Yet another in a flood of food vilifications is Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. In this case the villain is the gluten in wheat products. Dr. Davis claims that it is the source of almost every illness known to Man. It is just one in a stream of books that point to a single substance as the cause of multiple illnesses and disabilities.

Other deadly substances include refined carbs, sugar, and even fruit if eaten “to excess”. Yup; all part of Metabolic Syndrome, the background illness that leads to diabetes and heart disease.

Thirty-five years ago it was fat. And salt. And sugar. And nitrates. The last three are still with us, although fat has found some reprieve, so long as it’s the “right” kind of fat.

Forget the fact that at least two cultures with the lowest obesity and cardiovascular morbidity/mortality rates are France and Italy….kingdoms of the bon-vivant, with diets predicated on bread, pasta, butter, olive oil, and preserved meats. Of course, the fact that the French and Italians don’t sit in front of the TV 6 hours a night, but rather, take a walk after dinner, probably has nothing to do with it. Yeah…it’s got to be the wheat!

There’s a store in our neighborhood that only sells gluten-free products. Our mainstream supermarket now has vast sections devoted to gluten-free. Has Celiac disease skyrocketed in the last few years? I doubt it. These products are aimed at the “sub clinical” population, the supposed millions who are affected by certain products but not enough to be obviously sick; they simply don’t feel at their best.  A great marketers’ tool: You can create needs without having to prove an underlying reason for them. And since most people feel shitty for one reason or another….voila, an instant market for every type of hokum!

Ah, marketing bullshit….it never ends.