Autodidacts Creating Culture

Breadless Grassfed Buffalo Burger

Humongous zucchini slices suffice as a bun for my Buffalo burger.

I’m not allergic to gluten.  A test proved that.  Through trial and error, however, spanning four years, I recognized that when I eliminated wheat and related grains for at least thirty days and reintroduced them again I experienced a rash, bloating and fatigue.  Like I swallowed one too many sleeping aides.  I discovered that I had a ‘sensitivity’ to gluten.  That’s different from an allergy but just as troublesome.  

I recently learned that it’s probably not gluten at all that’s the problem.  The other night I was watching DW, a German television station program called:  “Tomorrow Today:  The Science Magazine.”  (I record that science programs for current information about all kinds of science technology as part of my daughter’s homeschooling science curriculum.)  In the show, Anne O’Donnell reported that gluten wasn’t the only culprit.  Apparently, another protein in wheat is causing a reaction in people according to the Mainz University Clinic.  

For over a year, researchers at the Mainz Clinic have been comparing old varieties of wheat, barley, rye, and spelt with comparable high yield grains on the market.  And through my research for this post I discovered that a paper  by Y. Junker and co-workers written back in December 2012 addressed the very same issue.  Research indicates there is a difference between old and new wheat grains.   To the surprise of Detlef Schuppan, a scientist at Mainz, the number of Amylase Trypsin Inhibitors, ATI’s, have increased in modern grains.

ATI’s are naturally occurring insecticides bred into modern plants to ward off insects.  ATI’s have made more people intolerant to wheat.  While ATI’s aren’t toxic to humans, they can in fact cause multiple health issues for some people.

Unfortunately the current trend to farm with grains containing ATI’s will not stop, as the plants produce a greater yield.  And so the same course of action remains.  People with Celiac disease must totally avoid wheat due to the gluten in it.  People with wheat ‘sensitivity’ will have to avoid wheat due to the ATI’s in it.

My boys continue to chide me for my eating choices and for my blog.  The rest of my family continues to eat wheat products.

While it’s difficult to make the same texture without the use of the sticky protein (gluten), there are alternative products on the market.  Not all of them are them are healthy.  Many contain too much sugar.  Being inventive and adaptable is they key.  The night my son cooked burgers for our dinner, I steamed humongous zucchini slices to act as a bun for mine.  I also sautéed bell peppers and onions and sliced tomatoes David had grown.  In this way I ate a lot more veggies and avoided bread.  Truthfully, it was difficult to hold it all together.  But it tasted great.

Related content:

Satisfying Recipes: Gluten Kaput

13 Responses to “Breadless Grassfed Buffalo Burger”

  1. Beauty Along the Road

    That looks delicious to me! BTW, the book “Wheat Belly” is a great resource to learn more about the difference between the modern wheat strains and the ancient wheat (“Einkorn”)…. I’m planning to plant some Einkorn next year just for fun and experimentation!

  2. patricia

    I’ll take the zucchini without the buffalo burger, please! ;-) I found this notion of ATIs so interesting when you told me about it, Kristin. Just one more reason why we should stop messing with our foods! Can you find grains, like the einkorn mentioned by your commenter above, that don’t contain ATIs, to experiment with?

    • Kristin

      Hi Tricia,

      Do you mean seeds or grains in the stores?

      The info. I provided about ATI’s is new to me. I have more to learn about it. When I have an answer to your question, I’ll follow up with you. I know where you live;-)

      • patricia

        Well, einkorn is an ancient strain of wheat (so, not a seed.) I’ve seen einkorn grains and products at Whole Foods. I’m just wondering if these types of grains haven’t been tampered with genetically, do they still contain the ATIs that bother you? Could you eat them? How about, say, organic farro from Italy? That’s another form of wheat. It contains gluten, yes, but might it be free of ATIs?

  3. artisticmilestone

    i find it so hard to eliminate gluten in my diet because I love sandwiches and pastries so much. I successfully eliminated wheat in my diet once for a week and I lost weight mainly bec I wasn’t full every meal and my meal was unsatisfying. Hopefully there will be more gluten free products in the market that doesn’t taste so gluten free if you know what I mean.

    • Kristin

      Hi Abigail,

      You’ve heard the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Well I’m reminding you of it because there really is no need for you to eliminate grains with gluten unless you have Celiac disease; or unless you have a sensitivity to ATI’s. (I provided links about the symptoms in the post. They are very similar to each other.)

      One thing to keep in mind is that as you get older, intolerances, sensitivities, or even allergies develop for some people. Most people live with symptoms accepting them as just a normal part of life and aging. But if you are pro-active and try eliminating them and notice that you feel better–then over time, it’s worth it to go without because you notice the difference between the before and after.

      Go ahead and eat your bread and pastries for now. Enjoy!

  4. nlharty

    Thanks for the great information Kristin! I thought I was allergic to gluten as well and after testing, found I was not. However, when I removed all grains from my diet prior to testing, my bloating went down and I had far more energy than I had in years. After my doctor said I wasn’t allergic to gluten, I went back to eating bread and pasta and now I’m back to having “issues”. Thank you for the links and the great pictures of your sons teasing you!!

    • Kristin

      Hi nlharty,

      Well I’m glad it was helpful information.

      Certainly there are many viewpoints on the matter.

      I’ve discovered that doctors of ‘functional’ and ‘integrative’ medicine have a different perspective then mainstream western medical practitioners.

  5. AMR

    I have heard this about wheat before, Kristin, but didn’t know you could test to see if that is what you are sensitive to. Very interesting and it will help you take care of your health better! thanks for sharing that.

    • Kristin

      Hi AMR,

      As far as you and I both know–you can only test for the gluten ‘Allergy’ determining whether you have Celiac disease or not. As I mentioned in the post, an elimination diet is the best means of determining a sensitivity or an intolerance.

      The ATI’s were news to me, and I thought that German t.v. show was programming the ‘breaking’ news; but it had already been determined by Y. Junker and others working with him back in Dec 2012. Did you know about ATI’s before that? I’d be interested to know another source for that content.

      Thanks for commenting.


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