Helen Greenwood's story in The Sydney Morning Herald this week on the Healthy Feast gluten-free bakery in Leichhardt sparked a great gluten-free debate. Well, maybe it wasn't the story that really created the debate but rather an inflammatory comment posted by a person called Sahara at the online site.
At the end of the review, the Herald asked readers to let them know about good gluten-free eating spots. A few people posted their favourites but the majority of the 94 people who commented were responding to Sahara's statement about food allergies being trendy with gluten-intolerant the most popular. Sahara went on to assert that most food allergies were self-diagnosed and that people who claim to suffer from a food allergy are part of the "look at me, I'm special" mentality.
Well boy did those comments set the cat among the pigeons. In particular, people with coeliac disease were the most outraged about being considered trendy on a gluten-free diet, and rightly so. One point I did agree with Sahara on is that it is important to get a proper diagnosis if you are having digestive problems and find out whether you have an allergy, an intolerance, coeliac disease or something else.
In the end I think Bill from Broome aptly summed up the debate, saying he thought Sahara was one of those typical commenters that like 'taking the piss'' and sitting back and having a giggle at the outrage they cause. Either way Sahara, The Sydney Morning Herald and Healthy Feast created a conversation on coeliac disease, gluten-free foods, allergies and intolerances. And among the 94 posts there were a few good recommendations for coeliac-friendly restaurants.