I’m Sorry…Is My Celiac Disease Bothering You?

does my celiac bother you

Back in 2014, there was an article on Huffington Post titled “Why Do Your Kid’s Allergies Mean My Kid Can’t Have a Birthday?” It was a pathetic display of journalism and I gave the author the beat down she deserved. Oddly enough, the Huff Post even published my rebuttal.

Well here we are in 2017 and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Yesterday we had an article in the Washington Post titled “How other people’s food allergies are changing what you eat”. Again, the main gist of the article was that food allergies are inconveniencing those who are lucky enough not to have food allergies. She writes it from a behind-the-scene look at a restaurant called Next Door that takes food allergies quite seriously (you know…because they ARE!) Here’s the article.

And here’s the Gluten Dude breakdown.

Starting with the title, it’s clear that she has no food allergies since it’s the OTHER PEOPLE who are causing the problems. Lack of empathy is not pretty.

She says: Instead of topping a salad with nuts, Next Door chefs sprinkle on sunflower seeds. Before frying calamari or pickles and pepperoncini, they dredge them in cornstarch or polenta, respectively, instead of the traditional wheat flour. For their veggie bowl, they use quinoa, because it’s a whole grain that doesn’t have gluten.

The chefs also use three separate fryers for dishes that are vegan, vegetarian or that contain gluten and/or seafood (for their twice-weekly ­beer-battered fish tacos). Nothing gets cooked in the wrong oil. For customers getting the gluten-free hamburger bun, chefs use a different toasting surface. On “the line,” little buckets of salad toppings are arranged to avoid cross-contamination — bacon and dairy toward the bottom row so as not to drop into the innocent ingredients.

Peanuts aren’t allowed on the premises. Period.

Dude says: Well THAT was condescending. Why. Does. It. Bother. You??

She says: Rather than jury-rigging dishes to respond to special needs, chefs have engineered many menus from the start to eschew everything from soy to gluten. And most customers don’t have a clue.

Dude says: We have a clue. Believe me we have a clue. We know which restaurants these are and we LOVE THEM for taking care of us; you know…the ones with “special needs”.

She says: The afflictions of the minority are starting to determine the options for the majority. And I can’t help but wonder: In response to the dramatic rise in ingredient intolerance — both real and perceived — among American consumers, are all of us bound to be eating less of the foods that, for generations, were the staples of civilization? What does this mean for the future of dining?

Dude says: For generations, our food has become a shit storm of processed garbage and our country is paying for it with its health. Hopefully, the people who see this and understand this will be the majority some day. Did you know that:

  • More than 170 foods have been reported to cause allergic reactions; and
  • The prevalence of food allergy in children increased by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011./li>

Do you think this has anything to do with the Western diet that you say has been a staple for generations?

She says: In case you haven’t noticed, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and fish — five of the top eight food allergens — are nowhere to be found at Chipotle. The same is true of gluten at the Little Beet, a New York-based chain with locations in the District. And nearly 26 percent of U.S. restaurant menus now have a “gluten-free” call-out. That’s a 182 percent increase over four years.

Dude says: First of all, nobody puts Little Beet in the corner. One of the best completely gluten-free restaurants around. They actually care about OTHER people. More than I can say for you. And regarding the increase in gluten-free menus, I will ask you one more time. How. Does. This. Affect. You. In. Any. Way?

She says: About two years ago, the [Next Door restaurant] decided gluten-free was here to stay, citing customer demand — though I can’t imagine it was unrelated to one of its own executives’ decision to avoid gluten.

Dude says: What a snot. Perhaps the executive is “avoiding gluten” because he or she has celiac disease.

She says: Soy is also not allowed on the premises. No soy milk, no soy sauce. Soy sauce often contains wheat, so it’s a no-go for gluten dodgers too.

Dude says: “Gluten dodgers”?? Double snot.

She says: To me, gluten-free eating represents the latest phase in America’s long history of selling absence.

Dude says: That’s funny…to me it represents the only way my body won’t attack itself, damage my intestines and increase my risk of cancer. But hey…that’s just me.

There’s more ignorance in the article but I’m done here. My suggestion to the author is simple. Just stay home. If chefs listening to the NEEDS of their customers offends you, maybe you should just order take-out for the rest of your life. This way you can eat in the comfort of your own bubble.

Have some thoughts? Let the author know.

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34 thoughts on “I’m Sorry…Is My Celiac Disease Bothering You?”

  1. Some people will do anything for attention and/or money. She’s obviously one of them. I pray she one day learns how far compassion and empathy can take a person.

  2. Thank you for posting.♡ I have celiac disease and hard to find a restaurant to eat at that has gluten free menu. I have people who I know that think it’s a DIET to lose weight. REALLY. . They have no idea what we go through.. Don’t forget the Meds. I’ll stop now but those of you that aren’t a celiac. Do your homework!!!!

  3. Straight up ignorance. If you don’t like a restaurant that helps those with food allergies, then only visit the ones who don’t cater to those of us with special needs. After all, those restaurants are still the majority. Karma is a, well you know, and if it finds this author with a food allergy in the future, maybe then she’ll get it. What a selfish person she is.

  4. She has no food issues THAT SHE KNOWS OF! Life will catch up with this little know-it-all! And to quote Allesio Fasano: “No one on the planet has the enzymes to digest gluten.” Once, again — as always — The Dude gets it right and had our backs! Wish these restaurants were in my backyard! Thanks, Dude!

  5. She ignores the fact that culinary innovation happens all the time, changing what we eat regardless of allergy. Otherwise we’d still be eating aspic, mock turtle soup, and potted pigeon.

    Personally I was left with the feeling I’ve just read her personal rant, and one question: how is Chinese pearl barley gluten free? Or did I miss something?

    1. Just looked that up– Job’s tears is a millet relative (or maybe a type of millet) and is naturally gluten free. It looks a little like barley, but the term “Chinese pearl barley” is a misnomer– there’s no barley in it (if it’s really Job’s tears).

  6. If she doesn’t like the way business is conducted at these restaurants, why does she choose to go there? She can always go to McDonald’s.

    And perhaps one of the reasons that allergies are way up in children is that people are paying attention to what their children are eating and how they react afterwards (not to mention allergy tests). When I was a kid after eating certain foods, I would get blinding headaches but was told to clean my plate. Because, you know, there were those starving kids in China.

    1. For me those kids were in Africa lol. I think you are on the mark. Medical knowedge about the immune system has just improved.

      1. Linda I think you hit the lady on the head, oh, pardon me, hit the nail on the head?? I was diagnosed in 2010 at age 48 and the signs were there my entire life. My Mom tried but she was up against an even more ignorant medical system then and had no idea it was food making her daughter ill. As folks like the gluten dude and his tribe continue to spread the word maybe more awareness will help people get a diagnosis quicker but alas I don’t think it will help with Narcissistic Ninnies.

        We were told to hush and eat too, and in my house all starving children lived in Ethiopia. Lol

  7. Personally, as an individual who does not have food allergies, I find the premise of this article to be ludicrous.

    The writer, apparently, can eat what she chooses, as can I, and can eat anywhere.

    Why go to a restaurant that specializes in eliminating food allergens and then complain that other people’s food allergies now affect how she can eat?

    Maybe she can go into a kosher restaurant and lament of her inability to get cheese on her burger, or a pork chop at a halal food truck.

    Sorry, but that ain’t journalism, it is called whining.

  8. What all the people who call Gluten Free a fad don’t get is that the substitutes are so much more fattening that you HAVE to have an allergy or sensitivity to eat this way. Also, who would do this BY CHOICE? How footloose and fancy free it must be to be able to pull items off the shelf and not have to scour the ingredients looking for hidden gluten. Go to a restaurant and be able to order off the menu based on your whims, eat literally anything at a fair or festival…..

  9. On the plus side, her article mentions several places I would be interested to try if I am ever in the area! In general, I do not eat out because of the problems with cross-contamination. Too many places say they can accommodate but are sadly lacking. It is truly refreshing to hear of places that take such good measures to protect customers. And the author will not have trouble finding restaurants that serve “foods that, for generations, were the staples of civilization…” Like meat and potatoes. Oh, wait, those are gluten free so she doesn’t want those!! Sorry, trying to be positive but really if anyone should complain it should be us when we are told that something is gluten free but it’s not because the restaurant does not take the time to get it right!

  10. I read the whole article and … what a baby she can eat wherever she wants. She does not have to go to these restaurants if she feels so exclude because she does not have food issues. She does not see things from the other side how we wish we could go out to eat without having the tell the waiter over and over I have celiac. How we have to call ahead , and do research on the restaurants that can accommodate our need, and then pray that all of our forethought worked and we will not end up sick. AGH!!!!

  11. Devil’s advocate … the government health police (food industry that supports wheat as the only healthy staple of the human diet … aka greed) has informed doctors and the American public that eating gluten free is not healthy and no one should eat that way unless they have to. Perhaps she drank that Kool aid?

  12. There’s no cure for ignorance and lack of empathy, unfortunately, but I’m delighted she’s having a hard time finding a non gluten/allergy free restaurant…you’d think she might join the dots and sympathise with others who are having difficulties in finding something they can, and want to, eat!

  13. Ya know what i find most hilarious or hypocritical (cant decide which) about this? Im a smoker and nowadays most states i believe now have a no smoking in restaurants law. I was ok with that, but the whole premise of that is that it was someone elses actions affecting the health of others through no choice of their own. Im guessing the writer of this article was also one of those (most people are). So how is this in any way different? I cannot smoke in a restaurant and you dont hear me bitching.

  14. Finally figured out why I continued to get sick on a gluten-free diet. The cooking oil extraction process creates toxins through extreme heat and permeation with chemical solvents (neurotoxin hexane, a gasoline production by product), steamers, neutralizers, de-waxers, bleach and deodorizers. The FDA does not require food manufacturers to test for residues. When consumed, some people experience gastrointestinal distress and heart palpitations. There is a rise in stomach cancer in the youth. Could this be part of the reason?

  15. You really need a Sancho Panza to your Don Quixote act, Mister Gluten Dude.
    Some battles are not worth fighting. Or, at least add your abundant humor while you are at it.

      1. Although I’m finally quickly losing my “panza” (belly) after the last surgery, I might could be easily swayed into applying for the position solely to help out my Gluten Dude; however, while keeping Ol’ Sancho’s interests at heart, I should probably inquire, as would he:

        Sancho Panza: “How much does honor pay by the hour?”

        LOLOL…

      2. I surmise Ol’ Peter has absolutely no idea whatsoever of which he writes.
        I, with multiple scores of fellow sufferers, greatly appreciate our Gluten Dude’s continued gigantic efforts to make our lives safer and more enjoyable…keep up the heroic efforts against very real dangers to our good health Dude (eg including, but not limited to, the article’s author’s ignorance).
        I held my thoughts but appreciate you advocating for us Dude!

      3. Peter
        Thanks for confirming you were accusing Gluten Dude of “tilting at windmills” and my conclusion that you have no idea whatsoever regarding the seriousness of the topic about which you wrote; otherwise, why on earth would you accuse GD of fighting an imaginary foe by simply publishing a post on GD’s own personal blog? Are you the article’s ignorant author’s own personal “Sancho Panza” disguised as “Peter the Blog Commenter” arriving to protect her?

        This coming weekend November 18th & 19th marks 5 yrs since Gluten was determined as the culprit relentlessly and painfully killing me. Three types of cancer (skin, esophageal and colon), 5 retina surgeries and the removal of a walnut sized tumor from under my tongue through my neck later and I’m almost back to having strength and eyesight to return to my healthy activities from 7 yrs ago. Last month I got my new tooth to replace the one taken from me 4 yrs ago. Yesterday, my retina surgeon cleared me not to return to him for a year and I picked up my new contacts which allow me to see 20/20 again, not the 20/12 I used to enjoy but hey, after being blind in one or the other or both eyes for 4 months and sight impaired for 3 yrs, 20/20 again is most welcomed. Next month, hopefully my GI Doc will pronounce my colon clear — he’s already cleared me from ever suffering from esophageal cancer again – as long as I stay far away from gluten. I can’t even go enjoy a salad, the restaurant staple of a gluten sufferers, if the nuts thereon come from a wheat factory. Last May, I ate 3 oz of MARKED gluten free sausage in our homemade seafood gumbo and suffered butcher knife pain in my torso for 3 months as a direct result. So, guess what, we’re making our own sausage now too. You can most likely understand why I don’t trust any unknown food sources. Folks like me greatly appreciate GD and the restaurants and chefs (like the ones about which Ms Snot Nose was complaining) so very much!

        Yesterday, after my retina surgeon visit, my Sweet Wife and I ate at one of the 4 local restaurants where the Chefs know me as the “gf cancer guy” and they diligently protect me. I very seldom eat out now and I go at not busy times when we go so as not to inconvenience the kitchens. I GREATLY appreciate their sincere efforts to protect me so Sweet Wife and I can eat out again. Yesterday, they had a new Salmon dish, which was wonderfully tasty. However, the whole time I was eating it I was hoping I wouldn’t be autoimmune systemically sick for 3 or 4 months from one little plate of food. Thankfully, they protected me, there were no kitchen slip ups and I can add another dish to my lifetime limited eating out repertoire.

        So, when I read ignorant snotty articles like the one about which GD wrote, and I read uninformed comments like yours ignorantly accusing GD of fighting imaginary foes, I lament the lack of compassion and kindness for fellow humans expressed by folks like you who can’t grasp why posts like GD’s continue to educate the uninformed and continue to make the world safer for folks like me. I formally could, and did, eat and drink most ANYTHING I wanted for 5 decades and then my genetic autoimmune switch flipped and I can no longer enjoy that freedom. However, I’m most grateful I found out the gluten cause of my cancers and blindness, I’m still on the green side of the grass, and my health is returning after more than 7 very difficult years.

        Maybe you can now see why I fully support Gluten Dude’s diligent efforts and greatly appreciate his banishing the greater than windmill sized real foes, and even the minor snotty nosed ones, from our gluten filled landscape. Such foes should seek to develop even a wee bit of compassion for those of us in whose shoes they have not yet been required to walk and hope they are never so required.

          1. Thanks Peter.

            I’ll leave the Blogging to the Pros…I just wander in and out from time to time to express my many thanks to the Dude.

  16. Here’s the thing. It only takes 50 mg of gluten for my immune system to go crazy and start destroying my digestive system. Unless the soy makes my throat swell up and I stop breathing first. Trust me, being carted off to hospital is a heck of a lot less convenient than you missing out on a few ingredients you probably wouldn’t have noticed, if someone hadn’t proudly told you they were not there.

    Do you also rail at diabetic friendly and reduced fat options for people with diabetes and cholesterol problems?

  17. Oh boy,, Dude, you created a firestorm this time by printing that article from someone who simply doesn’t know what she is talking about! Her whining makes me sick- literally. What if it was her child, who was operated on 19 times and was literally on her death bed when a nurse read an article and mentioned to the several doctors treating this child, that ” it might be celiac?” Or if it was her grandchild at the age of 30 who finally found out what was causing her rashes and debilitating skin problems- blue and yellow dye in food OR clothing? Only then to find out she is extremely allergic to corn- to the point ingestion of a single kernel, corn starch– corn syrup– could send her into anaphalaxsis shock? Hey lady- if you don’t like the menu or the food, don’t go there! Period. I am not crazy about Indian food, so I don’t go. My daughter has a shell fish allergy so she doesn’t go to seafood restaurants. It’s that simple. Like the others, I am thrilled so many restaurants are taking food seriously by serving fresh, organic fare and being aware of food allergies. Researchers are working to find out why this is happening, and we may have answers soon- meanwhile, 3 million of us are thrilled beyond words we can enjoy a safe meal out of our homes.
    Meanwhile, I hope that snot-nosed b**** gets hers someday and develops an allergy to something at the age of 84 like my mom did.

  18. So glad to see this–I stewed over this being in the Post for days (not even factually anything!), particularly as the author is getting degrees in nutrition and thus will give these “delightful” views as her expert opinion.

  19. So glad to see this–I stewed over this being in the Post for days (not based in any sort of fact, or serious interrogation of facts), particularly as the author is getting degrees in nutrition and thus will give these “delightful” views as her expert opinion.

  20. Wow! This is amazing(ly ridiculous)! There’s a goldmine of intolerance (ahem! see what I did there?) and ignorance on display here but this gem stands out:

    “… Rather than jury-rigging dishes to respond to special needs, chefs have engineered many menus from the start to eschew everything from soy to gluten. And most customers don’t have a clue.”

    So… there’s no soy or gluten. People are eating these dishes, presumably enjoying them AND – quite possibly – coming back for MORE? But she needs to write this garbage piece to … what? OUT the restaurant for – gasp! – not only NOT using soy or gluten – but NOT disclosing that to unsuspecting guests who, apparently, she believes go to restaurant to eat bowls of gluten and soy?!

    Makes zero sense.

    Thanks for your take on this, Gluten Dude.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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