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.)
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.
- Gluten Sensitivity Exists On Spectrum With Celiac Disease, Researchers Say (blisstree.com)
- The Latest in Gluten-Free Eating, The Healthy Gluten Free Life, Set for Release on February 21st (prweb.com)
- Gluten-Free: A Trend that will Continue to Grow in 2011 (foodservicewarehouse.com)