Cutting down the food pyramid

The best ways to obey the popular gluten-free diet

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Margarita marinade chicken grilling on the open George Foreman Grill.

Gluten-free diets have become the new fad in the United States, which means people need to start eating with caution — even at home.

According to an article published in the Nov. 3 issue of The New Yorker, nearly “20 million people contend that they regularly experience distress after eating products that contain gluten” in 2014.

About one third of Americans are also attempting to remove gluten from their diets.

The change is drastic when compared with a decade ago, when“99 percent of Americans rarely seemed to give gluten much thought,” according to the article.

The New York Times, however, takes a more critical approach to the statistics, questioning how “less than 1 percent of the population with celiac disease, a genetic disorder, kidnap the gastronomic narrative of the remaining 311,000,000 people in the United States concerning gluten?”

This question, raised in a Feb. 20, 2014 opinion column, answers itself, labeling the gluten-free diet as “a fad” and criticizing its campaign to remove important dietary staples — pasta and bread.

Nevertheless, the 2014 statistics indicate the “fad” isn’t going anywhere, which makes things complicated its followers.

Frequent fast-food options, such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell, offer gluten-free menu options in select locations, but removing the gluten element from your diet can be tough in a pinch.

University students suffering from celiac disease struggle to find gluten-free options in their own dining halls, sometimes even when they are promised what they are eating is gluten-free.

One student, Breanna Miller, was accidentally served gluten under the label of gluten-free at Newman Hall, which caused her celiac disease to produce a severe reaction that almost sent her to the hospital.

Because of instances like this, Miller often cooks for herself down in the kitchen area of her dorm.

For the growing number of Americans following the diet — fad or not — the best advice for staying gluten-free is cooking at home, where you know every what is in every dish you make.


Overall, the main problem I had was overshooting, which isn’t the worst thing in the world.

I originally planned to film myself preparing margarita grilled chicken and roasted potatoes, but after editing a rough cut, I realized it would be much too long for the assignment constraints.


My original story board before I cut out the potatoes.


Another idea I had was to link the two videos together, and show each portion. Ultimately, though, for the purposes of the assignment, I just decided to show the “how-to” behind making the margarita marinade, since the potatoes were already gluten-free.

The reason I chose chicken, which is normally gluten-free, was because a friend with celiac disease warned me that gluten-free people need to take caution with what they put on their chicken. Looking at one of my favorite dishes — margarita grilled chicken — I realized special steps needed to be taken to ensure the tequila used was gluten-free.

To do this, you must you a bottle that is labeled: 100 percent Agave.

After taking this precautionary step, the rest is relatively simple when following the instructions in my how-to video, which you can view here.

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