Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gluten Free

Tour your local supermarket and you will be peppered by an exhaustive range of products labeled gluten free.

Gluten is a protein found largely in flours such as wheat, barley and rye.  It gives bread much of its elasticity.

Individuals with coeliac disease (a form of inflammatory bowel disease) are worsened by even small amounts of dietary gluten and total abstinence from the substance is critical. 

While this association is important it doesn't explain the near hysteria regarding gluten among foodies.  After all, the number of individuals with coeliac disease and gluten hypersensitivity  is less than one percent of the population. This hardly indicates the need to send gluten to a nutritional gulag.

Yet this is just what is happening, with more and more foods and services designated gluten free.  Consumers look for this branding and those items designated as gluten free fly off the shelf.

While some of the products have gluten removed, most (say peaches) are gluten free to begin with.  Shoppers oftentimes embrace these items for the first time believing  they are especially safe and healthy choices.

There are numerous gluten free sightings during the course of a usual day.  

For example, many restaurants proclaim that a number of their dishes are gluten free.  Ice cream parlors are gluten free.  A dentist advertises gluten free teeth cleanings.  Perhaps we'll even have gluten free condoms one day.


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