All The Rage
Gluten-free products are currently all the rage. And why? For one, increasing numbers of people are discovering that their bodies have adverse reactions –i.e. allergies or sensitivities– to gluten. This probably has a lot to do with our over-consumption of wheat products, along with the various genetic modifications that the plant has undergone. Rather than a balanced consumption of a variety of grains — including lesser known ones like buckwheat, quinoa, millet, amaranth and spelt; along with oats, rice, rye and barley — we overdose on GMO varieties of wheat. This stresses our digestive systems, and results in allergic reactions.
The Nefarious Brilliance Of Advertising
But the “gluten-free” tag has also become the darling of advertising agencies — who now are exploiting to the hilt the legitimate need of people with gluten sensitivities to know which foods contain gluten, and which ones do not. One might assume that it would be as simple as avoiding wheat (or rye or barley) bread, pasta and crackers: viz. items whose only or principle ingredient is the flour containing the problematic gluten. As it turns out, however, lots of processed food include small amounts of gluten — whose glue-like properties make it an attractive option for anything that benefits from a little thickening: e.g. soups, gravies, and all variety of frozen foods.
So it’s good, I suppose, that more and more companies are including the label “gluten-free” on products that might — in another formulation — include gluten. This saves the consumer the hassle of having to read the small-print ingredients list on the label.
When it becomes a bit ridiculous is when food items that could not possibly have gluten in them, are also advertised as being “gluten-free” — just to increase their perceived value. So for instance, the other day I came across a bag of oranges whose label proudly proclaimed: gluten-free! Now while it’s technically true that oranges are gluten-free, the claim is misleading by virtue of the implied assumption that it could be otherwise. But it simply can’t be otherwise, because fruits and vegetables (at least in their fresh and simply-frozen forms) never contain gluten: They are naturally and inherently gluten-free.
In the same way that oranges are naturally and inherently gluten-free, our essential being — aka Pure Awareness or Buddha Nature — is naturally and inherently ignorance-free. So from the point of view of Pure Awareness, to make the claim that it is ignorance-free is rather superfluous, because it simply couldn’t be otherwise. It is a fruit that is enjoyed fully in virtue of its being free from any and all conceptual labels. Advertising could not possibly enhance its value.