“Gluten free is a fad.”
“Most people who are gluten-free don’t really NEED to be and are just following the fad.”
Have you heard these statements before? Or said them yourself? I hear these all of the time. Often with a tone of disapproval. Some people agree; I don’t and think it should change.
When Chris was first diagnosed, it was hard to find gluten-free products. Most of them were terrible. Imagine poorly flavored cardboard, cat litter, and sand. Basically, not good. (One of the reasons why we started this bakery.) The gluten free movement was young. There were few products on the market and few of them were good. People only ate these gluten-free products if they had to.
About 1 on 100 people suffer from celiac, and there are others who must eat gluten-free for other health reasons, like Chris. Even the smallest amount would cause him excruciating pain for days. It took months of testing to figure out the cause. He is not gluten-free for a fad, but for necessity.
However, some people eat gluten-free because that is what other people are doing. They hear about gluten-free in the news; or a friend is talking about “going gluten free”. This might be called a fad. But you know what? I’m good with that.
Remember supply and demand from your economics? Back then, few people wanted gluten-free products; the demand was small so the supply was small. Now, a ton of people want gluten free; the demand has grown and so the supply has grown. Many companies create gluten free products to meet this demand. Demand regardless of the “why”: for health, for celiac, for necessity, for fun, or YES, for fad.
I am grateful for anyone who is gluten-free for fad. If those consumers didn’t buy gluten-free, the demand would be much smaller. If it was smaller, there would be less options and the options would not be as good.
Therefore, today in 2019, I am glad for anyone who eats gluten free for fad reasons. With them, we all have more, better options. Thankfully, Chris was able to make dietary changes and work on getting better.
So if you see someone who eats gluten-free because everyone else is, thank them for me.
(But guess what? There are great reasons to eat gluten-free. So even if you started this because you were curious, keep enjoying gluten-free living!)