/Bread is making us bedbug crazy

Bread is making us bedbug crazy

By Jim Poling Sr.
From Shaman’s Rock

I now know why our world has gone crazy. It’s from eating rye bread. 

Rye is a bewitched grain. We know that from modern research into the Salem witch trials.

This research has found that the Salem witch madness of the 1690s began following an outbreak of rye ergot poisoning. Ergot is a fungus blight that causes hallucinogenic chemicals to form in rye bread.

People who eat ergot-infected rye bread start acting crazy. They have hallucinations, twitches and spasms. 

When people began acting like that in Salem, Massachusetts, the virtuous Puritans declared an outbreak of witchcraft. They rounded up the bewitched, staged the now famous Salem witch trials and hanged 19 women.

It turns out that those poor ladies were not bewitched, just stoned from eating too much infected rye bread.

There were similar witch hunts in Europe where symptoms of ergot poisoning were blamed on witchcraft. Again, the witch hunts were in areas that had suffered ergot rye outbreaks.

Massachusetts lawmakers have exonerated all of the Salem witches, according to Witches of Massachusetts Bay, a group devoted to witch hunt history. The last woman convicted of being a witch, Elizabeth Johnson Jr., 22 at the time, was exonerated just last week by the Massachusetts legislature. 

Her case was brought to the legislature by an eighth grade civics class which researched her trial and drafted a petition to have her conviction overturned.

Americans still consume a lot of rye grain – about one-half a pound per person annually. Statistics show that roughly 23 million Americans eat rye bread. 

Ergot rye outbreaks are rare these days, however they continue to exist. The United States had one small, isolated outbreak in 1996. 

The Russians also are big into rye bread, particularly one called Borodinski Chleb. Traditionally, rye has been Russia’s predominant bread cereal.

More and more people in Russia and the U.S. are exhibiting ergot rye symptoms, especially their leaders.

Vladimir Putin is an example. He has become one of the world’s great crazies and is a bit of a health fanatic who prefers rye bread.

In the U.S., nutbars like Donald Trump and Republican congressman Mitch McConnell keep saying crazy things like more guns are needed in schools to prevent school shootings. 

The Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organization, says there have been 212 U.S. school shootings already this year. Arming teachers, janitors and maybe even students sounds like a bad rye bread hallucination.

Trump loves meatloaf sandwiches with brown bread and McConnell likes his Kentucky bourbon, which is brewed from corn and grains, including rye.

 Americans also should keep a close eye on their president. Joe Biden says he prefers pastrami on rye and he talks funny and falls a lot on airplane steps.

Rye is not just found in bread and cereals. It’s a major component in brewing many alcohol drinks.

The Russians, of course, prefer vodka over whiskies, which often are brewed from rye grain. Many will say that vodka is brewed from potatoes, so vodka is not a factor in making them crazy. In fact, many vodkas are brewed from only small quantities of potatoes and large amounts of grains, including rye.

There is no proof that the ergot fungus survives in booze made with rye. But hey, there are lot of things we don’t know or understand.

Rye bread and rye booze also are very popular with Canadians, so we need to keep a close eye on our politicians. 

For instance, you have to wonder what Justin Trudeau is cooking in the new $735,000 kitchen at his Harrington Lake cottage. The kitchen is part of an $11-million taxpayer-funded renovation at the cottage. (It was only supposed to cost $8 million, but who could have predicted inflation?)

That kitchen sounds like a great place for whipping up corned beef on rye sandwiches. And blueberry pies with rye crusts, or banana rye muffins.

Thinking about all this has made me hungry and thirsty. I think I’ll go to my little kitchen and make myself a chicken salad sandwich on rye washed down, of course, with a few shots of rye whiskey.