Is 2010 the year of the ‘gluten frees’?

Do you remember the first time you were in a restaurant and you said you were gluten free? I don’t know about you but my waitress looked at me like my head had just spun round and I’d puked up green bile. Suddenly, every visit to a restaurant or a friend’s house felt like an ordeal. ‘Oh what can you eat?’ ‘You’re so difficult to cook for!’

Well listen up people. Being gluten free is the new black. So much so that, The Daily Beast has declared it number three on their list of top ten food trends for 2010. (Number 1 and 2 being organic chocolate and coconut. Go figure.)

In fact, Globe Life declared ‘being gluten free’ as one of the top stories of last year (along with keeping your own chickens; why local produce isn’t always as good as it seems; and how we should all be eating less salt.)

So what’s happening here? Is it now uber-trendy to be gluten free?

No, not really. It does seem that people being diagnosed with coeliac disease is very much on the rise. Globe Life reports that researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota found that one in 100 people are now affected compared with only one in every 400 to 500 half a century ago.

Has modern production, processing and additives led to an increase in the disease? Or are medical professionals now recognising the disease and its debilitating affects more readily?

Either way, people following a gluten free diet will hopefully have even more choice in the coming year, whether that’s in their local restaurant or local grocery store. And that’s a good thing.

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