Since a bunch of people I know have taken up the diet and many restaurants offer gluten-free choices, I looked forward to a thorough examination of the controversial subject by America's best writer about food production and politics. What I got was a single graf in a Q&A column:
What Do You Think of Gluten-Free Diets?
They are very important if you have celiac disease or can't tolerate gluten. But it's hard to believe that the number of people suffering from these conditions has grown as fast as this product category. Gluten has become the bad nutrient of the moment, the evil twin of Omega 3 fatty acids. Could it really be that bread, a staple of Western civilization for 6,000 years, is suddenly making millions of us sick? I'm dubious.
That's it? Yep, in fact the entire issue is written like brief blog posts. There's plenty that's interesting, but nothing of depth at all.
One of my favorites, of course, is entitled "Can Good Design Rescue Fast Food?" It focuses on Popeyes, whose business has increased 3% since switching to a new takeout box that supposedly makes customers feel more intelligent. (I kid you not.)
But I was horrified with the story's last sentence: "The four-piece combo with a side of coleslaw and a biscuit...delivers 101 grams of fat, 3,790 milligrams of sodium and 1,570 calories and comes in a really spiffy box." I really didn't want to know that.
Another standout, I think, is Mimi Sheraton's reply to "Is Formal Dining Dead?" She believes the reports of fine dining's death are grossly exaggerated. That may be true in New York, but I don't think Mimi has dined in Atlanta lately.
She does get worried about the slouchy clothing many of us wear to restaurants.
Give the issue a read. There are questions about everything from the death of dress codes to food's addictive quality. I would have been happier with at least one long article of the type that the issue included last year.
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