Intern Project: Living Gluten Free in Tallahassee, finding the hidden gluten

Posted at 2:46 PM, May 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-02 11:48:11-04

As graduation season approaches, the next group of journalist will be telling unique stories in creative ways. In fact some of those graduates just wrapped up their internship here at WTXL.

One of their final assignments this semester was to tell a unique story that they were passionate about.

In part three of the Intern Project, Shelby Weiner shows us what it is like being gluten free.

Intern Project: Living Gluten Free in Tallahassee

Written by: Shelby Weiner


Gluten intolerance is beginning to show up more often but do you know what it’s really all about?

Gluten is a protein that provides elasticity to dough. It is normally in breads, cereals, baked goods, and snacks, or basically anything made with flour. However, gluten is also used as a thickener so it can be hidden in a variety of foods.

Despite people having dietary needs for gluten free food, it is prevalent in many of the common foods we eat. This is because less then 1% of people are diagnosed with celiac disease in America.

Gluten sensitivity is extremely difficult to diagnose. It is estimated that 97% of gluten intolerant people are undiagnosed. The symptoms often get confused with other health problems and there is a general lack of awareness towards the disease. This significantly lowers the demand for gluten free options.

Currently, there is a pretty small amount of gluten free foods in restaurants and grocery stores. Typically, those foods cost over double the regular versions of them. People are beginning to become more conscious of gluten sensitivity. With that costs are slowly becoming more reasonable and the variety is expanding.

The next time you’re out to eat, count how many items on the menu are gluten free. Or check out the gluten free section when you’re at the grocery store. You will probably be surprised by what you find.