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  • Jefferson Adams

    South Park Hits Comedy Gold with Gluten-free Ebola!

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons
    Caption: Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    Celiac.com 10/07/2014 - Never far from the intersection of irreverential humor, current events and controversy, Comedy Central's South Park is running the gluten-free gauntlet in its most recent episode, provocatively titled: Gluten-free Ebola.

    Photo: Wikimedia CommonsIn addition to fever dreams of Aunt Jeminah and an upside-down food pyramid, the episode features confident riffs on second-hand gluten, a gluten-fueled Jekyll and Hyde, and gluten-burning townies fearing a gluten-free apocalypse caught up in battles between the FDA, the USDA.



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    To mix metaphors, the episode manages to milk just about every facet of their gluten-free diamond for all it’s worth. When Mr. Mackey goes gluten free, he annoys everyone by preaching about how great he feels. But, when the citizens see the damage gluten can do to the human body, SOUTH PARK becomes the first town in America to go gluten free.

    Check out South Park’s Gluten-free Ebola on Comedy Central:
    http://www.cc.com/full-episodes/7lho6r/south-park-gluten-free-ebola-season-18-ep-1802

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    The episode was scattershot, and there were some factual errors or debatable stuff (in addition to the obvious comedy affliction affecting males-- that was a gem). But overall, it was funny, which is important for something on the comedy channel.

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    Is it the best South Park episode? No. But what I found remarkable is they didn't offend me with the gluten-free centered episode! They strive to be provocative and make fun of everyone and everything - it's part of the South Park credo. What I loved is they didn't put down gluten-free. They didn't say it was fake or stupid or any sort of negative slant that has been popping up in media lately. For South Park it was almost respectful! This was certainly surprising and made me feel a little better about all the trash talking gluten free has been on the receiving end of recently. As a diagnosed celiac it made me feel a little less alone. Funny to be reassured of acceptance through South Park.

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    I love South Park and I loved this episode! My 6 year old daughter and I have celiac disease. I was undiagnosed for a long time and developed serious complications. I teach classes on celiac disease and the gluten free diet. I have always loved this show and listened as everyone (including celebrities) carry on when it's their turn to be picked on. I always wondered if perhaps I was wrong, and I would take it differently when it was personal. Now I know my answer...Nope. It was just perfect. I love these guys so much.

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    It was hilarious, and I didn't feel offended! I work with the US government office that produces My Plate and the Food Pyramid. Loved how they ultimately went pseudo Paleo in the end. Must be Hollywood's diet trends making gluten-free ok.

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    It was hilarious, and I didn't feel offended! I work with the US government office that produces My Plate and the Food Pyramid. Loved how they ultimately went pseudo Paleo in the end. Must be Hollywood's diet trends making gluten-free ok.

    I hope you are seriously disappointed in your position as an advocate for generalized health policy in a facet of society-- food- in which is it entirely inappropriate to conceive of anything but individualized care based on science (which the US Dietary Guidelines are not). Furthermore, the office you work for is responsible for the sickness of millions of Americans, as well as the swelling of the wallets of large soy and grain companies and pharmaceutical companies which profit off of their sickness.

    This South Park episode was an observation on the incredibly faulty and contradictory status of the USDA, including problems in management.

    (On another note, I recommend you look over your definitions of certain dietary trends again, as you seem to be using incorrect nomenclature in your comment.)

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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