How do you feel about celebrities going on a gluten free diet?
This was one of the questions I was asked last week by a producer from KSDK-TV. If possible, you should ask for questions to be submitted in advance.
Answering that question could have been a great opportunity to point out that:
- At least 1% of the population has celiac disease and must maintain a gluten free diet for life
- Some people do not tolerate wheat well and feel better avoiding it
- Following a gluten free diet is NOT a fad, but medically necessary if you have celiac
I wish I’d included in my answer that if a celebrity is on a gluten free diet because of celiac or because it makes them feel better, that’s probably a good thing. But if they’re eating that way to be trendy somehow, I just don’t understand. And it could diminish the importance of maintaining a 100% gluten free diet if a well known hipster only eats gluten free when it’s convenient.
In talking about this interview later, I learned of a recent sensational Nightline piece on the gluten free diet that featured my least favorite gluten free celebrity.
I also learned that gluten free was mentioned recently in St. Louis Magazine –
“Trends to Die: Overreacting to the latest hand-wringing concern of the hypochondriacal, self-obsessed faddist, like rolling out entirely “gluten-free” menus.” – food critic Dave Lowry
Mr. Lowry, your ignorance is remarkable. No one is snatching bread from your table.
Gluten free menus are designed for people who NEED to eat gluten free. At least 1% of the population has Celiac Disease and must maintain a gluten free diet for life. And some people do not tolerate wheat well and feel better leaving it out of their diets.
Providing a gluten free menu makes good business sense for restaurants. Gluten free diners are usually asked to choose the restaurant when in a group and we are very loyal to places where we can eat safely. By addressing the needs of the gluten free diner, restaurants can see an increase in business, develop a higher level of customer loyalty, and gain the added awareness that the gluten free community (very well organized on the internet) can provide.