I eat a turkey sandwich for lunch. I put the deli turkey meat on dark rye bread, with a bit of horseradish mustard. It tastes good.I have done so, every day, for years. Why do I eat the same thing for lunch every day? Because I don't care what I eat for lunch; I just want something reasonably filling, reasonably tasty and reasonably healthy to put in my stomach at lunchtime.
My local supermarket, where I shopped for over twenty years, was recently taken over by another supermarket chain, an "organic" supermarket chain. The organic supermarket allegedly offers better food, healthier food.
With some anxiety, I visited the new supermarket on opening day. I am not a big fan of sudden change and I was anxious about the new supermarket possibly forcing me to either adapt to their "organic", gluten-free" health food, or start shopping at another supermarket.
Once inside the new supermarket, I walked over to the deli section to buy some turkey. Along the way I saw signs and banners everywhere, proclaiming "gluten-free" vegetables and other assorted foods. At the deli counter I searched for my usual turkey, for which I usually paid $7.99 a pound. I searched and searched and could only find several varieties of the store brand turkey, all prominently proclaiming to be gluten-free. They were all priced at $11.99 a pound. Wait a minute! I was paying $7.99 per pound at the old supermarket, now, at the new supermarket, I had to pay $11.99 per pound? That's an increase of $4 a pound--an increase of 50%! That's the price for freaking gluten-free turkey???
"Are you serious," I asked the deli manager. "Where's my $7.99 turkey breast deli meat?"
"We don't carry that anymore. We only carry gluten-free turkey."
"At $11.99 a pound?" That's $4 a pound MORE."
The deli manager shrugged and said, "Everybody wants gluten-free."
"I'm not paying $11.99 for your turkey. I'm not paying $11.99 for ANY turkey sandwich meat, I don't care that it's gluten-free," I replied.
"Gluten free is healthier," said the manager.
I replied, "I've been eating gluten for over half-a-century--and I'm not dead yet."
Is buying gluton-free products stupid, is gluten-free a stupid fad?
From Holly Strawbridge, Former Editor, Harvard Health and the Harvard Medical School:
"After being confined to health-food stores for years, gluten-free foods have become the latest food fad. Supermarket aisles abound with products proudly labeled “Gluten free,” and many restaurants now offer gluten-free options.
For people who can’t tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, this abundance is a blessing. But lately it’s become hip to go gluten-free. Based on little or no evidence other than testimonials in the media, people have been switching to gluten-free diets to lose weight, boost energy, treat autism, or generally feel healthier. This doesn’t make much sense to Dr. Daniel A. Leffler, director of clinical research at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
“People who are sensitive to gluten may feel better, but a larger portion will derive no significant benefit from the practice. They’ll simply waste their money, because these products are expensive,” says Dr. Leffler, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School."
I went to another nearby supermarket and bought good old glutenized turkey. I paid $6.99 a pound, less than I used to pay for deli turkey and $5 per pound less than the new organic supermarket's stupid gluten-free deli turkey. What can I say, I'm a glutton for gluten.
In an news update, the supermarket chain quickly went bankrupt and, on September 25, 2015 announced it was closing all its stores in California.