Gluten-Free Gluttony

[Trendzilla] Rustichella, Udi's and other companies are riding the latest foodie trend

Since when did a gluten-free diet turn from a necessary lifestyle choice for poor, bloated souls into part of the organic/raw/vegan/low-carb/paleo/caveman/you're-so-annoying-I'm-gonna-punch-you food trend? It has gotten so bad you can't even tell anymore if that customer at a restaurant who asked for 50 modifications to his sandwich actually suffers from celiac disease or is just a twit.

Then again, maybe there's a there there. According to a 2011 New York Times article, 1 in 133 people suffer from celiac disease, which makes the population of bright-eyed people shopping in the gluten-free aisle at Mother's Market a little more understandable. But their wheatless existence isn't flavorless: The surge in gluten-free lifestyles has led to a boom of products, some of which are actually edible.

There are others you want to avoid. Take French Meadow's Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie. It looks straight out of Mrs. Field's oven, but tastes like hollow sadness soaked in Splenda. The cookies remind me of those awesome store-brand ones with the pink frosting and sprinkles that make you feel as though you're gonna die after eating one . . . except with no flavor to make them worthwhile.

Gluten-free pasta is hardly better. Rustichella makes a rice-and-corn substitution in pretty boxes, but the package is about the only good thing; the pasta is awkwardly chewy and will absorb the flavor of whatever you pair it with instead of complement it.

The one gluten-free foodstuff companies seem to have perfected is bread. Udi's makes every kind of multigrain, flax-seed, baked-with-birdseed bread you can imagine, and the loaves taste close to the real thing. The only obvious difference is the texture—light and airy, not as dense as normal bread.

But don't go thinking these foods will slim you down, says Pat Douglas, an honest-to-goodness diagnosed gluten-intolerant gal. "Some people think this food can make you lose weight, but that's not true," she says. "You still have to watch what you eat."

 

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27 comments
Joe Smith
Joe Smith

The wheat of today is far different from that even from the 80's. Monfucko has been manipulating nature and it wreaks havoc on your insides. Marksdailyapple.com has a lot of serious research links about how your body can't fully digest grains due to some of the properties of the plant. Its not a fad, it's good health. Keep eating your crapdonalds & enjoy your diabetes & cancer.

Jeff Schneidewind
Jeff Schneidewind

Friends who switched recently explain all gluten is GMO-ed now, like corn.

Ambra Rieger
Ambra Rieger

I's a fad that makes 4.2 Billion. Barley, wheat and grains are good for you.. Dairy is bad!

Poppy Figueroa
Poppy Figueroa

I have Celiacs and how retarder are u writer, it's not our faults that its a huge issue and stores are making good money off us who get deathly ill from eating it... Gustavo y asked me once to give u an example if the OC weekly going down hill theist year or so... Well here is a prime example. Write an article on shit that is relevant and will do good rather then offend, and bully others. Gone are the days that I look forward to grabbing that amazing OC weekly to see what's going on, what's new and what will make me laugh...

Marie Handl
Marie Handl

Quinoa pasta is good, or just go for spaghetti squash if it's available! Also Annie's gluten free bunnies are amaaaaazing. I don't let myself buy them anymore because I know I'll eat the whole box haha Also, not sure if you were aware but today is National Celiac Awareness Day. Just throwin that out there.

Gabi Montoya May
Gabi Montoya May

hey, with all the crap people eat today, i'm not going to complain about them experimenting with different, possibly more healthy, food choices that might work for them. yeah, you might not need a gluten-free diet, but I would much prefer this fad catch on than whatever new processed McShit comes out next. I personally prefer to keep it simple with veggies, fruits, chicken, and quinoa (yes i'm on the quinoa bandwagon) but that's just me.

Jillian Schragen
Jillian Schragen

A realization of all the crap in processed food. I'm not full blown, but I do what I can to eat whole and healthy as often as possible. I don't go getting upset at people eating pink slime, just shake my head and keep running

Otis Denim
Otis Denim

What New Times bag wrote this jive ? I need to YELL at the right person .

Jeff Moore
Jeff Moore

Glu-tards. Oh hey I'm gluten free but can I get some more bread? True story. DTSA.

Maria A. Moffa
Maria A. Moffa

I heard recently that if you don't have whatever disease that would warrant a gluten free diet, it can actually do more harm than good. Everyone's gotta be on a bandwagon, I guess. Just eat good, normal food, exercise, and be done with it! I've got a boatload of weight to lose, and I've been on Weight Watchers for a few weeks, eating my 5 fruits/vegetables a day, but eating whatever the heck I want! I swim for at least an hour twice a week, and in 2 weeks have lost 6 pounds. I'm not worried about gluten free, sugar free, fat free either. I'm looking better, feeling better, but learning how to eat in moderation. Sure I'll eat ice cream, and not that sugar/fat free crap. The real thing. Only eat 1/2 cup. I had 3 Oreo cookies for dessert tonight. I'm going swimming this weekend. People need to put on the big boy/girl pants and deal with reality, not fads!!!!!

heather_hope54
heather_hope54

Love this - "... tastes like hollow sadness soaked in  Splenda" I've been gluten free for over 8 years due to an allergy and I can't tell you how many different products I've tried! I could write a book about all the products I've eaten and restaurants in the area that "offer" gluten free options. Being a mid-twenties girl in Southern CA and not being able to eat pizza or pasta on a date, not being able to have a beer on a hot day, or not even being able to eat cake at my own wedding really blows. The people that do this just for a trend diet are really stupid.. Why avoid eating amazing things if you don't have to? I would kill to eat a donut, but it would make me so sick. 

Great job on this! 


mer_la_mer
mer_la_mer

I guess I'm confused as to what the point of this article is? You start by judging people who eat healthy and claim a gluten free lifestyle  is usually for poor people (why?)  Then you talk about a few gluten free products you don't like, then quote one person (credentials?) as a source to say that simply eating these foods won't help you loose weight? OK. Well here's the thing I think anyone who actually has a concern about gluten enough to devout themselves to a gluten free diet is going to know that simply eating these products wont help you loose weight... and many people go on the "diet" not to loose weight, but because of their bodies response to wheat. Lays potato chips are gluten free - no one is claiming you will loose weight by eating them. This and many other posts on the weekly need direction...

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

My good friend is tested non-celiac but has severe gluten intolerance.  If she eats food labeled "gluten-free" from Trader Joes, but which has been processed on equipment that is shared for non-gluten-free food, she will be terribly sick for three weeks. Sick like the worst intestinal virus you can imagine, three weeks of everything going straight through, along with other flu-like symptoms. It just takes a few molecules of gluten to make her dangerously ill, sometimes requiring hospitalization.

Think of it like a peanut allergy.  Trader Joes and other stores would never process peanut-free foods on machines that were used to make peanut butter. They know that they could make people sick and die, and face huge lawsuits. Isn't it about time that they treat gluten with the same respect?

kbear09090
kbear09090

@Jeff Schneidewind Gluten is gluten. They are chemically the same.

LPHastings
LPHastings

@Poppy Figueroa Haha, did you even read this? Gluten-free food is great if you have celiac. It's just weird that it's become trendy for people who don't.

LPHastings
LPHastings

@Otis Denim It's me! Please, type yell, sir.

LPHastings
LPHastings

@heather_hope54 Aw man! Thanks for your comment. It's nice to hear this kind of perspective. People turn the strangest things into diets. 

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@mer_la_mer Oh, this post had direction—we can't say the same for your spell-check on this, though...

LPHastings
LPHastings

@mer_la_mer Thanks for your feedback. The poor people comment was referring to people who are actually gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease - the poor descriptive meaning we feel for them. It really sucks to have that kind of food allergy and it's inconvenient. BUT, as you know, there are a lot of people going gluten-free even though it's not necessary. They think it's going to make their bodies healthier and loose weight, but instead of just staying away from wheat products and eating more fruits and veggies they turn to the imitation products. I wanted to try some of them out myself to see what they actually tasted like. And although the gluten-free products have come a long way, they're still far from tasting like the real thing in some respects - which begs the question, why eat these foods if you're not actually gluten-intolerant. Make sense?

LPHastings
LPHastings

@JGlanton Eeesh. That's terrible. Hopefully they'll add it to the disclaimer list on packages soon.

 
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