We have all seen the numerous articles, recipes and posts about the evils of gluten and gluten intolerance. We are not minimizing the real risks for those diagnosed with Celiac Disease but for the rest of us there needs to be a step back and perspective. Look around, just about every item you see says “Gluten Free” . But if you take out gluten what is it being replaced with/ Well today we have an article from Christine Pirello from Christina Cooks that will help us gain some perspective on the Gluten Free Faze. Read and share.
I confess. As I write this blog, I am chewing on a piece of toast made from Italian artisan whole wheat flour and thanking my lucky stars that I don’t have to live without this manna from heaven.
Gluten (from Latin gluten, “glue”) “is a protein composite found in wheat and related grains, including barley and rye. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture.”
It’s an interesting phenomenon that gluten, a protein, has been saddled with the role of villain in our protein-obsessed culture.
It’s not common to see a serious (and rare) medical disease drive forward a diet craze, but that’s exactly what happened with going gluten-free. About 1% of the US population has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, an auto-immune disorder that requires (yes, requires…) the abstinence from all foods containing gluten. (Another 6% claim gluten intolerance or sensitivity but there is no validated diagnostic marker for it.) My dear friends who suffer from this malady lead extraordinary lives without gluten but are puzzled by the social contagion their disorder has sparked.
Going gluten-free has become like the new Holy Grail of dieting with expectations of losing weight, sleeping better and being healthier. It won’t necessarily provide any of those things but the market is flooded and continues to generate boatloads of gluten-free products marketed to the general population as the savior of our collective health.
Even Domino’s has jumped on the bandwagon with a gluten-free crust option (although their website cautions against true celiac sufferers eating it). Now for me, there are a lot of reasons not to order a pizza from Domino’s but that’s another story. I applaud their efforts here.
Michael Pollan, food expert and New York Times bestselling author thinks there’s more to the gluten-free craze than gluten intolerance alone. “The number of people that are genuinely gluten-sensitive cannot be growing as fast as the market niche is growing.”
And he may be onto something…at least in terms of the market outpacing the real need.
Read the Rest Here: Gluten
Photo: No Grain