All posts filed under: Rants

LIFESTYLE EATING- (3)

Lifestyle eating? Why coeliac disease is NOT a lifestyle choice

Coeliac disease is not a lifestyle choice ‘Gluten-friendly’, ‘Gluten-conscious’ and ‘Lifestyle Eating’are just a few of the strange and questionably legal labels I’ve seen applied to gluten free food recently. ‘Freefrom’ is the term that has traditionally been used to label gluten free, dairy free, and other allergen-free foods in supermarkets. Unfortunately, I was greeted with a rather less useful sign when I walked into Sainsbury’s this week: ‘Lifestyle eating’. I got a bit cross, and after some nudging from the excellent Gluten Free B, I decided to break my blogging silence and write about it properly. ‘Lifestyle eating’ insinuates that eating gluten free (or any allergen-free) is a lifestyle choice, which is rather insulting when you have to eat that way due to a chronic health condition. It perpetuates the assumption that people with coeliac disease and/or food allergies are fussy and faddy, and this has a direct consequence for people with coeliac disease; it leads to people catering for us taking us less seriously and potentially making us ill when they think that ‘a little bit won’t hurt’. Rebranding …

dailymail

Gluten Free Hate: Easy Money for British Newspapers

(just in case you’d forgotten the worst clickbait-master of them all…) Have you seen today’s gluten free clickbait? This ‘gluten free hate’ article in the Guardian has triggered a mixed (mostly bad?) reaction in the coeliac community today. I am accustomed to seeing stuff of this ilk from the Daily Mail and The Spectator, but have to confess I was disappointed to see it in The Guardian. The article follows the classic internet tradition of riling people up to get clicks. Clicks = advertising money, and gluten free dieters are an easy target. You might think as a coeliac, that I would be on the side of the author. Sure, I do an inward eyeroll* when someone tells me that they are ‘going gluten free’ because ‘it’s healthier’ or because they think it will help them lose weight. Or when someone says they are gluten intolerant, but eats gluten when it suits them. As I’ve written about before, there are problems with the way that ‘gluten free’ has become less of a strict medical term, and more of a ‘healthy’ buzzword. It is …

crossedgrain

“Gluten Free”…but Not Suitable for Coeliacs

You would be forgiven for assuming that if something is labelled “gluten free” or advertised as a “gluten free option”, then it doesn’t contain gluten and is therefore safe for a coeliac person to eat. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. In the catering world, gluten free does not = safe. Several times in the last few weeks, I’ve walked hopefully into cafes and restaurants advertising gluten free options, only to be told that their “gluten free” options are not actually suitable for coeliacs, or people with allergies to gluten. Who is gluten free food for? “Gluten free” options in restaurants and cafes seem to frequently be aimed not at people with a medical need to avoid gluten, but at people who choose to “go gluten free”. People willing to spend significant money on gluten free foods that they perceive to be “healthier”, “cleaner” or “lighter”, who do not suffer an autoimmune or allergic reaction if they eat gluten, or trace amounts of gluten. In restaurant and cafe environments, this is presenting a problem for coeliacs. We get lured in …

Starbucks: ‘What’s gluten?’

Today I had one of those rage-inducing encounters that I’m sure most coeliacs and gluten-free dieters experience once in a while. This exchange took place in a Starbucks in London. Me: Hi, do you know if any of the hot chocolates are gluten-free? Starbucks Lady: Gluten…free? Me: Erm, Gluten is found in wheat, barley, oats and rye; it might be present in some of the powders and syrups- perhaps you have an allergy checklist I could take a look at? Starbucks Lady: Ahhh I don’t think they are gluten-free. They all have milk in them. Me: I asked about gluten, not milk? Starbucks Lady: Maybe you have the coffee with soy milk. Me: I don’t need soy milk, I just need to know about gluten. Starbucks Lady: The gluten is in the milk. Me: [losing patience] Gluten and dairy are different things – could I just take a look at the ingredients? Starbucks Lady: Maybe you can have the americano. Me: I just want to know about the hot chocolates. Starbucks Lady: But they all have …