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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Gluten Free is a Joke

Uploaded: Mar 12, 2015

Ok, it's not a joke if you have celiac, an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestine, its ability to absorb nutrients effectively, and approximately 1% of the population. But for the rest of us, defining our diet by a type of flour is?well? missing the point in my humble opinion, no matter what grain it comes from.

Full disclosure, if I eat too much wheat, I too have digestive maladies too graphic to discuss at a Food Party! But I've cut down on commercially ground wheat and processed foods, and over time the bloating and other icky side effects have decreased. My digestion is much better.

For the majority of eaters, maybe the problem is not that we eat some wheat and the gluten (protein) that comes with it, it's that we eat way too much wheat/flour. Bagels, cereal, toast, sandwiches, pasta: I love them all. But when we make flour (sugar and meat) the center of our plate, as so many of us do, amour becomes problematic. Human bodies don't seem equipped to effectively digest this gooey mess. Love hurts. My prediction is not too long from now we'll see the same problems return to the stomachs of today's gluten-free groupies, if they are still overeating highly processed, floury, sugary foods; sans or avec gluten.

"Think of your stomach like a compost pile," some wise gardener once told me. "Eat 50% fruits and veggies and stir often (i.e. exercise). You should be able to digest effectively whatever else is added to the mix."

In that spirit, why not call our diet something like Eat More Vegetables, rather than gluten-free? After all, shouldn't we choose a name based on the things we DO (should) eat, rather than things we DO NOT?

If you are still a gobbler of gluten however, come sin with the rest of us on Thursdays at the Portola Valley Farmers Market, and enjoy some of the best bread in our area. Portola Valley Breads and owner Phil Reilly continue to amaze shoppers with artisan masterpiece breads like Buckwheat with Figs and Walnuts, Quinoa-Kamut, and Spelt Corn, Asiago, Jalapeno Scones. Summer market hours have just extended 3PM ? 7PM.

But get there early.

Phil sells out.

(above) Portola Valley Bread - Spiced Rye with Currants

(first photo) Portola Valley Bread - Honey Sesame

This just in - another Bread Breaking event...

National French Bread Day
Saturday, March 21 4PM - 6PM
Hotel Sofitel
223 Twin Dolphin Dr, Redwood City

An all-day affair celebrating the iconic French baguette. FREE tastings and hands-on demonstrations with the hotel?s executive chef Alejandro as well as a chance to win a number of hotel prize giveaways. This event is FREE and open to the public.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by DrRodneyFord, a resident of another community,
on Mar 12, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Hi Laura, you say "defining our diet by a type of flour is?well? just a bad idea in my humble opinion, no matter what grain it comes from." Have you ever read the article:"Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification"? Web Link
I suggest that you do some reading about this topic. You might find yourself changing your opinion. Also, have you ever had a chat to someone suffering form gluten-illness but not celiac disease? I am a pediatric gastroenterologist, and see people suffering like this every day. Dr Rodney Ford.

Posted by Food nerd, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 12, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Thanks Dr. Ford.

Laura, not everyone is the same. It's great that you can tolerate some wheat, I can too (probably not as much as you can, it seems), but I know people who can't tolerate any. I know at least three people who become seriously depressed, like manic, if they eat so much as a few nuggets of wheat-based breakfast cereal two days running, and one who gets the kind of GI symptoms you described from just that much. (One can't eat oats, even GF oats.)

The GF "fad" has been like coming out of a culinary cage for a lot of those people. I know someone who was sickly her entire life, whose celiac wasn't diagnosed until retirement, after she nearly died from anemia from bleeding. Now life is good, and the great thing is this "fad" has produced so many culinary options for people like her. What many of those alternatives grains lack in elasticity, they make up for in flavor.

Besides, the wheat the Ingalls family subsisted on through the Long Winter no longer exists -- the grain has itself been bred for bread and is no longer as nutritious - they probably would have all died from malnutrition on today's wheat.

Posted by Food nerd, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 12, 2015 at 7:09 pm

But on that score -- what ever happened to Bay Bread at the Palo Alto farmer's market? They were certainly in demand, and the only thing close to what you get in Europe that I've had over here. If I'm going to eat wheat, I want it to be worth it! Mayfield makes incredible bread, too (though not really European-like).

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Mar 12, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Here's an interesting 3/11/15 article in Mother Jones about all this:

Posted by Heather Twist, a resident of Downtown North,
on Mar 13, 2015 at 1:39 am

Thing is, there are about 5 things in wheat that can set your digestive tract off. Folks who react to gluten have to be the MOST careful, but wheat will make a whole lot of other people sick in various quantities for other reasons. Mostly it seems to depend on your genes and the kinds of bacteria in your gut.

My husband likes to say: "If it makes you sick, why eat it?". I tend to agree. If your body really doesn't like the stuff, why buy it? It's not really a joke. People are in pain from this one lousy grain, while loads of other foods are perfectly digestible.

Posted by Jay Park, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Mar 13, 2015 at 8:08 am

I'm puzzled by why this mainly seems to be an American malady, like peanut allergies.

Gluten intolerance and peanut allergies are much less prevalent abroad.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of another community,
on Mar 13, 2015 at 8:20 am

Interesting point Jay Park. Science is now saying "eat a little peanut at a young age to build up a healthy tolerance," right? While in adults, wheat and other reactions (mine for instance) seem to come from eating too much of a certain food.

Posted by RW, a resident of another community,
on Mar 13, 2015 at 9:00 am

Here's my concern with gluten-free eating. Too many people are doing it but don't know why or what it really means. I have a very well educated and smart friend who said to me something like "my blood sugar was pre-diabetic so I cut out gluten".

For many people, gluten-free has become a fad diet. And don't get me started on juicing!

Posted by father of 3, a resident of Midtown,
on Mar 13, 2015 at 1:54 pm

If you do believe that you need to cut gluten out of your diet, here's an easy way: eliminate all flour products. You will also be cutting out a large source of daily minimally nutritious caloric intake: bagels, bread,cookies, pizza, virtually all cereal other than oatmeal. A plain bagel has about 300 calories. That 8" flour tortilla has 120. Try a nice piece of Romaine lettuce to wrap your sandwich filling in. Of course, you don't need to have an issue with gluten to free yourself from flour.

Posted by GoodForYouGlutenFree-Jenny, a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove,
on Mar 13, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Found your article online. I write a gluten-free blog and have Celiac. I understand the point of your story, but why do you have to be so nasty in your headline? People will often read a headline and not the entire story - and you're just perpetuating bullying of the gluten-free community by calling it a joke. Poor word choice for a writer.

Posted by Steven, a resident of Midtown,
on Mar 13, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Thank you Laura, you are right on the mark. The personal anecdotes don't trump what science and history tell us.

Posted by Food nerd, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 13, 2015 at 11:47 pm

Actually, celiac disease is higher in Europe and on the rise worldwide. At least two of the people I mentioned above are European:
Web Link

Rates of peanut allergy seem also higher in Europe though data is not great
Web Link

Interesting - this article mentions atypical presentations of celiac - including depression.
Web Link
"Coeliac disease is a common underdiagnosed disease with significant preventable complications. Its treatment is effective and simple. This disorder is extremely prevalent in most European countries "

There are many less allergenic grains, and it makes sense just from a culinary standpoint that we would benefit from variety.

Posted by Louise68, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Mar 14, 2015 at 11:43 am

Dr. Ford and "Food nerd" ----
Thank you very much for the info.

GoodForYouGlutenFree-Jenny ----
Thank you for pointing out that ridiculing problems, such as gluten intolerance, does not understand is not right, and further enables bullies and people who just will refuse to accept the reality of this awful condition.

Everyone ---
Food sensitivities and allergies are NOT a joke!! A food allergy can manifest ONLY as becoming horribly depressed! (As well as giving a person asthma,) Here is some info from WebMD about the link between food and mood:
Web Link
The old stereotype that allergic reactions only manifest as sneezing and other upper respiratory tract problems is wrong.

Thanks, everyone, for this most interesting discussion.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Mar 14, 2015 at 12:06 pm

You're welcome Louise68.

Posted by GF, a resident of another community,
on Mar 14, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Celiac runs throughout my extended family. My 3 kids and I have tested negative for celica, but we all carry the gene for celiac which means we can develop celiac at any time. Our doctors suggest just getting tested every 2 years. However, by the time we test positive, even small amounts of gluten would make us very ill. Tests for gluten problems are currently quite crude and only test for extensive stomach damage, not for the beginnings of the disease or for other problems that gluten has been shown to cause. My family's gluten intolerance, though it is not to a degree where we test positive for celiac, causes classic stomach distress for one child, neurological symptoms such as sleep apnea/foggy brain for another, and arthritis symptoms for me. Better for us to avoid gluten now to slow progression of the condition (similar to pre-diabetic vs diabetic: avoid sugar). Places like Italy have a much higher rate of celiac than the US, mostly because they are much better at diagnosing it than we are: everyone is tested at age 3; others are tested when symptoms develop.

Posted by GF2, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Mar 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Yes, this post shows the perils of bringing first person experience into public view. What's going on with you might not be generally the case. And so the most honest approach is to just say 'this is what's going on with me right now. YMMV.' I didn't read that anywhere here...maybe I just missed it.

As others have pointed out, there are at least 5 different kinds of gluten intolerance. Celiac is just the one that's understood the best. People suffering with the others until recently were often dismissed as malingerers. Making this post seem even more tone-deaf.

Having to be GF is no joke. It is a tough row to hoe. This makes light of it - and the author is not apologetic. We live in an intolerant society. Maybe we could take a cue from Italy, the birthplace of pasta and Roman meal (farro). If you ask for 'senza glutina' there, they immediately understand and put everything aside to make you some custom, palatable, beautiful food. Well, that is about more than just the stomach; it is about the heart.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of another community,
on Mar 15, 2015 at 5:27 pm

This blog entertains and teaches me, thank you. Certainly those who attack (bully?).... because you engage which is so welcome. Reread the piece though (or maybe you haven't yet?) Maybe this time you will hear me, and not you.

Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 9:45 am

I'd say it is more accurate to say "gluten-free" is a scam, not a joke. 99% of the gluten free products sales go to low information buyers who don't have celiac disease, lining the pockets of big corporate agribusiness. They love for you to think you are sick so they can sell you overpriced, bad tasting replacement products.

Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Alan is a registered user.

Maybe you should say "Nutritionism is a joke", rather than "gluten free" is a joke. Sure, people can have sensitivities to gluten - the ones that have the real deal don't need grief. But nutritionism - the tendency to nutrition to the avoidance or consumption of a few key ingredients - is not good science. Just because gummy bears are gluten free and fat free, doesn't make them something healthy to eat a lot of. *That's* the joke.

I do enjoy having a peanut butter sandwich with tomatoes and a glass of milk ... someone who bases their diet on what they *might* be sensitive to, rather than what they actually *are* sensitive to, would make that out to be an awful meal.

Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Alan is a registered user.

Ah, here it is "Yummy Earth Gummy Bears" - the pinnacle of nutritionism absurdity: Web Link

Like any candy - I'm sure a handful is fine. Gobble up bagfuls of it, and you'll be thoroughly sick to your stomach. The details:

" 100% Daily Vitamin C
Made With Organic Fruit Juice
No Artificial Flavors or Colors
Fat, Gluten Peanut, Soy, Dairy, Fat & Nut Free
Less Than 70 Calories Per Pack
No Artifical Dyes
Real Fruit Extracts

Posted by Food Nerd, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 2:02 pm

HI Alan,
Actually, when you are looking for some junk food, it's actually a nice thing to know you're not going to need an epi-pen.

Yummy Earth makes wonderful goodies, especially lollipops, which ware all-fruit, and yes, not as sweet as their counterparts, and more flavorfull.

Their gummy bears are not as good as some other company that has a really hokey name and outdated looking package, but absolutely the best organic gummy snacks - very tasty, not as sweet as the usual, etc. The name is something like Tastee or something silly like that, I can never remember. They carry them for sure at Sprouts. In fact, Yummy Earth's gummy worms are better than their bears. (Nothing tops those German gummies the GISSV sells at their wintermarket, though, ingredients aside -- they are gluten-free, though!)

Posted by Food nerd, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 2:15 pm

As usual, Laura, you handle things with grace, wit, and good humour. It's why I enjoy your blog so much (aside from the obvious). I do agree with the above poster that maybe a slightly less inflammatory title would be better. Despite all the options, it's still very clear that people with gluten intolerance here have a tougher time. (If you are ever in the hospital, good luck getting them to feed GF food even if you have celiac, though maybe things have changed, I hope.)

I have honestly been surprised at how many products have wheat and other gluten in them, including those penguin gummies from Trader Joe's. You wouldn't know unless you read the label very closely - Enough to make some people really sick.--so other gummy products stating they are gluten free is helpful for bleary-eyed parents. Also, GF oats are somewhat controversial - for us, it doesn't matter, oats don't work.

I know one person who mitigated migraines like 90% by dropping gluten. Another who completely changed her mental state and got rid of depression -- suffered so much, and suffers so much if she eats any wheat, she just won't touch it no matter how delicious. It's torment enough to have to avoid all that delicious food. Let's not judge people unless we walk in their shoes, so to speak...

Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Alan is a registered user.

Alas, Food Nerd, I won't deny that Yummy Earth Gummy Bears may be marginally better than some other candies. And I'm not one to tell people to not enjoy candy now and again. If someone has a sensitivity to one of the foods in that list, it takes this off the "no go" list.

The absurdity is... it's still candy. Its main contribution to the diet is sugar. It's still junk food, vitamin C notwithstanding. Something giving this many "healthy" labels, while it is still candy, is disingenuous.

Posted by So tired of being attacked, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Wow, am I ever sick and tired of these attacks on people who have adopted (and in my case, extremely reluctantly) gluten-free diets for health reasons. I had a cluster of health issues that were finally diagnosed earlier this decade (my 6th on the planet) as related to gluten as well as proteins found in egg whites and legumes. Cutting those foods out completely changed my life.

I had an episode up at Buck's of Woodside when a cook who, for some reason, also feels it's OK to bully people who have gone gluten-free, hid a piece of wheat bread in the dish I'd ordered. I took two bites and realized something was wrong, then dug down and found the bread. (He had also sprinkled it with bread crumbs.) Apparently this guy, who I heard was let go shortly after this incident, was annoyed by all the requests for gluten-free dishes and decided it was his job to debunk our diagnoses. I was in pain for 2 days and had several other lasting effects that went on for a while after.

I would rather not have these allergies/sensitivities. I fought with the doctor who diagnosed me and relented only when agreeing to test out what would happen if I stopped eating gluten and the other proteins causing problems. In three days, I had my answer when most of the issues I'd been suffering from began to abate.

What the episode at Buck's did for me makes me very wary of any restaurant. I prefer to cook at home, starting with raw ingredients, so I can control what I eat. I trust nobody else to take care of me. It's these pieces that paint gluten-free diets as "trendy" and the adopters as "stupid" that create the situation I managed to survive at Buck's.

Incidentally, I have traveled extensively in Europe since my diagnosis, and every restaurant I've been to from Siracusa, Sicily to London to Athens to Istanbul and many other places has had gluten-free options. Europeans *DO* recognize gluten allergies as fact.

Trying to extend your experience to the entire population, which apparently does not include any kind of food sensitivity, is also a failure of your ability to understand survey sampling.

So thanks a bunch for your denigrating headline, which does nothing to further the conversation.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Boy am I sick and tired of people thinking my writings are only about them, and their perspective. I say "for the majority of eaters," which is obviously not you. I say "overeating" not "eating a small piece." If you are still referring to me (and not the other responses possibly), alas, you've missed the part where I agree with you. And the rest of the writing? Positive and forward moving. Because after all, it's a Food Party! And we all love good conversation at a party.

Posted by Louise68, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 6:30 pm

"So tired of being attacked" ---
Thank you very much for telling us what really happens to those who are unfortunate enough to be sensitive to or allergic to gluten -- among other things. I do not blame you one bit for fighting with your doctor. Going gluten-free is not easy but it can and does make a huge difference for the better for many people. It is a real relief that some places, such as Europe, do understand the need some have to be completely gluten-free. Unfortunately, the author of this blog apparently does not understand how essential being gluten free is to many people. It is most emphatically NOT "a joke", and calling it that trivializes the suffering many people experience.

Laura Stec ---
I am truly sorry that eating "too much" wheat causes you internal problems. That is really too bad. One would think that, because you have had personal experience with what happens to your body when you eat things your body cannot handle, that you would have been much kinder and much more understanding towards those who suffer from, and sometimes are disable by, allergy or sensitivity to gluten. Yet you adamantly refuse to change the title of your blog, or to change the parts that ridicule people who must be gluten-free. Don't you understand how powerful words are? And how badly the wrong words can hurt people? It sure looks as though the answer to both of these questions is No. You have a responsibility as a blogger to use words wisely, and not to use them to ridicule people who are suffering or trivialize their sufferings (because you apparently don't understand them), or to give tacit approval to unkindness or bullying by being unkind yourself.

Why does someone else's choice to eat no gluten irritate you? (It looks to me as though ti does from what you wrote.) People who must refrain from consuming gluten are most emphatically not "groupies". They do it for very real health reasons, which many commenters have given.

By the way, I do really appreciate your quoting that wise gardener about the stomach being like a compost pile. That was a great image!

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Don't like something? Don't participate in it. Have a reaction, good or bad, to someone or something? Look first at you for why. If not, I'll have to publicly accuse you of what you want to accuse me of. Oh wait, I can't.... unless you use your real name too. Or at least stop changing your pen name....we can see! :)

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 7:01 pm

p.s. I like "gluten-free groupies". It rolls off the tongue well, it's playful to me (we may disagree), and both words begin with a "g" which is why they are together in the first place. My writing style. Now, if you happened to take offense, I'm sorry, but that's your stuff. Not mine. No one wants to be offended at a Party! but sometimes we say things that rub others the wrong way, oui? But isn't that what got us talking in the first place? Maybe we'll agree to disagree, go viral, and show the world it is still possible.

Posted by Normal, a resident of another community,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 8:31 pm

The whole "gluten free" movement is for losers. I mean, seriously. What kind of lame-o do you have to be to go through life like that?

Posted by Poor headline, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 5:22 am

your headline disrespects something that may be seen as beneficial to many people with celiac disease. This adjustment in their diet is not a joke to them. I get that it has some fad-like qualities and it can get taken too far by some labeling but let's not assume that going without gluten is not without benefits for a variety of reasons. You write as if every last thing about gluten is known but, as with almost every food, that is rarely the case. There are a lot of choices one can make and people need to find their own balance of things in foods. If going without gluten is part of a healthy and useful overall diet for do robe, then it is not a joke to them. If you want to pitch some good local bread makers, why not just do that and let interested parties take note.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 6:04 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Zest Bakery chocolate donuts and brownies walk into a bar...

Donut: Bartender, we want a drink!
Bartender: Get outta here, I don't serve rice flour.
Brownie: What? You think gluten free is a joke?

Zest Bakery
1224 Arroyo, San Carlos
Amazing, yummy gluten free baked goods, comfortable coffee shop

Posted by Is vegetarianism a joke too?, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 7:38 am

No it is not. I am one as well but I see it as a choice, just like gluten free.. Give it more than a second of thought. If you want to just promote your friends products, do so, but don't disrespect readers of the Almanac or folks who find this diet helpful, for whatever their reasons.

Posted by Maggie, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Food fads are a joke. The majority of people can tolerate gluten. The few who are significantly affected are fortunate that they can now buy gluten free products. However, for most people, gluten free is yet another food fad. I used to have dinner parties quite frequently, but have now all but abandoned inviting friends over. The 'fads' of guests who couldn't eat this that or the other food became impossible to deal with. If only it were just gluten and peanuts, I could have coped, but when it became, on a whim, potatoes or tomatoes or rice (it contains arsenic, or is it lead?), or lamb or pork, or . . . I gave up. Feel free to eat in a restaurant where they can cater to your fads.

Posted by Cmon, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 2:41 pm

most restaurants have the ability to adjust menus or cooking options to suit Individual diets and preferences. Take it or leave it dining establishments are dwindling or tend to be pretty unhealthy. You'd also put vegetarians and vegans and macrobiotic dits in the fad category, presumably. Counting calories used to be a fad.

Posted by Bye, a resident of Midtown,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Laura Stec wrote: "Don't like something? Don't participate in it."

Consider it done! This is the last of your articles I will read. You obviously opted for a bold title to get readers. Your defensive failure to acknowledge the informed and reasonable criticism of people calling you out on it does not reflect well on you.

Posted by SaraMP, a resident of another community,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 5:39 pm

Maybe the real culprit is the emulsifiers found in commercially processed foods. The National Institutes of Health recently released information on a study of these commonly used food additives and the effects on the gut:
Web Link

Posted by So tired of being attacked, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 18, 2015 at 11:24 am

SaraMP, I saw that article and found it intriguing. One of the byproducts of ridding my diet of gluten is that the most processed thing I purchase these days is wine. :) I just don't shop "the middle of the store," preferring to buy things fresh and then cook my own meals.

I have found a few restaurants I trust along the way, as well as a cruise line that has taken very good care of me, so they keep getting my business. (Princess Cruises, by the way, has special areas in all of their kitchens for people with food allergies.)

In any event, I'm with "Bye" above and just won't visit this blog any more. Ms. Stec has made it obvious that those of us with gluten issues are not welcome because our food requirements are, to her, a faddy joke.

Posted by With ya, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Mar 18, 2015 at 3:47 pm

I think some of the benefit of people wo decide to go gluten free is that they also adopt other heaty habits. While gluten may come back into the diet to some degree, fewere carbs are usually the result and many other habits remain. The number one tennis player in the world owes his success to going gluten free and adopting other health habits -- not for celiacs, but for other benefits and it sure did work. Hardly a joke to him and his family. Just one of many. I think the blogster here realized it was a poor choice of a title and is just waiting for it to go away. She probably realized too that the cafe she highlighted and many organizations with which she has association would not take kindly to the characterization of folks who have benefitted from taking out gluten. Wise to just move on to the next post. Live and learn.

Posted by Downtowner, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Mar 18, 2015 at 6:15 pm

My gluten intolerance was diagnosed 20 years ago after an endoscopy which sampled the tissue in my small intestine. Before that I'd been ill for 8 years and had seen 11 physicians who either had no suggestions or thought I might be helped by psychiatry, even though all of them acknowledged the very obvious symptoms & manifestations of serious illnesses. Celiac disease & gluten intolerance are very real to those who have it & perhaps a food fad of the moment for others

There is a genetic component which is most commonly found among people of northern European descent. As a matter of fact, MacDonald's Scandinavian outlets have routinely offered customers a choice of regular or gf buns with their burgers since the late 1980s.

In any case, I found this blogger's tone insensitive at best and, combined with her headline, dismissive of a condition she doesn't appear to understand as well as she implies she does. I too won't waste more reading time for someone whose discussion is so superficial and dismissive of a condition she might actually share. She hasn't done enough research to provide informed commentary so she has chosen provocation as her journalistic style. She persists in trying to defend her article by saying that it has prompted discussion. In my opinion, that's not good enough for someone who expects to be published on any regular basis. Good bloggers don't need to exaggerate controversy.

Bye, as has already been said by some above.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of another community,
on Mar 18, 2015 at 6:55 pm

From someone with an auto immune disease gluten can have adverse affects for me as it can for others with auto immune diseases. With the disease my uncomfortable symptoms are less if i avoid gluten. That being said a niece has celiac and she is aware that it can affect auto immune diseases as well as she has studied celiac and gluten intolerance.

Posted by shut upa, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Mar 18, 2015 at 7:35 pm

You sheeple and your glutan bull.. Grow up and get off your high horse.

Posted by You've got ore to worry about than gluten, a resident of another community,
on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:29 am

What are some of you complaining about? Something much deeper than this - she agrees with you. Seems like you are highly sensitive to things in addition to gluten. You all sound like the same person to me.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Mar 20, 2015 at 6:16 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

A sincere goodbye to those no longer having fun at The Food Party! We will miss you, but party well in your absence.

Posted by DCOmaha, a resident of Midtown,
on Apr 7, 2015 at 7:09 am

Laura, I appreciate your point and agree wholeheartedly. The medical effects can be significant for those with gluten related disorders. However, as a non-sufferer, the marketing of "Gluten Free" seems to portray gluten as an industrial toxin causing symptoms ranging from A to Z in epidemic proportions.

Posted by DCOmaha, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Apr 12, 2015 at 9:05 pm

Nice to hear from you DCOmaha, even after the post went down. What's the name stand for?

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