There was an article in the Good Food section of the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday. It was all about gluten-free ‘lifestylers’ making eating out difficult for Coeliacs.
The premise of the article was that non-coeliacs following the ‘gluten-free’ fad, who do not suffer an allergy or intolerance, are weakening the restaurant and cafe industry’s support for true ‘gluten-free’ labelling. Apparently, over the past few years there has been a change in attitude amongst food and beverage providers, and this has meant a loss of vigilance in eliminating gluten entirely from foods labelled ‘gluten-free’.
According to Jane Davies from Coeliac Victoria and Tasmania, “The effort in delivering completely gluten-free food by restaurants and cafes has been eroded by gluten-free lifestylers… Even for the coeliacs who don’t have symptoms after eating gluten, it will still affect their long-term health.”
The article made me stop and think…
I don’t suffer from Coeliac disease* but I have avoided gluten for well over two years, now.
Does that make me a ‘gluten-free lifestyler’?
Here’s the thing, I know that gluten is not my friend. I know that I have a reaction when I eat gluten. I know that less than 12 hours after I do eat gluten (or soy or most nightshades) my skin will erupt in nasty, painful boils in awkward places.
I will not knowingly consume gluten for the rest of my life
And, I know that I am not alone in my self-diagnosed non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).
Dr. Rodney Ford, a paediatric gastroenterologist who started talking about gluten-related disorders in the mid-1990s, has this to say:-
“Who should be concerned about gluten? Well, anyone who is sick. If you are sick, you should think about gluten!”
He goes on to say that, “Celiac-disease-expert-doctors have now recognised that gluten does in fact severely affect many non-celiac sufferers. Most doctors dealing with gluten-sensitivity estimate that it affects at least 10% of the population.”
Followers of the Autoimmune Protocol are well aware of the dangers of gluten and the effect it has on a compromised gut.
And Chris Kresser goes as far as saying that “current cultural attitudes toward NCGS mean more people will remain undiagnosed.”
I’m requesting a little tolerance…
Can we find some middle ground here?
I understand. If you suffer from Coeliac disease, gluten is dangerous. Exposure to the smallest amount can be catastrophic.
I won’t die from eating gluten.
But, it will cause me serious discomfort.
Consider that we eat far to much gluten-ised, processed frankenfood
So, if even if someone is ‘playing’ with gluten-free, perhaps we should cut them some slack.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ― Albert Einstein
*Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease. My nephew suffers from Coeliac disease and it is widely accepted that there is a genetic component to autoimmune complaints