Since I started Pretty Little Celiac, I use a RSS feeder to send me articles relating to gluten-free and celiac disease to make sure I stay up to date on current trends and studies, but also to just see what the buzz is in the media. Today I woke up to the usual set of articles about gluten-free living and how the gluten-free “diet” isn’t necessary for most people and others that make it challenging for us to fight the gluten-free battle.
But, one article in particular caught my eye. Titled “Why the Billion-Dollar Gluten-free Industry is Secretly Laughing at All of Us.” I was intrigued. Were these new marketing techniques being used? Are there concerns with labeling I need to know about? Nope. None of these things were even addressed in the article by Dana Baaardsen from iVillage.com
The article started out fine at first talking about celiac and gluten-free popularity and then mentioned a blogger with celiac disease who came out against people eating gluten-free when they don’t have to. But then she went into a few sentences about gluten-free that really upset me. For instance, here is how she ended the article:
Here are some of the more ridiculous gluten-free products we found — mainly because most of them barely had detectable traces of gluten in them to begin with — if at all. Seriously, just eat more veggies:
She goes on to identify a few products like sausages, potato chips, fruit snacks, make-up and juice while making outrageous comments like, “you shouldn’t be eating your make up anyway” and “This gluten-free stuff isn’t so hard after all.”
Wait… What? You wrote a 500 word article about gluten-free living, found a few products online that had a “gluten-free” label on them and decided to not only make a mockery about how I (and thousands of others) have to live but that it’s “easy” because you found a few junk food items that had the words “gluten-free” on them?
I am sick and tired of reading articles like this. I am tired of ignorant people writing and saying things when they have no idea what they are talking about.
Gluten-free living is easy? Well guess what Dana, I challenge you to eat gluten-free for 30 consecutive days and see how “easy” it is. Go to parties with your friends and watch them eat and drink while you sit there starving because you can’t have beer or party foods. Go to weddings with your family and eat a Lara bar out of your purse because the only thing to eat at the wedding is filled with breadcrumbs and sauces with gluten. Go to eat where you get poisoned by something that makes you sick for a whole week and disrupts your entire life.
THEN you can write a truthful article about living gluten-free. THEN you might recognize why it’s important to have “gluten-free” labeling on foods so you can easily navigate the grocery store and find things safe for you to eat.
But I guess until then, you CAN have your cake and eat it too.