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New To This World, Question For The Long Timers Here
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So I have been gluten free since November, and now dairy and soy free a few weeks. I find that people who I speak to have many varied reactions, from, "I could never do that", to "yes, I am gluten free too". just yesterday I met some friends for lunch at Whole Foods, they all ate off the salad bar, I didn't get anything. I don't trust salad bars, but I just sat with them and socialized, didn't make a big deal out of anything. one of them came back with her food, asked why I wasn't eating, and I told her the short version. she said, "oh yes, I am gluten free too". her food wasn't gluten-free at all. I didn't say anything, just wondered, this must be the new in thing in dieting.

I am just wondering for you long time people, how have things changed over time? I wasn't aware of this 6 months ago. now I see lots of gluten-free products, lots of mainstream stuff like rice krispies, etc. being labeled gluten-free, sections in supermarkets for gluten-free. many restaurants have separate gluten-free menus.

was I just not seeing this stuff before? has it become latest fad diet so marketing is now getting on board? like years ago for low carb? low fat?

just wondering :)

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There is a lot of eyetwitching and banging of heads off of hard surfaces in relation to the fad of the gluten free crap. It is double edged sword. It started (from what I gather) before I was even gluten free a year ago, but is exploding more and more. You get twits like Ryan Seacrest tweeting about "I'm going gluten free" then "I ate a bagel" an hour later (paraphrased) and every celiac around the world collectively bloodied their heads on their desks. Morons like him make people like restaurant servers and chefs think that gluten free is a joke. On the other hand, there is a wider variety of products available to us. Whether or not this is a good thing is up to each individual person to decide.

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To me the biggest problem with the fad is that every company and its brother wants to get on the bandwagon. They are labeling things as gluten-free that are so cross-contaminated that any true celiac can't eat them. Dominoes Pizza is a good example of this - it is made in the same room and in the same pans as their gluteny pizza. It's OK if you read here and are informed, but restaurant servers and our friends don't know any better. That's why I only eat food I bought and prepared myself.

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I felt same way and I sometimes think other people viewed me as one of those people that just decided to join the bandwagon to go gluten free diet due to all the frenzy that media or something like that bought it on. :mellow:

I kept repeated to everybody that auto, assuming that I am just do it for my weight loss program, which it is not true. <_< I am only do it to stop being sick often. NO more of heartburn or feel like lousy with fear of feel like ready to spit out whatever i just ate. :blink:

I have finally committed myself to 100% gluten free after New Year's day. i feel lot better and learned my lesson to always pack prepared if traveling to my sibling's house for holiday which is bring my own corn tornilllas, cereal, snacks, and crackers. Never again. :ph34r:

However, sorry for go off topic, back to the topic I would say those people will be oh let do the gluten free!!! then next week they would be stuffing their face in long varities of gluten stuff and cannot image live without them for rest of their lives. Anyway, think it like those old fad diets for examples, Atkins, South beach diet, etc Atkins diet that when my parents decided to do that and it end up bad since my dad have heart diease that can screw up easily by any kind of bad diets. his doctor requests him to do blood work every six months or so due to his artery clogging easily. doctor was shocked that his cholerstal went thru the roof. :o Doctor asked him about it and my dad admitted it was atkins diet he was try to do for few weeks. Doctor explained to him about it . so He stopped do that diet since we ate too much of pork products along Beef products than chicken and fish. All of you know that Pork and Beef is asking for the trouble rather than chicken and fish. :wacko:

Its sad but frenzy about gluten free diet will die off somehow but i think it might would stick around but at same time, i am not sure which companies would remaining faithful and still deciate gluten free lines for certain products? that would be something interesting to see in few years from now. ;)

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I am a waitress at a family restaurant and it is so frustrating to hear what people say. If someone comes in and says they need to eat gluten free I am asked since I have been gluten free for several years. People don't want to listen though. Our fries our gluten free, but they are fried in the same oil as everything else, so they are no longer gluten free. Some people that ask are serious and I love to help, but then I get some that say they will be fine with things that I have clearly told them are not gluten free.

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Happy, I have to ask, where (what state) that restaurant is in. If it's near me you will be seeing me soon!

There was a restaurant in Connecticut that Mom could eat at because the owner had family members with celiac and she knew how to do it right. And there is a pizza place about 45 miles from here that has gluten-free pizza and they too have family members with celiac so I can trust them. Other than that, I won't eat at restaurants. (Well, I need to amend that - my "son" is a waiter at a local place and I know if he waits on me he will get my order right - steak cooked on the char-broiler, flipped with a clean utensil, and NOTHING ELSE because everything else has too great a chance of CC. And I can't see paying $18 for JUST the steak, so I don't go there.)

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I believe that before November gluten free was flying under your radar :) It has actually been all over the news media for the last couple of years, with loads of celebrities and sports stars jumping on the band wagon and proclaiming their 'gluten free' status to which they adhere with varying degrees of tenacity. I have heard that Novak Djokovich, the tennis star, has a good old gluten bust out after the tournament is over, although credits the gluten free diet for his renewed form over the last couple of years.

As others have stated, with so many psuedo gluten free-ers, it does make life difficult for those of us who must truly be gluten free, because we are all tarred with the same trendy brush and waitpersons and other restaurant employees have become truly skeptical about this 'need' to be gluten free. This is one of the reasons so many have taken to describing their needs to restaurants as an allergy, because restaurants know about allergies - having seen the immediate reactions of people who are allergic to foods. We are at a disadvantage here, because while there are many people who suffer an immediate reaction, for most of us the reaction is delayed until well beyond the time we have left the premises, so they are able to tell themselves we didn't really need gluten free food (because some of them will even deliberately sabotage you just to test out this theory :blink: ) because we showed no reaction to it.

Five years ago the when I first started, the shelves in the supermarkets were a lot more sparse than they are today, but there HAS been a veritable explosion of so-called gluten free products in the last couple of years, unfortunately since it became "trendy". So trendy is both good and bad. The bad is that we have been unable to convince the FDA to establish gluten free standards for labelling yet so there is no knowing how many parts per million are in some products. All the labelling today is entirely voluntary and some companies are better at it than others. Kraft is one of the good guys. Another kind of 'bad' is that companies can claim that all gluten has been processed out of their product, so that even though Rice Dream milk is filtered through barley, they claim it as gluten free - yet a goodly percentage of celiacs react to it.

There are still millions of people for whom gluten flies under the radar and some of them work in restaurants. Additional millions of people do not take our needs seriously, and millions and millions more people do not understand what it takes to produce something that is truly gluten free. :rolleyes: These are our friends who, to try to please us, prepare food without gluten ingredients but contaminate it with their utensils and baking pans and the flour drifting around in their kitchens. :)

I have very carefully eaten off the salad bar at Whole Foods a couple of times, but have now abandoned the practice -- too dicey! My spouse and I are both gluten intolerant and rarely eat out. He has a higher tolerance level to gluten than I do and will consider things that I would not, however. We are fortunate that we are both able to eat products for the most part that are made in shared facilities or even on shared lines, because so many are unable to do so.

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To the original poster, question being how have things changed over time -

What I've seen over the past decade:

There are a lot more people displaying symptoms of mild to severe gluten intolerance, and the processed food industry has responded to this, and increased the selection of gluten free food available. There are also more diagnosed celiacs. For the majority of both of these groups, it is not a "fad diet," but for the first group, their reactions to cross contamination vary, so of course you will see people who are not technically adhering to a pure, gluten free diet. Why should they, it doesn't make them sick. There are also the fad dieters and lookie-loos jumping into the first group and hanging with the gluten intolerants, but they're just a very small part of it. Alas, there are various nefarious lobbying interests who seek to exploit the eating habits of the lookie- loos to mean that everyone, and I mean everyone, on a gluten free diet must be "faking it." I regularly see comments to this effect under every story about celiac and gluten free and gluten intolerance in the regular media, if they have not been moderated out. They know that what they are saying is, from a medical, scientific, and research standpoint, incorrect, but they don't care, because they are getting paid to post this garbage. "They" claim that there is not an increased incidence of celiac disease, that it is just better diagnostics, and that gluten intolerance is just a fad. They also claim that there is not an increased incidence of autism, or children with learning disabilities, or children (and adults) with food allergies, etc, etc. It's all bupkiss. :wacko: They also are beginning to realize that those of us with the auto immune diseases associated with gluten intolerance and celiac, who really, really need to eat gluten free, are watching this disinformation campaign, and are exposing it. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant" and all that. One does not have to have the airtight explanation of why something is happening, to be able to OBSERVE something is happening.

I furthermore suspect that the "low- carb" craze was a sort of natural response to how people who may have been mildly gluten intolerant went on it to lose weight, and discovered that they felt better off of gluten, and that they felt better off of grain products, period.

As to the person with whom you ate lunch, what can you do ? Just don't let them be the sole example of the "typical" gluten free consumer. We can't really criticize them, unless they are also running around insisting that every gluten free person can eat the same way they do. They may be uneducated. Or just not very sensitive. :rolleyes: An example of a legitimate, part-time gluten-free diner may be a family member who is not gluten intolerant, but who eats at home gluten free, and sometimes eats out in restaurants gluten free, so they don't cross contaminate their companions. This looks inconsistent, but, there is a real reason for it.

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Happy, I have to ask, where (what state) that restaurant is in. If it's near me you will be seeing me soon!

There was a restaurant in Connecticut that Mom could eat at because the owner had family members with celiac and she knew how to do it right. And there is a pizza place about 45 miles from here that has gluten-free pizza and they too have family members with celiac so I can trust them. Other than that, I won't eat at restaurants. (Well, I need to amend that - my "son" is a waiter at a local place and I know if he waits on me he will get my order right - steak cooked on the char-broiler, flipped with a clean utensil, and NOTHING ELSE because everything else has too great a chance of CC. And I can't see paying $18 for JUST the steak, so I don't go there.)

I am in Wisconsin...I don't eat at many restaurants either. You would be suprised at how much the cooks don't understand, even after you explain yourself over and over! I think I am a much better cook anyway, so I would rather eat my own food!!!

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Yeah, I was a waitress for years too. What I found was that the cooks didn't CARE, rather than didn't understand. I would tell them I had a customer with an allergy and to make sure they didn't put X on her plate. I'd get there to pick up my order and sure enough, there was X, sitting there right next to the rest of her meal. I'd remind them and they would just scrape X off the plate and hand it back to me. I had to remind them that allergies can be deadly and the owner wouldn't want a lawsuit. I would refuse to serve the meal and they had to make a new one.

I'm sure you have seen some things too, that would make people cringe. I think the worst one was when I was working at the best pizza joint in the area. A cook dropped a pizza on the floor as she was putting it in the oven. The owner was there and he made her get a broom and dustpan, sweep up the cheese and topping, an PUT IT BACK ON! Needless to say, I never ate there again when the owner was present.

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I have seen plenty... We did have one cook and she was amazing. She always asked if I could use cheese sauce or if I needed real cheese. She was always sure to clean the grill and use different utensils. Unfortunately, she did leave and go to a different job.

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Eating at the Whole Foods salad bar can be done successfully but my rule of thumb, because I am so insanely sensitive and have to be very careful, is I only do so if I get there when they first set it up and no one has rifled through the bar. I eat off of the salad bar at work but do the same...I open the cafeteria at lunch and all the workers know why I do so. If I get there and others have already started making their salads, I forgo the salad that day and stick to what I've brought from home. It has worked so far. I also don't pick veggies that are too close to gluten stuff.

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There has been an explosion of gluten free products on the market in the past decade. Some products started as family products to replace a beloved missed product. (i.e. Cerrone cones. gluten free sugar cones for ice cream. I think it was bought out by gluten free pantry products. Gluten free pantry products was started by a former NFL player's family. A small family story was on the box. The box has changed designs a few times too.)

One of the best things I have done over the years was to keep an eye on the gluten free food companies merging and selling into larger companies. Then, I bought stock as soon as I could.

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