Gluten free are two words that have been popping up on food labels all over the place. Just how real is this whole gluten free craze?
The gluten free aisle of the supermarket used to be a pretty small one, and one that only people with a genuine intolerance to gluten would usually visit. Today, the gluten free section has exploded and those two words are emblazoned on packaging for everything from bread (which contains gluten in the wheat) to hard boiled sweets (did these ever really had gluten in the first place?).
Gluten has certainly changed shape in recent years, as intensive growing techniques have spurned new types of grain that are not as they should be in nature. Blaming gluten for a whole range of health and diet issues has become the norm however, and this begs the question, just how much can we attribute to this stuff?
From the growing base of commentary that we need to watch how much gluten we eat, now comes a new line of thought whereby we need to stop blaming it for everything. Like most crazes, it’s gotten out of hand and people are racing to buy overpriced gluten free products like never before. Bloating and other digestive disorders are being put down to gluten, but in many cases there could be other aspects of diet or lifestyle that are causing the issues. Gluten free products simply don’t cut it when a lifestyle change is in order.
The gluten free race is characteristic of our need to find silver bullet solutions to everything. Following the words on packaging and blindly accepting the claims that producers and manufacturers make is not the road to success. We need to each take a good, hard look at what we eat and how we live and make a decision that takes in everthing about how we live and consume. This is a much more effective way to go about our shopping, and indeed our lives, than zoning in on one particular issue.