16 Jan 2013

The Author

Sheryl Goldstein
Sheryl is the founder of The No Gluten Solution: Feeding Family and Friends, which is the culmination of her talents, skills, and her personal desire to develop an effortless style of cooking good food, making her guests comfortable, and always having an excuse for a dinner party.

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Gluten-Free Is Trending

I keep hearing that gluten free eating is a trend.  I posted on Facebook that The National Restaurant Associates voted gluten free food the #8 trend of 2013.   Celebrities are touting that gluten free living has made their lives better even if there is no reason for them to adopt a gluten free diet.  Athletes are eating gluten free and have become unbeatable.  And, it has become so mainstream that comedians like Jimmy Fallon are making gluten free jokes on late night television.

So, I guess I am now a trendy person.  I don’t like to be trendy, but prefer to be the trendsetter.  In fact, I am a trendsetter since I have been advocating the benefits of living gluten free for almost 8 years.  I regret that I didn’t make more noise about the benefits of this lifestyle and had it trending years ago.

If I am sounding a little jaded about the trending of gluten free, you might be right because I often think that if something is a trend it will have no lasting power.  Think of pet rocks, Scarsdale Diet and Beanie Babies; where are they now?  Living gluten free is commitment to my health for a lifetime, not for a moment.

Everyone seems to want to join the gluten free bandwagon.  Food companies are making claims that their products are “gluten free” when, if they contain naturally gluten free ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, rice and corn.  Restaurants are adding gluten free choices to their menus and are willing to adjust existing menu choices to accommodate the diet.  Grocery stores are setting up designated gluten free food aisles.

You would think I would applaud the trend, that I would be grateful for more products in the market, more choices on menus and that the public is responding to my dietary needs.  I am, my life is easier. My complaint is the diet is not always taken seriously since it has become a trend.  When I ask if the food is gluten free I now see eyes rolling and attitude.  I feel like I have to apologize for asking for no gluten.

Living gluten free is more than a trend.  It is here for good and if companies want to be known as a gluten free resource, they need to commit to their products and manufacture them in a gluten free environment.  Restaurants will not only use gluten free ingredients, but also make sure that the food is prepared in dedicated gluten free areas. Groceries will have to offer a full assortment of gluten free foods, not just cookies and crackers.

My advice is, now that Gluten free diets and foods are trending, we should take advantage and ask for more food choices, demand safe food preparation and compel our government to adopt labeling laws.

 

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