Here’s my 12-year old standing next to dwarf wheat grown near my house. The wheat is full-grown, harvested about 2 weeks after I took this photo.
Wheat is no longer the 4-foot tall “amber waves of grain” of the 20th century. Over 99% of all wheat grown worldwide is now the 18- to 24-inch tall dwarf. New size, new biochemistry, new effects on humans. I call it dwarf “mutant” wheat despite its lack of extra limbs or eyes because of the dramatic transformation required to breed this unique synthetic plant.
Short-stature means less stalk, faster growing. The stockier stalk also means that the heavy seed head won’t cause the plant to “buckle,” as 4-foot tall wheat used to.
The thousand-plus proteins of wheat that have been transformed to generate this dwarf mutant also changed wheat’s relationship to consuming humans.
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