Okay, so that’s probably not a real term you would find in the dictionary, but nonetheless, I am very naive when it comes to the world of gluten. I guess I’ve thought it’s something I don’t need to pay attention to since I don’t have Celiac Disease or an intolerance to gluten. But that might not be as true as I had once believed.
I recently visited Pam MacD’s Gluten Free Market on Magnolia Blvd to talk with store owner Pamela MacDonald. Oh..you didn’t know there was an entire store of gluten free products here in Burbank? Well, me neither. But there is and I think it’s pretty spectacular.
And Pam MacD’s was born. Pam and her Executive Director, Justin Hall, have seen it all the way from conception to execution and this market is now here and readily available for anyone.
“Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and some oats. It is the hardest protein for our body to digest. To some extent, we are all gluten sensitive but for 1 in 5 people in the United States, they are Gluten Intolerant, and the reason you’re hearing more and more about it is because of the size of the wheat is larger. It’s a GMO (Genetically Modified). I’m 60 and it’s not the wheat I grew up on. Because so much of our food is processed, wheat is used as a filler…a binder. It’s in fake mashed potatoes, potato chips…soy sauce has wheat..the processed pre-packaged deli meats have gluten.”
Celiac disease is an absolute diagnosed disease whereas Gluten intolerance is more like have smaller symptoms when you eat Gluten…such as migraines, bloating..”foggy brain”.
Pam says “Some people eat gluten and they’re sick for days. For those of us that cant eat gluten, it can manifest in a lot of different ways..there’s Celiac Disease. But what also happens is areas of hematology, endocrine..skin, neurologic, gastrointestinal areas, you’ll have a disease, and because of the inflammatory aspect of the gluten, it will exasperate the disease.”
“They’re finding with anecdotal evidence that kids with autism are helped with a gluten free diet.” says Pam. Pam also makes it clear to anyone coming in the store, they are not doctors. They do not diagnose anyone who comes in asking questions about their own health, but they are all informed and can give just that…information.
Pam, her Executive Director, Justin Hall and their staff are knowledgeable and friendly on all things gluten. This is definitely another lovely gem in the city I love so much.
As Pam says….”There is life after wheat.”