The discourse on ethically sourced animal products has been in public eye practically forever. No doubt we’ve all found ourselves on one end of a heated debate about the improper consumption of animals and their products. However, there is one everyday kitchen staple that remains neglected in the discussion of ethical sourcing: pasta.
To preface this, we must first acknowledge why some foods become or are forbidden in the first place. In the case of veganism/vegetarianism it stems from the moral arguments in support for Animal Rights and environmental preservation.1 If we look around the world we also see that different cultures have various practises surrounding the treatment of their food, from how it is made, how it is served, and how it is consumed. Some examples include how the consumption of eggs is taboo in some Hindu castes, how Jewish custom has its people avoid pork, and how various fruits are to be avoided by pregnant women amongst Chinese cultures.2 The reasons for these restrictions come from a variety of cultural and religious reasons, but in the case of the production of pasta we must acknowledge that there can be no moral justification across any cultural or religious belief.
So what’s so wrong with pasta?
Well, just like the argument which suggests that eating animal product is a moral issue due to the way it is produced (killing animals), the highly unethical manner in which pasta is produced creates a moral issue for anyone who eats it.
Pasta was originally produced in China in the form of pasta noodles, where it was found by Marco Polo and brought to Italy in the 13th century which is most likely where it starts its history as an essential in Italian cuisine.3 What could not have possibly been known by Polo at the time, and is kept under wraps by food producers and scientists, is that pasta feels pain.
Due to an unusual evolutionary side-effect, pasta, which is made from manufactured wheats just like any other innocent flour product, upon making contact with boiling water a micronutrient in the DNA composition of the wheat is unlocked that sends electrical signals through the cell-structure of the wheat flour which can be likened to the sensation of pain.
This occurrence is not an unusual one in the plant kingdom. In a study on a mustard-seed plant known as Arabidopsis researchers found that the plant sends electrical signals through its leaves as a preservation response when taking damage to an exterior appendage.4 It was also learnt that these signals were due to a compound in Arabidopsis found in isolated peptides which paralleled the activity of opiods.5 In a much more recent field study on isolated peptides it was discovered that when introduced to boiling water, any biotic object with traces of these peptides will begin to send the same electrical signals for preservation.
And here’s the kicker: Guess which everyday kitchen ingredient not only contains traces of isolated peptides but is riddled with them? Pasta.6
So where do we go from here, now that we know the truth? I think our best bet is to begin a two-step course of action:
1. We cease to cook and consume pasta.
It is only cooked when boiled, and since the pasta feels pain when mixed with boiling water that is completely out of the question. If eating meat and animal products is immoral because it causes animals undeserved pain, pasta falls under the same precedent. Therefore we must accept that eating pasta is unethical.
2. We spread the word.
Why is this this truth being hidden from us? The unethical sourcing of pasta has remained concealed for too long, and there are billions of people around the world who if they knew the truth would be horrified at this injustice and take action.
No more will we stand silent when for centuries this blatant produce cruelty persists without reprimand. If we are to be lawful and dutiful beings, we simply cannot allow ourselves to pass this without speaking out.
And if you are sick of these truths remaining unheard, follow our Facebook page at The Food Truth Project and find out else you are being lied to about what you put in your body.