I’m warning you ahead of time. This post will be a mish-mash of possibly incoherent thoughts. But I’ll give it a shot just the same.
The media sucks. You know that. I know that. Too many of them care only about clicks and ratings and not about truth and consequences. It’s the world we live in and it’s not gonna change.
Perhaps it would change if people would stop buying trash magazines and stop watching crap Reality TV and showed the world that we are indeed an “educated consumer”. But until then, it’s “market to the bottom feeders and collect your money.”
And now the media has taken on gluten. Full force. Here are some headlines from just the past 2 days:
“Gluten-Free Fad Debunked”
“Gluten-Free Health Benefits are Overhyped”
“Gluten-Free Food Isn’t Actually Any Healthier for Most of Us”
“Gluten-Free Fad Costing Buyers More with Little Benefit”
“Gluten-Free Food Not Healthier At All”
And to all of those publishers I say this: No shit Sherlock.
Of course the fad is ridiculous. (The same fad you were more than happy to write all about as long as it brought you click$.)
Of course the gluten-free version of most similar products are no healthier. (But hey, let’s all celebrate that there are now 37 varieties of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies on the shelves now.)
Of course it’s more expensive to buy gluten-free food. (And if you buy naturally gluten-free, even more so.)
The celiac community has been screaming this for years. Well…I’ve been screaming. I won’t speak for the rest of you. And it’s not really screaming by definition since I’m writing it, not speaking it. THIS IS SCREAMING. This is talking firmly!! We can move on now.
Heck, even The Huffington Post seems to be writing an article a day about gluten now. You can usually find them right next to their stirring “Britney Spears doesn’t look like THIS anymore” articles. Journalism at its finest.
But let’s focus today on one article written by a newspaper called The New York Times. It’s a small publication but perhaps you’ve heard of it.
They had an op-ed in this past Sunday’s paper. The title? The Myth of Big, Bad Gluten
Before moving on to the article itself (which wasn’t half-bad and hit on some interesting points), what an absolute asinine headline. We are a headline reading generation. All this says, no matter its intent, is gluten is bullshit. As someone on Twitter said: Gluten IS big and bad, but that headline made it trivial. Now the link to this piece is all social media with people saying “See…I told you gluten-free was BS.” Thanks for that folks. Take a bow.
The article starts off by saying that “as many as one in three Americans tries to avoid gluten”. I’ve seen this elsewhere. Where is this number coming from? Out of the all of the people I know outside of this community, I know of exactly two others who try to avoid gluten because it makes them feel better. I know more than six people. I know more than sixty people. The 1 in 3 statistic seems a bit exaggerated to prove a point. Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps I’m not.
The article goes on to hit all of the speaking points which have been regurgitated incessantly. Perhaps we haven’t adapted to wheat yet. Maybe we eat too much wheat. Maybe there’s more gluten in today’s wheat. Maybe it’s the unhealthy Western diet.
Who knows where the truth lies because we’re never given any surefire answers. But it sure as doesn’t stop the media from speculating.
My main beef with the article? If you are going to start off with an inflammatory headline, you better back it up with the article itself. This was not even close.
Though Kudos to the NT Times for a strong finish. The modern immune system appears to have gone on the fritz. Maybe we should stop asking what’s wrong with wheat, and begin asking what’s wrong with us. Gives ya something to think about (as half the world celebrates gluten-free Lucky Charms and the other half cringes).
Here’s my hope…and I’ve been hoping this for some time now: The media just moves on to something else. They can earn their editor’s badge on another topic that they will then beat to death. There must be a Kardashian or two that haven’t gotten the attention they crave. Gluten has been played out. Give it back to the celiac and NCGS community.
As for the rest of you…if eating gluten-free makes you feel better, don’t eat gluten. It’s really that simple. Don’t listen to the media and the crap they serve up. As always, listen to your body.
Like I said, incoherent mish-mash. You were warned :)