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Gluten Free... Overblown, by a lot?

Reading the Wikipedia article on Gluten, it says about 0.5 to 1% of people are adversely affected by gluten.

But around here in Toronto I see whole sections devoted to gluten free items, all way more expensive than normal items, and clearly catering to a larger market than 1%.

So what gives? Is it just trendy to pretend to be medically affected by this?

I don't get it.

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  1. we'll it is overblown in my intestines for sure! just took the blood test today for celiac; i def have an intolerance for wheat; don't understand it's prevelance though

    1. I've thought the same thing for awhile now, so I'll be interested to read the responses to your query! And BTW, the gluten-free bandwagon seems to be global. It's everywhere here in the US and I see it in 3rd world countries (where I volunteer regularly). My volunteerism involves malnutrition clinics, so the presence of such foodstuffs piques my curiosity immensely. PS by using the term "bandwagon," I'm not being critical of those with legitimate requirements to avoid gluten - it's just that lately it seems ubiquitous and I share the OP's curiosity.

      1. I've noticed comments now and then on recipe sites that say things like, "I didn't know oatmeal was gluten free!".

        It makes me wonder if the uneducated masses equate carbohydrates with gluten. And you know how they love low carb diets.

        12 Replies
        1. re: jmcarthur8

          Funny thing is that oatmeal isn't gluten free by Canadian standards, but is in the US if it fits under the classification of a pure, untainted oat. Then again, even if you don't have the gluten to worry about, oats are potentially problematic if you have Coeliac disease and consume much of them.

          1. re: thatwhileifound

            The issue with oats isn't the oat grains themselves, but occasional stray wheat kernel. Wheat plants can easily grow in an oat field, especially if wheat and oats are rotated, or neighboring fields have wheat. A farmer would have to take special care to keep his oat field wheat free.

            Once harvested, it would be difficult to separate wheat kernels from oat groats.

            http://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-fre...
            note BRM's description of their GF oats.

            1. re: paulj

              Sorry, I phrased things badly: I know. You also have worries about cross contamination during sorting, cleaning, processing and packaging stages as well.

              Canada still counts oats as not applicable under the term gluten free though. The general suggestion is that this is on account of both worries about maintaining trustworthiness of "pure" oats and because there are still some debates going on about avenin in oats and how it will affect those who are going towards a gluten free diet due to Coeliac disease.

              General suggestion if you have Coeliac disease is to still minimize your consumption of oats regardless of whether you've got ones that show minimal to no gluten parts per million upon being tested.

              1. re: thatwhileifound

                http://www.glutenfreedafoods.com/The-...
                A GF supplier talks about Canadian packaging restrictions, as well as 'certified gluten-free oats'.

                1. re: paulj

                  Ha, I was just linked to that for work reasons! It's a good post from the position of a brand who definitely has a lot of passion over the subject... and an equally strong reason to want oats marketed as gluten free. Being a government agency, the CFIA won't budge until they're certain and they've got a clear way of dealing with the subtleties that they see as problematic... Or until no one really cares anymore and they decide to do it then because no one will be watching anyway.

                  Here's a very quick blurb on the largest complicating factor for oats from a different brand:
                  http://www.nairns-oatcakes.com/gluten...

                  I think I heard Australia also has a similar policy to Canada on GF labeling, albeit not as intense. The big worry is that by saying "Gluten Free," there's risk that consumers might take that as "Coeliac Friendly" and the government hasn't been entirely convinced of that yet.

                  1. re: thatwhileifound

                    Australia's labeling laws are amongst the best on the planet - more stringent than Canada. In order for something to be labeled GF there, there literally must be no gluten in the product. Here in Canada disclosure of a product being produced on the same line as wheat, for example, is voluntary. However, if there is gluten in a product, it must be labeled (except for alcohol). In Australia I believe they test to and allow to 2 ppm which is almost undetectable; in Canada it can be to 10 ppm and other countries up to 20 ppm.

                    I can get certified GF oats BUT found out recently I cannot tolerate them. Some of us with celiac have reactions to the gluten that is found in oats in the same way as to other (bad) gluten. Sigh...I loved my oats and now cannot have those, either.

              2. re: paulj

                I did not know that, paulj! Thanks for the information.
                I've been making gluten free dinners and desserts for a friend who is truly allergic to wheat products. Last night was an apple crisp with oatmeal in the topping.
                I'll have to ask him tomorrow if he had any effects! The oatmeal box had no GF label.

                As far as the oatmeal comment that I cited earlier, I really did not get the impression from the content of that particular comment that it was a health issue, but rather a dietary choice.

            2. re: jmcarthur8

              The uneducated are bellying up to the bread aisle, not low carbing. Eating more like steers on a feedlot and it shows.

              1. re: mcf

                Atkins and South Beach are two of the very popular low carb diets. Quite a few people I know have been on those two diets.
                This is not the same things as a low carbohydrate lifestyle, like yours, mcf. What I referred to upthread is the fad diet that makes some authors a pile of money, but doesn't necessarily make the practitioners of the diet much healthier.
                You've made your aversion to carbohydrates quite clear on many threads here on CH. Your opinion is duly noted.

                1. re: jmcarthur8

                  I have no aversion to carbohydrates, I load my plate full of carbohydrates. Just not starches and sugars.

              2. re: jmcarthur8

                That reminds me of a peanut butter campaign years ago that touted the stuff as "cholesterol free." As if peanut butter could have cholesterol even if it wanted it.

                1. re: monfrancisco

                  There's a lot of that because many people don't bother to educate themselves as to what is in their food, so when a fad diet of x or health warning about y comes around, they don't know any better making it easy to use that sort of trick marketing.

                  Think of how often you see breakfast cereal marketed as fat free.

                  it's also a reasonably easy matter to lie on your label, I've seen stuff that says no trans fat when the nutrition facts said it did have trans fats, they got around that because you can put that label on it as long as the trans fat is below a certain amount per serving (more to the point, though, the serving size was unrealistically small which lets them abuse that)

              3. I think this may be fueled by the popularity of books like "Wheat Belly" which seems to be on bestseller lists all over the place.

                1. Id say about 10% of the guests that come into the restaurant I work at claim to have celiac. They are definitely ruining it for the people who actually do have the condition as I generally dismiss everyone who makes the claim as a PITA fad dieter abd send evil thoughts their way!

                  Sucks for cooks and sucks for people who actually have celiac.

                  From a cooks perspective, there is a huge difference between someone requesting a gluten free meal for diet reasons and someone requesting gluten free because they have celiac. When someone claims celiac or food allergy it is a HUGE ordeal to make sure that nothing that was ever even near gluten or what they were allergic to is anywhere near the vicinity of their food. Knowing one grain of flour or one crumb of a peanut could make someone very ill or kill them requires a VERY special level of attention that I of course don't mind giving to people who really need it.

                  34 Replies
                  1. re: twyst

                    That is really depressing, and is part of the reason I am still so uncomfortable eating out, having been diagnosed with celiac disease over a decade ago. My distaste for being labeled a "fad dieter" is so strong that when I do eat out, I will often order something that "should" be gluten-free, without actually revealing my need for a gluten-free meal, and take my chances with the cross-contamination. This is obviously not the best choice for my health, but your post illustrates exactly why I do it.

                    As for the OP's question, I think you you could ask the same thing about any special diet, or alternative diet. Vegetarianism, for example. For the majority it is a dietary choice, not a medical necessity, so should we say vegetarianism is overblown?

                    My own suspicion is that people asking questions like this are really looking for justification in dismissing people on gluten-free diets as fad dieters, hypochondriacs, or whatever. Anything but people with a legitimate concern. I mean, really, why do you even care if it's "overblown"?

                    1. re: MelMM

                      "That is really depressing, and is part of the reason I am still so uncomfortable eating out, having been diagnosed with celiac disease over a decade ago. My distaste for being labeled a "fad dieter" is so strong that when I do eat out, I will often order something that "should" be gluten-free, without actually revealing my need for a gluten-free meal, and take my chances with the cross-contamination. This is obviously not the best choice for my health, but your post illustrates exactly why I do it."

                      You really have celiacs, you should have no reservations at all about letting the kitchen know you have an issue. Any restaurant worth its salt is going to take care of your request cheerfully and you should never know that it was the slightest bit of an inconvenience. We may get upset with the tickets in the back that come back "gluten free, no rice sub pasta", but we do realize that there are people out there with a real condition. It sucks that we look with some suspicion, but in the end any good restaurant is going to get you what you need and you are never going to know how much extra work it took.

                      Im now working in a very high end tasting menu only restaurant, and would like to say that when going into places like these everyone's night can be made a lot better if the restaurant is notified of any dietary restrictions beforehand.

                      1. re: twyst

                        Oh, and just a word of advice to those with celiacs when it comes to restaurant dining. Unless you are at a really high end place with a reputation off the charts, anything that goes near the fryer needs to be off limits.

                        Most places don't keep a gluten free fryer, so even a well intentioned inexperienced cook may throw something "gluten free" into a fryer that has some flour in it.

                        I would say that would have to be the most common way Ive seen contaminated food almost go out. For instance, a place I used to work used to serve blistered shishito peppers, just peppers dropped in hot oil for about 40 seconds with no batter and served with gluten free dipping sauce. I saw a few new servers try to sell this app to a table that was "gluten free", and they had no idea what they were doing was dangerous.

                        1. re: twyst

                          That also goes along with anyone with a seafood allergy; not all places have shellfish free fryer. Beyond that, I have been in more than one kitchen where everybody (cooks, chef, front of the house, etc.) pretty much stops giving a shit once they get in the weeds. A busy restaurant is unfortunately, not the place you want to be if you have dietary concerns.

                          There's also a lot of ignorance on both sides, unfortunately. The example I like to use for this is white sugar: I have seen white sugar added to 'vegan' food and even used by vegans, because most people don't know that some refineries use bone char in their refinement processes (not all of them, but there's no requirement to state either way). It's a similar matter with gluten free stuff, a lot of people don't know what gluten is or what it's in, so cross contamination happens all the time.

                          Also, it is important to state that you have an allergy or other such condition that makes consuming something hazardous. If you simply say you don't want X in something the kitchen simply won't put that in your food, but the other ingredients my have touched it. When the kitchen is busy, it's not worth our time to make sure something hasn't touched your food that you just don't like the taste of, so you often need to specifically bring up that eating that ingredient could have health consequences so care is actually taken to avoid cross contamination.

                          1. re: Bryson

                            but ONLY if eating that food will REALLY cause medical consequences.

                            You don't get to pull the allergy card just because you don't like it.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              A good point. I see a lot of "self-diagnosing" these days. Allergies that aren't allergies. Gluten "sensitivity" that isn't really celiac disease. The sad thing is these folks give people who really do have the given health challenge a bad name.

                              1. re: jmckee

                                No, I don't think they do ("give people...a bad name"). At most, the public perception of the seriousness of a disorder is diluted a bit. I expect most people who do not have issues with gluten (real or imagined) just don't think about it much.

                                "These folks" are merely a minor distraction. "People" are responsiblr for their own good names.

                                1. re: jmckee

                                  I agree with your last sentence, GH1618. No disrespect to those who actually have such an ailment, but it also seems that "gluten-free" has perverted to become a symbol of higher status, sort of in the same vain that buying "organic" or being a vegetarian are now the new, hip ways to eat.

                                  1. re: Dinermite

                                    +1

                                    (and "in the same vain" actually works better in this context than "in the same vein")

                                    1. re: Dinermite

                                      Ultimately, having more Gluten-Free items at the store is awesome, but it does seem to be a bit worrisome lately.

                                      Even items at the store that tag "Gluten-Free!" on the front need to be checked now. I keep running across things tagged "Gluten-Free" on the main label, but the back will have a warning that the item comes from a "facility that also processes wheat, egg, milk, and soy", in various combinations. I can't recall any that said "Gluten-Free" and warned of "shared equipment with products containing wheat" though, I'm not sure if those are out there.

                                      I tend to consider the warning of a facility that also makes wheat, etc, items to be covering bases in case of accidents, and I will still take the risk thinking that any cross contamination levels would be very low, but many others would not want to take that risk. It's a little scary how much everything needs to be checked.

                                      1. re: felis_naiad

                                        Indeed, my very sensitive celiac wife cannot eat a huge number of foods that are made on shared equipment.

                                        It isn't that the equipment is necessarily contaminated -- but there may be wheat flour in the air which causes a problem.

                                        Years back I wondered if my wife's sensitivity was party psychological -- then shortly after we started dating she accidentally got about 2 small crumbs of wheat bread in food and was sick for 2 days. It isn't psychological for her.

                                        1. re: conate

                                          "...but there may be wheat flour in the air which causes a problem."
                                          ~~~~~~~~
                                          I have to explain this to people all the time. It's also a problem in restaurant kitchens where they make bread, pizza, and/or pasta from scratch - those teeny gluten-laden flour particles float in the air and land in/on everything.

                                          I sympathize with your wife as I am also that sensitive. It makes dining in restaurants and other people's homes extremely difficult, and requires extreme diligence when purchasing ingredients for your own cooking purposes.

                                        2. re: felis_naiad

                                          We don't buy GF bread at all. We also buy the flours by the 25 pound sack. My wife's bread has Chia seeds in it, too as she likes them. The INGREDIENTS for the bread costs close to $3 for a 1 pound loaf.

                                          And we do not buy organic flour. Admittedly the chia alone costs about $1 but even so...

                                  2. re: Bryson

                                    "A busy restaurant is unfortunately, not the place you want to be if you have dietary concerns."

                                    Thank you, thank you for this. God almighty, if you have dietary concerns or allergies or just think you have, I urge you to stay home.

                                    I have friends who have adopted (___fill in the blank___) food issues, and if it makes them feel better, and they're willing to go through the extreme amount of food preparation that makes their lives better in their eyes, well, my hat goes off to you. But don't expect us to invite you over for dinner, I can't assume that burden.

                                2. re: twyst

                                  I will say that in a high-end place, I always do notify them of my condition. At places like that, I have been consistently treated very well. The more mid-range places are the ones that make me the most uncomfortable.

                                3. re: MelMM

                                  op here, I just got curious tonight, typed in "gluten" into google, found the wiki page, read it, and it says 0.5% to 1%. Then I thought of some of the (mostly upscale) grocery stores that have large sections with a wide variety of gluten-free items. They're clearly servicing a market larger than 1%! Just doesn't add up.

                                  On that point, the people with Celiac may love that 9% of people. Imagine how many extra choices they have because of the extra buying power. Surely they won't have to go as far to find what they're looking for, and have a greater variety to choose from. They're being subsidized by other consumers!

                                  If people are choosing this out of choice and not medical necessarily, I'm just curious why? Is the food seen as being "better" ? Is it like "organic plus" ? I just don't know.

                                  My diet consists of peanut butter and jam, chicken, candies and large handfuls of chocolate chips. I love bananas in milk with sugar too.. Goddamn I love that! I'm nobody to talk shit about someone else's diet. ;) Truly just seemed like an anomaly worth asking about.

                                  1. re: SocksManly

                                    If I had the choice I would NOT choose GF products. They are far inferior IMHO and ridiculously expensive. So, I nearly always make my own goods. I go for intrinsically GF stuff, anyway - no need for processed. It is not recommended that those without intolerance and celiac go GF. If so, you need to see a dietitian to ensure you are getting the required nutrients and so on. Celebrities are doing it to lose weight. That is crazy - many celiacs GAIN weight when going GF because they go wild on the processed food they normally would not eat because they panic and are unsure what to do in the beginning. That happened to me, too.

                                    1. re: chefathome

                                      I'm like you, I prefer to eat food that are naturally gluten free, with a few exceptions. I buy GF bread to have toast with my eggs or to have a toasted sandwich. I would never consider eating it untoasted as it seems very dry. If you have a recipe for GF bread that tastes normal untoasted, I would love if you would share it. It tried making GF bread that supposedly was AMAZING and let's just say it was anything but that.

                                      1. re: dmjordan

                                        As most GF breads (commercial) are so unsavoury I have toast less often and make much of my own bread. It is so dry about it being dry and crumbly! :( Have you tried Kinnickinnik Soft Bread? It even says on the packaging that it doesn't need to be toasted! It's the best commercial bread IMHO. I have made so many recipes and only a few are fairly good. Will post a couple for you...

                                        1. re: chefathome

                                          I have Kinnickkinnik White Bread in my freezer right now. Is that the same thing? Under the name it does say that it is soft. I've only had it toasted so I will have to try it untoasted.

                                          1. re: dmjordan

                                            Is it new? The old bread is really bad - the new a huge improvement. I believe it came out last spring. It is not wonderful but about the best commercial I've had.

                                            1. re: chefathome

                                              I've only been eating GF bread for about 6 months so I'm not sure if it's new. After being diagnosed and seeing that GF bread was $6.00 a loaf, I refused to buy it. I finally gave in when my craving for fried eggs with toast became too strong. I'll have to try it untoasted.

                                              1. re: dmjordan

                                                GF bread is insanely expensive. The most I have seen it for was $10 for one loaf!!! (I didn't buy it.) I don't think I want to know how much it costs to make some of the ones I do.

                                                Though K bread is fine untoasted I still do usually toast it as I like the texture (or have grilled cheese or whatever). K also makes great fresh baguettes. Well, great for GF. One of the biggest reason I like to make my own (and there are many reasons) is so I can slice it thickly for Welsh Rarebit, French Toast and so on.

                                      2. re: chefathome

                                        You are more comfortable in the kitchen than 80% of the populace. Plus a sudden diet shift dictated by necessity and not by choice is a big deal.

                                        It could be a child who suddenly can’t have their cherished Spagehttios or perhaps it’s a busy accountant that just wants to bring in a “no-fuss” sandwich for lunch at work. Maybe the High School star basket ball player doesn’t want to stick out in the lunch room and just have a ‘normal’ meal like everyone else. Taste, meal occasions, and comfort in foods are very personal and should not be looked down on. Perhaps it’s weird to someone’s niece that Auntie Beth never eats pizza with the rest of the family and it sticks out to her.

                                        Gluten-free options were created and are still developed for individuals that want to not be reminded of their diet intolerance every time they sit down to eat.

                                        While other’s feel the fad diet reduces legitimacy to the food intolerance, I feel it instead it brings commercial interest in developing and providing to those who really do need it with options.

                                      3. re: SocksManly

                                        First off Wiki shouldn't be the do all end all when it comes to attitudes about protecting your guests health!! Wiki is wrong, the national celiac association number is 1 in 133 people with many many more undiagnosed or incorrectly diagnosed. So its much higher than 1%.

                                        As a waitress & bartender of over a decade I understand that attitude, especially at 7pm pn a weekend...BUT flour, wheat, beer, soy sauce, rye, barley & a list of other cross contaminated ingredients will cause me not only to get a migraine with my friends causing us to leave early but vomit either in your facilities or the parking lot (is there a bigger insult to a chef) then be bed ridden in pain for days. As a result I not only tell all of my gluten free friends & blogs where t sick (ensuring others won't eat there) but also honestly tell friends/family concerned about canceled plans where I got sick too. Its the age old food poisoning scenario sick will tell 100+, happy will tell 10 max.

                                        Food & reputation are your business! Why intentionally harm people because "they are just another pain in the ass" when it ultimately harms your job & bottom line? Funny thing about this disease is many of the GF trash talking, garbage eating, over weight chefs I know are being diagnosed. Farm to table gaining in popularity & healthy eating FINALLY gaining steam over the same old fried crap.

                                        This isn't a fad, its poison. If you're not going to take my food as seriously as a shellfish allergy (which I also have) please just send out a box of rat poison, at least that tells me what I am honestly having for dinner!

                                        1. re: thetxlady

                                          I think you should re-read my response. Nowhere did I say that we DONT send out safe gluten free food when requested. I work in a james beard winning restaurant and we take our reputation very seriously. We of course take every precaution for every food request we get. It doesnt mean that when a big chunk of the population claims to have a food allergy that they dont it isnt a pain in the ass. We dont have "gluten free" menu items and dont advertise to be gluten free, so every dietary request is handled on a case by case basis. When its common for an entire table of young women claiming to have celiac disease to come in, its quite clear that many people who are simply following a gluten free diet for weight loss are claiming to have celiac.

                                          I understand to people who have never worked in a kitchen how it may not seem very different to say you have celiac vs saying you are eating gluten free, but trust me, a huge amount more time must be taken to feed someone who has celiac than to feed someone who is eating gluten free to lose weight (which is why most people are doing it according to the numbers).
                                          If you want to be mad at someone be mad at the legions of people running around claiming to have a medical condition that they don't.

                                          1. re: twyst

                                            But some people are legitimately gluten-free and NOT celiac- are you saying I should lie just to be taken seriously? I think most people who genuinely live GF, realize the difficulties of preparing GF food (when you're not used to it), and so (as another poster said) tend to order items that are "naturally" gluten free and keep their fingers crossed. If I get glutened, I will have stomach cramps, brain fog and bloating. Believe me, if I could eat all the wonderful delicious food on your menu I would. Being GF is a pain in the a**. But most of us who live this way do it because we feel like hell when we don't. And yes, it drives me crazy too when I am at a catered lunch and a GF pizza has been kindly ordered for me, and all sorts of people swarm it and say they "should be" or "are trying to go" GF. I still don't totally get the vitriol though. Oops- just realized this post is a year old- oh well!

                                          2. re: thetxlady

                                            "First off Wiki shouldn't be the do all end all when it comes to attitudes about protecting your guests health!! Wiki is wrong, the national celiac association number is 1 in 133 people with many many more undiagnosed or incorrectly diagnosed. So its much higher than 1%."

                                            I completely avoid wiki, but I found some numbers from the mayo clininc that are interesting and are very relevant to the OP

                                            "1.8 million Americans with celiac disease, but about 1.4 million people with the condition may not be aware they even have it. On the flip side, about 1.6 million people in the U.S. are on a gluten-free diet even though they haven't been diagnosed with celiac disease."
                                            http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_16...

                                            1. re: twyst

                                              So you trust a news report, but not Wiki?

                                              The relevant Wiki quote is
                                              "Between 0.5 and 1.0 percent of people in the United States are sensitive to gluten due to celiac disease, which constitutes an abnormal immune reaction to partially digested gliadin.[17][18]"
                                              The citation in NIH
                                              http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddisea...
                                              " More than 2 million people in the United States have the disease, or about 1 in 133 people.1"
                                              (which in turn cites a 2003 journal article).

                                              CBS is probably quoting this Mayo press release
                                              http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2012-rs...
                                              citing in turn an article by some of their researchers.

                                              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22...
                                              Am J Gastroenterol. 2012 Oct;107(10):1538-44; quiz 1537, 1545. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2012.219. Epub 2012 Jul 31.
                                              The prevalence of celiac disease in the United States.
                                              Rubio-Tapia A, Ludvigsson JF, Brantner TL, Murray JA, Everhart JE.

                                              From its abstract: "The prevalence of CD in the United States was 0.71% (1 in 141),"
                                              Those are essentially the same numbers as given by NIH and Wiki.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                "So you trust a news report, but not Wiki?"

                                                I trust the mayo clinic and they were the source for the news article.

                                                And yes, I actually do trust news agencies more than wiki. Wikipedia is a terrible resource for many topics since the general public can edit entries to fit their agenda. I realize this happens in the news, but at least news agencies have some accountability.

                                                1. re: twyst

                                                  Wiki is like Mayo Clinic, TV and print news and medical journals; unreliable, often wrong and needing verification.

                                                  Many Wiki entries are very informative, accurate and the best have citations so you can evaluate the evidence yourself. It can be a great starting point for baseline info, but one must always do due diligence, and going to medical web sites and going no independent analysis leads to bad info just as much.

                                      4. re: twyst

                                        How the hell can just 10% of customers saying they have Celiac be ruining anything? Either you can make gluten-free safe food or you can't. Your restaurant SHOULDN'T claim to provide it if the cooks don't care to make it.

                                        It's the horrible and terrifying attitudes like this that keep many of us too scared to go out to eat. And how exactly are we supposed to prove that we "really need it"? Is there a special code word I should use when I cave in and go out to eat with friends, so that I can request gluten-free and actually receive it? Is there some special thing I can say that will keep me safe and not "dismissed as a fad dieter" so I can actually not be made sick by careless jerks??

                                        1. re: twyst

                                          You have people come in and specifically request a "gluten free meal"? As someone who really has a gluten issue, I kind of resent that kind of attention and demand placed by those with these issues - upon everyone else. I think it's better to take the responsibility to know what you can and cannot eat and order a meal without inconveniencing someone else. It's okay to ask if a gluten free bun is available for your burger, or gf bread for toast, but to expect a cook to make a totally gluten free (pure) meal in a restaurant is, in my opinion, kind of self absorbed and slightly obnoxious.

                                          1. re: cmoorecole

                                            I find that a number of restaurants are willing to take the time to make gluten free food. In general, they have had some experience with a friend or family member who has had problems with gluten. There are many different reasons someone might not want to consume gluten at any moment in time. But, to claim that your food is gluten free when it is not, is really obnoxious and could harm someone. A much more honest option is to state that you have gluten free products but the kitchen does not meet the standards for gluten intolerance.