Foodie Friday – Dirty Food



Speaking of other dirty food, gluten. And, not like it’s inherently bad. If you don’t have issues with it, it’s neutral in itself, but, to my body, gluten is poison.

I was glutenized yesterday (that’s when you inadvertently ingest gluten). It happens to every gluten intolerant person once in a while, unless you don’t ever eat outside home, which I don’t want to live like that. I’m being careful and always ask questions, bring some of my food when I travel, but, when some other people make a negligent mistake, you’re kind of at their mercy.

So, yesterday, I had some chicken soup from Whole Foods for lunch, the same chicken soup (that generally has just chicken, celery and carrots) I’ve had many times before. But, and it’s important when you’re gluten intolerant or have any food allergies, I read the ingredients posted next to the soup, I did my diligent work you can say. When I was half way through that cup of soup, I saw some pasta swimming at the bottom. You can imagine that I totally freaked! There was nothing I could’ve done differently other than just digging though the whole soup pot they had out to look for hidden gluten, but it doesn’t look nice to other people, plus, why’d you do that if the ingredients didn’t list pasta, right?!

You better believe it I marched right back to the customer service. They were apologetic of course and I spoke to a manager and a food line worker but a completely negligent mistake was made that could’ve cost someone’s life if a person has an anaphylactic reaction to wheat (a true gluten allergy is rare, but you can be allergic to wheat; allergy and intolerance differ in the timing of the symptoms as allergy is more immediate, and allergy produces different antibodies than intolerance but may show as similar symptoms; celiac disease is not an allergy, people often confuse that, it’s an autoimmune condition, and non-celiac gluten intolerance has many symptoms of celiac but it may be less systemic – got all the differences?).

Anyway, I don’t feel well today as a result of that soup. Intolerance symptoms usually show up half a day to a day after the ingestion, comparing to allergy that may present itself within minutes. Celiac or intolerance symptoms also vary between people but generally you get a splitting stomach ache, body ache, headache, nausea. I sometimes get hives but more from a general inflammatory response than the actual gluten allergy, and I may also get a slight fever if I ingest a large quantity. So, when someone asks a gluten intolerant person “there’s not much gluten in it, or it’s all in your head, or don’t you miss it and want to have just a bit”, the response generally is “why’d I willingly put myself through having these symptoms???”

Right, so, for now, I’m drinking a lot of water to flush that damn gluten out and hope for the best in the future.