The Golden Age of Gluten-Free?

My husband ate my blog post. Literally.

I like to take pictures of all the food I post, but I couldn’t this morning because the leftovers traveled down my husband’s gullet last night while I was snoozing. That also meant no leftovers for S for lunch. So instead of bragging about the delicious Chinese noodles with pork and peanut sauce I made, I thought we’d discuss gluten. (Hopefully, the noodles will return in another post later this month.)

There’s a fascinating, well-reported article in the New York Times this week entitled, “Should We All Go Gluten-Free?” and though it’s pretty lengthy, it’s worth a read. While my family does not maintain a gluten-free diet, I do try to limit everyone’s intake by opting for wheat alternatives like brown rice pasta and rice crackers. Last year, the kids and I went grain-free for six months, which of course eliminated all gluten. Did we feel better? Yes, to some extent. But it was hard to tell what the culprit was, because we were completely grain- and dairy-free.

I considered going gluten-free again after we got home from Portugal because the kids’ eczema had gotten much worse. I couldn’t put my finger on it. While we were away we really didn’t eat that much dairy, which I do know incites C’s eczema. Even S’s eczema, which is usually well under control, was scaly, angry and fiery. The only thing I could come up with was bread. They served it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then, there were the croissants and myriad of pastries. Of course, my kids took every opportunity to indulge. How could I blame them? After all, European bread is something different altogether. It’s so much lighter and fluffier. Is it the result of flour with a significantly higher gluten content? I don’t know. But I do think the gluten is to blame for all the dry patches.

The article in the New York Times talks about the growing prevalence of Celiac disease and gluten intolerance and how gigantic corporations, like General Mills, are responding to the need for more gluten-free products in mainstream grocery stores. Is gluten-free here to stay? It sure looks that way.

Are you or your family gluten-free? If so, why? If not, do you think it’s just another fad diet? Let me know.

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