Saturday, November 14, 2009

Am I On A Different Planet?

  Sometimes lately, I cannot help but wonder if I am indeed on a different planet.
  Why?  Good question!
  I am, like any "good" Celiac, trying my best to be gluten-free.  I find that the more I depend completely on myself for the conversion of raw foods into edible delights; the more Gluten-Free I can remain.
  This is for a number of reasons:
  • Food product labels are getting better, but still, the bold "Gluten-Free" statement on a given item is hard to come by.
  • The prices of foods that are labeled "Gluten-Free" are often significantly more expensive than other versions of the same item.
  • Prepared foods, whether they are in fine restaurants, fast food joints or your best friend's kitchen, are often hit-or-miss.
  So, because of all of this, I am probably isolating more.  And probably due to a combination of the items above and my increasing isolation, I am feeling like a strange being on a different planet.

  This new habitat is sooooo different from the comfortable planet where I spent much of my first half century.
  And while producers and purveyors certainly have their rights to double the price of a box of very common cereals simply because it says "Gluten-Free" on the box, this sort of behavior has a tendency to make me feel like I really do not belong.
  This is for two reasons: 1) These higher prices are likely to translate into more Gluten-Relapse for Celiacs like me; and 2) I cannot help but think that if I were in their shoes, I might even purposely make less profit on such items given that deprivation of healthy Gluten-Free items and higher levels of Gluten Relapse among Celiacs can lead to a higher mortality rate for Celiacs and more suffering for them as well as their loved ones.  Thoughtful Scholars have even written about this probable chain reaction.
  It seems we would normally only do such awful things to our enemies, or to beings we simply don't understand, such as those who we imagine coming from outer space.
  I really cannot say what a fair solution to this tragedy might be.
  But I can say that it makes me feel a little more depressed than I would otherwise be. 
  Once in a while, I feel a sting of isolation and not seeing clearly, I look back at my once Blue and Green Planet, now in flames.  And the more I wonder if I have somehow relocated to the Planet Glutenia.

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