Our guest today is Bob Quinn, organic farmer, author, scientist, and food researcher. This conversation is a deeply insightful discussion about ancient grains, food systems, and the rural communities that produce our food. We talk about the food itself, how its grown, processed and distributed. The factors which determine the quality of our food, and some of the little-known research Bob and his team have done around wheat and gluten sensitivity. He reveals discoveries he’s made about ancient grains, wheat in particular and gluten sensitivity by applying rigorous science and a persistent determination to find the cause of one of America’s most mysterious food issues.
Bob didn’t start out to be food researcher, rather he sort of backed into, but like the other things he’s done in his life he jumped in with both feet and did the best he could. That attitude along with a great deal of perseverance and determination to understand the truth, uncovered previously unknown linkages to the gluten sensitivity issue and left a trail of over 30 peer-reviewed research papers on the subject of his trademarked ancient grain KAMUT® and gluten sensitivity.
The conclusion of his research efforts is a 4-point program of addressing gluten sensitivity which has proven to be over 95% effective. He explains his discovery in detail in our conversation.
However, Bob considers himself first and foremost an organic farmer. He farms in one of the more challenging environments in the United States, the dry northern plains of Montana. He’s a third-generation farmer, but the first to be certified organic. In fact, this year they will celebrate the 100th anniversary of their grandfather’s founding of their family farm in Big Sandy, Montana.
There are a few things that I find interesting about Bob’s story, first, he’s not just an organic farmer, but he is also a scientist. He holds several degrees, but the most relevant and significant is a Ph.D. in plant biochemistry from UC Davis, one of the most prestigious ag universities in the US. This broad-spectrum background gives him a perspective that is extremely rare and insightful.
This is probably one of the things I appreciate most about Bob’s work. He reflected in his recently released book, Grain by Grain:
“As I furthered my studies, I came to a deep appreciation for the magnificent order of the universe and the interrelations that characterized living systems. I found it quite inspiring to see how everything was tied to everything else.”
What I’m most excited about this conversation is the fact that it is a real world, practical application of the Universal Principle, that everything is connected and we are all One. And if we are going to survive as a species on this fragile planet, we must act decisively and with courage, in a spirit of cooperation, collaboration, and mutual respect for everyone and everything that lives here with us.
The late visionary, R. Buckminster Fuller stated it very succinctly when he said,
“We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.”
This has been the spirit of Bob’s work since the beginning, and it is one of the reasons he has been so widely recognized. He was the 2007 recipient of the Montana Organic Association Lifetime of Service Award. He was awarded the “2010 Organic Leadership Award” by the Organic Trade Association, and in 2013 he was the recipient of Rodale Institute’s Organic Pioneer Award.
His initial efforts to further organic agriculture were to help form Montana’s first Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) chapter in 1987 where he served as its first president, as well as serving on its International Board of Directors, receiving its outstanding member award in 1991. He also later served on the first U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board.
He currently supports over 200 organic farmers who produce his KAMUT® brand of Khorasan wheat under the strict guidelines he developed. Today there are over 2,000 different KAMUT® brand Khorasan wheat products sold worldwide.
His recently released book, Grain by Grain, is the story of over three decades of trial and error in the quest for a paradigm-shifting alternative to the broken food system we currently have and all the crippled support systems that prop it up. A solution based on science and practical on the ground applications that mutually benefit all its participants and stakeholders. It is the true story of triumph, born from an insatiable curiosity and the courage to follow one’s heart.
This conversation is the backstory behind the book and clearly demonstrates why it has become the testament for sustainable systems development that it has. We hope you enjoy the conversation. And please share it with your friends.
Grain by Grain is available from Amazon, by clicking here.
To directly contact our hosts, visit their respective websites:
https://larryholmespracticalwisdom.com/ – For All Episodes and to contact Larry directly and review his consulting and coaching services.