Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Stringent avoidance of it is the only treatment for Celiac disease.
On the surface, this seems sad but not too difficult. I mean, no more pizza. No more giant burritos larger than your head. No more bowls of pasta that should probably feed three people! Okay, that sucks, but I can do that. Now I’m gluten free, right?
Well…no. Not exactly. Have you ever wondered why things that seem to obviously not contain wheat have a little gluten free label? Have you ever scoffed at a salad dressing? “Of course it’s gluten free, it’s a salad dressing!”
So, here’s the thing: gluten is everywhere. It’s sneaky. Not only are a lot of things cross-contaminated when they’re produced on shared lines, gluten is used as a filler and thickener. We call this “hidden gluten.”