Plus, when it comes to bread, going organic means side-stepping the monster that's known as "frankenwheat' —the shorter, stockier "dwarf wheat" that now, after decades of cross-breeding and hybridization, makes up almost all of the wheat we consume. "Frankenwheat codes for a much larger variety of gluten proteins, or 'super gluten,' " says Mark Hyman, MD, author of the New York Times best-selling book The Blood Sugar Solution. "It also contains high levels of a 'super starch' called amylopectin A, which excels at making both Cinabons and bellies swell.
Researchers at the Organic Center found powerful reasons to stick with organic wheat: Grown without pesticides, it may develop more robust chemical defenses against environmental stresses and predators—and many of the protective compounds act as antioxidants, says Erin Smith, senior science consultant with the Organic Center. Deeper root systems also allow the plants to draw more minerals from the soil, and organic farmers tend to plant older or native varieties, which are frequently more nutritious.