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Two Bad Things Happening In The Gluten-Free World
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I think part of the ignorance with these two is the gluten free diet fad that is blurring the lines for too many people. Most people only half pay attention to anything and probably think gluten free is like fat free, or some other fad.
But beyond that, with the baker is, clearly, fraudulent to the core: The fact that he was passing on bread he bought as bread he baked himself says that for a start. But that is not necessarily uncommon at Farmer's Markets. Most people don't realize that some of those 'farmers' at your local Farmer's Market are only posing as farmers.
With the chef, Celiacs can't be the only people he feels this way about. He just sounds like an angry person full stop. And if he thinks it's so funny tampering with the food of Celiacs, what else might he be putting in the food he serves? Would he think it's funny to spit in the food and know people are eating that? Does he get a kick out of serving moldy food? I think this chef's rant says more about him and his ethics than anything and I hope he can't find any future employment. He should not be working with food.
It is unfortunate that, if you have any kind of food allergies, etc, your health can hinge on the honesty and ethics of the people in the food supply line.
Thanks for pointing out these two incidents. Especially the Paul Seelig incident is very scary - not only because it happend right here in our own front yard in Durham. If you saw the pictures of the rash the little celiac boy who ate Great Specialty Products' supposedly "gluten-free" bread developed you'd be shocked! The only answer I can come up with as to why someone would do such an awful thing is greed. Mr. Seelig was convicted of wire fraud and grand theft before...
At the same time, I like to look on the bright side of things as well. It was the local celiac community who pointed Mr. Seelig out to the authorities (NCDA&CS). This trial will also set a precedent, de-facto enforcing gluten-free labeling. Despite the awful circumstances, this is a food thing for everyone living gluten-free.
I do believe that part of it is lack of understanding about celiac disease and gluten intolerance. People don't understand there can be a delayed reaction and MOST CASES OF CELIAC ARE ACTUALLY SILENT--they have NO DIGESTIVE symptoms. Instead they present with 400 other symptoms which are often caused by low vitamins because when you eat gluten you often don't absorb fats and vitamins and then other systems in the body don't function. Well, most people don't know this. Most doctors aren't even aware that the majority of celiac cases are silent. If you read Dr. Peter Green's book titled "Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic" it says on page 28 it says:
"Today, studies have shown that the majority of patients do not have "classic" celiac but a "silent" presentation. They either have minimal or no gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, but suffer from related autoimmune diseases, complications from untreated celiac disease and/or the manifestations of malabsorption."1
It is a shame that people think that this is just another fad diet when the stakes are so high for so many people. But, it is confusing because there are so many reasons people choose to not eat gluten and I don't think the public realizes the stakes are so high for people diagnosed with celiac disease. Also, people tend to view a disease where the treatment is diet change as not that serious. Even people WITH celiac often do not have the facts about how deadly long term consumption of gluten is for them. So, I am not surprised how clueless this chef was. I mostly eat in places with gluten free menus--probably because I have spent years cooking in restaurants and I realize how hard it is for most restaurants to produce a gluten free meal without some training on what gluten is._____________________________________________________________________________________1. p. 28 http://www.amazon.com/Celiac-Disease-Peter-H-r-Green/dp/006076693X
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