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February 28, 2010

In defense of gluten

Gluten-boosted pizzaI'd like to take up for poor, old, unfashionable gluten.

Gluten-free everything has become so popular that a friend recently had trouble finding ordinary wheat flour amidst all the gluten-free varieties on the Annapolis Whole Foods shelves.

Gluten-free menus are said to be one of the hottest restaurant trends for 2010. As EL noted on this blog this month, an article on gluten-free Tastykakes was the most read story on The Sun's Web site -- amid two mega-blizzards and a Super Bowl.

All great news for people who can't tolerate gluten. 

But for non-allergic home bakers, especially those of us bent on using whole wheat flour where it doesn't belong, I have a suggestion: More gluten, not less.

Not too long ago, I came across a product on the King Arthur Flour Web site called Vital Wheat Gluten. Adding it to whole grain flour gives the dough a boost while it rises, resulting in a lighter texture, the site claimed. 

As someone who mercilessly sneaks whole wheat flour into the baked goods I make for my husband and two young children, I was interested.

I like a good, dense whole wheat bread as well as the next gal. But the whole-wheat pizza dough I'd been making sometimes fell flat. Using bread flour would have helped, but I wanted to stick with whole wheat because it's more nutritious. (I'd already been using a mixture of white flour and white whole wheat flour, a whole-grain variety made with a lighter-tasting type of wheat. I use two parts white whole wheat to one part white.)

I ordered a $5 1-pound bag of the King Arthur wheat gluten, paid an absurd $6 in shipping, and very soon thereafter was making distinctly better pizza. (I've since learned you can find vital wheat gluten in some supermarkets, including that Whole Foods with the almost annoyingly well-stocked baking aisle.)

I like a thin, crisp pizza crust, and I still got that by rolling and stretching the gluten-boosted dough thin. But the edges came out softer and more bread-y -- an improvement over past crusts, which could be as dry and hard as crackers. 

It says on the gluten-booster bag to add up to 1 tablespoon per cup of flour. I found 2 tablespoons were enough for a batch of dough made with 3 cups of flour. (I've adapted Christopher Kimball's pizza dough recipe in his book The Cook's Bible, which calls only for all-purpose flour. I'd include the recipe here, but I'm afraid Kimball would send a bunch of bow-tied lawyers after me.)

I made a batch of gluten-boosted dough last night for Malaysian Chicken Pizza, an old Cooking Light recipe. It didn't taste the slightest bit like health food.

Malaysian Chicken Pizza and the gluten-booster that makes it better. Photo by math-hubby

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 5:46 AM | | Comments (175)
Categories: Pizza


More evidence that great minds think alike--except that I cheated when I made pizzas for us last night by using whole wheat naan, bought at my local grocery store. I topped these with lightly sauteed sweet red peppers, leeks, chicken sausage, goat cheese and a bit of parmesan. Quick and yum! Our favorite version involves Swiss chard and a bit of prosciutto.

undisputedly, high gluten flour is necessary to make a decent bagel. I'd also like to throw out the thought that if you've been diagnosed with Celiac disease, a second opinion is always a good idea.

I personally think Celiac disease is being over-diagnosed.

First they came for my cigarettes and I said nothing. Then they came for my trans-fats and I was silent. Then they came for my HFCS and again I was mute. And then they came for me.

Yeah unfortunately there has been a rise in food allergies and Celiac as well -- I won't venture to speculate on this forum as to the causes, but calling gluten "unfashionable" is weird. Cupcakes are unfashionable. Also I would figure if there is one place in Maryland where you could find every possible iteration of "gluten free flour" it would be a flagship 60,000 sq ft Whole Foods -- probably not the best choice for anecdotal evidence.

I picked up a bag of vital wheat gluten (at the Canton Safeway) a couple of days ago, but haven't had the chance to try it yet. It's good to hear that it really does work as advertised.

Gluten is magic. It's just wheat protein (and I think corn has smaller amounts). It's what traps air bubbles from the yeast activity to make your dough rise. Ta da.

Here's how this rolls from what I know as an amateur chemist. Gluten is a protein prevalent in wheat. Like all proteins, it's a big gnarly ball of amino acid chains.

Somehow gluten unfolds somewhat during the baking/rising process. This allows it to create a lattice-like sub-structure in the dough that traps the CO2 given off by the yeast reactions.

I think it adds some chewiness, so extra fluffy plus extra chewy equals good bread/dough. You can see why a low gluten flour would be preferable for cakes.

OMG, nerd!

I find it odd that you feel the need to "defend" gluten against a growing list of gluten-free foods. For those who can't tolerate gluten, having alternatives available is a mitzvah, not a competition.

Agreed on the over-diagnosing, Joyce - my anecdotal evidence is my younger cousin, who was told she was celiac probably about 10 years ago; last summer she went to the doctor and they said, oh, actually you're not. It must be pretty terrible to have to limit your diet so severely for all that time, only to find out it was for nothing more than a slightly sensitive stomach...

Celiac disease is very real. I agree with Sharon. Why is this a competition? Those of us with Celiac disease and gluten intolerance struggle to stay away from hidden gluten. It's not just breads and pastas. Wheat can be found in soy sauce. Anything labeled with malt is forbidden, because it comes from barley. Anything with "natural flavoring" can contain gluten. For some odd reason, the FDA only deems wheat to be a problem, so foods containing barley and rye aren't necessarily labeled as such. Then there's the problem with cross-contamination. Hooray for your vital wheat gluten. I've seen it in my local store for years, so you must not have been looking very hard.

When I was in culinary school we had a girl in the baking program who had Celiac.. she wore a mask ALL THE TIME.. but Im sure she will go on to be a great gluten-free baker.

I actually find it offensive for people without food sensitivities to attack those of us who do have food sensitivities. No one is taking gluten off the shelves in favor of gluten free. That's just ridiculous. As for the so called over diagnosis of celiac disease that is doubly ridiculous. If you are PROPERLY diagnosed there is no question a Doctor saying you probably have it or you might be sensitive to gluten is not a diagnosis and it would be very difficult to be undiagnosed as well seeing as in order to have a proper diagnosis in the first place you need to be eating wheat.

Celiac disease is an auto immune disorder which causes the body to create extra antibodies. These antibodies then attack the lining of your intestines killing the villi which then causes malabsorption of nutrients this then leads to a whole host of other health problems. The testing for celiac disease is two fold a blood test that looks for antibodies (that are only present if you are eating wheat) followed by a biopsy to check your intestines for actual damage (which you also need to be eating wheat for because as soon as you stop your intestines begin to heal). This process usually requires more than one Doctor, usually a GP who does the initial blood test and a Gastroenterolagist who looks at your intestines.

My 18 month old son and I both have celiac disease. I can't even go to a dinner party or a kids birthday without packing my own food. I've met people with celiac disease who have barely left the house for a meal in years. I have to tell them its OK. The world is changing. There are menu options now. You don't understand the relief of walking into a grocery store that has more than one shelf of gluten free options. Thank god for Wegmans. All Wegmans brand products are clearly labeled if they are gluten free. I don't have to just stick to one aisle of the store.

Until you've walked a mile in other peoples shoes you really shouldn't judge. Every time I take my kid out of the house I have to watch him like a hawk. One cheerio can mean days of screaming in pain for my boy. Trust me I understand how awesome gluten is for baking I do remember what real bread tastes like. There's no reason to rub our noses in it. This article could have been written without attacking the gluten free community and the newly found freedom we can now have because of the availability of options. The minor imaginary inconvenience of having to look a little harder for your extra gluteny flour can never compare to what people with celiac disease and food allergies go through every day of our lives.

It isn't that Celiac disease isn't real. It is in fact, a very nasty disease that should be correctly treated by not having any glutens. Having said that, there is a remarkable rise in the numbers of people who are "suffering" from Celiac disease but never got the correct workup and who's disease is being treated based on symptoms and or partial physical evidence.

A good GI doctor is going to do very thorough and complete testing before announcing that you have Celiac
disease. And, because the treatment for this disease is so rigorous, you really want to be sure that you have it before you live out a lifetime sentence of no gluten.

It is not a competition it is simply people who've self diagnosed or been incorrectly diagnosed giving gluten a bad name.

By the way, I'm not endorsing or renouncing any hospital's GI programs, but don't you think it strange that one hospital has such incredibly high numbers of Celiac diagnosis compared to every other hospital in the state?

I think the confusion stems from the misconception that gluten is something inherently bad for everyone or unnatural.

I know people who buy gluten-free foods because they think gluten is bad for you even though they don't have Celiac disease. Wouldn't it be fair to describe people with this condition as being allergic to wheat, corn, barley and rye? (I don't know for sure which grains have gluten.)

I'm sorry Joyce but what exactly is your background here that makes you such an expert? I actually don't find it weird that one hospital has a higher rate of Celiac diagnosis than another seeing as there is a very well known center for Celiac Disease research in Maryland. It is not uncommon for certain hospitals to specialize in certain things.

You're also talking about two different things. There are people who are sensitive to gluten there is no test for that. It's not celiac disease it is more of a food allergy. I've never met anyone with gluten sensitivity who claimed to have celiac disease. People with this sensitivity that follow the diet claim to feel better and have had remarkable results in helping things like arthritis.

Part of the reason we are seeing such a rise in sensitivities to foods like corn wheat dairy and soy is because of the amount of processed foods we all eat. If you check your food labels it is almost impossible to buy processed foods that don't have one of those items in them. Ironically there was more variety in our food 100 years ago when people ate more fresh foods.

LV, I'm surprised that the Sun doesn't give its staff any information on copywrite law. Christopher Kimball could not send lawyers after you if you simply paraphrased the directions of the recipe, since the actual verbiage of the directions is the only part of a recipe that can be copywrited. "Mere listings of ingredients as in recipes, formulas, compounds, or prescriptions are not subject to copyright protection." (c) U.C. Copywrite Office

Celiac disease is an auto immune disorder not an allergy. If you are allergic to something it is the reaction you have immediately following the contact with that thing that IS the allergy. For celiac disease you can have no symptoms and it is still slowly killing you. You're body is actually attacking itself causing serious damage. You are not absorbing the nutrients from your food properly which in itself can lead to death. People with celiac disease have higher risks of getting certain types of cancer as well as auto immune disorders etc etc etc. There are many people with Celiac disease that actually are offended by calling it an allergy.

Gluten damages more than the gut. Neurological and dermatological problems caused by gluten are well documented and may or may not be associated changes in the small intestine. Negative testing for celiac disease does not rule out non-celiac gluten sensitivity or even celiac disease for that matter.

People diagnosed as a child may not show any symptoms as a teenager. This once caused doctors to think that children "outgrew" celiac disease, but it turned out they were wrong. Celiac disease would return with a vengeance when the child became an adult. Celiac disease does not go away.

For years I made all my own whole wheat breads with extra vital wheat gluten to make them wonderfully soft. I thought I was feeding my children a healthy food. I did not realize for over 20 yrs that this was the cause of my child's lifelong GI problems and my neurological problems. How much healthier we both are off of gluten.

I don't feel sorry for you. Wheat products are still in abundance on the grocery shelves and it is not difficult to find wheat flour at all. BTW, King Arthur has a line of certified gluten free flour and mixes.

I'd love to see the millions of people who are on brain altering depression and anxiety meds go gluten free. Gluten problems go way beyond Celiac disease.

Many of the comments here are just plain stupid. Gluten for brains? I think so.

I don't understand the issue with people upset about celiac diagnosis. I am one of those folks that had symptoms for years, and now can eat food without extremem pain thanks to the discovery of celiac disease.
Do you feel the same way about diabetes? Do all the sugar free products make you pissy too?

Celiac disease is an auto immune disorder not an allergy

Aren't all allergies autoimmune reactions?

Many of the comments here are just plain stupid.

Forgive them, their bagel made them that way. I suppose gluten intolerance is accompanied by discourse intolerance.

Time for some data.

Celiac disease affects people in all parts of the world. Originally thought to be a rare childhood syndrome, celiac disease is now known to be a common genetic disorder. More than 2 million people in the United States have the disease, or about 1 in 133 people.1 Among people who have a first-degree relative—a parent, sibling, or child—diagnosed with celiac disease, as many as 1 in 22 people may have the disease.2
Celiac disease is also more common among people with other genetic disorders including Down syndrome and Turner syndrome, a condition that affects girls’ development.

1Fasano A, Berti I, Gerarduzzi T, et al. Prevalence of celiac disease in at-risk and not-at-risk groups in the United States. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2003;163(3):268–292.

The AIM is an excellent peer-reviewed journal published by the AMA; I've published there myself.

This site seems like a good source of unbiased information.

Vaya con datos.

As rootin tootin gluten noted, you can get VWG much cheaper than at KAF. But what King Arthur has that no one else has is its white whole wheat flour, and if you use it you can sneak whole wheat into all kinds of baked goods without fussy husbands and kids being any the wiser. Try it--it's magic.

Laura Vozzella ...

Libertarian suburbanite, "copywrite" flincher, inflicter of inappropriate jocular punditry, Girl Scout taunter, celebrator of the irrational (π-eyed propagandist), inciter of controversy, gluten-sensitive insensitive, Bambi-vore, Falafelist ... Destroyer of Worlds.¹

Quite a week. I'm so jealous; you're like Magneto and Wolverine rolled into one.

I look forward to Week 2.

¹ Bhlogavad Gita, 11:32

DN, I didn't claim to be an expert. I was just stating the obvious. Why are you offended?

I am gluten intolerant, and self diagnosed. I cannot afford to be tested, as I do not have health insurance, however, I noticed a group of symptoms, including GI pain, Acid Reflux, Joint Pain, Dry Skin, Depression, enlarged thyroid and on and on. Thankfully, with a gluten-free diet, my symptoms have disappeared and my energy level has sky rocketed. At this point, even if given the opportunity, I wouldn't get tested. My GF diet has improved my health and I am unwilling to go back to gluten just so I can have several unreliable biopsies to tell me what I already know. I know that many people believe that gluten free diets are just trendy and are quick to point the finger at those of us willing to sacrifice in the name of our health. For me, it's 100% worth it, even if I have to put up with individuals like you, Laura Vozella, who are intolerant of those of us going broke trying to stay healthy and happy. Good luck with you're light and airy pizza crust. I'm sure it's delicious.

FYI from wikipedia:

Gluten (from Latin gluten "glue") is a composite of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. These exist, conjoined with starch, in the endosperms of some grass-related grains, notably wheat, rye, and barley. Gliadin and glutenin comprise about 80% of the protein contained in wheat seed

So that's why wheat paste works so well for paper-mache and other crafts.

Who writes these headlines? Why would gluten need to be defended? The insensitive comments on this blog could be tied to the headline. If you haven't lived with a child whose health slowly deteriorates without explanation, you don't really understand the problem with celiac disease. The evolution of the disease can take years, and the symptoms are confusing.

I come bringing a gift. It's a giant pill, labeled "Chill." I think we could all use one - and they come in high-gluten and gluten-free versions.

Hal, I bought vital wheat gluten from Whole Foods a while back & made a delicious seitan meal. Mmmmm... gluten.

...and that pizza looks delicious!!!

Brooksie-- Trader Joe's has white whole wheat flour for about half the price of King Arthur's. Just so you know!! That's all I buy now...

I think it's great that there's all the gluten free stuff b/c Celiac's is indeed a sucky disease. There might be a rise now because it's easier diagnosed than it was years ago.

That being said, there _are_ a whole host of folks who just don't eat gluten because they think it's bad (i.e. they don't suffer from Celiac's or anything)-- that type of diet is no better than Atkins or South Beach or something.

Owlie, you are probably the only person to have written for the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dining@Large, and Midnight Sun. That is quiet the hat trick.

Anyway, I don't think anyone is upset that there are gluten free products out there. Also, no one here is shilling for the gluten industry. It is not like HFCS and the Corn Refiners.

The issue is whether it is hard to obtain flour that has gluten or adequate amounts of gluten. In some ways this is a classic minority-majority ethical quandary drawn out in a cost-benefit analysis. Should access to something that has a great cost to a minority (extreme sickness) and a small benefit to the majority (good pizza crust) be limited or even banned?

Hmmm, interesting captcha for this question of banned substances: police edict.

I come bringing a gift. It's a giant pill, labeled "Chill."

Bravo. You just never know when the most innocent thing is going to bring a hate storm from who knows where on the internet.

Ease up already. i don't think there was anything insensitive in the headline or column. It's not about cop-killer bullets, it's about wheat.

OK no one has banned gluten. It was not just the headline of the article that got the gluten free community in an uproar and trust me this article is all over the internet by now. It was also the responses after the article. I have no problem with the premise of the article or people talking about how to get more gluten in their flour. I do have a problem with people attacking the gluten free community to do it. It is exactly the "innocent" nature of the comments that is part of the problem there is a huge amount of misinformation and misunderstandings about what celiac disease is and how its diagnosed. I also find even the most understanding of people don't really get what its like to be poisoned by something that is so common and such a staple of our society. Nor do people understand what its like to have to be suspicious of every morsel of food you put into your mouth.

As was just stated we are the minority our lives are complicated enough. Many people have fought and suffered for many years to get more gluten free products on the shelves. None of these products have replaced gluten ones. You all can go to any restaurant or grocery store in the country and find plenty of gluten to eat. I wish I was so lucky as you. I took my freedom for granted.

It's true allergies are a result of an immune response in the body or an immune reaction but are not an immune disease. Both celiac disease and allergies cause your body to create antibodies. In allergies your body is attacking the allergen in celiac disease your body is attacking itself. There is a BIG difference. You wouldn't call diabetes or thyroid disease, or lupus the same as an allergy (these are also auto immune diseases). It is the body attacking itself and destroying healthy tissue that makes it an auto immune disease. Autoimmune diseases are extremely complicated and interconnected so it is not uncommon for people to have several which complicates them further I have thyroid disease am pre diabetic and have other antibody disorders. Celiac disease and allergies also go together. I am allergic to dairy and my son is allergic to dairy and soy. All of these things further complicate Celiac disease and make it much different from an allergy.

In response to Joyce I believe if you read what I wrote it is obvious why I was offended it also was a statement not made directly to you. I also beg to differ on what you call "obvious". As I stated before different hospitals specialize in different things. You wouldn't be suspicious of a cancer center having a high rate of cancer diagnosis.

If people feel better on a gluten free diet what's the harm to you? It's not rocket science I eat gluten I feel like crap. I don't eat gluten I feel great. There's nothing wrong in my opinion with self diagnosis. If you feel better not eating gluten don't eat it. No one is attacking gluten by doing so.

20% of the population carries the gene for celiac disease. Doctors don't know what makes it active in some and not in others. I'd just be grateful I didn't have it if I were you and stop making judgment calls about other peoples dietary choices and motives.

I'm sorry for DN and her son, but just what is she complaining about? we all supposed to be gluten free because she has a problem? Maybe I'm missing something here, for God's sake lighten up! How does Laura's crisp (sounds delish) pizza crust cause you any problems.

Shseee... some people!

20% of the population carries the gene for celiac disease.

DN, in the interest of education, could you provide a source for this and other useful information? Thank you very much for your well-written and thoughtful response.

It is not the same as Atkins or South Beach. People who understand health and nutrition are gluten free for a reason. Even the ones without "trendy" Celiac. Wheat is simply not good for people. Even if you don't have stomach pain. ADD ADHD Anxiety "depression" hyperactivity, chronic infection... All of these things warrant a gluten free diet. Gluten is right up there with vaccines. Not a good idea and not something those in the know take part in.

Wheat is simply not good for people.

I wonder if everybody living in northern India and central Asia knows about this.

And yes, while we're at it, let's talk about vaccines. I don't think I've seen that topic addressed on D@L before, and no doubt there's a food connection there somewhere.

You're response is some people. Really? Have you read the whole thread? I'm not suggesting any such thing. I am merely trying to respond to comments that have been made in a way that hopefully helps educate people if you interpret it as an attack on gluten (which I specifically say its not) or on you I don't know what to tell you.

I have heard different numbers as high as 1/3 of the population carries the gene according to this article from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center.

Vaccines? Not a good idea? Well, now we've let the crazies in. See what happens when we leave the door open?

You're response is some people. Really? Have you read the whole thread? I'm not suggesting any such thing. I am merely trying to respond to comments that have been made in a way that hopefully helps educate people if you interpret it as an attack on gluten (which I specifically say its not) or as complaining I don't know what to tell you. If I seem a little defensive its because of comments like yours. Not helpful and completely judgmental.

I have heard different numbers as high as 1/3 of the population carries the gene according to this article from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center.

LV's original point (as I read her original post) was that the politically correct people at the Annapolis Whole Foods, seeking to promote gluten-free products, had apparently banned regular wheat flour from their shelves. I didn't think LV was attacking those who require gluten-free diets; rather, she thought that it could be possible for Whole Food to stock gluten-laden flour as well as the gluten-free products. It's a pity that such an apparently innocent suggestion could lead to such nasty arguments.

Really "Dr." --- name calling? Awesome.

Whole foods did not ban gluten lour. She said it was difficult to find not that it wasn't there. Here's a link to Whole Foods flours and they list the extra gluten flour as well as many many others. No one has banned gluten.

Lenora - the people of India etc. still have real wheat. Do you know much about what has become of the wheat we eat in the United States?

No, Anonymous, I don't know much about what has become of the wheat we eat in the United States. Are you saying it's not real wheat?

I'm pretty sure that the wheat eaten in India and elsewhere still has gluten in it, which I thought was the major concern of those who try to avoid wheat, real or otherwise.

The wheat our ancestors ate was a radically different grain compared to what Americans consume today. It has long been hybridized, especially during the last 50 years, to increase yields, cultivation and performance, but not digestion or nutritional value. Spurred on by the grain-based USDA Food Pyramid, wheat is also government subsidized. This makes it cheap and therefore a popular ingredient in virtually every processed food on the shelves (although the growing popularity of gluten-free foods is slowly changing that). Add to that the way wheat is stored in the United States — in large silos for long periods of time where molds and fungi grow, and you have yet another potential trigger for autoimmune disease. Studies are increasingly showing a link between gluten (and, in some studies, casein) and autoimmune disease, particularly auto immune thyroid disease, such as Hashimoto's and Graves disease.

You could also find a lot of information linking gluten from this wheat to Autism and countless other ailments. Weston Price has some good info.

Well stated, hmpstd.

This is another one of those topics where I suspect zealots far and wide were checking their Google Alerts for "gluten" and pounced with their agenda.

Not to add to the conspiracy atmosphere, but if I had a small gluten-free cookie company, for example, I would bombard sites like this with propaganda about the insanely high prevalence of celiac's and the horrors of wheat. I'm not saying this has happened, but the responses are way out of scale.

Vaccines? Good gravy. I can draw that Venn diagram, Dr. Keys.

Everybody has an agenda and someone profits from all misery. That's human nature. Now if they would only finish work on that Celiac disease vaccine, all this would go away.

When this blog is renamed, I suggest the name A Grain of Salt.

God mainstream Americans are stupid. (I wonder why? lol).

Enjoy and Goodnight.

Guess it's because we eat too much hybridized wheat :-)

Goodnight Anonymous.

Agreed! Mainstreamers are frightening and yet somewhat amusing. I suggest avoiding them as much as possible.

Sadly vaccines are worse for folks with any sort of immune problem - Celiac especially. How unfortunate that people continue to let the television dictate what they will believe.

SO glad to be one of the "crazies".

owl meat... paranoid much? Who are you to say its out of scale? From the looks of it you've spent a quarter of the day checking responses to this article and writing your own. SO what's your agenda?

TV Nation. Exactly.

Now you're catching on Lenorea. Hybridized wheat, vaccines, high fructose corn syrup, mind altering anxiety medications...the list goes on and on.

Next thing you know - people will defend those things as normal. Oh - wait...


captcha: me terse. well, no $#%&!!!

That's some good stuff!

You have people who have never contributed on this blog suddenly come up out the woodwork and get all uppity about their disease, with the conversation degenerating into the disease-sufferers deriding non disease-sufferers as stupid mainstreamers. Nice to know that having an auto-immune disease at least bestows some kind of elite status on oneself.

As for vaccines, I'd prefer not to contract polio or smallpox, but I guess if you're fine risking it for yourself have at it. I do think it's rather obnoxious though to consign your helpless kid to to, but I guess that's your right as well, unfortunately.

Well as one of the disease sufferers I have to agree with you. It has degenerated. What was an opportunity to discuss a very real issue has degenerated into name calling and tit for tat. Too bad.

"The alternative media, Jerry. That's where you hear the truth."

Oh no, I'm not at all paranoid of people named anonymous calling me an idiot, That would be silly. I know at least thirty people by name who call me that on a weekly basis. After 14 shots of absinthe, I am too busy fighting invisible bats to care. GET! OFF! ME!!!!

It's unfortunate to have the right to choose health for my child? Would it be better to have mandatory deadly things shot into a child?

Vaccines don't work. Do some research that is not coming from Merk.


I don't think I called anybody an idiot and owl meat isn't exactly truth in advertising.

I do have to agree though I don't know how we got onto vaccines I think that's where we lost em guys. I'm not giving an opinion one way or the other here I just think that when you bring up vaccines out of place people stop listening. There were some good points being made about celiac disease and gluten intolerance that have now been lost because the "mainstreamers" are calling us all crazy.

I'm pretty sure smallpox was eradicated due to vaccination, and it seems to me like the polio vaccine has also worked pretty well. It also seems like not many people get German measles and mumps any more.

But what do I know, I'm stupid!

Good job anonymous - not only have you utterly failed to advance your point of view, I'm more convinced than ever that people that believe what you believe are lunatics.

And with that I'll drop it, so as not to further pollute an otherwise always-enjoyable blog. Good night and sleep tight!

OK, for a different perspective on LV's friend finding mainly gluten-free products - well, in four visits in the past two weeks, I've found both local Whole Foods out of every variety of King Arthur flour except the organic versions (@ $7.95 per bag). The recent bad weather has thrown people into baking frenzies, and apparently, chili ones, too, as cumin was MIA at both Whole Foods, as well.

Do some research that is not coming from Merk.

Actually, there's plenty enough non-industry supported research that validates time and again that vaccines saves lives.

Millions of them.

Do some research that is not coming from Merk.

Actually, there's plenty enough non-industry supported research that validates time and again that vaccines saves lives.

Millions of them.

On behalf of the Girl Squad, we find LaVoz a grand blog mistress, and this has been a great first week, the interesting and absurd discussions live on. OMG you are also in top form. JMc and jl are still here, we are happy about that.

On the gluten issue, the girls know gluten-sensitive folks and also people who want and can tolerate perfect bagels and pizza crust. We have discussed this amongst ourselves, and it seems to us that there is room for everyone on the gluten continuum, so long as no one acts like a spaz, as some anonymous people are doing. We are hoping for a JMc smackdown of that nonsense, especially as it has morphed into vaccines. It would suck to have polio *and* have to watch everything you eat.

on the brighter side, captcha has Spring grilling on its mind: to mesquite.

Do some research that is not coming from Merk.

Ooooooo, you Colonialists are delightfully dense. A merk is a merkin. I do believe that you collybolkers mean Merck, a pharmaceutical firm from your New Jersey.

Glad to see you got my communique, HGirl. Sorry I couldn't make the meet-up.

As always, you are the eloquent voice of reason, I'm just a silly tart.

Looking forward to hearing of your travels at brunch next weekend. We missed you so much.

Bring your samples and perhaps you will show us fear in a handful of dust.

Hey Tart - lots to tell.

I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you...

Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu
Mein Irisch Kind
Wo weilest du?

Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu
Mein Irisch Kind
Wo weilest du?

Where oh where, sweet Isolde?

“Lameir is what distresses me, it is lameir that so oppresses me, lameir it is that pains me so....”

BaltoSteve, you're my hero!

I'll bet LV is really happy she started this particular thread.

News bulletin: I spotted some daffodils and snowdrops emerging in a spot in my garden where the snow has melted away (yes, 95% of the garden is still under big piles of the cold stuff). Spring is trying to come!

SOME of us have a problem with sodium, Dr. Owl Meat GI, and here you go suggesting renaming this ENTIRE column "A Grain of SALT" which is clearly an INSULT to the sodium-challenged. I hope you are satisfied!!!!?!?!

PS Thanks for the heads-up on Trader Joe's white whole wheat flour, Sarah. I live in the city and have never been inside a Trader Joe's, but it might be worth the trek to the suburbs for Two Buck flour. Thanks again.

Amen to that Dahlink. I noticed them sprouting their lovely little heads in Harbor East this weekend while walking Mr. Tiddles. Makes you just want to breath a sigh of relief and avoid conflict while blogging. By the way, I am happy to report, that Mr. Tiddles has no problems with gluten in his diet, but he does sometimes yack up pancakes.

I'm going to assume that Mr. Tiddles is a dog.

By Jove, this hybrid wheat is killing all the tribbles! When will you all wake up?

So are vaccinations and hybrid wheat the reasons that life expectancy in the United States keeps going down? Or why India and central Asia have such higher life expectancies than we do?

Oh, wait...

"The gluten free community"? Is there a ZIP code?

Interesting side note: I recently reconnected with a friend of mine from college. He had been diagnosed with celiac as a very young child and couldn't eat any gluten. Back in the day, it was pretty tough to find gluten-free bread, etc, so his diet was pretty limited.

We met a mutual friend at Red Star, and I was stunned to see him order a burger, bun and all. Oh, he said, turns out his diagnosis* was complete BS, he never had celiac, and he could have been eating whatever he wanted all along.

He was pretty close to 40 when he found this out.

* Attention hyper-sensitive single-issue militant anti-glutenites: I said HIS DIAGNOSIS, not all.


Synchronicity, man.

I JUST stepped outside the office to grab some coffee and a van advertising a gluten free caterer or something drove by! Really. I tried to get a picture with my phone, but traffic moved on. I think it was called Sweet Dreams or something.

well, since we're on the subject, I have an illness that doesn't permit me to eat solid food at all. For the last year I've had nothing but cans of Ensure. And, I find all the talk about solid food offensive and insensitive to the non-eating community.

sean, you probably saw a van from Sweet Sin Bakery.

Yes, hmpstd, that was it! So funny to see it literally a couple minutes after commenting on here.

I don't see it mentioned on here, so here's their site:

Ummmm, their muffins look really really good...

A little while back, a doctor thought my wife might have celiac or some other gluten sensitivity. Turned out not to be the case, but we ate gluten-free for a while. Actually, the brown rice pasta is pretty good - we still have it on occasion (although we usually opt for whole wheat). The one thing that we found... lacking were sandwich breads.

I wonder if Timothy Dean has counseled in favor of including gluten-free options on the menu at Prime Steakhouse.

I love how one gluten activist chides another activist got talking about vaccines. I got the feeling it was to soon for some to lay their cards on the table.

I had a visual of Jim Jones saying this to one of his recruiters: "Everything was going great. They were really interested in the whole South American thing, but then you had to jump ahead of the script and start talking about Kool-Aid."

Dr. RoCK, I believe peanuts and hemp come before vaccines on the talking points memo

"Gluten activist" you guys are funny. Is that like "femanazi"? Personally I think BOTH sides have gone too far on this one. There certainly are no talking points that come with the diagnosis. Just because you don't eat gluten doesn't mean you don't believe in vaccinations or think TV's are evil. Though there are those folks out there as this clearly indicates.

I thought the Girl Squad had the right idea. Rock on Girl Squad! It seems they temporarily shifted the conversation back to witty banter. If only I were so witty and light on my feet I would try to do the same. If no ones interest in adult conversation maybe we should just quit the name calling. A polite request that's all. Just saying. I do appreciate some of those like Sean sharing his personal experience it puts a different perspective on some of his earlier comments.

I'm a little confused about the people that have supposedly been undiagnosed. I'm not saying its wrong. I have only been in the "gluten free community" for a short time. Maybe they were diagnosed before the testing was good. I've heard testing has radically improved in recent years. Either that or their Doctors were idiots. Which is also a distinct possibility. I know the line is often blurry with the gluten sensitivity issue. I've had many friends go on gluten free trial to see if they feel better. There's no test for that which seems to be where a lot of confusion comes in and people going on and off gluten free diets. I personally have never met anyone who was undiagnosed. I would be interested in finding out more about how that could even happen. It definitely does suck for them.

Now you've got me wondering since I'm leaving this comment does that make me a "gluten activist"? Hmmmmm...I wonder? How will I know? Will I grow a tail? Will all my clothes suddenly start smelling like patchulli? Will my TV spontaneously combust? Will I lose my job and have to live in a van? I wonder how they deliver the talking points. I'll keep you all posted.

"The gluten free community"? Is there a ZIP code?

JMc, I don't know the zip code, but I'm quite sure that at one point or another, EL was accused of saying it was in the wrong neighborhood.

To the person who said they had good rice pasta..What was the company (if you remember?). Pasta is the one thing I can't find that doesn't taste terrible or fall apart. I was eating Glutino pasta and it was awesome but they stopped making it for some reason! Damn them! I like Sami's Bread for anyone out there looking for non frozen gf bread. Sami's Bakery in Florida. They ship.

I think it's funny (in a sad way) that people automatically become so immature and laugh at what they don't understand or what is not normal to them. Maybe there is something to an idea that you're not informed about. Why not look into it - you might learn something. Maybe not, but maybe so!

I feel compelled to add a few notes for clarification, since this is not far removed from my field of study.

Anon is right, that testing has improved dramatically in the past decade. Testing for autoantibodies for tissue transglutaminase are not terribly old, but continually improve, as do most autoantibody serologies.

As with testing for most autoimmune diseases, there are limits on the specificity and sensitivity of the tTG test - although fortunately, these are relatively high, but hardly irrefutable.

To address some of the points above, coeliac is decidedly autoimmune in nature. However, there is a general consensus that there are states of gluten sensitivity that not autoimmune, and therefore not coeliac disease. The relationship between these states and coeliac is not clear, though the general thought is that gluten sensitivty or atopy is a step on the road to coeliac.

Not all patients with these manifestations will necessarily progress to coeliac, though. Many may still benefit from gluten dietary restrictions.

Evidence linking vaccination to coeliac disease is weak, if not nonexistent. There are currently trials for densenitization strategies for the treatment of coeliac underway.

Julz, I'll see if I can find it...

To Anonymous (1:27 p.m.) - your comment was civil, compassionate, insightful and humorous. I would welcome hearing more from you on the matter at hand as well as other topics.

It seems there have been a number of comments posted on this thread by more than one anonymous poster, which has given rise to some confusion and perhaps some erroneous conclusions. There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to post anonymously, but perhaps you could choose some user name that would differentiate you from the rest of the anonymati. You can make up any name, use your imagination. Probably the only person here who even uses his real name is owl meat gravy.

LL, civil, compassionate, insightful and humorous? There's not room for that kind of talk on the interwebs.

captcha: hanggliders mcnulty - i'm sensing a Wire spin-off...

As a sign of peace and friendship, I offer the name Vladimir Gluten to any activist in need of a handle.

Is it simply coincidence that there's a blog about vaccines on Charm City Moms???

I saw the headline and mistakenly thought is was a Dining@Large follow-up post!

Isn't making up a name half the fun of posting?

Jimmy sitting up on Federal Hill, drinking his whiskey. Yeah, hanggliding sounds about right.

He could be a hanggliding cop, swooping over the city. They already had him on a boat.

He'd be like Batman!


Not to change the topic or anything...But I think we need to congratulate LV for her first 100+ post. Didn't take long at all.

lynnette was....what?

I started to post a long, heated reply here and then took a deep breath (typing it first seemed to help). After battling endless respiratory infections, sinus infections, severe rashes, bowel problems and “failure to thrive” for over two years, my four-year-old was diagnosed with wheat sensitivity and my two-year-old with wheat allergy last June. We eliminated gluten and all symptoms except the sinus infections disappeared (my son also has environmental allergies). Based on research on different stages of gluten sensitivity, improvement and timing of improvement of symptoms, and other research linking celiac’s to other genetic risk factors that I have, we suspect that your youngest is a celiac. We are not having him tested as his health when eating gluten is too bad to put him through the test when we are already eating gluten-free. We’ll address celiac testing when he is older and if he decides he wants to try adding gluten back. Right now, both of my kids are much healthier on a gluten-free diet.

I’m not going to speak for anyone else in the gluten-free community and I will not say that I was “offended” by the article. It definitely struck a negative chord with me and, after reading it several times, I think I figured out why. As a parent of gluten-free children who have to pass on cake at a birthday party or doughnuts on Saturday morning, the fact that there are more options is a relief. My husband does not follow our diet and has no complaints of not being able to find what he wants. Companies are finally starting to make additional gluten-free products. Normal stores, like Wal-Mart, are starting to carry some of them. So, any article that needlessly portrays the increased availability of gluten-free options as negative or unwarranted, however unintended, feels like a threat to that availability. I have not come across anything from a truly gluten-intolerant person that is negative of gluten. The mention of gluten-free simply did not need to be made as it was not relevant to the article and such irrelevance feels somehow malicious.

"Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food."

Thank you, NotableM. Finally, someone who supports my Percocet and Ambien cereal idea!

Wal-Mart is not a normal store. If you care this much about your children, you don't need to support Wal-Mart. Shop locally...

I know one person who was desperately ill for some ten years before her celiac disease was diagnosed. They kept treating her for other conditions before they finally hit on the correct one. I am happy if it is true that diagnosis has improved in recent years.

Heather W, nobody opposes the increased availability of gluten-free foodstuffs. What they do oppose is the apparent zero-sum mentality of the people at the Annapolis Whole Foods, who seemed to have stopped stocking all-purpose flour just because they were now stocking gluten-free flour. There's no reason why both kinds of foodstuffs can't be sold at the same store, thereby providing options for everybody on both sides of the problem.

ReCaptcha: raps budget (Whole Paycheck?)

Just to clarify, Whole Foods does stock conventional flour. My friend was simply remarking that it was hard to find because there were so many gluten-free varieties on the shelves. And he was not really begrudging anyone the opportunity to buy gluten-free flour. He was just grumbling. LV

Heather: Thank you for your thoughtful and impassioned post.

I feel it warrants mentioning that your experiences seem rather common for most coeliac sufferers, particularly the confusion and frustration during the process of correct diagnosis.

You should understand though, that some fringes of the gluten-free community (not unlike other kinds of fringe groups) should be seen as counterproductive to the goals of finding better, more accessible ways of diagnosing, preventing, and treating coeliac.

This is not to say that they don't have a right to express whatever fears or anxieties they may have. But it doesn't help the community at large to invoke non- or psuedo-science, conspiracy theory, and smug accusation in the cause of trying to make the world a little more manageable.

There's already plenty of misunderstanding about coeliac - it doesn't help (not you, of course) for some of these segments to also be spouting misinformation.

I have friends and acquaintances with coeliac - and have first-hand experience of the difficulty of eating out, when gluten-containing products are more widespread than many people would believe.

Julz asked about good gluten free pasta. Tinkyada makes a wonderful gluten free brown rice pasta that is not mushy. I buy mine at Wegmans. They make spirals, spaghetti, shells, elbows, and penne. I won't buy any other kind it is the best. Maybe its been too long but I don't notice much of a difference from regular pasta especially once you put sauce on or what not.

Oh and I am anonymous 1:27. Sorry for not posting a name. I am not used to commenting on articles. I do most of my commenting on facebook, twitter and myspace where I don't have to identify myself. This one seemed worthy of a response. Perhaps some of the other anonymous posters before me are new to this as well.

I do think that many celiac sufferers are sensitive, to say the least, about the issue of diagnosis because most people suffer for years with symptoms before being diagnosed. Another big raw nerve for many celiac sufferers I have spoken with is the idea that gluten free may be treated as a fad, like atkins and that all the great options and new found freedom will disappear as quickly as it came. So I think unknowingly both the article and the responses hit two pretty big nerves.

If I weren't so tired I would think of something witty to say. I am just glad to see we've all lightened up a little. Polite discourse and witty banter is so much more pleasant, and maybe we can all learn from each other.

Thanks, Sprue. Good name and I'm sure we can learn a lot from you.

Welcome, Sprue--well said.

Is it too Darwinian to suggest that people who can't tolerate certain foods and raw food ingredients need to find a way to solve that problem without inconveniencing the other 99.9% of normal humans? I'm not suggesting we throw anyone off the island because they are lactose intolerant, or have peanut allergies, or suffer from celiac disease. But it's become kind of an ailment-du-jour society we live in and the prevalence of helicopter parents and straight up Munchhausen-by-proxy moms doesn't help. If we were Spartans, all of this would be a non-issue. As democrats, however, we tend to be empathetic. But where does it end?

YOU think it's an inconvenience?? lol. That's funny. many people choose to be gluten free for reasons other than illness. You don't have to be sick to want to eat well. Personally if I didn't have to eat GF I certainly wouldn't do it. I don't enjoy it one bit. Not to mention many GF products are full of corn starch and sugar. Not exactly health food. GF living extends way beyond celiac disease and heals many other diseases. Any sort of auto immune disease will respond well to a gluten free diet. Celiac disease just seems to be the catch all. I don't have celiac but I will say that I do in restaurants etc. Because it is known and understood - even accepted as "normal" and I don't need to then explain my auto immune thyroid disease (that would lead to celiac if left untreated) - I'll never in my life believe a person has had any difficulty finding wheat products.

Funny I'm eating Tinkyada right this moment! I don't love it though. To me it has too much of a slippery texture (not sure how to better describe that) and a slightly sour taste. I only notice the sour taste in the spirals for some odd reason.

Has anyone eaten Sami's Bakery products? Aside from bread, lavash, rolls, buns etc..they make very good brownies, cookies, pies etc. I really love them. I also seem to remember Whole Foods had a gluten free line of their own that made good desserts - I didn't care for the bread though.

Julz - the treatments for thyroiditis (whether Hashimoto's or Graves') are relatively simple: thyroid hormone supplementation for the former, antagonists for the latter.

Importantly, they're not targeted to the actual autoimmune process - unless you're also on immunosuppressants like the glucocorticoids, which aren't widely used for thyroiditis.

Therefore, it's not likely that your thyroiditis treatments will affect your progression to coeliac, if you ever do - the associations between thyroiditis and coeliac have been demonstrated, but are hardly a domino effect.

Patients with one have been shown to have a higher prevalence of the other. However, that's not all patients - the various forms of thyroiditis are among the most common forms of autoimmune disease.

It's hardly a certainty that it'll progress to coeliac, although it's not a bad idea that you've limited your gluten intake. It's just not the closed case you're making it out to be.

NO OFFENSE and I honestly mean that - but you're wrong about that. Mainstream medicine really doesn't get it when it comes to thyroid issues. They can sometimes manipulate the numbers on a lab slip - but they're not healing anything. Managing yes - but not healing. You can heal Hashimoto's without thyroid drugs. Mine is totally under control (finally!) with a gluten free diet - SOD/Glutathione cream and high doses of D3, HCI and a couple of other natural remedies. That's it! Over the years I have taken synthroid, Armor, Levoxyl - you name it. Wasn't for me. ANY untreated AI disease can lead to celiac disease. You're welcome to your opinion - but the fact is - that's the truth. A great book for you to read to begin to understand how AI can and does lead to celiac is: it's excellent.

My next door neighbors child doesn't have celiac disease (at least that's what the biopsy test revealed) but 8 months on a gluten and casien free diet and he has begun speaking again - his skin tone is normal (he was an odd color) he is calm - he sleeps well. The only thing they did was remove gluten and casien. I agree that the hybridized wheat has really created a lot of problems. Between that and GMO's.. Our food is becoming sketchy at best.

Sorry so poorly written - I'm on the move here :)

What is Casein?

I didnt include that the child I wrote about is autistic and stopped speaking or making eye contact for a year and 8 months. Until the dietary changes. It's amazing what food allergies do to people - whether it's hives and a closed throat - or years of suffering for "no reason".

Casein is the protein found in milk which is what most people with milk allergies are allergic too. I didn't know what it was either until I was diagnosed with Celiac disease and started researching different food issues. I always thought it was lactose that people were allergic to. Turns out lactose intolerance is much different than a dairy allergy. I guess I always thought that they were levels of the same thing.

I actually know a child too that didn't speak until she was put on a Casein free diet. It's amazing really. I think the doctors said something about not getting enough protein to her brain because most of the protein she was consuming was milk based. I think there was another element to it to though her mom said something about blocking protein? I don't really know how it works. This was all under the recommendation and guidance of a doctor. I do think some of this dietary stuff IS becoming mainstream which is why the elevated numbers of people being diagnosed with food allergies and celiacs disease. This child actually outgrew her casein allergy.

Also another anecdote here about thyroid problems and gluten I think I might talk to my doctor and get tested. I just lowered my own dose of thyroid medicine because I fealt weird, heart palpatations, headaches. I thought maybe being on a gluten free diet I was absorbing more of the medicine because my intestines are healing. Maybe its the diet itself helping to regulate my thyroid? Thanks Julz. Sorry the Tinkyada pasta doesn't do it for you. It is a bit slippery, personally I can live with that its the mushy that makes me want to gag.

Sprue, it could also be that your thryoid is healing (for lack of a better word) I was getting BAD pvc's and palps on Armor and synthroid and all the generics for it caused terrible headaches. I am careful to monitor my thyroid blood levels to be sure it's in a safe range. Have you ever tried Oxicell Cream? How's your vitamin D level?

Is D@L now a support group?

Is D@L now a support group?

Not a very good one.

Stacey, it looks like a friendly helpful conversation to me. Nice turn of events. Isn't it always good to see people helping each other?

Every asylum in this nation is filled with poor souls who simply cannot stand lanolin, cellophane, plastic, television, and subdivisions.

Wheat built the great civilizations.

Without wheat we could not have built the great pyramids of Egypt. The conquest of America was fueled by wheat. European civilization conquered and colonized the world on a wheat diet. Ghengis Khan's conquests were strengthened when he found wheat-centric areas.

Wheat put a man on the moon, split the atom, invented capitalism and democracy. Gluten fueled armies of righteous democracy beat back the rice-fueled Japanese in WWII.

If you're against wheat, you're against America and I won't stand for that. Good days, sirs. I said good day!

He dreamed he was eating shredded wheat and woke up to find the mattress half gone.

It's too bad we don't have real wheat anymore. And it's only going to get worse. Thanks Monsanto!

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates: he hath blessed thy children within thee. He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.

And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
– Joel 2:24

Wheat, not soybeans.

What's with you freaks? Some people are allergic to wheat. How stupid are you? Stupid enought to quote the Bible I guess. If you can eat wheat - have at it, but why give those who can't a hard time? What do you do in your spare time, wave sugar in the faces of diabetics?

Nice, Emma, to call us all freaks and tell us we're stupid. Nobody here is giving a hard time to those allergic to wheat.

You might want to look up satire in the dictionary. I'm just sayin'...

Maybe it's time for those of us who are not hypersentitive -- to gluten or to humor -- to walk away from this post and quietly close the door behind us.

Emma, diabetics need sugar, Sugar. They are not (supposedly) allergic to it.
Any wheat ain't the problem. It's GLUTEN, Hon.

Make the gluten-free humans wear special insignias on their clothing. That way, my ghaz will be able to recognize them more readily. (We hunt and consume humans who have no gluten in their systems.)

Wow tough crowd! Asylums? What is this 1954? I thought we were all past this? Now we're back to attacking each other and kicking people out? Mature. Bring back the Girl Crew! Maybe we should make fun of crippled kids next and then tell them to get out when they talk back. Or I know we could visit cancer wards dressed as the grim reaper and then tell them their going to hell when they ask us what we're doing there.

Lets see satire...Satire is often strictly defined as a literary genre or form, although in practice it is also found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement.[1] Although satire is usually meant to be funny, the purpose of satire is not primarily humor in itself so much as an attack on something of which the author strongly disapproves, using the weapon of wit.

Hmmm funny that the word attack is right in the definition. Doesn't the bible also say an eye for an eye? I guess maybe we shouldn't dish out what we can't take. Satire? I think so.

Argumentum ad misericordiam becomes reductio ad absurdum.

Pax McIntyra is proposed.

(and yes I know I'm leaning over my skis with the Latin.)

Queen: If you ain't heard of John Kennedy Toole, you don't know nuthin about no satire.
THAT'S satire...

Yean he's also been dead since the 60's. Thus the outdated usage of the word asylum. (I'm pretty sure they don't call them that anymore.) If your entire comedic style is based on a guy who's been dead for 40 years it may be time to update your style. So much for peace. Sorry Owlie, maybe next time.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

I had no interest in continuing this, but someone calling herself Queen of Satire who simply cuts and pastes from a dictionary is sad. That you called me out by a blog nickname means you are probably one of the grumpy porch-sitter clique of yore.

If I may, let me skool you:
1) An author's greatness does not die with him
2) Language changes; the author wrote in the vernacular of his time.
3) Seriously, you don't know CoD? It's a classic.
4) Although written before the Backstreet Boys were popular, it is a hot and relevant literary property. It's one of the most famously sought after yet unproduced books in Hollywood for 20 years.
5) The book was published in 1980, not the 1960s. Toole killed himelf in 1969 and his mother shopped the hand-written manuscript around until a sympathetic Walker Percy took a look and was blown away. It's an amazing back-story.
6) Great satire survives the centuries. The title of Toole's novel does indeed come from a quote by Jonathan Swift. A Modest Proposal is a classic of satire three centuries later. I propose that you know nothing of literature, humor, or satire.
7) The book is hilarious. Reading is fun-damental to literary regency.

You are no queen; a pawn of ego perhaps, but when you claim supremacy without merit, you will be checkmated.


hahaha...simply cut and paste?! There was a challenge made to "look up satire in the dictionary" that's what I did and used it quite well to defend my point I thought. Here I thought you were the one extending the olive branch.

I am sorry if picking on dear deceased Mr Toole was too much for you to handle. I never denied his talent or his humor. Though I do appreciate the history lesson my point was that in this context that particular quote may have been a bit dated and inappropriate.

Indirectly comparing people with Celiac disease to people in "asylums" using a dead genius's words is what is sad. Hiding behind other peoples work is whats sad. Using satire to simply criticize and not for its greater purposes is what's sad. Using name calling and insult and calling it satire is what is sad. Being critical for critical sake is what is sad.

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack not be Humble servant of Toole

We have grown tired of this.

Good gravy! I'm going to start posting as anonymous I know how much that gets everyone all worked up around here.

There is something that we both agree on though. I too am tired of this.

I wish Bourbon Girl was here. I know she's a big fan of JK Toole. I have to admit I haven't gotten around to reading the copy of Dunces she loaned me. ... I'm not worthy....

Wait, are they gonna start screening me for gluten at the airport?

"Take off your cupcakes, Buckwheat, and spread 'em!"

"Place all your flatbread in the bin, please."

"The detector went off. Are you wearing a light dusting of flour, by any chance?"

See, I knew Cleatus would get it. Crikeys, even the girl squad can defend themelves, certainly Grandmaster Cleatus can. (although there's no reason to).

Hal, you can go back to ruining magic shows for children. Fake! Fake! The rabbit was in the hat the whole time!

After you prove that I do not exist, maybe you can start on the Easter bunny and God. Woohoo, fun times for grampa grumpy.

Now I will sit and ponder my non-existence. Damn, you blew my mind.


Sheesh, those mainstreamers sure are illiterate... as a member of the CoD community, I object to the insensitivity the mainstreamers are showing to JKT (and to Swift, by reference). CoD is never outdated; an asylum is an asylum is an asylum.

"Mother, I must attend to my bowels. They are revolting against the trauma of the last twenty-four hours."

What's your name again "servent of Toole?" and "Queen of Satire"? they don't sound like what's probably on your drivers license.

Lemon Girl -- Blog Tart, you can redeem yourself by reading CoD posthaste. Do you suppose anyone over at the book blog has read it? Shall I start a new literary challenge?

Even I got the joke with Mr. Toole's post-mortum posting. And I'm not really very smart in the first place.

Ah, Dahlink. I'm one step ahead of you this time. I actually did read Confederacy of Dunces just a couple of years ago while I was going through some personal trauma. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the book helped me persevere in my own battles with Fortuna.

I was in a book club when I read it. Only one other woman in the group could appreciate its brilliance and absurdity. The rest of them didn't "get" Ignatius J. Reilly and were seemingly incapable of understanding hyperbole. Needless to say, I'm not a member of that book club anymore.

Gee, too bad we don't have this sort of fervor to issues of social justice.

Yes, i feel that i am allergic/sensitive whatever to wheat.. i makes me feel like poo.
Do i care that you want your proper pizza crust? No. go right ahead and tell me all about it. I miss it dearly. I just gave up most bread/wheat products, the replacements are dreadful, save some some rice pasta i found at Whole Foods.
However, i'd like it to be clearly labeled. I mean some tatertots have it included for christmas's sake.

captcha: that teutonia .. it's not just a german thing that no one understands.

What's your name again "servent of Toole?" and "Queen of Satire"? they don't sound like what's probably on your drivers license.

I don't know if she has a driver's license. Perhaps a scooter license. Beep beep.

I decided to come see if this thread was still this: "Take off your cupcakes, Buckwheat, and spread 'em!" And I can't stop laughing. That was too funny!

Even tho there is no gluten in Buckwheat. :)

That was freakin awesome, thanks for the laugh.

Laura Lee, I knew you would get CoD. Should we start our own book club? Nah--we're probably not organized enough to pull that one off.

Hmmmm... book club, eh?

sean--you're a new father--when do you have time to read???

Well, I do occasionally crack open What to Expect the First Year...

Now that sounds about right!

Work your way up to Everybody P**ps

Amanda C, that's on the list!

It's a towering work of philosophy.

Julz: You're welcome to your opinion - but the fact is - that's the truth.

Actually, I have over a dozen years experience researching and working in autoimmunity, including autoimmune thyroid disease.

I'm not against complementary and alternative medicine. Many of those approaches are simply unvalidated and unproven, although in fairness - many of them are not as rigorously studied as they should. I think you'll find that this is a general consensus among "mainstream medicine".

We're not against alternative therapies. There's simply little verifiable, reliable information about their effectiveness. The caveat is there is a longstanding history of some alternative therapies actually doing more harm than good.

In the absence of reliable information for or against - we can only say, caveat emptor.

(note of disclosure: the Anon post from before was me, one of my instances of forgetfulness)

Well, that's just it. mainstream medicine. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Well, I shouldn't really go that far. It does have its place - broken bones etc. You could study this for 100 years, but until you leave the mainstream model of care behind - you'll only go in circles.

To me "alternative medicine" is mainstream medicine. Sometimes it's great and I'm glad it's there - but for the most part - people would do so much better without it. In 50 years I've never needed anything more than a gluten free organic diet - supps and acupuncture/TCM to remain perfectly healthy. My grown children were doctor free and perfectly healthy. Never an ear infection - never an antibiotic. I credit no vaccines for that - although I've seen what an unpopular choice that is here!

Keep studying :)

We're off for vacation for the next couple of months - so t I'll be unable to see the hell that will certainly be unleashed by my vaccine comment. Have at it :)

I'm sorry - is there an edit button? I meant weeks not months and I should clarify that I do have a "doctor" - my doctor is my nutritionist/TCM acupuncturist. From food poisoning to diagnosing and healing Hashimoto's. Not that anyone cares - but for clarification.



Thanks again Julz. To answer your earlier question I take a natural thyroid supplement prescribed by my TCM practitioner. I have been going to a endocronolagist for PCOS and my thyroid but its impossible to get an appointment. I think I am actually going to switch to a GP that is a friend of my family and my TCM practitioner. He also sees my mom sister and grandma. We all have pretty similar health problems and he loves a good research project. So I might just come ready to talk thyroid. Thanks again.

until you leave the mainstream model of care behind - you'll only go in circles.

Actually, as far as autoimmune diseases go, mainstream medicine is pretty good with thyroiditis. Data from a variety of centers indicates that a majority of patients on thyroid replacement hormones tolerate them well.

HT & GD are among the most prevalent autoimmune diseases in the developed world, affecting millions.

Add to this, that the various forms of thyroiditis themselves have limited impact, compared to say, MS or T1D. Thyroid, like liver, is well-described to have a remarkable capacity for regeneration and self-renewal by mechanisms we don't entirely understand.

While I'm sympathetic that conventional regimens of therapy for thyroiditis have not been successful for you, a rather large canon of data also indicates that you're not representative of most thyroiditis patients.

I agree fully with you Julz. Hashimoto's (as you have already pointed out) is not *really* a thryoid issue alone but an auto immune disorder. You mentioned needing to know if you are t1 or t2 dominant and that does make every bit of difference. You can take thyroid medication but that doesn't really address the issue at hand. Then what happens? Celiac and more. It's nice to see someone truly healing the entire issue without playing into the hands of the drug companies and poorly educated doctors. They mean well, they just don't know any better.

How did you learn if you were t1 or t2 dominant? Bloodwork?


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Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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