To Gluten or not to Gluten?

Juliana Curtis


I understand that some people actually have real reasons not to eat gluten, whether it is Celiac disease, gluten intolerance or anything along those lines. However, for the rest of those that have banished gluten from their daily diet just to be trendy or lose a few pounds, I have a few issues with you.

I traveled to Disneyland this past weekend with my sorority, which brought loads of laughter, joy and pictures. And food. Lots and lots of food.

One sister of mine in particular caused my laughter to stop for a moment, however, when I noticed her eating slices of fresh mango amidst the rest of us eating our deep-fried disasters.

My first question was, “Where did she even find fresh fruit at Disneyland?” And the second, “Why does she have to do that in front of me while I scarf down a gigantic corndog?”

When I brought these questions to her, she informed me that she absolutely had to find a snack that was gluten-free. This is where the real problems began.

Those with Celiac Disease are unable to digest gluten, making them sick if they do eat it. If you have been blessed with the ability to digest gluten and you choose to ignore that and deprive yourself of the beautiful protein, especially at the Happiest Place on Earth, a.k.a. a gluten-lover’s dream, I find it extremely upsetting.
For those of you that are lost, gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye and barley. If you ever have any doubt about whether a food has gluten in it, first check if the food tastes delicious. If the answer is yes, then, yes, the food most likely has gluten in it.

Gluten was never seen as an enemy until the last couple of years when the gluten-free diet trend began. People everywhere began requesting gluten-free versions of everything from pizza to cookies. If you have ever tried a gluten-free version of a food and claimed that it was equally tasty as the real deal, you were lying.

Despite my obviously strong negative feelings about gluten-free food, I do appreciate its existence. My friends who do suffer from Celiac actually worship the gluten-free industry for providing them with a slightly more exciting array of food options. However, now people who actually have the ability to digest gluten are hogging all of the gluten-free food, leaving the others with nothing.

This not only makes me upset for my poor gluten intolerant friends, but it also makes me wonder why this trend ever gained popularity in the first place.

So why, gluten-haters? Why are you forcing yourselves to miss out on the wonderful world of wheat? Do you really feel healthier, or is it all just about being hipster? I am actually genuinely curious, so please let me know.