My mom and I watched the documentary King Corn while shelling butter beans yesterday. It was truly fascinating to learn that scientists can tell where the carbon in our bodies originated through a hair test. For most of us, that origin is corn.
The government (meaning our tax dollars) pays farmers to produce as much corn as possible. This corn is not edible in its harvested state; it is a raw material that must be processed and it is turned into everything from fuel to sweeteners to animal feed. Don't even get me started on feed lots and feeding corn to cows. This looks like a pretty good article on it if you want more information.
That got me thinking. Is King Corn behind Gluten Free?
All of a sudden, everything on supermarket shelves is labeled gluten free as if gluten is some suspect chemical like MSG. Gluten is simply a protein found in wheat that causes it to be stretchy. If you've ever kneeded bread, you know what I mean. Without gluten, we wouldn't have bread in the traditional sense. I think God was pretty inventive when He came up with gluten. Can you imagine how many kids would go without flour and water paste and playdough without it?
Yes, some people are allergic to gluten. Ciliac's disease is estimated to affect 1% of the population. That hardly accounts for the gluten free fad.
My theory? King Corn is nudging people away from gluten, thereby substituting the wheat, barley and rye in our diets with, you guessed it, more corn. Instead of jumping on the gluten free bandwagon, perhaps we'd achieve better health by cutting back the corn.