There is no valid scientific evidence that gluten–the protein in wheat, barley and rye—is harmful in any way unless you suffer from Celiac Disease, which few people do, or have an allergy to it, which isn’t common either. Somehow the food and nutrition scammers, aided by aging hippies, vegans and none-too-bright celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow have convinced a depressing number of people that gluten is generally deadly, and this has created a boffo market for food marked “gluten free” and sold at unethically high prices, since they are supported by gullibility and little else.
Yesterday, I noticed that Boar’s Head pre-cooked microwave bacon is prominently labelled “gluten-free.” Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty certain that bacon, like my shoes, the pavement on the street where I live, my cell phone and my laptop, is always gluten-free. I checked my assumption on a gluten website, which confirmed it, but the site also said that you never know when bacon might be cross-contaminated by the nasty stuff, just traces of course, but you never know!!!!
Apparently you do know if the company says the bacon is gluten-free, although I don’t know why. Nor do I know how you would prove you got sick from the trace gluten on your bacon, nor understand why the bacon doesn’t come with denials of contamination by anything else that might bother some people—-arsenic, peanuts, shellfish, penicillin, lactose, cat hair, broken glass, ISIS.
In truth, this labeling is a cynical, clever, unethical sort of accusation and innuendo conveyed by the statement of an unethical fact. I call it reverse deceit. Deceit is the statement of a fact in such a way that it intentionally misleads someone into thinking the statement means what it does not mean. The statement that the bacon is gluten-free isn’t deceit, like “my dog doesn’t bite” when you know that the person you are talking to thinks the dog in front of him is your dog, but it isn’t, and it bites. No, the gluten-free announcement is clear and straightforward. However, it casts doubt on every other brand of bacon simply by making the unnecessary declaration, and I think that’s part of the reason for it. By making the assertion that its bacon doesn’t have something perceived as harmful that shouldn’t be in any bacon, it automatically generates suspicion. Hey, Hormel microwave bacon doesn’t say it’s gluten (sea scallop, heroin, rat turd) free…is that because it does contain gluten (jelly beans, PCP, crude oil)? How do I know? I better stick with this brand. It’s transparent and responsible.
Clever. Also ridiculous.
From now on, I will judge any product that tries to get me to buy it by telling me that it has no gluten in it when there is no reason in the world for it to have gluten in it and no reason in the world to assume its competitors would have gluten in their products as 1) treating me like a scamster’s mark, 2) assuming I’m an idiot, 3) trying to make me paranoid, 4) participating in a worldwide food scaremongering scheme and 5) engaging in dishonest marketing by using reverse deceit.
That’s right: I’m only buying bacon brands that don’t say their bacon is gluten-free, because I don’t trust the ones that do.
Post Script: It’s pretty funny that the Boar’s Head package says the bacon is gluten free but shows it being used in a sandwich.