Extremes are bad. In pretty much any situation, they’re bad.
Extreme religion? The cause of too many wars and unnecessary deaths.
Extreme politics? The cause of a dysfunctional congress.
Extreme weather? The cause of much global destruction.
Which brings us to today’s post.
Everybody seems to be talking about gluten these days…and talking…and talking. And it seems most people have an extreme opinion about it one way or another. And this has led to a gluten controversy.
Is gluten the root of all evil or is it a media-created phenomena that needs to be put to rest? Let’s approach this from both angles.
“Gluten should be erased from the face of the earth”
On the one side, you have the people who think gluten is the devil itself, wish it were never introduced into our food system and removing it from your diet is the cure to all of your ills.
Feeling blue? Stop eating gluten.
A bit overweight? Stop eating gluten.
Got the runs? Stop eating gluten.
Having a hard time getting motivated? Stop eating gluten.
In a dead end job? Stop eating gluten.
Stuck in traffic? Stop eating gluten.
You get the picture.
“Gluten is a total fad and you should all get over yourselves”
On the other side, you have the people who think this whole gluten thing is totally just a trend that has been perpetuated by the media, Hollywood and the food industry. Remember the chef in Colorado last year who intentionally put gluten in his guest’s food who requested gluten-free? He did this because, and I quote:
” Gluten free is bulls**t!! People who claim to be gluten intolerent [sic] dont [sic] realize that its [sic] all in there [sic] disturbed little heads. People ask me for gluten free pasta in my restaurant all the time, I tell em sure, Then I serve serve em our pasta, Which I make from scratch with high gluten flour. And you know what? nothing, NOTHING! ever happens! People leave talking about how good they feel gluten free and guess what, They just had a full dose! Idiots!”
Personally, I don’t think somebody who has four spelling errors in one sentence and can’t form a coherent sentence should be calling anybody an idiot, but that’s just me.
What’s interesting about this story, whether it was in fact true or not, is the support he got from many people who think gluten is just a hoax and simply another platform for picky eaters to be a pain in the ass about.
So where does the truth lie?
Like anything else in life, it lies somewhere in the middle.
Listen, I hate gluten. I hate hearing about it, I hate talking about it and I hate that I can’t eat it. But gluten itself is not necessarily the culprit. It’s our bodies that lie at fault and for those who seriously cannot tolerate it, whether it’s because of an allergy or celiac disease, gluten is real. Very real. And we must continue to fight the battle and do our best to raise awareness.
But for those who don’t “need” to be gluten free, please keep your voices down. If you think going off gluten is the end-all, be-all, by all means, go for it. And I hope it helps you. But don’t go shouting on the mountain tops that you’re gluten free. It’s not helping our cause. I went to breakfast yesterday and as I was explaining to the waiter what I can’t eat, I almost felt stupid. I’m now paranoid that most of the public is sick to death of hearing about gluten. So ssshhhh!
My guess is that within a year or two, the “gluten phenomena” will die down and the media and food industry will move on to the next big thing. And I will be taken seriously again.
In the meantime, let’s cut out the extremes and meet somewhere in the middle. First round’s on me.