“Oh sorry, can I please have my pizza with a gluten free base”.
How many times have you heard this at a restaurant or something similar recently? It seems as if every third person you meet is gluten intolerant these days.
Several years back I would meet a person who said they were gluten free and I would look at them in a slightly confused way thinking “wait, what do you mean you don’t eat pasta or bread”? Back then myself, like many of you, probably didn’t really have a concept of what gluten free or being celiac meant. For me I just knew that a person with celiac disease would get a ridiculously sore tummy if they ate gluten and then someone who was gluten free just had a weak stomach and needed to grow a pair of balls or they wanted to be part of a fad.
But today it would be weird to come across a family, let alone a friend group which didn’t have at least one member who was gluten free. And that “fad” which I thought would just be a fad certainly hasn’t been. It is now estimated that 1 in 100 people are gluten intolerant and explains why the gluten free section in the supermarket seems to be getting bigger and bigger. It better not start encroaching on the international foods section otherwise I will start complaining.
I’m not that into science but I should probably explain why so many people around us have sore tummies. When someone is celiac and they put a delicious piece of ciabatta bread into their mouth, their body basically throws a tantrum. The body mounts an immune response which attacks the small intestine resulting in a range of rather unpleasant symptoms such as feeling bloated and gasy, vomiting, constipation and stomach aches. Currently there aren’t any treatments to stop gluten intolerance besides avoiding it all together, which seems like a rather sad option considering how many people have this problem. I just feel sorry for all the proud Italian pasta brands who have been forced to create sub-par pasta. You can hear the chefs swearing and waving their arms around in defiance to this growing demand!
Luckily for anti-glutes they seem to be able to buy everything in a gluten-free version now but I think the one thing that still hasn’t been nailed quite yet is bread. All gluten-free bread seems dense and heavy. A friend even said to me the other day that if a burglar came into her house she could probably knock them out with her gluten-free bread brick. Try explaining that one to the ADT guy. But most other products are doing well to replicate their superior gluten counterparts.
What I do have to say is that I feel sorry for anyone who is gluten intolerant because you really are missing out on some of the finest things in life, like hot garlic bread straight off the braai! But society is doing its best to accommodate everyone’s needs. As long as there are less people complaining about their sore and bloated tummies then I think it’s best for everyone involved to listen to their stomachs and to choose a diet which keeps their tum-tums happy.