An Answer to the Wheat Crisis
May 5, 2022
Though being a celiac is my main personality trait, international relations is actually my biggest passion, as I have dreamed of a career in this field since I was about seven. Therefore, I am aware of the conflict that has been happening in Ukraine, which has helped cause a drastic wheat crisis that is impacting all corners of the world. As the owner of a blog expertly named “don’t eat wheat” I feel that I was in a unique position to use my expertise in gluten free products and interest in economics to help propose a solution to this problem.
The gluten free foods industry was valued at 4.3 billion USD in 2019. The far more exciting number I have to offer is that this industry is at a growth rate of 7.2% in the next seven years. For those who are unfamiliar with industry growth, I will simplify: that’s a pretty significant percentage. For comparison purposes, the normal bread industry is estimated to grow only 2.5% in the next seven years. From this, we can conclude that investment into the gluten free foods industry has a considerably high pay off rate for the next decade.
The production of gluten free bread is also more reliable than regular bread. This is because gluten free bread can be made out of many different ingredients: brown rice flour, almond flour, rice flour, potato flour, etc. The diversity of flours that could be used to make gluten free breads brings more stability to this market. If a country, say Canada, is a large producer of potato flour however is experiencing difficulty producing enough to satisfy demand, there are other flours that can be used to replace potato flour so the shortage of this commodity doesn’t hit as hard. There are other substitutes. Wheat flour is the only thing that can make gluten bread. If a large producer of wheat flour is experiencing difficulty, as is happening in Ukraine right now, the market is severely hurt since it doesn’t have other commodities to rely upon to replace the one that is in a shortage.
Moving to gluten free bread as a society could also have multiple benefits. There are an ever increasing number of people with gluten sensitivities, gluten allergies, wheat allergies, and celiac disease. Additionally, there are many with other conditions like IBS who may be put on a gluten free diet to help their symptoms. There is an even bigger population with these problems but are unaware of it yet. By making gluten free bread the norm, people who are dealing with gastrointestinal issues that have not been diagnosed yet could start feeling better by not having to eat gluten bread all the time.
Therefore, I believe that as a society we should make the transition to gluten free bread. Just imagine running down grocery aisles that are fully stacked with the best variety of gluten free bread and being able to complain to all of your friends about the bread being too small. What a better world it would be!