LINCOLN, Neb. (CAP) - Lovers of gluten and gluten-laden products are planning to hold rallies in 15 cities across the country this weekend as part of a small but vociferous movement to raise awareness of what they say is the most under-rated protein found in nature.
"Gluten has gotten such a bad rap lately, you know?" said Arnold Thibeau, who is coordinating the rally outside the Four Seasons hotel in San Francisco. "Like, someone gets an allergy, and all of a sudden we're taking gluten out of everything?
"I feel so bad for gluten right now," he added.
The demonstrations are being organized by the non-profit Gluten Lovers Alliance of Nebraska, a loose coalition of local farmers who refuse to incorporate gluten extraction procedures into their foods processed from wheat and other related grains. The group has lobbied unsuccessfully for federal legislation protecting gluten.
"Listen, this is no different than the salt-free potato chip push of the 1980's," noted GLAN president Darcy Melman. "So here we are, 30 years later, and the snack aisle is still dominated by salty goodness, hypertension be damned.
"Gluten is the salt of our generation," Melman said.
According to Melman, GLAN is pushing not just to keep gluten in foods, but to also offer extra gluten options for those desirous of more gluten. A new company called Gluten For Punishment is testing new gluten products in a handful of markets in the Northeast.
"Our Double-Gluten Wheat Dinner Rolls are flying off the shelves," said GFP CEO Dan Levin. "And we're seeing the same excitement for other products, too, like our Vegetable Medley In Garlic Gluten Sauce, or Chunky Gluten Stew - now with 15% more gluten!"
While GLAN doesn't expect the public's negative perception of gluten to change overnight, they hope the rallies will shed light on the plight of gluten and make people think twice before just blindly shopping in the gluten-free aisle at the grocery store.
"Buddhist monks discovered gluten in the 7th century - we can't let it go down without a fight," said Melman. "We owe gluten that much."
- CAP News Staff