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If ignorance is bliss, he must be very happy

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

I commented:

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. 

Leave a comment or contact St. Louis Magazine here.  

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  1. oh i so agree. argh!

  2. I’m embarrassed for St. Louis Magazine.


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