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“Gluten-Free” Seems To Be America’s Answer To A Laundry List Of Dietary Concerns

June 16, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Only one percent of Americans – 316,000 – suffer from celiac disease, a severe gastric reaction to gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley and rye flour. Another two million or so are considered gluten intolerant. But more than a quarter of Americans – about 79 million – are trying to become gluten-free, and that’s what’s driving the multi-billion-dollar gluten-free foods market. The trend is here to stay, according to food industry experts. Top restaurants in New York City, for example, are all serving gluten-free versions of their most popular pastas. But why? A “perfect storm” of trends: an increase in food allergies, growing concerns about digestive health, worries about genetic modification of grain, and other dietary qualms “are at an all-time high and food itself is the current cultural currency”. Gluten-free seems to be the panacea.
Kim Severson, "Gluten-Free Eating Appears to Be Here to Stay", The New York Times, June 16, 2014, © The New York Times Company
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