You, I likeAlthough you would be excused for believing that based on all the gluten-free business in the news lately. Apparently tennis superstar Novak Djokovic can attribute his recent success at the French Open, and his winning streak prior, to his new gluten-free diet. Celebrities from Elisabeth Hasselbeck (who actually IS a celiac) to Gwyneth Paltrow are embracing the g-free lifestyle. And now, it's being hailed on the front page of The New York Times that opening a gluten-free bakery can be a great way to make some cash.
I'll be the first to admit that being gluten-free has become super trendy. And while -- as a celiac myself -- I am unbelievably grateful for the gluten-free options that are popping up in every bakery, pizzeria, and brewery (soooooo grateful) the fact that eating gluten-free is seen as being trendy is totally not cool for people like me.
Unlike Paltrow and others who choose this "diet," it's actually a life-saving act for people diagnosed with celiac disease. It's not an allergy that you can become tolerant of at some point. It's an autoimmune response to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye. An autoimmune response that causes people like me to get violently ill and will eventually cause fatal diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, stroke, and diabetes if you continue to consume gluten.
Which is why I really need people to take this seriously, and not see it as "the new Atkins diet." There are some amazing people working in the food industry who get it and go out of their way to help people like me eat safely. Then there's this guy, who thinks that everyone asking about gluten in food is full of s**t and deserves what they get.
So trend-setters, please skip the gluten-free request when you're out to eat, if you're just doing it to see if you'll feel more energetic. (Because you probably will, if you THINK you will.) And leave the annoying food requests to people like me. When you're dining out, that is. Do whatever the heck you want in the privacy of your own home.
Oh, but bakery people, please, please keep on doing what you're doing. I can't wait to try a gluten-free donut that does not suck.
Do you prefer eating gluten-free, even if you're not a celiac?
Image via Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake/Flickr