The Today Show recently aired a segment on GlutenFree & Celiac Disease, which they spelled as Ciliac, and there was nothing right about it. There was misinformation, misspelling, and a clear lack of understanding for the overall subject. The host, Savannah, was completely uninformed, as was the nutritionist falling over her words trying to explain gluten and the effects. Then we have the South Beach Diet jumping on the bandwagon w/a new glutenfree book, big sigh.
It seems everyone is losing site of the big picture, the reason why glutenfree exists. GlutenFree exists because of Celiac Disease first & foremost. We can’t have gluten. It is not an allergy, it is an autoimmune disease that counteracts with gluten, sending our protective antibodies into crazy mode. They then attack our body instead of the gluten creating extreme illness that can take on many forms. Of course, this explanation is in the simplest form possible. Gluten Sensitivity has similar symptoms and can be just as serious. Testing at this point is far from flawless, especially if you get tested after already giving up gluten.
What bothers me the most about the Today Show’s glutenfree segment, is the complete disregard and misrepresentation for the Celiac community in general. Savannah, you did us no favors by airing this fluff piece, in fact, you actually set us back by dismissing the gravity of the disease. And Dr. Agatston, shame shame for not educating your audience. I know that gluten sensitivity sells your book better than Celiac Disease, but at least get your facts straight, “celiacs can’t have almost any gluten.” Actually doctor, we can’t have any gluten. Was it all just publicity for the South Beach Diet’s new book? Yes it was. Savannah introduces the book by saying, “Now the South Beach Diet has joined the pack; losing the little protein in the hopes of gaining new followers.” And like GlutenDude says, “Funny…not ‘in the hopes of helping more people’, but straight out ‘in the hopes of lining the author’s pockets more.'”
I know I jump on my own Celiac bandwagon, but people need to understand the severity of the effects gluten has and the dangers we Celiacs face everyday; being scared to eat, going to restaurants, or even dinner at a friend’s house. Yes, just one crumb is all it takes, weird right?! All this press, misinformed press at that, only diminishes our cause. More and more companies are racing to line the grocery store shelves with glutenfree products that are not celiac-safe. The FDA deems up to 20ppm of gluten per product to be safe instead of zero, so Celiac Disease ends up falling through the cracks as the ‘fad’ of GF diets for dummies takes over.
I always say, Change starts one person at a time and this is me trying to change things. It seems we have put the cart before the horse by allowing companies to slap a GF label on products without completely defining what glutenfree safe really is. So now we need to go back to the beginning and re-define what Celiac-Safe really is. Right now there is more awareness than ever with: twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, bloggers… The GF community is uniting, educating, & spreading the word. We buy the products and we can change the products we decide to buy. It’s usually only when companies get hit hard in the pocketbook that change occurs, so lets hit em hard and show how we feel.
http://t.co/ZH0rL3NUvq via @GlutenDude @JennifersWayJE, @thetodayshow, @glutenlibre, @PrettyLiLCeliac, @glutenaway, @WheatFreeMom, @kathy__smart, @gfdougie