Trendiness and Diets

Posted by Obake on Jul 8, 2011 in Ranting |

In my previous post I covered how I felt about being a fat celiac, and now its time to cover more ground on the topic of celiac as a trendy “diet”. It has been the trend for people without sensitivities/allergies to wheat to go on a gluten free diet for the purpose of losing weight. Besides the fact that diets don’t work long term, and all that jazz, I kind of resent these people.

Sure, it means that gluten free options are more widely available, and more people are aware that it exists at all, and for that I am thankful. However, because it’s trendy, it means that even though we have increased visibility, it also means that we are taken less seriously. Because those people for whom it isn’t a dietary restriction, they can stop at any time, and a minute amount of gluten, say, from a contaminated grill, is unlikely to hurt them. It’s easy for the public to take this into stride that it is just another diet, and act accordingly, not knowing perhaps that it could hurt someone. And it WILL hurt someone. It is hard enough to navigate eating out without this added complication. It’s hard to explain to friends and family how important it is if they think of it as a “diet”. Diets can be dropped. This cannot be stopped, ever.

Eating gluten for me personally means a resurgence of symptoms and physical damage to my intestines. I will pay for it if someone makes the assumption that this is a diet, and not a very real dietary restriction. To me, this is serious. To all of us this is serious. It would be like saying to a diabetic that they should just have a piece of cherry pie, despite the fact that it could seriously hurt them in the form of increased blood sugar. It’s that kind of restriction. But its not treated like it.

Then there is the whole other matter of companies jumping on the gluten free bandwagon because….its trendy and will make them money. I feel like they take advantage of people by doing this. Especially since pretty much any gluten free processed food is already very expensive. But really where it hits home is Gluten Free Bisquick. I’ll be making a post about flour later, but what I want to point out here, and what Gl├╝gle pointed out is that it’s expensive compared to the alternative mixes per ounce.

Ever seen gluten free bread? Bagels? Any bakery item? Note how expensive these things are, and how little you get. And no, it isn’t because the flours are more expensive. It has everything to do with profit. Those things don’t taste as good as what they’re trying to mimic either, to add insult to injury. I am encountering a lot of this deliberate price gouging because a lot of these companies realize that we don’t have many choices to begin with, which means its more likely we’d be willing to pay their price for it. Especially because some of these foods are the only gluten free processed food available to some people and they have no choices. We are creatures of habit, and not all of us have the time to dedicate to cooking for ourselves, and like vultures they sink their claws into us for it.

So we are at an awkward crossroads between having more options than ever before, yet being taken less seriously as a result.

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