Written by Allison Perry. Media by Tawnie Kozora.
Gluten is the given title for proteins found in wheat. Everything made with wheat has gluten in it, such as certain breads, pastas, and even unexpected things like French fries, soups, and salad dressings. The list of foods and products that have traces of gluten in them seem to be endless.
In recent years, gluten free has become a sort of fad. This is all fine and dandy. Everyone has the right to choose what they consume. However, people who do not need to restrict their gluten intake can cause problems for those who are allergic and have to eat gluten free products. All across the country, numerous people suffer from a gluten allergy. Whether it be mild or severe, it’s incredibly inconvenient and can make those who are allergic or intolerant very sick. Gluten can cause various forms of skin rashes and other side effects for those who do not tolerate it well. It can cause a lot of problems. This is why there are gluten free products available.
The issue of the fad involves the price of these products. A diverse group of people, from all different classes, are allergic to gluten. However, the price of gluten free is not at the aide of those who truly need it. It’s high because people who want it are willing to pay.
Let’s do a price match on gluten versus gluten free products on Walmart.com.
A bag of gluten free pretzels costs $2.98, while a bag of regular pretzels costs $1.98 .
A box of gluten free Rotini noodles costs $1.98, while a box of the same noodles from the same brand, only not gluten free, costs $1.38.
One loaf of gluten free bread, a common necessity, costs $7.94, while a regular loaf only costs $1.68.
This price match list is a very short one. I did not discuss every single product that requires a substitute for gluten because the list would be terribly long and time-consuming to make. This article would also end up being way over the maximum word limit.
Think about it, though, companies know there is a fad and they are also fully aware there are people who become terribly ill from gluten. They come up with gluten free recipes and price them above the affordable cost. Some companies have gone so far as to label already gluten free products gluten free, just for the sake of raising the price. Companies are basically exploiting an illness.
It’s your choice whether you join the gluten free fad or not. But, those who are choosing not to consume gluten should consider the price that those who can’t tolerate it have to pay. If those who choose to go gluten free would fight for those who have no other option, we might see prices decline. This diet is very restrictive and only made worse when those who are allergic can’t afford the food they need to live healthy lives.