Regarding the May 20 Point of View “ When gluten-free food isn’t”: I doubt that the problems experienced by the writer’s family were caused by any association of celiac disease with fad diets. The same situations occur with other allergies or sensitivities.
Rather, these problems involve a lack of understanding and of rudimentary analytical thinking. Many people do not understand how serious food-related reactions can be, that troublesome ingredients can take different forms, that minute quantities can create huge problems or the concept of cross-contamination.
Further, restaurants often purchase peeled or sliced ingredients that might have had preservatives or other allergenic ingredients added. For instance, I once received a portion of “completely plain” pasta that had been cooked in water previously used for another dish. A “completely plain” potato had been pre-treated with a preservative.
A child died in Chicago a few years ago after one taste of her “peanut-free” meal. Unfortunately, the food had been cooked in peanut oil.
For people with serious food-related problems, the only safe food is the food prepared at home with known ingredients.
Marjorie C. Malley