This is why no one entertains!

annetaintoryouropinionFrom Michael Specter’s “Against the Grain: Should You Go Gluten-Free?“:

For many people, avoiding gluten has become a cultural as well as a dietary choice, and the exposition offered an entry ramp to a new kind of life. There was a travel agent who specialized in gluten-free vacations, and a woman who helps plan gluten-free wedding receptions. One vender passed out placards: “I am nut free,” “I am shellfish free,” “I am egg free,” “I am wheat free.” I also saw an advertisement for gluten-free communion wafers.

.       .       .       .       .

There have been a few studies suggesting that people without celiac disease have a reason to eliminate gluten from their diet. But most of the data are unclear or preliminary. Doctors rarely diagnose non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and many don’t believe that it exists. Few people seem to have been deterred by the lack of evidence. “Everyone is trying to figure out what is going on, but nobody in medicine, at least not in my field, thinks this adds up to anything like the number of people who say they feel better when they take gluten out of their diet,” Murray said. “It’s hard to put a number on these things, but I would have to say that at least seventy per cent of it is hype and desire. There is just nothing obviously related to gluten that is wrong with most of these people.’’

(Somehow I think the market for “gluten-free communion wafers” is vanishingly small, but maybe there is a congregation of daily mass-goers in Boulder, Malibu, Berkeley, Brooklyn, or Asheville of which I am unaware.  Gluten-free communion wafers are like sugar-free tonic water:  if you’re drinking such a volume of gin-and-tonic that you really need to get the sugar-free, maybe you should just consider drinking less gin?  In other words, it’s the alcohol, not the sugar, that’s the problem.)

Specter demonstrates how a little knowledge of recent history is helpful when considering the latest diet fad: remember all of the others?  No red meat, vegetarian, vegan.  Low-sugar, no sugar, low-carb, paleo.  Remember when fat was bad, and if you had to have some fat, margarine was a better choice than butter?  And then the fat-free food industry decided to pump more sugars and starches in our old foods to make them palatable without fat?  Yeesh.  That’s what Specter reports is happening in much of the gluten-free packaged food industry:  instead of wheat flour, it’s garbage loaded with potato or rice starch.  And the crazzy just accelerates:

{Physician Peter H. R. Green] went on, “I recently saw a retired executive of an international company. He got a life coach to help him, and one of the pieces of advice the coach gave him was to get on a gluten-free diet. A life coach is prescribing a gluten-free diet. So do podiatrists, chiropractors, even psychiatrists.’’ He stopped, stood up, shook his head as if he were about to say something he shouldn’t, then shrugged and sat down again. “A friend of mine told me his wife was seeing a psychiatrist for anxiety and depression. And one of the first things the psychiatrist did was to put her on a gluten-free diet. This is getting out of hand. We are seeing more and more cases of orthorexia nervosa”—people who progressively withdraw different foods in what they perceive as an attempt to improve their health. “First, they come off gluten. Then corn. Then soy. Then tomatoes. Then milk. After a while, they don’t have anything left to eat—and they proselytize about it. Worse is what parents are doing to their children. It’s cruel and unusual treatment to put a child on a gluten-free diet without its being indicated medically. Parental perception of a child’s feeling better on a gluten-free diet is even weaker than self-perception.”

AnneTaintoryourlifestyleIt is sad that we can be so food-obsessed and yet so fat and ill-nourished at the same time.  We North Americans really should be ashamed of ourselves.  If world wars and national emergencies don’t impose rationing on us, we just impose our own!  What our grandparents and great-grandparents wouldn’t have done in 1932 for a juicy steak, for a gallon of milk and a loaf of honest bread in 1937, or in 1943 for a pound of butter and a dozen eggs.

This summer, I read both French Kids Eat Everything: by Karen Le Billion and Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing Up Bébé:  One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.  (Short review:  Le Billion’s book is focused on food and eating, while Druckerman’s is a more comprehensive comparison of the French versus North American cultures of parenting.  Druckerman’s book is funnier and smarter, but both books by North Americans married to French men are written as though neither man has any responsibility for raising his own children.  That’s a pretty powerful continuity across cultural lines, but it remains utterly unexplored by either author.)

One clear takeaway from both books is the inviolable French etiquette of eating everything you’re served as a guest, and of being appreciative of what you’re served.  In France, even now when North America is on Gluten Lockdown, that involves a massive amount of bread baked with white flour–or in other words, pure poison.

I used to entertain a lot–large cocktail parties, small and medium-sized dinner parties, informal barbecues, and the like.  But I got older, I got busier, and I got less interested in cooking.  But I wonder how much of that was increasing fatigue over the past fifteen years from attempting to accommodate my guests’ allergies/preferences/fads.  If so, that was my mistake.  Since I serve edible food (non-poisonous, found at farmers’ markets and grocery stores, properly cooked or otherwise prepared), I should have have had the courage to let my guests make their own decisions as to whether or not they would eat.  They are adults, or at least not babies, for the most part so that’s just what I’ll do from now on.

35 thoughts on “This is why no one entertains!

  1. We are very eager for DC2 to be able to eat wheat without getting rashes all over (something she will hopefully be able to do some day). Until then, we’re totally on board with the gluten-free fad– it makes a lot of stuff much easier for us.

    In terms of entertaining, we provide lots of variety and more food than anyone could eat. We’re from the midwest and that’s what we would do anyway. Though if we know we’re going to be entertaining only vegetarians, we will go completely meatless. I think we haven’t entertained much simply because we’re too busy with all the mandatory kids stuff to want or need to entertain much.

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  2. I was on the no FODMAP diet for several months last year, and it was a true pain. I missed the bread, but going without onions and garlic was far worse. (There’s a really odd list of foods that you can’t eat, and it doesn’t make logical sense, so you just have your list and memorize it.) For many years I didn’t eat meat, but even then, my rule was that when I was a guest, I was a guest.

    I do have a friend (who I’m entertaining tonight) who has celiac disease; I can do no gluten, and I can do vegetarian and vegan. But you’re right, when you are balancing X who has this need and Y who has this one, it’s really hard.

    The Specter article made me want to go back to bread baking. Long and slow is the rule, clearly!

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  3. I think the kernel of truth here is to not eat a lot of refined starches and sugars. The French may eat a lot of bread, but they aren’t eating double pizza Hut with a side of cinnamon stick bread sticks and a chocolate cookie pie for dessert (which I seriously saw advertised during the fucken Iggles game yesterday).

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  4. It’s really frustrating for me, as a person with celiac disease, to read posts like this that seem to somehow leap from “there are people who are gluten-free that don’t need to be” to “gluten-free products/people are ridiculous.” I mean, yes gluten-free communion wafers probably wouldn’t exist without fad dieters, but I promise that at least some of the people using them have celiac and hadn’t had a communion wafer in decades.

    And I don’t have any personal experience with France, but I know that other parts of Europe have had readily available gluten-free products for much longer than the US has. I had gluten-free bread and pasta in restaurants in Spain at a time when that was impossible to find in the US. I’ve heard that Paris has some amazing gluten-free bakeries.

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  5. Historiann,

    I am one of those people who agrees with you about food fads. Indeed, I’ve started studying their history. Yet there’s one part of that massive article that made me rethink my longtime suspicion of the gluten-free lifestyle (people w/ Celiac’s excepted), namely the idea that industrial bread producers might actually be adding extra gluten because…well, because they’re industrial bread producers.

    The parallel here would be sugar. High Fructose Corn Syrup is “natural” in the sense that it comes from natural ingredients, but it’s not like it really appears in nature and look what that has done to so many of us. I don’t think the solution is to stop eating sugar entirely or to stop eating gluten entirely (again, people w/ Celiac’s excepted). Just lay off the heavily processed foods as that crap’ll kill you six ways to Sunday.

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  6. There’s no such thing as food produced on an industrial scale that’s good for anyone, whether it’s got gluten or extra gluten or no gluten at all. As Susan says above, real food takes time, and I agree with her implication that there’s a price to pay for shortcuts (like adding gluten to industrial bread.)

    Celiac disease is real disease, but as the article stated, it’s a disease that truly afflicts about 1% of the population. Neither this article nor my commentary could be reasonably construed as an attack on the people who suffer from the real disease. The objects of my derision are those who self-diagnose a fake disease, regardless of the evidence.

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  7. I guess the one good effect of the anti-gluten fad is that people with celiac disease can find suitable food products more easily.

    Other than that, it’s a Katy-bar-the-door situation. It’s sweeping Southern California like wildfire in our drought. I get the distinct vibe from some of the fusspots that their motivation is to feel like a special sensitive snowflake, too delicate for crude food.

    I’m probably being grumpy and uncharitable. Wouldn’t be the first time.

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  8. . . . “too delicate for crude food.” This is a big theme in other eras in culinary history. There’s a whole host of “luncheon dishes” that were usually light on meat (or completely vegetarian) that were considered more suitable for ladies’ appetites. I’m not living proximate to my cookbook collection so I can’t give you any citations on this, but the idea was that women who had the time to attend club lunches–mostly white, mostly middle-class or elite women who didn’t need to work for money–had such refined constitutions that they needed special food to preserve and advertise their delicacy. I think if you looked at the Settlement cookbook or Mrs. Beeton’s, or some others of the later 19th century, you’d get a sense of what I’m talking about. It was a pretty straight line from those dishes to the molded main-course gelatin salads of the mid-20th century.

    IOW, food fetishes (from sugar-free to fat free to gluten free, etc., or from veganism versus paleo, for example) are usually about establishing or preserving class, racial, and often gender boundaries. And of course, the language that’s always deployed is that of health and wellness.

    I read about this stuff years ago in Laurie Shapiro’s Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the [Nineteenth] Century. It was a really good book–ahead of its time for the 1980s. (As the title indicates, it was published in the 20th century, so that’s the “turn of the century” she’s writing about.)

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  9. H’Ann, I was going to say aspics were one of those lunch dishes (not gelatin salads, real aspics); and if you look at a 1950s edition of Joy of Cooking, you’ll get some of these “lunch dishes”.

    What’s really funny now is that you see a product in the grocery store that is labeled “gluten free”, but it’s something that wouldn’t have gluten anyway.

    I do think the point CPP and Jonathan Rees made about refined sugars and starches, and heavily processed foods is the key. As with the “sugar-free” and “fat-free” foods, “gluten-free” breads, cookies, etc. are often made possible by otherwise not very healthy ingredients.

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  10. Your posts are usually on target, but this one is unfair and, regrettably, even intolerant. Just substitute “vegetarian” for gluten free and you will see what I mean. It’s actually even worse than that, because for some of us avoiding gluten means the difference between a normal life and a much less pleasant life, even without a celiac diagnosis. Please understand that many of us have benefited greatly from reducing or eliminating gluten in our diets. I gave it up about 5 or 6 years ago and have never regretted it for one second. For many of us it is not a “fad diet” and we would never characterize it so flippantly. I remain eternally grateful for the person who recommended it to me. Like some other gluten sensitive people, I very rarely even purchase products marketed as “gluten free” (why conflate the marketers with all of us?) but rather just avoid wheat products and eat all the other good stuff out there–which means eliminating a lot of processed wheat flour products like donuts and cookies that were bad for me anyway. I am not hurting anybody by adopting this diet, and I don’t routinely expect anyone to make things special just for me. If I have to go without eating anything at a social occasion, I will gladly do so without complaining. It sure beats the alternative. But I certainly don’t appreciate the implication that I am violating some “traditional French etiquette” of gratitude for hospitality by refusing to eat gluten. Maybe you were just quoting some authors saying that, but for some reason your criticism of their gender assumptions is strangely lacking on their intolerance of food preference diversity. Please show some compassion. Do you implicitly mock vegetarians this way too? How about people who eat kosher or halal? We’re not asking for you to make special food for us–though many truly wonderful people out there do show such hospitality and go above and beyond–but just don’t treat us like we are crazy faddists who don’t have any good reason for eating the way we are eating.

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  11. My grandmother, who was teetotal, used to drink sugar-free tonic water (sans gin) for the quinine, which had some health benefit or other. And it did seem to be very popular amongst ladies ‘of a certain age’ when I used to work in supermarkets. They all bought a certain brand because it had ‘real’ quinine in it and not just the fake stuff (I had this explained to me several times when trying to offer an alternative when the popular brand sold out).

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  12. The other thing that kills me is the PALIO diet … this seems to mean fat, meat, and salt in very heavy quantities. And I don’t care what the Palio cultists say, it ain’t healthy.

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  13. @smalltownprof That’s Atkins. Paleo includes lots of veggies too. And they get starches, just not grains. As diets go it’s pretty reasonable. Though giving up dairy and legumes has no scientific basis.

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  14. Fad dieting is a truly American or even North American trend. From a kernel of truth and wisdom blossoms a lot of different products. When we think back to the fad origins of breakfast cereal or the fortieth anniversary of the Moosewood Cookbook (I just saw Mollie Katzen’s tweet about that!), there are milestones in our gustatory history that happen because of such sweet spots in the historical developments of the day. Would that intriguing handbook of vegetarian cuisine have made a mark if it wasn’t for the timing? Probably not so much.

    The same thing goes for gluten-free dieting today. For some people it’s pretty much a lifesaver. For others, it’s about calling out to their worries or their status. The appeal of this way of eathing ties into a number of current concerns regarding processed foods, the growing awareness of food sensitivities or allergies and so forth. Now pretty much everyone knows someone who’s going gluten-free. (Full disclosure: we’re on a modified version of the Paleo diet – the Primal diet – which is a HECK of a lot of work because I prepare tonnes of veggies, fruit and some meat pretty much from scratch.)

    It’s also an interesting commentary on how we’re recreating the valorization of kitchen-work today: you’ll do it if you love your family because packaged foods are horrible for them! I always contrast that in my mind to The Feminine Mystique and its discussion about the marketing of packaged foods back in the fifties.

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  15. My husband has some auto immune deficiency issues and a few years ago his doctor suggested going gluten free for a while to see if he noticed a difference. I was *stunned* at how expensive gluten free products were! Thanks goodness his experiment was short lived!

    Plus they tasted pretty crappy. I can’t see why anyone would embrace such a diet unless they absolutely had to for medical reasons.

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  16. Agreed on the food fads. I strongly suspect that the main thing the efficacy of many popular diet/nutrition approaches proves is the strength of the mind/body connection: if you believe it will make you feel better, in many cases it will (which means the effects are, as people insist, real, but may or may not be the direct effect of a particular dietary modification). I also suspect that CPP correctly points out another piece of the puzzle: that a concerted effort to change one’s diet by eliminating a particular substance involves attention to one’s diet in general, and, at least until eliminating a certain ingredient becomes widely popular, probably moves on in the direction of cooking more things from scratch, and generally eating more foods that are less processed.* This second point may also explain why widely-popular dietary modifications wane: not only do people get tired of following the diet, but highly-processed foods that incorporate the dietary modification become available.

    All that said, there’s a logic to the market for gluten-free communion wafers: many churches strive to make communion as inclusive an experience as possible (while admittedly also imposing some limits on who can partake; whether the limits or the inclusivity matter more varies by denomination and congregation, and in fact probably correlates quite closely with other elements of the denomination/congregation’s philosophy; it’s something of a litmus test). If even one person in the congregation does not consume gluten, it becomes important to be able to offer a gluten-free alternative. So, for several years, my congregation (which doesn’t use wafers) served glutino crackers to those who couldn’t eat the bread the rest were eating. But that’s a hassle, and also singles some people out, so we’ve moved to serving everybody gluten-free bread. There are losses involved — the texture isn’t great, especially if it gets even the least bit stale between being cut up and being served, and we no longer get to enjoy a variety of home-made loaves made by church members (on the other hand, we no longer find ourselves wrestling with the occasional overly-dense or still-frozen loaf made by a well-meaning member) — but it does get us back to the idea of sharing a meal together. In fact, figuring out how to serve communion (discussion of which takes up an inordinate amount of the worship committee’s time, at least at my church) is very much like figuring out how to give a party, or serve a family holiday dinner, in terms of wanting to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable, while juggling all the participants’ strong, often conflicting feelings & opinions about what actions send those messages/make that possible.

    *All of this said with the awareness that people have wildly different definitions of “processed,” and also that individual people really do have allergies and sensitivities. I start wondering when a large number of people decide that it’s necessary to stop consuming that most people have consumed with no apparent problem for centuries. At that point, it seems likely that either (1) the food has changed in some way (something added, something taken away, both of which are possible), or (2) learned attitudes toward the food are producing effects that may or may not be directly related to the food itself. While #2 isn’t the only explanation for people’s experiences, I think it does play a role.

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  17. P.S. have you heard the term “orthorexia” — not an official diagnosis, but a description of an obsession with eating correctly, to the point that it interferes with other activities and relationships (https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/orthorexia-nervosa )? The language in the description also reflects the extent to which our growing obsession with “healthy” behaviors seems to parallel the more-obsessive forms of religious practice (which, of course, doesn’t mean that either healthy eating or religious practice is inherently obsessive or bad, just that either can be taken to an extreme, with the sort of ill effects on individuals and relationships that you describe).

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  18. CC–that’s a really good point about gluten-free wafers. I was pretty dismissive of that, because I was thinking of it from a demand-side point of view. From the supply-side, of course, it makes perfect sense: why not serve gluten-free to everyone so that no one is singled out and everyone can take communion without fear? If one has celiac disease, even a little gluten can be a major problem.

    I have several acquaintances who I think comply with a long list of (self-imposed) rules about eating because it’s the only way they feel they can control themselves around food. So I think it’s highly likely that orthorexia is intimately connected to overeating and binge-eating, much the way that anorexia nervosa and bulimia are interrelated disorders.

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  19. @ej
    Gluten-free is both tastier and cheaper than it was, even in just the past 2 years. That’s one of the reasons we’re happy about the fad here at Casa Grumpy.

    Confidentially, I suspect these fad diets are all about helping me get through my fertility-related diet restrictions. Atkins/low-carb/HFCS-is-bad helped me deal with insulin resistance and borderline gestational diabetes with the first, and this gluten-free thing has worked wonders for the wheat allergy (I had while pregnant, she still has) with my second. I assume all food fads will all disappear as soon as DC2 gets over her wheat allergy and we decide not to have a third. Because my needs while pregnant are obviously the center of the food universe.

    Though it was embarrassing at restaurants to be all, “I need gluten-free” and have the waitress roll her eyes and then I’d go, “No no, it’s a wheat allergy. I throw up if I get even the amount of wheat in Worcestershire sauce.” And she’d be all, “Oh, I had a friend with that! He was in a frat and couldn’t drink beer. It was so sad.” Ok, that only happened once. Still, now it’s so much easier to get it standard (for DC2) without any judgment.

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  20. A few weeks ago there was another annoying Time magazine article about diet —- I think Michael Pollan or Bittman —- that was very judgey about of course you should cook everything from scratch yourself and have family dinners around the dinner table. What I thought was interesting, and what was totally unsourced/footnoted, was the claim that for the majority of people who eat the SAD (Standard American Diet), the single item they eat the most is pastries. Also it claimed that 13 percent of Americans eat nothing at all besides pizza. IF that is true, and I have no citations, then going to a gluten-free diet would be of immense help, and not because they had a gluten intolerance, but because they are eating nothing but pastries and pizza. (How do they define pastries? Seriously, pastries? The mind boggles.)

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  21. I know what you mean, Sisyphus. When the low carb/no carb stuff started coming in about 15-20 years ago, it made sense to me why people would lose weight. Because junk food is mostly carbs, so if you cut out the junk, voila, right? (IOW, you can still eat the mashed potatoes if you skip the mounts of pretzels and doritos before dinner!)

    “SAD” is just too lolsob.

    Full confession: I am a food snob myself, in that in my ordinary life I try to prepare and eat fresh, whole foods for the most part, and I recognize that that’s wrapped up in my own class status and biases. But I have to say that living 4 blocks from a Trader Joe’s is super easy and fun. Why cook in a tiny kitchen when I can have TJ’s frozen entrees? It’s made of stuff that’s mostly recognizeable as the food originally harvested from the field or the ocean, and doesn’t taste like a TV dinner. (Mostly).

    Trader Joe’s is what people with postgraduate degrees have instead of picking up a Hungry Man dinner.

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  22. It sure is nice to live in the land of plenty where people of modest means can accommodate any diet they choose, batshit crazy or not. After spending time in the developing world, grocery stores here are just … sensory overload. All of those choices, and the abundance, is unprecedented in human history and just as unnatural as high fructose corn syrup could ever be. Seriously.

    Historiann, have you tried the trendy q tonic water? One of its selling points is that it has less sugar, but I have to admit I miss the cloying sweetness of Schweppes. HFCS FTW!

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  23. Although I’m sure that shopping the perimeter of the store and struggling to cook from scratch to avoid processed food is a marker of class, once educated about soy’s presence throughout the packaged food world, the factory farm antibiotics, the pursuit of less chemically altered food is very appealing. The blogger quoted here appears to know nothing of using paleo/elimination diets to self test for intolerances or that many people who eliminate gluten who are non-celiacs find allergies or joint pain disappear once the gluten effects clear the system. It could be placebo effect, but a reintroduction plan has one reintroduce foods one by one to see what irritates and what doesn’t. If you are gluten free and avoiding processed food, you aren’t buying into a consumer fad or being duped by labels, except maybe one for CSAs (bourgeois badge again); you just skip grains. I found that consumption of processed foods and aging mean that as I get older I can’t tolerate what I once did. Too many treats or quick meals, savory or sweet from the TJ freezer case, no matter how fancy, and I’m too soy/canola/hyrdologized yeast/safflower saturated and feeling bad and OLD from SAD.If going paleo is a trick of the mind but I feel better, I’ll take it. And fats are good for you and fats don’t make you fat. Omega 6 fats can make you sick; but butter, coconut oil, and animal fat from cleanly raised animals are fine.

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  24. there once was a paranoid nation
    when it came to transubstantiation
    the body of Christ
    changed from wheat into rice
    but still tasted more fusion than Asian

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  25. I went all Andrew Weil about 10 years ago: go through your kitchen amend get rid of all foods that have things in them that are a mystery to you, and eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Stopped eating fast food and realized that there are no “healthy snacks” that come in cellophane bags. This year I cut sugar and carbs way back, and upped my exercise and weight lifting. No need for fancy stuff or gluten free — stop eating $hit, exercise more. I keep thinking Americans want to be thin and fit the easy way — they think there is some gimmick, when it is mostly the quality of the calories going in and getting a moderate amount of exercise that is the key.

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  26. There are good reasons to find Michael Pollan irritating, but I’ve still seen no better diet guideline than “eat food, not to much, mostly plants.”

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  27. I live in a very rural and conservative part of the U.S. At my Presbyterian church, communion consists of little pieces of bread (roughly crouton-sized) passed around the congregation in a big brass plate. Everyone takes a piece of bread and passes the plate along. In the middle of the regular little pieces of bread is a paper container of gluten-free bread. I am sure the worship committee does it out of inclusivity. I have no idea if anyone takes it, but I’m glad we offer it.

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  28. Part of this always strikes me as a desire for the social function of dietary restrictions. It’s like a secularized version of keeping kosher: it marks you as belonging to a certain group, with certain implied values.

    Sometimes a group with no food taboos just needs to create some.

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  29. “The blogger quoted here appears to know nothing of using paleo/elimination diets to self test for intolerances or that many people who eliminate gluten who are non-celiacs find allergies or joint pain disappear once the gluten effects clear the system.”

    Having been diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2008 after gaining unexplained weight for several years with no change in diet (have always been an average weight and moderately active), I was put on Synthroid. I also developed a nodule on my thyroid. No explanation about diet changes that might be beneficial were provided by the dr. at that time. Seven years later having put on additional weight, dealing with brain fog and allergies that I never had before to some dairy, some wine and other unidentified food sources (immediately after ingesting such foods, I would become completely congested and sometimes not stop sneezing for a time; this would disappear within an hour if I stopped eating/drinking the offending item), and remaining tired and experiencing body aches despite the Synthroid, I went to a functional medicine dr. He suggested that I had Hashimoto’s, which I was never told by two previous physicians, and he thought that I would perhaps feel better by following Paleo diet. I was tested for it, and it came back positive. I am now embarking on a Paleo diet which also seems to support a Type O blood type. I am hoping that I can determine the source of my allergic reactions.

    Do I like the additional work prepping my foods and the expense of grass-fed meat? No, it is a hassle, but I am seeing a drop in weight and feeling better overall. I do not buy “gluten-free” products which are crap. The real issue is that our food is not being grown the way it was many years ago. Local farms abounded where I grew up, and very few exist now. The ground that our vegetables are grown in is oftentimes depleted of the minerals and enzymes that supported healthy bodies in the past. In a family where almost all of the women are being diagnosed with thyroid issues and experience hives, cysts, eczema and allergies for the first time in their lives as they go through hormonal changes, this is not something anyone is making up. My niece is 18, and last year she lost her thyroid to cancer and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. The antibodies continue even without her thyroid. Experts in the field have told my sister that her daughter must remain on a gluten-free diet. People who have one autoimmune condition often develop other ones. While people may love to shout out that they are gluten free and cannot partake in the food offered at a friend’s dinner party, there are many of us who will literally impact our health by eating it and manage it quietly. Please do not be so flip about your comments. I miss my delicious wheat-based breads and homemade pasta and occasional homemade mozzarella! Working on finding a tasty replacement for my Irish Soda bread as well!

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  30. Pingback: Thursday round-up: the death becomes us edition | Historiann

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