even the advent of new diseases. borlaug’s work has also faced opposition from environmentalists and nutritionists who consider genetic cross-breeding to have negative health effects. Especially in a protein known to have inherent immunogenic effects, unlike rice and other crops. To make wheat disease-resistant, maximize yield and make it even easier to thresh, the hybrid varieties were created—with hardly any or completely inadequate food safety studies on the immune response in humans. Further tinkering with the plant has concentrated on modifying the plant genome to create flours that are better for baking, so they are used to make an ever- increasing variety of products. and we are consuming more and more of these products: from basic ones such as bread, naan and roti to processed forms such as burgers, croissants, pizzas, pastries and cakes.
Is modern wheat higher in gluten? It may not be. but while the total gluten content of the grain may not have increased, the expression of the immunogenic fractions has increased, and research suggests this is due to the hybridization process. This generation of wheat is so different from earlier forms of the wheatgrass, it may as well have been from Mars! The newer varieties are highly immunogenic (the ability of a substance to provoke an immune response) compared to earlier varieties.
The two main components of wheat gluten are glutenin and gliadin, with the latter being more abundant. dr William davis, author of The Wheat Belly, postulates in an article called ‘The Gliadin Effect’ that gliadin in present-day wheat is different in its composition of amino acids than the gliadin before 1960. and this is due to the genetic process used to create the higher yield varieties.
To be continued....