This morning I saw on one of the Facebooks groups I belong to someone comment on how excited they were Pillsbury was coming out with a gluten free line. It struck something in me that prompted me to write. So this is my take on mainstream companies jumping on the GF bandwagon. There are not a bunch of executives sitting around a boardroom table going, “gee what a shame there are some people that cannot enjoy one of our products because they cannot eat gluten, let’s develop a line of products for them”. I don’t think any of us is that delusional? It is more like “look how big the GF market is, let’s jump on it and profit from it”. The problem is this. We can’t eat gluten because it makes us sick. People with Celiac disease have an autoimmune disease that doesn’t just make them sick it can actually over time kill them. People like myself who are gluten intolerant, suffer not only the GI problems but also headaches, migraines, insomnia, muscle and joint pain and on and on.
The best thing that ever happened to me was I was diagnosed as being gluten intolerant. Why? Well guess what? I eat better. No refined carbs for me, no high sugar, high fat low-nutrient foods. Fifteen years ago when I went GF I ate mostly lean meats, vegetables and fruits. Over the years there were more and more things like cookies, cakes, breads etc available and I thought whoo hoo, I can eat all the stuff I used to. Now I wonder about that choice. My health started to decline when I started eating all the GF goodies that were not formerly available to me. In hind sight when faced with the same choice I think I would now say sure it’s GF and I can eat it but do I really want to? Here is the question. Should we really get excited about a company providing us with an unhealthy GF product or should we be wary?
In the past couple of years the GF diet has come under fire as being very unhealthy. We have substituted whole grain more nutrient dense foods containing gluten with products made from refined white rice, potato starch and sugar. I have met more sick, over weight diabetics that are gluten free than I can count. Back 15 years ago when I went gluten free, everyone I met that was gluten free was pretty much healthy. I worked in an industry that kind of knew back then gluten was not that great for anyone. But what did we have to replace the cookies and cake with? Nothing, so we skipped the cookie with our afternoon tea and for birthdays we didn’t indulge in the high-fat sugary cake, we substituted things like fruit or other healthy options. I remember one birthday a year after I went GF having a bowl of berries with a candle stuck in it. We have bought into the idea that we are missing out because we didn’t have all the treats everyone else was having. I have stopped complaining about what I am missing and I am thankful because I am forced to eat healthier and take a much better look at what I am eating.
I am not nor ever will be excited when a mainstream company jumps on the GF bandwagon because I know they don’t care a toss about my health just like they don’t care a toss about the gluten eating public, they are in it to make money at the expense of my health. Let’s face it the company has a chubby dough boy as a mascot. Is that what we want to aspire to?