I’ve always been a believer that food is first of all, the best medicine. But I find it hard to keep up with what science and the food industry is telling and selling on any given day. This morning, my husband brought home a box of gluten-free brownie mix he picked up at the store on his way home from swimming laps at the fitness center. Not sure what he plans to do with his purchase, but at some point, I imagine he’ll make the brownies and discover how they taste, and most importantly, how he feels after eating them.
I’m particularly interested in what they’ll look like. The cakes I baked years ago for my own children who couldn’t digest the protein gluten didn’t rise very high. Made from rice flour, they looked more like a cookie than a cake. My three children, like most others, outgrew their inability to handle wheat, barley and rye, by the time they were three or four years old. Now the gluten-free craze that’s in full swing in the U.S seems to suggest that as we age, we may risk returning to this difficulty. Or maybe, it’s simply a new business market that food corporations have stumbled upon.
I remember when we first learned margarine is better for us than butter. And egg whites were healthier when served alone, without their yokes. Somewhere along the way, “light” mayonnaise was promoted along with “light” salad dressings and whole grain bread. (Enriched white wonder bread became so 1950s.)
But then, a few years later the food scientists changed their minds. Butter should be used sparingly, but it’s definitely healthier than margarine. Eating egg whites alone still saves on our cholesterol count, but when eaten with their yokes, something in the combination aids in their being digested. Omega3 fatty acids are now considered essential to health and are a recommended ingredient in salad dressings. And now, instead of whole grains, some of us apparently need to watch out for the gluten in wheat. Makes me want to check the newspaper every morning before I order lunch.