I've been reading a lot online about people or TV shows making fun of people with Celiac Disease or other food allergies. Some people are even going so far online as to write that they want to open up a gluten-free or peanut-free restaurant and then serve gluten-filled and peanut-filled foods to the customers.
Recently, I was eating at a restaurant that had a gluten-free personal pan pizza on its menu. But there was an asterisk next to those words, so my eyes moved down to the bottom of the menu to find out what the asterisk was all about. Turns out, the gluten-free pizza is not recommended for people with a gluten allergy. (Probably due to the fact that the restaurant cooks the pizza in the same oven and using the same kitchen utensils as gluten-filled pizzas leading to cross-contamination, which then renders the gluten-free pizza unsafe for those whose bodies go into attack mode if gluten gets through.)
It's clear to me that this restaurant, like many others, is simply offering gluten-free foods not so that gluten-free people would still be able to eat out but because to these restaurants, a gluten-free diet is a fad diet, and they're just trying to capitalize on it.
(There's a great post about this on Jezebel.com, pleading with people who can eat gluten to JUST EAT IT ALREADY because they're ruining it for people with Celiac Disease and gluten allergies.)
Eating gluten-free is not a fad diet. It is not a weight-loss alternative. You can still gain weight on a gluten-free diet because so much of the gluten-free food that is available is still packaged and processed (think cookies and cake mixes), just like regular packaged and processed food.
Eating gluten-free is a treatment for an incurable autoimmune disease. A REAL DISEASE. It is the only way a person with Celiac Disease can wake up every morning without feeling like they just got run over by a bus.
It really upsets me when people don't take it seriously, assuming that people on a gluten-free diet are just being picky and difficult and making it all up. My husband was sick and in constant pain for six months (including on our honeymoon) before getting his diagnosis. But once he started eating gluten-free, he felt 100 times better.
Sure, it might be funny to poke fun at how disgusting gluten-free food tastes. But that's another falsehood. I've eaten gluten-free food. There are plenty of gluten-free food brands that make some AMAZING food. You can find some of our favorite gluten-free products here.
If you're a restaurant and want to offer gluten-free food, take it seriously or don't do it all. If you're a food manufacturer and want to offer gluten-free food, take it seriously and pay attention to the FDA's new gluten-free guidelines for labeling something "gluten-free".