Gluten-Free News from the Wall Street Journal — and Corrections

Last Tuesday the Wall Street Journal ran a great article giving an overview of the gluten-free lifestyle. The article covered the subtle differences between celiac disease, gluten sensitivities and wheat allergies, and also the difficulties and benefits of a gluten-free diet. Perhaps more gratifyingly – at least for me, and anyone else who’s ever had to smile through someone saying, “Oh, wow, you’re really lucky. If I couldn’t eat bread I’d lose soooo much weight!” – was the article’s headline: “Giving up Gluten to Lose Weight? Not so Fast”.

All this is great news, right? Right! I was stoked to see such a mainstream media outlet covering gluten-free news and the gluten-free diet. The article even comes with a nifty infographic showing flattened villi and listing potential symptoms of a gluten intolerance.


However, the article mistakenly listed a handful of items as containing gluten, and the Wall Street Journal issued a correction a few days later. If you’ve been following gluten-free news for a while, you can probably guess what some of the problem items were: envelope glue, lipstick, vinegar, and hard liquor. Ketchup and ice cream were also erroneously listed as often containing gluten, when in fact a quick look through the gluten-free grocery guide shows that gluten-free ketchup and gluten-free ice cream are the norm, not the exception.

Better safe than sorry, of course – and it’s true that not all brands are safe and that sometimes people report reactions to items that are in fact considered gluten-free. I was nevertheless surprised to see that so many misunderstandings persist, and that they made their way through the Wall Street Journal’s fact-checking team only to be immediately called out by commenters and by some of the experts originally quoted in the article.

How to keep misinformation from becoming mainstream? As always, Triumph is proud to be a resource for accurate, up-to-date news and information about living gluten-free. If we’re all vigilant, and take the time to educate people who may be unfamiliar with the details of the gluten-free diet, we can keep these sorts of media slip-ups to a minimum. What misunderstandings do you encounter most frequently?

5 thoughts on “Gluten-Free News from the Wall Street Journal — and Corrections”

  1. Hi Emily, Thanks for recognizing this overall outstanding article to those who might not have seen it in the WSJ. I was truly impressed by the amount of research that author Melinda Beck had done and the quotes in her work.

    However, you are right that there were a few flaws – most notably ketchup, ice cream, envelope glue, and lipstick. Still, I was very glad that the WSJ with its high-visibility obviously put a lot of work into covering celiac disease and pointing out who should go on a gluten-free diet and who should not.
    It also speaks for the integrity of the paper that they recognized the corrections that were pointed out to them in the Saturday paper ( This truly impressed me.

    1. Hello! I couldn’t agree with you more, and was thrilled to see the Journal devote this much real estate to our community. The slip-ups, to me, were mostly indicative of just how confusing the gluten-free diet is for people who haven’t been living it for quite some time (and, OK, it’s still confusing to me sometimes and I’m going on my 9th gluten-free year).

  2. Hi Emily, so true. I really appreciate the great mutual support the gluten-free community gives each other. There are only few days I am not learning something new. That’s why I fully agree with your last paragraph – Triumph is one of the most reliable sources for accurate, up-to-date information on living gluten-free. Thank you and the whole team for doing an outstanding job!

  3. But lots of people do react to lipstick with gluten (or other beauty products that one way or another end up in one’s mouth). I was surprised by the “correction” that “amount of gluten in some lipsticks is too small to pose health problems.” If one re-applies lipstick a few times a day (or more) it adds up. Better safe than sorry would indeed seem to apply here instead of saying this needn’t even be considered, especially for those newly diagnosed or particularly sensitive.

  4. Thanks, Hajo!
    And Renee, thank you as well. You’re right: hidden gluten does pop up in the most unexpected places, and living with a gluten intolerance often means extra vigilance. At the end of the day, it’s wise to always check ingredients — there are certainly safe and unsafe lipsticks out there. Sometime soon, we’ll dedicate a post to the subject and explore the options a little more fully.

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