Way #10: Being Alert to How Ones Culture Promotes Gluten Use Might Help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity
Posted by nepeht on October 20, 2008
10. Being Alert to How Ones Culture Promotes Gluten Use Might Help One Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.
Does your culture promote the use of gluten? If so, how?
My culture (Southeastern U.S.A., Umpteenth generation, of Scottish/Irish/English descent origin) promotes gluten in a big way. For my people, what is a dinner table without bread? And surely, cornbread is sometimes there, but they put wheat flour into that also. Realizing this, then it is no wonder that when I turn down the bread on my plate, the person on the serving end commonly looks bewildered.
Quoting from a related article:
“Celiac Disease tends to be most common among people of Irish, English, Scottish, Scandanavian, and Eastern European decent. However, gluten-sensitivities can affect us all. http://denver.yourhub.com/Littleton/Stories/Health-Fitness/Diet/Story~390017.aspx.
If it were not for my culture’s recent fascination with carbohydrate related diets I might really appear to be an oddball. Unfortunately though, the Atkins diet is NOT a gluten-free diet and was in no way developed for people with Celiac Sprue. However, one can if need be fuse the two diets together when health conditions require such a venture. See this link for related ideas: http://www.atkins.com/Home.aspx.
If I grew up in a Latina/o culture, I might have frequently had a choice between wheat or corn totillas with any meal. In fact, with such a high prevalence of diabetes in Latin American cultures, corn totillas are becoming more and more common as they are thought to be healthier. If I grew up in some Asian countries, rice would be my grain of choice.
But going back to the topic of this essay about how understanding how ones culture promotes gluten can facilitate gluten-free simplicity: One of the most common feelings I have had in my decade with Celiac Sprue has been the frustration of being unable to readily find edible foods. And one of the most horrible ways to complicate such a life has been to form undue resentments and anger about related situations.
I was finally starting to feel a welcome release from these painful emotions at the moment that I began to accept and even appreciate and value that eating wheat is a really big part of my culture as well as it is in some other cultures. And that while it would be perfectly fine to advocate for menu mutations for the sake of those who have gluten intolerance; one could hardly expect that the common menus in such cultures would already be changed accordingly.
Sure, cultures can be changed. And influencing my culture to change its diet to include less gluten would probably be a good thing. But such change is very slow and that is ok.
Meanwhile, we have a choice: (1) We can resent the various evolution/devolution – related bounties of our culture; or (2) We can nudge a little at a time until our G-F needs become part of the mainstream http://www.slashfood.com/2008/09/20/gluten-free-is-going-mainstream.