The perils of ingesting gluten have been fairly exhaustively chronicled, here and in other other, almost equally august media.

Nevertheless, as is our incorrigibly human knack, we remain susceptibly gullible to all manner of fads, frauds, flimflams, and other forms of fantastical, fabricated folderol. Likewise, we show a stubbornly illogical predilection for feeling guilty for ignoring the hogwash for which we’re supposed to blindly sucker.

So, following such irrational predilections, once more unto the breach jumps the Los Angeles Times, with yet another quixotic tilt at the windmill of common sense: “The truth about gluten-free diets“:

The gluten-free diet has now surpassed all others searched for on Google in the United States, beating the South Beach, Atkins and Paleolithic diets along with veganism, low-carb, low-calorie and organic food … Best-selling books tout gluten as the main source of health problems affecting everything from the brain to the belly. It’s the topic of cartoons in the New Yorker and fodder for late-night comedy shows. Movie stars, television personalities and major sports figures all sing the praises of a gluten-free diet. They say it makes them feel healthier, stronger and even happier. And yet, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.

What I love most about the Times article is the assumption that the truth will make the slightest bit of difference at all to the ideologically convicted. As we’ve noted on other occasions:

An “ideology” is like a spirit taking up its abode in a body: it makes that body hop around in certain ways; and that same body would have hopped around in different ways had a different ideology happened to inhabit it. (Kenneth Burke, 1897-1993, from Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature and Method)

Since we’re going to persist in hopping around at the behest of whatever irrational spirits happen to take up their abodes in our mortal coils anyhow — chasing chimerical nonsense of every form and fashion — here’s my prediction for the next fad, offered here as a public service with the utmost magnanimity and no thought of return: the Pre-Paleo Diet. That’s right. The next clamoring will be for austere nutritive regimens comprising mostly rocks and bugs, with an occasional staghorn fern thrown in to add flavor.

The alimentary value of the Pre-Paleo Diet is based, of course, on the kind of fact-based consensus that leads all of us to agree that alcohol consumption is bad for usunless it’s good for us.

If we are what we eat, what we become will depend on how much nonsense we swallow.

Be careful out there.

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