A Tale of the Gluten-Free Backlash

In the midst of all the positives surrounding eating gluten-free, we’d be remised to not discuss the negative backlash currently surrounding the gluten-free industry. In a recent video by ABC News, reporters expand on a few details of this backlash while asking, “is gluten-free a fad?”

The ABC report criticized celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Zooey Deschannel who themselves are gluten-free and recommend the diet to their fans. It shows a clip of a recent Jimmy Kimmel skit where he asks people on the street who claimed to be gluten-free what gluten actually is, and predictably, none of them could answer correctly. Jimmy Kimmel starts off by saying “You can’t be pro-pizza and anti-gluten” referring that these items are mutually exclusive. The report shows one last media example from the recent comedy movie “This is The End” where Seth Rogen claims that gluten is just a general term for “anything bad for you.” For readers who are curious what exactly gluten is, please refer to our previous posts http://grouseco.com/go-gluten-free-2014-basics/ or http://grouseco.com/gluten-free-journey/ or http://grouseco.com/read-fine-print-gluten-testing-science/.

One in 133 individuals are born with a genetic inability to digest gluten. This disease is called Celiac Disease. A gluten-free lifestyle is the only way these individuals can live comfortably. More individuals have been shown to be on a spectrum of gluten-intolerance where they are sensitive to the digestion of gluten. A recent study discussed inthe ABC report published that self-diagnosed gluten-intolerant individuals had similar gastrointestinal distress whether on a high gluten diet or a low gluten diet, as long as FODMAPs were removed from the diet. The researchers indicated this is evidence to suggest non-Celiac gluten-sensitivities do not exist. While removing hard to digest and inflammation triggering short chain carbohydrates can benefit gut health, we are in support for more clinical and scientific research to confirm and reinforce the vast personal accounts of individuals’ health being bolstered by eating gluten-free.

We are extremely thankful that there is increased awareness for Celiac Disease and gluten-intolerance and that there are so many more gluten-free products on the market today than ever before. It is comical to think of Jimmy Kimmel’s pizza comment with all of the gluten-free pizza options available in the grocery store and restaurants and a plethora of recipes for home cooking. The recent backlash against gluten-free fails to appreciate how life-improving this option can be for the many individuals who suffer from Celiac Disease or gluten-intolerances. We’ll take it one step farther and say individuals without a gluten-intolerance can experience benefits from limiting hard to digest foods (such as gluten) from their diets. Perhaps we can all agree that eating more mindfully is beneficial for everyone.

One person’s decision to eat a certain way does not inhibit or hinder anyone else’s personal eating preferences. So enjoy some pizza, gluten-free might be a trend, but it is way more than fad, and it is here to stay. At Grouse, we seek to educate, to promote a healthy lifestyle, and provide gluten-free ingredients for all to enjoy.

Have you experienced a gluten-free backlash?

Zum Wohl

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