Whether for our health, fitness or spirituality, we seek out special foods like organic meat, gluten-free pasta and kosher cheese. Some diets, like kosher, date back centuries. But most are more recent, resulting from scientific advancements in pest control and genetic modification affecting our food chain. Fad diets of the 20th century, like the Grapefruit Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Scarsdale Diet, the Zone Diet and the Atkins Diet have all come and gone. But the Kosher Diet has endured thousands of years, and two recent trends have staying power - Organic Food and Gluten-Free.
Eating organic means avoiding fruits and vegetables that were grown using chemical pesticides, and avoiding meats or dairy products from animals that were fed inorganic feed or were subjected to heavy doses of antibiotics or growth hormones. People who eat organic also avoid products that were genetically modified. Certified Organic foods have a prominent symbol on their packaging, USDA Organic in the US or a green rectangle with a leaf made of stars in the EU.
Eathing Gluten-Free means eliminating wheat gluten from one's diet. Books have been written about how scientists have modified the genetics of the wheat plant over time, such that wheat DNA has become almost unrecognizably different from its original code. The most fervent supporters of a gluten-free diet claim that wheat gluten is now toxic to the human body. Many others insist that it is an irritant and hard to digest, leading to obesity and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. Speculation aside, there are millions of people with complete gluten intolerance - a condition called Celiac Disease. There are many millions more who do not have full blown Celiac's Disease but have sensitivity to eating gluten. Therefore, Gluten-Free is more than just a trend in the food business. Rather, it is here to stay.