Gluten-Free Food and F-Bombs.

What is the big craze surrounding gluten-free food all about? If a food company wants to impress you, they claim it is “gluten-free”. What exactly is wrong with gluten? Is there indeed anything really wrong with gluten (could it, for example, be actually good for us)?

Also, what is the definition of “f-bomb”? It has been recently added to the dictionary. But what does it mean? I for one have yet to even encounter it in a sentence.


[I submit the question to Cecil too, BTW.]

…what craze? Gluten free products are marketed to people who can’t eat gluten. From a caterer’s point of view it used to be very hard to buy gluten free product as little as five years ago: its much easier now.

I wish that were an iron-clad occurrence, everything without gluten being trumpeted as GF. But it’s often the case that one has to study the ingredients carefully to rule out gluten content.

You don’t need to avoid gluten unless you have celiac disease, and if you did you’d know it by now. (To everyone else: Yes, the ‘gluten-free’ myth is a thing now. People who have no reason to avoid gluten are avoiding gluten on the advice of charlatans and frauds.) Here’s more about the gluten-free diet.

The “f-bomb” is the word “fuck”; “Dropping f-bombs” means “Using the word ‘fuck’, especially in a context where it’s likely to cause offense.”

I agree with all of that except for the “you’d know it by now”. I’d never heard of Celiac until a doctor did a screening testing to rule out things. I was seeing him because of inconsistent liver function tests.

My brother has all of the symptoms of Celiac but his doctor is treating him for IBS and has not tested for Celiac.

Related to this, the tests for Celiac are all testing for the body reacting to gluten. Anyone who just gives up gluten to see if they feel better will not test positive if they’ve been off gluten for a while.

Tolerance for gluten is a spectrum (rather like tolerance of lactose). Celiac disease is a specific condition that is caused by a type of gluten intolerance. It’s difficult to test for and often misdiagnosed. The symptoms vary tremendously between individuals who have it. There are also other forms of gluten intolerance that are not celiac or at least not diagnosable as celiac by current tests. IBS is not even an actual disease, it is a symptom with unknown cause; often the cause is a food intolerance (gluten or some other food).

Most people can eat gluten and find it nutritious and good for them. Many people find eating gluten is not good for them and they should avoid it. The same is true of dairy products, and quite a few other foods that agree with some people and disagree with others.

The science does not yet support the concept of wide-spread gluten sensitivity (as opposed to celiac disease, a well-documented entity), as noted in this thread.

Wrong. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity exists:

That’s the thing, though. If someone does a test where they blindly switch between two identical products, one with gluten and one without, and they consistently show a reaction to gluten, why shouldn’t they avoid it? Heck, even they use less strenuous testing and it’s just a placebo effect, why should they not be able to do it if they can afford it? It makes things better for those of us who actually have a real problem, because it inspires companies to create solutions.

Now, if we were like Canada where I could claim the difference between gluten containing and gluten-free foods as part of my medical insurance, we could eliminate this necessity for ignorance. But, as it is, having people who think they have an intolerance is a net benefit.

If anything, that thread shows the exact opposite of what you claim it shows.