Published: 07/23/2006 - Updated: 02/10/2018
Everybody knows the fame that the Mediterranean diet is the guarantee of health. A diet rich in cereal consumption, accompanied by vegetables, fruit and crowned with the presence of the olive and the vine.
Igor of Garin tells "perhaps the distribution of the olive tree marks the limits within which we believe is the Mediterranean agriculture. There are many variations of shades, from north to south and from east to west, but we can easily define the Mediterranean as it allows safe, cultivation of cereals, vines and olive trees while the practice of livestock and transhumant currently sedentary, which dominate the cattle and animals."
It is clear that the trilogy wheat, vines and olive, is a legendary trilogy. Of these three products, I have no doubt that the wheat and grains are "the cornerstone" of this building called Mediterranean diet.
As a guideline, we can see data from a survey conducted in 1994 to opinion leaders and international experts, led by the Catalan Institute of Mediterrània dËstudis Cooperació i (ICM), the question of what products or dishes are considered typically Mediterranean cooking? Rates on the questionnaires received first place on pasta, couscous and pizza as derivatives of wheat to 31%, second, and the paella rice with 27% of respondents, then the fish with a 17%, olive oil and salads by 15%. Other responses such as vegetables, fruits and meat are very low. Obviously, using these data as information guidance, we recognize that they do not represent the general population living in the Mediterranean area.
Almost 60% of respondents believed that the use of cereals axis representing this diet.
The cereal belongs to the family of grasses and is named for Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. Cultivation marked the transition from a nomadic way of life in which man is hunting and eating wild fruits, a sedentary life, which becomes a farmer and rancher.
The wheat was grown in Iraq to 6700 a. C.. Already in 4000 a. C. have found traces of its existence on the plains near the mouth of the Rhine, and it is estimated that during the third millennium BC it was cultivated in Europe. Also developed towards the East, because they have data of the crop in Northern China.
Wheat, like other cereals that have nurtured the man, was taken to the top simply crude. Subsequently, the grains were roasted on hot stones in the sun, preparing porridge, and later, a kind cake of flour and water cooked on the walls of home furnaces (cylindrical holes in the ground and inside it was a fire). This unfermented bread is still consumed today in Pakistan, India, some Arab countries, its completion is the bread with yeast, that invention is attributed to the Egyptians.
In Estabón and Pliny we find that "... at the expense of the Iberian tribes dominated the bread as a base for food." The Roman world, ideologically organized around economic values and culture of agriculture, the bread had a maximum food value, taken as a symbol of civilization, it is only necessary to look at the etymology of "bread", in Greek it means EVERYTHING.
Our ancestors who knew hunger, knew very well yo create the conditions to respect in this case the wheat crop, the old custom of kissing the bread that has fallen to the ground comes from this sacred link between man and god. Not only the Christian world deeply respected wheat but habits are known from Turkey and transmitted by Marianne Leach and Jerrry, where it says among other things: "... It is forbidden to urinate, defecate or having sex trade in the fields of wheat, and when urinating or defecating when carrying bread. When eating, you have to take it over the chest, to dissociate half of the "profane" in the body, to this is that the trays of wheat are placed above the table and never in soil. Bread must never be allowed to touch the floor if it does happen, it will be doubly blasphemous kicking it. Turkish children are taught to kiss the bread down with them and touching forehead as an excuse before God. Much more than any other food, the bread should not be left unfinished after a meal. The taboos of wheat to help protect the forces of fertility are essential to safeguard the good relationship between God and men. "
But this once so respected today is becoming very different
A large part of the Spanish population is unaware of the importance of decision during the last decades, has deviated from this Mediterranean diet, as we approach the other countries of Central and Northern Europe, including a decrease of bread, rice, cereals and derivatives, causing a lack of Carbohydrate in the form of starch and dietary fiber. (Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food). Increase in return sugar, dairy, meat and other animal fats.
But another small part of the Spanish population is aware of the need for wheat and other cereals and that they are facing the serious problem since the seed is altered with dangerous gluten, as this protein that is contained by wheat and other cereals such as rye, barley and oats, alter in combination with other substances creating macromolecules generating allergies and intolerances. Sometimes they manifest as the celiac but other times it is attributed as the cause of many autoimmune diseases and symptoms ranging from anemia, diarrhea, fatigue, idea accepted by a large number of scientists.
The laboratory alteration that is most used is polyploidy, already used in the 60s to obtain the strawberries, this technique is to divide the allocations by stimulation chromosomal of cells from the diploid (double envelope chromosome and the natural state of the cells of all living beings, including ourselves) to polyploids, five or six or ten times the strength chromosome, so that the expression of some genes is oversized. The gene that regulates the size of the cutter is present more than five times and getting a seed higher than natural: the strawberry, just as the gluten increases in wheat.
Today all eat strawberries as if they were a natural fruit.
But these "games" later get bad, as they get more vulnerable wheat that the native and in fact every two or three years because the seeds are changed.
The worst case is that if we have sometimes resorted to products from organic agriculture as a salvation to the "barbarism" on this occasion we cannot do anything because organic agriculture does not warrant that the seed of wheat used have not undergone this alteration of polyploids.
In Europe, at such a fact already known to experts in nutrition and farmers aware of the problem, people start to cultivate native old species, with no alterations involved. This is true, like the spelt grain widely used in the nineteenth century and that have large seed production that was not as profitable as wheat, durum wheat that they were. The spelt is organically grown wheat that offers more guarantees. I know of Portuguese farmers who have brought to light old wheat and start to recover. I remember in our country as 90 years to a group of wheat farmers want to recover Aragon exceptional amount of wheat gluten and yet elastic.
Retrieve the grain that fed our grandparents before it is too late
I take this space to ask farmers to moonlighting and get the wheat in the light that have nurtured our great-grandparents and to tackle the shame involved in losing one of our pillars of our food, which initially was given up by an unconscious layer of people who embrace foreign habits and a second population aware of the need of wheat in our diet is forced to abandon their ecology, although, gluten altered seeds attach to the intestines of patients suffering intolerance, threatening us with the wheat and what is worse getting auto-immune diseases that afflict us hard today.
I am at present aware of the need to recover Mediterranean diet, I run a workshop at Saluz home to 20 km. Vitoria in the County of Treviño (Burgos), where over the years stay organized and develop recipes based on the consumption of organic cereal grains.
Among the star dishes are:
- Bread of wheat and spelt with mother yeast cooked and steamed. This bread is developed with other cereal grains such as oats, buckwheat, barley or rye.
- Barley bread, "bread of the poor" with mother yeast cooked by steaming.
- Creams of cereal. Depending on the season of fresh produce with cereals (barley), but greasy (oats). At this time we prepared the rice and spelt.
- Also we produce cereal grain breads with a little toasted and steamed without yeast.
- Another usual way is to boil the beans with rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa ... ... and consume their own or other ingredients in recipes.
- Other grains like millet, bulgur wheat - wheat precooked meal - couscous is eaten with vegetables (onion, carrot, and sometimes with leek instead of onion) and simply cooked.
- Another recipe for regular biscuits are produced in-house workshop with thin flakes of oats, corn meal, grated apple, flax seed, virgin olive oil and a little apple juice to achieve the desired consistency. Bake later.