Well, despite my dire predictions in my last blog, the fact that we appeared to be so well organised prior to the FreeFrom Food Awards presentations meant that – well, yes, we were well organised and, apart from the fact that there was a fatality at Waterloo, the main point of access if you wish to get to Kew Bridge Steam Museum so that most of the awards guests had horrendous journey round most of south London to get there…. it all went swimmingly!
If you wish to know more, Alex Gazzola wrote a delightful piece about the party itself while all the winners are now to be found on the winners pages of the awards website. For those wishing for even more guidance on what freefrom foods they should be buying for the next year, all of the ‘tasting’ tables with full details and judges comments, are now to be found on both the awards website and on the FreeFromFoodsMatter website. The latter, of course, includes our massive product directories and reviews of new freefrom foods as they come on the market.
After a couple of days distributing winning certificates and generally clearing up, Cressida retired to Hampshire and I headed up an Alp. This was the first time I had been out of the country and had travelled for more that 20 miles on a train since I became electrosensitive. However, I am delighted to say that I survived remarkably well, even though the skiing village we were staying in (Tignes) and even the mountain top skiing restaurants were alive with mobile phone masts and wifi. I will be writing in more detail about this trip and about the oxygen treatment that I have found so successful for the website over the next ten days and will alert you once it is ‘live’.
Meanwhile, back in the big smoke I see that Saturday Kitchen’s guest chef Anthony Demetre, who is coeliac, has caused an uproar by telling the world that although he normally follows a gluten-free diet, every few months he allows himself a gluten blow out and stuffs himself with pasta and pizza….. History (well, Anthony Demetre anyhow) did not relate how ill/well he felt after this blow out but however he felt and whatever his personal dietary peculiarities, it was not a particularly helpful comment to make on prime time telly. It can only confuse further the many who are already fairly confused about coeliac disease, possibly endanger the health of coeliacs who think they can follow his lead – and seriously raise the blood pressure of those who believe that following a strict gluten-free diet is the bedrock treatment for coeliac disease.
While is is true that both diagnosed coeliacs and those who are grain sensitive have differing levels of sensitivity so that some can eat small to moderate amounts of gluten without any majorly bad effects while other are made seriously ill by the tiniest speck – Demetre’s gorge then starve theory seems bizarre in the extreme – as does his comment that the ‘body rejects gluten’. If it did reject it then it would, presumably, do less harm as it would be expelled instantly. Unfortunately that is not the case. The body does not reject gluten, it reacts to it – hence the many symptoms suffered by those who are gluten sensitive.
I hope that the BBC do make a rather more helpful response to What Allergy? than they have so far (see the comment on her blog). While Anthony Demetre and anyone else is perfectly entitled to ‘control his eating’ in any way that he chooses, the BBC should really not be in the business of handing out duff and potentially dangerous information via their celebrity chefs.