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The Gluten-Free Schism

Responding with grace when food sensitivities—and fakers—disrupt our fellowship.
The Gluten-Free Schism
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A recent cartoon in the New Yorker depicts two women sitting across from one another. "I've only been gluten-free for a week," one says, "but I'm already really annoying."

Going gluten-free has become both popular and profitable, with pasta and bread manufacturers scrambling to develop products free from the protein commonly found in wheat and grains. That's no easy feat, since gluten's elasticity is what allows baked goods to rise and gives pasta its texture.

For a few people – perhaps a bit more than 1 percent of the population – gluten is toxic. Another estimated 6 percent have some degree of gluten intolerance. But most who foreswear gluten do so believing it is the answer to a range of health issues. Proponents of a gluten-free diet claim it eases digestion, helps with weight loss, and even improves the quality of your sleep and your skin.

When a Forbes headline not long ago announced that, with the exception of celiac disease, ...

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