At this point in time, anywhere you go should have gluten free items on their menu. Some restaurants actually have gone completely gluten free. This has been trending for quite some time now and has no signs of slowing or even stopping. It is curious that the people that need this the most are suffering from something called celiac disease. This disease is testable and studies suggest that a mere 1% of the total population actually suffers from it. So why then is this trend making such big waves in the restaurant and grocery industries?
So we know that gluten is bad for those that suffer from celiac disease. It produces several gastrointestinal maladies of differing severities, though no one has died from it to my knowledge. These issues happen when someone with this disease ingests gluten and their body tries to digest certain protein strings. These people should certainly be on the lookout for gluten free restaurants in Appleton, let alone anywhere else.
But what about all the other people that claim gluten sensitivities without a diagnosis of celiac disease? Well, that seems to be a bit of a grey area even for gastrointestinal specialists. There have been studies that show that many of the gluten free products on the shelves have always been gluten free. It's just that now with this growing trend that the products are just labeled as such. There have also been studies that suggest that a person that is negative for celiac disease, but still has gastrointestinal issues, generally feels better if they adopt a gluten free diet. Why is that? No one is quite sure. There unfortunately aren't any medical tests that have produced any real reason that this should be the case. There are only the accounts of people that have tried this kind of diet. Was it actually the lack of gluten that made them feel better? Or was it something else that was unintentionally avoided by avoiding gluten? Again, no one can answer that at this time. Some suggest that it is a psychosomatic response that these people's minds are fabricating. Even that can't be quantified in a satisfactorily scientific way.
It is all these "non-answers" that makes this issue interesting and up for debate. I can't argue with someone about the way they physically feel so I really have to trust them when they say that they have a gluten intolerance. Not to mention that considering that as human beings, we eat a lot at regular intervals, meaning that it is quite easy to start seeing patterns of what we eat and how that food makes us feel.
Given all that, I believe that all these gluten free restaurants in Appleton and beyond are playing the cautious game when scientifically, only 1% of people have a testable reason for avoiding gluten. Can I blame them? Absolutely not. In their cases, they are far better off being safe than sorry for not offering gluten free meals.
Tim Hiller is a freelance writer that fortunately doesn't need to worry about searching out gluten free restaurants in Appleton, though feels a bit sorry for those that do. http://www.osorioslatinfusion.com