Gluten-Free and Fad Diets

The Old Spaghetti FactoryA couple of years back, I was eating at the Old Spaghetti Factory with my mom, and I ordered the gluten-free pasta with browned butter and Mizithra cheese (delicious, by the way!) and I noticed the lady across the aisle ordered the same meal. However, she split the loaf of bread that came with the meal with her dining companion, making the GF pasta pointless.

Pillsbury gluten-free chocolate chip cookie doughWhile I’m grateful for the influx of GF foods lately (even Pillsbury has gotten on the GF bandwagon), I am frustrated at times by the mixed message sent to the restaurant staff when people order GF and then eat gluten-containing items.

I was actually glad that, partway through my meal, one of the managers came out and asked me how I liked my meal, and then asked if I was eating GF for medical reasons (yes) and a few other questions about cross-contamination and how comfortable I felt eating a GF meal at a place famous for its pasta. This gave me the opportunity to tell her that while some people eat GF for some fad diet (possibly like the woman across from me) but it’s still important to maintain a strict HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) plan for GF folks.

I think this article, Gluten-free: The truth behind the trend, addresses the same concerns I have about the issue. What are your thoughts?

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