Since WWII there has been a great effort to breed and select new varieties of wheat that will increase yields in production and efficiency in processing. The overall goal was to produce a cheap and plentiful supply of bread. Nutritional considerations were not a major part of this program.
The goal has certainly been achieved but serious unintended consequences have resulted. Many people (estimated to be between 12 & 20%) in the industrialized world can no longer eat modern wheat products without health or digestive problems. A few scientists have recognized this problem and are beginning to look for solutions.
A growing amount of research is now being conducted on landraces including selected modern populations, ancient and heritage wheat with a focus on health and nutrition as well as natural flavors and aromas. Much progress has been made in understanding the sensitivity problems that so many people are experiencing from modern wheat. At the same time the anti-inflammatory nature of ancient wheat and the important effect that it potentially has to help reduce or prevent chronic disease is beginning to be realized. Still others are attempting to find wheat that is better adapted for organic systems as opposed to expensive high-input chemical dependent systems. There are also some who are studying the nutritional comparison of food processed by different methods. Many of these scientists work independently of one another and often face ridicule and lack of support by their institution and peers. It is now time to bring these like-minded scientists together in a World Conference to discuss these topics in a positive spirit of problem solving. To the basic discussion of wheat, might also be added similar discussions of other cereal grains.
1. To bring together researchers from all parts of the world who can report their findings from studies of the nutritional and health benefits of wheat landraces including modern populations, ancient and heritage wheat and wheat developed for its nutritional properties or developed for regenerative organic systems. Production and processing methods which enhance these health benefits will also be discussed. This purpose as well as the next two could also include similar discussions concerning other cereal grains.
2. To provide a forum for discussing, understanding and solving the sensitivity problems inherent to modern wheat and its possible connections to chronic disease due to changes made to it via modern plant breeding and industrialized production and processing procedures.
3. To discuss new methods of breeding and selecting nutritious wheat, as well as discussing the promising production and processing methods which might be used to preserve and enhance the nutrition of the grain and in the end enhance and improve health and reduce chronic disease. The economic implications and marketing perspective of these systems will also be discussed.
4. To establish an organization which can carry on the goals and vision of the conference. This could include promotion of the themes presented in this conference and create a general mission statement, name and goal of such an organization and official recommendation of some definition of terms: landrace wheat, ancient wheat, heritage wheat, modern wheat, etc. to be added to conference proceedings.
1. There has never before been a conference organized on a worldwide scale to provide an opportunity to focus a discussion on wheat landraces in general.
2. All delegates to this solution-oriented conference will begin by examining the confusion, problems and challenges tied to the contemporary production, processing and consuming of modern wheat products. The conference will then focus on research which addresses each of the root causes of these challenges and demonstrates possible solutions to the challenges of industrialized modern wheat.
3. There will be an opportunity during the conference to observe and compare a worldwide collection of wheat landraces submitted by delegates to the conference. Delegates will also be able to exam and taste products made from wheat landraces.
4. There will be opportunities for developing a new community of friendships, networks and cooperation with like-minded experts from all over the world.
5. This first conference will be kept deliberately small in order to spotlight the most innovative and significant work being done throughout the world to focus on methods of production and processing that preserve and enhance nutrition.
6. This conference will demonstrate the importance and potential of wheat landraces, production and processing methods in improving health.
7. An other reason the conference will be kept small is to be better enable those attending create a new community of acquaintance and mutual support and encouragement by those attending and laboring in this field.
8. There will be an opportunity for this new community to organize itself into some type of association which might be expanded and build up to promote the importance of wheat landraces and forge a new direction in linking them to food and health.
If you want to be a part of the launch of such a vision and movement then you should plan to attend this historic conference and participate in the following discussion.