The other day I was in a grocery store and I almost spit my gluten free muffin all over the store shelf. You see, I was looking for some baking powder, you know, the one without the aluminum in it. (I like my cookies to be metal free. It sticks in my teeth and is bloody hell to get out of there.)
As I was scanning the selection of various brands, I noticed that one of the cans was emblazoned with large letters, capital letters in fact, in hospital white so you wouldn’t miss it even if you were an eighty-year old grandma peering over your coke bottle glasses. It read, GLUTEN FREE!
Really? Is there any manufacturer out there that is not jumping on the latest stupid and inane fad embraced by the masses? I’ve seen the words GLUTEN FREE on soda, pudding, jello, spices and sadly, even beer.
I was talking to an acquaintance recently. She was fervently pushing her thoughts about food and her new gluten free diet at me and her boyfriend. I had never mentioned that I used to be a professional certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. After listening to her run on, I asked her a simple question. “Do you know what gluten is?”
“It’s glue!” she declared. “I talked to a doctor and he said it’s glue. Ever since I went to a gluten free diet I feel so much better.”
My next question was, “Do you have Celiac’s Disease?”
She didn’t know what I was talking about and just looked at me completely puzzled for a moment before she went right back to spewing about how wonderful it was and how we should all join her on the path to righteousness.
Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way right now. Gluten is not a ‘glue’. Gluten is a binding protein found mostly in whole grains. Period. The ONLY reason you should be the least bit concerned with whether a product is gluten free is if you have Celiac’s Disease. Celiac’s Disease is an auto-immune system disorder causing the body to view gluten in your system as an invading organism. It is a rather rare disorder. The masses don’t have it.
There, let’s take a breath and step back from all the excitement. It just doesn’t seem to be a good week out there unless someone comes up with something that implies that food is the enemy. Protein, carbohydrates, sugars, whole grains, fried foods, grilled and barbecue foods, fish of all sorts, butter, whole milk and countless other things have all, at one time or another, been bad for you.
With the slightly twisted, bent brain that I have, partially born, I believe, of thirty radiation ‘treatments’ to the side of the head, I began to envision the market tabloids with warped blaring headlines about so-called ‘harmful’ food.
“I WAS MASHED BY A POTATO”
“MY CELERY IS STALKING ME”
“FRIED BY A DONUT”
“TOASTED BY AN ENGLISH MUFFIN”
“A COUPLE OF EGGS POACHED MY WALLET”
“GRILLED BY A BURGER”
“I WAS WHIPPED BY CREAM”
If you want to worry about food that is ‘bad for you’, then just take a look at all the chemicals, dyes and artificial ingredients you consume every day in just about any food sold in the common neighborhood chain grocery store. You can start with the most basic things like flour and sugar. Neither of these is supposed to be white. They are not white in their natural state and they sure as hell don’t have ‘bleach’ in them in their natural state. If your really want to freak out after that, check the ingredients of the foods that you buy there that contain both of those altered items. Downright scary.
The left image is whole wheat, unbleached flour. The right image is bleached all-purpose flour. Which one looks more appetizing to you? To me, the one on the right looks like something I would add water to in preparation for repairing a hole in the wall. (Just beware, neither of them is gluten free!
If I had a dollar for every food fad that has come and gone in the last twenty years, I would have to go get at least six more pillow sacks. Food is like religion. If someone preaches at you that this or that is the only ‘right’ food and all the other foods are bad for you, run.
We all have the right to choose what goes in our mouths. We all have the right to choose who to listen to when it comes to advice about what goes in our mouths. Just use some sense. (Notice I did not say ‘common sense’. That’s because sense is not so common.)
There is no need to constantly live in fear of things that don’t make any sense just because someone said so and the rest of the sheep followed them over the cliff of ignorance. It’s disturbing enough that the government felt it necessary to encompass both food and drugs under the supervisory umbrella of a single agency, (the Food and Drug Administration,) that cannot seem to make intelligent decisions about either one. (Tune in for my next installment, ‘This Blog Is Free of All Side Effects’.)
Would it probably be a good idea to stay away from genetically modified foods, foods with artificial dyes, toxic chemicals, bleached products and 16 syllable words you cannot pronounce let alone decipher on your best day? You bet your non-GMO butt!
Once you do that, you will be amazed at the food you won’t buy anymore. You’ll be amazed at how simple the ingredients list will be on what you do go home with and feed to yourself and your family.
Try this simple experiment just to get you rolling. Stop buying white/processed sugar in any form. You will be astounded at how many things you have to stop buying and consuming. If nothing else, for those of you who have kids, it will, perhaps, stop them from running around the house at forty miles an hour harassing the cat and breaking treasured family heirlooms.
Ethan Holmes newest release, Water, is now available in ebook and paperback. What happens when there is no more water at the faucet or the store?
Ethan Holmes is the author of Live Your Life In A Crap Free Zone, a humorous look at real life and the many choices presented to us. Available in both Ebook and paperback.
Pick up your free Ebook copy of Shorts and Other Laundry, a ‘best of’ collection of short stories from author Ethan Holmes. It’s also available on all other Ebook providers such as Apple, Sony, Nook, etc..