Food and Wine – A Diatribe

It’s bad enough when you see misinformation in some small, non-food-related magazine.  But very bad information in a big food magazine?


That’s right, Food and Wine Magazine, I’m talking about you.

Rule number one about writing: Joe’s opinion does not a fact make.  Or, in this case, Lionel’s.

Just because someone who supposedly has celiac disease says he eats spelt does NOT mean it is okay for celiacs.

Because, it is NOT.

Unfortunately, this is still a battle we are fighting with the health food stores, which happens to be most people’s first and only education about Celiac Disease.

Did I mention this is appalling?

Spelt is a member of the genus Triticum.  Have you heard that word before?  Most likely, you have, in some form or another.  It’s the WHEAT.  Look at this list of species in the genus Triticum, from the USDA.

Kingdom  Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom  Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision  Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division  Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class  Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass  Commelinidae
Order  Cyperales
Family  Poaceae – Grass family
Genus  Triticum L. – wheat P
Contains 19 Species and 21 accepted taxa overall
Down one level
Species  Triticum aestivum L. – common wheat P
Species  Triticum aethiopicum Jakubz. – Ethiopian wheat P
Species  Triticum araraticum Jakubz. – wheat P
Species  Triticum boeoticum Boiss. – wild einkorn P
Subspecies  Triticum boeoticum Boiss. ssp. boeoticum – wild einkorn P
Subspecies  Triticum boeoticum Boiss. ssp. thaoudar (Reuter ex Hausskn.) Schiem. – wild einkorn P
Species  Triticum carthlicum Nevski – Persian wheat P
Species  Triticum compactum Host [excluded] P
Species  Triticum durum Desf. – durum wheat P
Species  Triticum ispahanicum Heslot – wheat P
Species  Triticum karamyschevii Nevski – Karamyschev’s wheat P
Species  Triticum militinae Zhuk. & Migush. – wheat P
Species  Triticum monococcum L. [excluded] P
Species  Triticum polonicum L. [excluded] P
Species  Triticum spelta L. – spelt P
Species  Triticum timopheevii (Zhuk.) Zhuk. – Timopheev’s wheat P
Species  Triticum turanicum Jakubz. – Oriental wheat P
Species  Triticum turgidum L. – rivet wheat P
Species  Triticum urartu Thumanian ex Gandilyan – wheat P
Species  Triticum vavilovii Jakubz. – Vavilov’s wheat P
Species  Triticum zhukovskyi Menabde & Ericzjan – Zhukovsky’s wheat P

So, while Lionel may be content with damaging his intestines and increasing his risk for other autoimmune disorders, cancers, and general bad health, don’t let that be you or a celiac you know.

When you see bad information like this, call them out on it.  Share GOOD information.  Hand them a pamphlet from the Gluten Intolerance Group.

In case you need a refresher of some of the names, here’s a pretty good table from the Children’s Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation (fyi – I have not read the booklet).*Rice bran is okay, but it would be labeled as “rice bran”.

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