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Could ‘gluten-free lifestylers’ be putting you at risk?

I’ve been reading recently about a phenomenon in Australia where some restaurants and cafes are apparently relaxing their preparation of gluten-free food, potentially putting people with coeliac disease at risk.

Behind this shift, an article in Good Food Guide explains, is the advent of ‘gluten-free lifestylers’ – people who don’t have a medical reason for avoiding gluten but choose to cut it out of their diet for other reasons.

How a person chooses to eat is, of course, entirely up to them. People decide to go gluten free for all sorts of reasons and that’s fine. The problem arises when some of these people specifically ask for gluten-free options on the menu, only go on to order and eat something containing gluten anyway.

The unintended consequence of this is it can diminish the importance of a gluten-free order from a person with a genuine gluten intolerance, the article claims.

It gives the impression a sneaky bit of gluten does no harm. This, of course, is not the case for someone with coeliac disease.

This is not an issue I have come across yet in New Zealand and certainly hope it doesn’t make it across the Tasman, but it is food for thought.

Most cafes and restaurants here seem to take the responsibility of providing gluten-free and allergy-friendly options seriously, which is fantastic.

What are your experiences eating out? Drop me a line, I’d love to hear them, good or bad.

Also, don’t forget the Auckland Gluten Free Food & Allergy Show is coming 21-22 May. It’s going to be a great show this year with loads of delicious products, access to expert advice and cooking demonstrations. See you there!

Date modified: 17 February 2021
First published: May 2016


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