ANYWAY. For my course I am having to write a "blog" not really a blog but more blog entry's to turn in. I decided to write about things I am noticing around here. So I thought it would be cool to post those blogs on my real blog! I have not added pictures to the blog I am turning in yet so I will find some to put here. So here goes, I hope you like it...
Gluten Free in the North West
The food in Portland or rather the North West is quite unique. To be more specific I am referring to the philosophy of food in this area. What is striking to a Texan like me is phrases like “Gluten Free” that are everywhere. I remember asking myself just a year ago “What is gluten?” and “What is gluten free?” Well now, not only have we accepted it as a ready option in the grocery stores but in restaurants as well. I am actually staying with a family who, because of Susan my temporary mom during my stay, are gluten free. Susan says “everyone speaks gluten these days, and if they don’t, they should!”
Ok, I get it, there is gluten in wheat so no wheat of any kind right? Is that all that there is to it? Rice, cool. Potatos and corn, also cool. But gluten free bread? Gluten free pizza? Gluten free cookies? Gluten free brownies!? Are you kidding me? This is madness! And what is even crazier is, they actually taste good! Gluten is used to give bread its bite and rip texture thus; I would assume it would be pretty obvious if it were missing. Not always the case.
It seems every where I look in Portland there are gluten free options. Signs in pizza parlors claiming Wednesday’s are gluten free day, what does that even mean? Are there really that many people who are gluten intolerant or are people just jumping on the band wagon?
Holy Moley! I am eating a gluten free cookie right now and did not even notice!
So this is a real deal? Celiac disease, as is the technical term, is when people have a strong reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat. There is also a similar protein found in barley, oats and rye so those as well, are off limits. But it does not stop there, gluten is also found in some sausages, burgers, sauces, beer, and cereal. According to studies this affects 1 in 105 people in the United States. It can even affect babies. Although this is not the same as a wheat allergy the only known method of controlling celiac disease is a life long gluten free diet.
So 1 in 105 doesn’t sound like a huge number, why is everyone eating gluten free these days? Especially up here? Is it an excuse to eat healthier, get thin? I know I have pondered going gluten free for a while just to see how I feel, and look…
Yes, the philosophy on food and eating is quite different in the North West. Frankly, it makes everyone in Texas look like porkers.
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