Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and I got Glutened

Česky: Pšenice. Deutsch: Weizen. English: Whea...Some of you, dear readers, may know that I am gluten intolerant. Eating out is always a challenge, not only to find something on the menu that is safe to eat, but trusting the chef to prepare it gluten free. It surprises me how unaware people are about what their food is made of. Soy sauce, modified food starch, or maltodextrin I can understand people not knowing might come from wheat. I stopped in a little cafe once and asked if they had anything without wheat in it (I find this is an easier way to address the gluten issue than using the word gluten.)A variety of foods made from wheat.

The woman behind the counter turned around and picked up a bag of hamburger buns. “These don’t have wheat.”


She didn’t know that all-purpose flour is made from wheat. So I gently educated her on the matter, and then left without eating.

While I don’t grow grains, part of my joy in farming is getting to show the neighborhood kids where the food they eat comes from. They ride by on their bikes, infatuated with the pigs my son is walking. Yes, we walk our pigs; it develops muscle (which is meat) keeps them happy and well trained for showing at the Fair. Small children want to help gather eggs, full of questions about why they are brown. They might want to know what I’m digging when I’m harvesting potatoes. Or they beg for the apples from one of my trees. They love to come help pick strawberries or carrots or peas. I reward them with some to take home and share – or devour on the spot, as some are excited to do.

America is losing touch with its agricultural roots. People don’t make their own food from scratch, let alone grow it from the ground up. In a world that seems to show increasing food sensitivities, I encourage you to educate yourselves. Educate others. Maybe try growing a pot of herbs or another vegetable in a pot on the porch.

And most of all, know what you are eating.

9 thoughts on “Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and I got Glutened

  1. Liz Selvig

    Hey Tam,
    Have you read Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” ? I’m listening to it now, and this is precisely what she talks about. It’s fascinating, and a little scary. And I think of you all the while!

    Good post — you’re so right!

  2. Julie Kenner (@juliekenner)

    Where do you live? I’d love to get some fruit trees going in our yard, but in my part of Central Texas, they don’t like the soil. I have high hopes for the orange tree we just planted, but we’ll see.

    We moved from an unincorporated area to a traditional suburban neighborhood about a year ago. Now, I have tons of raised gardens in our backyard and love working out there. In the old place, though, we could have raised chickens and goats and pigs. At the time, we didn’t really want to, but we’ve changed the way we look at food recently, and I wish we’d gone for it!

    We’re gluten free as well (have you read Wheat Belly? Fascinating book) and we try to eat local and fresh and pastured meat (that is a benefit of Texas; getting grassfed beef at a reasonable price isn’t hard).

    Good for you for introducing the local kids to the concept that food doesn’t grow in a grocery store, and that fresh food can be (is!) more delicious than the junk from boxes on Aisle 9.

    1. Tam Linsey Post author

      Hi, Julie! I’m in Alaska, believe it or not! We visited Texas last summer, and the beef was awesome. I wish we had better access to reasonably priced, grass-fed beef. My son has been in 4-H for six years, so we’ve been lucky to have the meat he’s raised. He plans on having a farm of his own up here someday, to make that kind of food available locally.
      Does your current neighborhood forbid chickens, as well? A lot of communities are changing their rules on chickens, at least. And they are easy compared to other animals.

      1. Julie Kenner (@juliekenner)

        I never would have guessed Alaska! But I’m sure my perception is a far cry from reality 🙂

        Alas, no chickens. There’s been talk…but I don’t think it’ll ever amount to anything. Too bad, as we spend a fortune on eggs!!

  3. news

    The structure for your weblog is a bit off in Epiphany. Nevertheless I like your website. I may have to use a normal web browser just to enjoy it.

    1. Tam Linsey Post author

      Sorry it is a bit off. The website is a basic WordPress theme, which appears to work fine for standard browsers. I’m glad you like my website, however!


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