Thursday, 21 March 2013

"Would You Risk It For A Chocolate Biscuit?" A complaint about ITV's Food Glorious Food. Gluten Free

On ITV's Food Glorious Food last night, Stacie Stewart, a so called "food expert", openly shared her ignorant and damaging ideas about what she "thinks" having to follow a gluten free diet is like, after Carol Vorderman described eating gluten free as a "fad". As if being a Coeliac, having to eat a controlled diet AND try to educate people about the disease isn't hard enough already, we have people in the public eye misinforming the nation. Having Coeliac Disease is NOT a fad, and it is NOT a life style choice (such as vegetarianism), it is a necessity. It is a life-long autoimmune DISEASE, the clue is in the name. It isn't rare, it affects 1 in 100 people in the UK alone, and it is a serious medical condition that can ONLY be controlled by diet, there are no medications or miracle cures.

Stacie Stewart is described by ITV as being the "Beehive Baker" - I'd question how a BAKER can be so uneducated and misinformed about Coeliac Disease and not know the consequences for some people when they eat certain ingredients? She works with bread and flour and cakes as a profession, and I can bet she's well aware of vegetarian/vegan products and wouldn't try force them on people who are against eating foods made with animal products. How is removing wheat/barley/rye from foods (for medical reasons) any different? Going on TV and suggesting to a man who follows a gluten free diet that he should just eat "what he wants" and "spend the next day on the toilet" is disgusting behaviour, it's attitudes like this that make eating out as a Coeliac increasingly difficult because most people who don't suffer from it just don't take it seriously enough.

There are short term symptoms that come with Coeliac Disease that most people are familiar with, it's the long-term implications that people don't seem to be aware of, and this needs to change. If a Coeliac person accidentally ingests gluten, they can suffer with symptoms such as sickness, diarrhoea, nausea, headaches, stomach cramping/bloating and more. If I asked you to eat a undercooked piece of chicken and let me know how you get on the next day, you'd have an idea of what its like, and I don't think you'd be in a rush to try it again. Then we get to the long term risks, iron/B12/folic acid deficiency, osteoporosis, stomach/bowel cancer, depression, infertility, repeated miscarrages. Would you risk it for a chocolate biscuit?

Following a gluten free diet is a pain in the ass, it's not a fad, it's not fun, it's hard work. We have to read labels on everything we eat, we have to pay double the price for a loaf of bread that is half the size of a regular one, we have to plan in advance to even eat out in restaurants, don't even get me started on when we go on holiday abroad, we can't eat 90% of things on a buffet at a party, and it's not because we're being "fussy" - it's vital that we do so. We literally have no choice.

Can I also point out that if Stacie Stewart can't make "unctuous and fabulous" gluten free desserts, then she's really not much of a baker. Thanks for reading, for more information check out Coeliac UK's website:

 Thanks for reading!


  1. Powerful stuff Kazz. We should get you on daybreak to debate it!

    1. They should at least get SOMEONE who knows what they're actually talking about!

  2. We certainly agree with a number of your comments. As you are all aware, a strict gluten-free diet is the only treatment for those with coeliac disease and we continually work hard to raise awareness of the condition. It is encouraging to see that so many people understand the necessity of a strict gluten-free diet and that there is widespread agreement on the issues and messaging around gluten-free. Our Awareness Week this year focuses on finding the half a million people in the UK who are living with coeliac disease but do not have a diagnosis. If you’d like to get involved in spreading the message, please visit