A friend of mine (who all commentary aside has done an incredible job building a health and lifestyle business) recently posted a picture of a “yummy” home delivered dinner. It was composed of an imposter (nettle gnocchi), super duper extra organic fruits and veggies, and the piece de resistance…a slice of GLUTEN FREE bread. It looked like one of those meals where when you finish you’re actually MORE hungry than when you started. You burned more energy digesting the 300 calories.
YUMMY IN MY TUMMY?
Before we move forward, let’s all get on the same page in regards to the word “yummy”. The 2016 edition of Webster’s Dictionary defines “yummy” as follows:
Adjective, yummier, yummiest
Not delicious at all, used on social media platforms to describe something the intelligentsia says you should love but in reality is barely edible, all parties know the entire thing is a sham
My goji berry stew is yummier than your New York strip
The sad part to me about the post wasn’t the imposter food or the abnormally low calorie count, it was the comments sections. Several moms could barely contain their excitement that it included GLUTEN FREE bread. One noted that their kid hadn’t seen bread in years. I moderate my bread intake, but is a few slices a day a health apocalypse? Shoot, for dinner tonight we stuffed our kids and ourselves full of bread draped in bubbling provolone. It was awesome.
I suppose we should have a very brief primer on gluten. Back to the dictionary:
A substance present in cereal grains, especially wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. A mixture of two proteins, it causes illnesses in people with celiac disease.
This pizza dough would suck without gluten.
What is celiac disease? Celiac is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Not fun. BUT, go look up any source and you’ll find that 1% of the population suffers from celiac disease. Further, you are more susceptible to celiac if a close relative suffers. In other words, your kid has a 99% chance of not having it, and a greater than 99% chance if you don’t. Based on my shoddy research for this blog, there are about 300 known symptoms for celiac disease, making it an easy diagnosis for Internet doctors everywhere (we’re all guilty). This also explains parallel diagnoses like “gluten intolerance” and “gluten insensitivity”.
They’re sharks in extra bloody chum.
I heard a stand up comedian talking about gluten a few years back. His point? It’s in almost everything. A sampling of items includes; pasta, bread, flour tortillas, cookies, cakes, muffins, pastries, cereal, crackers, beer, dressings, sauces, candies, lunch meats and hot dogs. To make it simple, childhood (minus the beer) is smothered in gluten. Deny your kid at their own peril. We’ve all seen what happens when they are faced with a cupcake or God forbid my pantry (aka where South Beach diets go to die). They’re sharks in extra bloody chum. It’s 3 p.m. in the afternoon. Do you know what your child is doing with gluten at their friend’s house?
Oh yeah, and are we really sure that gluten is such a bad actor? I could provide you with a host of links to articles supporting both sides of the gluten argument, but everyone here knows how to conduct a Google search. That, and I’ve already crapped on Internet medical expertise. Still, it continues to amaze me how much we don’t know despite our scientific advances. Remember when cholesterol was killing us? Seen the recent findings on that one? How about avocados? Those bastards were a no go only a few short years ago. Now? What the guac?
A MODERATE PROPOSAL
Common sense appears to be on the downswing across our country, fanned by fantasy lives on social media. It turns out that Hunger Games was indeed a prophetic commentary on modern society. Is there really much difference anymore between Palo Alto or Austin and Panem? Should it be so shocking that Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have wild support in District 12? Someone has to appeal to the masses who just want normal jobs and gluten sandwiches, regardless of how those ends are achieved.
The answer, of course, is moderation. No future study will conclude that moderation is a bad idea, and nothing you are eating now is rat poison. Heck, even rat poison in moderation won’t kill you.
Stop feeding yourself and your family “yummy” food. You’re lying. You know it. They know it. Cook at home most nights, don’t pound soda and booze, serve normal portions of a variety of foods and have dessert now and then. Life is too short to eat pasta made of weeds. Let the taste of gluten coat your throat, unless of course you truly have celiac disease (as diagnosed by someone other than your Internet doctor). At that point, ignore everything I have said above.
Am I uniformed? Does this post make you mad? Anger isn’t yummy, but I’ve thrown down the gluten gauntlet and I’d welcome your feedback. I’ll get back to you after my yoga class, because Yoga is Super Manly. I didn’t say I wasn’t a part time resident of Panem.