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December 15, 2016

Food fads come and go but this one has been sticking (sorry!) around for a while now. Some science was applied, and then in the way that science works, some more science came along. Writing about science working correctly seemed to be a suitable topic for an article in Australasian Science magazine.

The Bloated Truth About Gluten

I lived in the Blue Mountains West of Sydney for several years, an area which gave every impression of being the food fad capital the world. I remember having coffee in a cafe where the salt and-pepper containers on the table were labelled "All Natural", neither cane sugar nor aspartame were available to sweeten the coffee and the gluten-free scones disintegrated into a pile of crumbs at the first attempt to break them in half. My local pub bistro advertised gluten-free steak.

Gluten intolerance seems to be the dietary fad du jour, and there is a specific medical condition related to this intolerance. To quote the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners:

"Coeliac disease (CD) is an autoimmune condition affecting at least 1% of the population, many of whom remain undiagnosed. It is characterised by chronic inflammation of the small-intestinal mucosa and triggered by eating gluten. It is challenging to diagnose because of the many and varied ways in which it may present."

You can stick to the story here. (Somebody stop me!!)

I couldn't help myself in a Blue Mountains restaurant and I ordered extra gluten on  this (almost) vegetarian meal.
The waitperson smiled and she came back with an extra slice of toast on the plate.


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