Gluten holds bread dough together, which is handy, but it can break up relationships—which is not nearly as cool.
It can help a walnut muffin keep its shape, but it can also drive the one out of a hundred with celiac disease into ill health.
My girlfriend, it appears, wasn’t that one: but she did clamor onto the gluten-free bandwagon.
“Does it have gluten in it?” she would say.
Don’t get me wrong, I would rather have the national debt, her financial situation, whether she comes or farts blamed on gluten instead of me, but I grew tired of her nonsensical, persistent gluten-free obsession and the cultural institutionalization of gluten as a scape goat.
Somebody has to stand up for gluten, and that someone it turns out, is me.
Is it real?
My father was allergic to bees. When he got stung, he ended up in the Emergency Room, semi-comatose, yet still able to hear the doctor and nurse describing his condition as “touch and go.”
“When I don’t eat gluten, I feel much better,” she insisted to anyone who would listen.
At first I didn’t resist. In fact, I joined her in gluten-free living for two months. But as time and the absence of toast and chocolate filled croissants wore on, I had to pop the question.
Not asking if she would marry me, but, “Have you been tested for celiac disease?”
“No,” she replied bluntly, as though I had accused her of being a closet alcoholic.
“I would be glad to pay for the test,” I stammered, attempting to reunite her with an occasional bread stick.
But that was the beginning of our gluten break-up.
Gluten as a solution
A few weeks ago, at a magnificent brunch in Panama City, I chowed down on the pastry musings of a Two Michelin Star Chef. That night I slept like a baby.
It must have been the gluten—it must inspire sound sleep.
Of course, it actually doesn’t. But, if I believed it did, I would need a spoonful of gluten at bedtime or a piece of garlic toast on the bedside table as a sleep aide.
Our national tirade against gluten proves our gullibility: assuming gluten guilty until proven innocent.
I listened as a young mother blamed her babies consistent crying on her own consumption of one slice of wheat toast two days ago. I intervened, changing the babies messy diaper and voila: her “gluten tears” disappeared.
Nobody suffers from (GDD), Gluten Deficient Disorder, only because it hasn’t been invented yet. When it is, there will be a line of people flocking to gluten full foods in the gluten full section of your local gluten full grocery store or gluten restaurant.
Gluten free has become so ubiquitous that it is now occupying the same habitats that gluten used to, making gluten an endangered species.
Save the gluten!
I eat mostly protein and veggies: with little, if any, gluten. But to do so, I don’t have to villainize gluten, avoid it, or keep it out of my house.
I’m starting a group, called “Fans of Gluten.” It seeks equal rights for gluten, a place on the food pyramid, and a mention on packaging.
Currently the group has only two members, but it used to only have one. Thats an increase of 100 percent, a virtual landslide of public sentiment.
Gluten breaks up relationships
Yes, she was perfect for me, we made love late into the night, she was petite, energetic and didn’t fart or burp loudly. She was a hard worker and everything seemed quite good—but I had to leave her. Not because she cheated on me, or because her breath was bad, or we were incompatible, but because of her fundamentalist stance against gluten and untested gluten-free gospel.
I can understand wanting a Big Mac but disciplining yourself to not eat one, or turning your back on cocaine because it chews up your nasal lining, pocket book and feels too good, but the other white powder, as I kiddingly call gluten, hasn’t done any of these things. In fact, there is pretty strong scientific evidence that gluten really isn’t a criminal or culprit except for less than one percent of the population.
So, if you are in the room with a hundred people 99 of them ought to be able to eat a donut or raspberry danish now and then without the world ending.
It’s not real: really
My grandfather claimed to be allergic to coconut. One day my grandmother put his claim to the test. She made him her famous gluten-full apple pie and snuck some coconut invisibly into the crust.
Within minutes of his first bite he was on the floor, bright red and gasping for breath. Once he was breathing again my grandmother apologized, and avoided cooking with coconut.
The other day I was driving back from town. Walking along the side of the road was a woman munching a gluten-full blueberry molasses muffin. How do I know exactly what she was eating? I stopped and asked her.
One thing led to another and this Sunday we are getting together for a hike and then chowing down on my mother’s wheat germ waffles.
Who knows, maybe we will fart later that afternoon. A small price to pay for living a little, loving a lot and sharing a tasty treat.
Author: Jerry Stocking
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Travis May