We all know how "gluten-free" is a buzz word now. It seems it is easier than ever to find "gluten-free" labeled packaging at the local grocery store chain. Restaurants are labeling more food "gf" to try and attract more customers. But is this helping us? Or is it making more people just roll their eyes?
I get so excited when I see places near me offering "gluten-free" donuts, or "gluten-free" fries, or "gluten-free" pizza, and when anything on their menu is specifically labeled gluten-free. It gets me giddy with excitement, even if I wouldn't normally eat a donut, or fries. I like to know if I want them, I can have them. But then when it comes down to it, and I am at the restaurant and I ask if their menu items are really gluten-free, and fried in a dedicated fryer, I get a response that is more and more common lately: "No, we do not use a dedicated fryer. Our gluten-free items are not appropriate for people who must be gluten-free, or who have celiac." I want to say a big...What the F*&k!!??? Seriously??????!!!!
Yes, you heard that correctly...I am told, they are not for people who actually *need* to be gluten-free. Well, wow. So, basically, these places are printing up these menus, putting efforts into social media and marketing for those that are gluten-free by choice, not those of us who are gluten-free because it is medically necessary. And apparently, these restaurant owners don't mind. So, when I go to a restaurant now and see the lovely "gf" or whatever symbol they are using to denote a dish is gluten-free, do I believe it?
I mean really, people who are gluten-free because it is the "in" thing, because they want to stay away from carbs....are they the ones who are really ordering donuts and fries?? I can't imagine someone who is gluten-free because it is trendy eating food like this. They would be ordering a salad, and grilled fish....gluten-free, maybe, but not ordering some item using replacement flours.
And because of so many people wanting to eat gluten-free, when I am ordering at a restaurant, how do I know people will take me seriously when I say I need to eat gluten-free. Maybe they will roll their eyes and think I am like all the other people doing it for fun. Now, I feel I must say I have an allergy, so it is taken seriously. Do servers need to think we will go into shock when ingesting gluten to be taken seriously, and that we are not just following some fad because it is fashionable?
Is it fair that anyone can slap a gluten-free label on their menu?
When you see a menu item labeled as gluten-free, do you feel safe, or do you feel you need to investigate just a little bit more?
Do you think the gluten-free craze it helping to bring awareness, or do you think it is a hinderance on the people who really need to be gluten-free to be healthy?