Gluten-free chips, gluten-free dips, and gluten-free soups, pretzels, beer, and bread, not to mention gluten-free cheese sticks, fish sticks, bread sticks and soy sticks. These were just a few of the thousands of products on display at the most lavish annual gluten-free trade-fair that traversed the U.S. last Fall, according to a report in The New Yorker.
This edenic profusion was not melancholic testimony to a sudden upsurge in the number of cases of celiac disease, generally about 1% of the population, a seriously debilitating and potentially perilous auto-immune disease involving intestinal deterioration and absorption blockages that can only by treated by a strict avoidance of gluten in any form, but by an astonishing proliferation, largely self-diagnosed and medically undocumented, of intolerance to gluten. 20,000,000 Americans claim distress after consuming any of the innumerable products that contain gluten and up to 1/3 of adults affirm that they are trying to go gluten-free.
Demographically, it would be rash not to take these people seriously; by their number[...]