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?