A Letter To Everyone Going Gluten-Free

Dear everyone going gluten-free right now, Allow me to begin by immediately excluding anyone with Celiac Disease, or any other form of legitimate gluten intolerance. If anything, I feel this letter may in fact resonate with you, as I can only imagine the frustration that comes with seeing people co-opting your dietary restrictions as a sort of fashion accessory, much like the feeling a starving African child would have watching a documentary on the tragedies of anorexia. No, you Celiacs are okay in my books, albeit often weird-looking in an “I bet you were a preemie,” sort of way. But to the rest of you, I ask: What the fuck is wrong with you? How has the exclusion of gluten suddenly become trendy? And why have you bandwagoned onto it? Why does every indie café serve gluten-free muffins? Why does every back-alley hipster bar suddenly have some syrupy, sugar-ridden cider on tap? And how do you get away with asking if something is gluten-free in that sort of holier-than-thou tone reminiscent of when you would snarkily inquire about whether or not things were “local” in that seemingly now-passé “sustainable eating” craze of yesteryear? All of this, to me, is absurd. If I recall correctly, somewhere around ‘08 – maybe even into the ‘10s – hip chicks were finally embracing pizza and beer.

You wore cut-off denim vests, shaved various parts of your head, got those inside of the index finger homemade tattoos because you still had too many reservations to get real knuckle tattoos, and decided that drinking shitty beer and scarfing greasy slices of pepperoni ‘za was the way to go. It was a little bit Wayne’s World, a little bit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and most importantly, filled with truckloads of gluten. You were gnarly, Tumblr-celebrity, bread-loving rock-and-rollers. Hipster chicks, have you really forgotten these days already? Times have changed, I know. Tumblr is now Instagram, denim vests are now daisy dukes, and instead of shaving your hair off, you’re dying it that weird mermaid green that intentionally looks like you fucked it up. That’s okay! – I much prefer the exposing of lower butt cheeks to hairy armpits, and mermaids definitely score in the top five sexiest mythical creatures, probably somewhere between harpy and nymph. But the exchange of pasta for quinoa, of beer for white wine spritzers, and of wheat for rice – that’s taking it too far. While I’ll admit pasta hasn’t been in any position of gastronomical hipness in ages, it’s at least dependable. Quinoa appears sporadically in cold salads, simulation patties, and even in breakfast granolas (of which its recent trendiness I also contest).

Hell, I can’t even get a consensus on the damn thing’s pronunciation: kee-NO-uh? Or is it keen-WAH? It’s like the grain was invented just so I could be sharply humiliated by hot lesbian servers everywhere. Oh, and rice? You did that already. Remember the whole sushi craze of the mid-2000s? Yeah, that’s over and done with. No more. And I needn’t even argue on behalf of beer: it is a mainstay and is perpetually cool. Give a snobby chick a pint, and both her boneability and approachability are instantly doubled; give it to an awkward young dweeb, and he instantly looks like one of those “surprise fun guys” who come out of their shell after a couple. Beer is here to stay. And yeah, I get that processed carbs like pasta and bread are high in calories and all that. I’m not advocating for unhealthy eating, I’m just opposed to strict restrictions without legitimate reasoning. Can’t we just return to the beer and pizza days where everyone had sort of beer bellies? I swear if we pushed it a bit further, being sort of fat could be the new skinny and then a whole lot of us would be getting laid a whole lot more. In a sense, the fate of humanity rests upon pizza and beer. Are you really ready to give up on the whole of humanity? I didn’t think so.

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