Yesterday was indeed a strange day in glutenville (glutentown? glutenburgh??).
It’s days like yesterday that I think us celiacs need to hire a top public relations firm to help us rise above the noise of the media-created gluten hysteria.
As I’ve said in the past, I HATE the fact that gluten has gone mainstream.
Hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it.
The ONLY benefit it has provided is more food choices as many companies drool over the potential profits and have jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon. Hell…even foods that were always gluten free now have GLUTEN FREE plastered all over the product.
Other than that, it is all negative. Some may say it has created awareness for our plight, but I think it’s had the opposite affect. I think it’s minimized it. For much of the public, celiac disease has become “that gluten thing”.
Which brings us to yesterday. One of my fellow celiacs sent me a link to a video that was called “Shit Gluten Free People Say”. Here it is for your viewing pleasure (update…looks like the video was wisely taken down):
Now look…I get it. “Shit [fill in the blank] Say” videos seem to be all the rage these days. (Of course, like anything else, we seem to take an original idea and beat it to a pulp until we’re absolutely sick of it, but that’s beside the point.)
And I am all for comedy…even at my expense.
But I’ve got two major problems with this video.
1) It’s just not that funny. If you’re going to go thru the effort of putting together something like this, at least make it entertaining. This is lame.
2) I just figured it was some homemade video, but it was actually made by a real company called Cappellos. Who is Cappellos you say? A comedy troupe? A marketing company? Nope. They are a company that…wait for it…makes gluten free pasta. Huh?? So they thought the best way to promote their business was to antagonize the very people who would purchase their products? Are you f’ing kidding me??
I get it…they were trying to be funny. Trying to go “viral” I suppose. And to their credit, they owned up to their mistake and even reached out to me directly and offered me some free samples of their food.
But this is the problem we celiacs face.
Most people now think gluten is a goddamn joke. You’ve got celebrities endorsing the gluten-free diet. Athletes saying it’s taken them to a different level. Doctors saying getting off gluten can be the cure to most of your ills.
And some of this may be true.
But do you see the dilemma it puts us celiacs in? Gluten can kill us. How do we get taken seriously? How do we separate ourselves from the pack of people who go gluten-free by choice and are only half-ass about it?
I don’t know the answer. I’ll just keep on writing and doing my part to get the word out.
But I do have a dream.
I dream that one day I will wake up and check my email for my Google Alerts on “gluten” and “celiac” and there will only be articles written by people who understand the seriousness of our condition.
I dream that “gluten free” won’t be seen as a trend but a real health issue.
I dream that the media moves on to the next diet-fad created by someone looking to make a quick buck.
And I dream that the world treats people with celiac disease as they would people with any other autoimmune disease.
Hey…a Dude can dream, can’t he?