2011: The year I officially became the last American to still eat gluten.
Or did it just feel that way? Because though only a tiny fraction of Americans suffer sensitivities to this wheat protein, the multibillion dollar industry of foods, cookbooks and magazines touting their gluten-free cred this year would suggest an epidemic.
Didn't notice? Perhaps you were too busy chugging raw milk, herding your backyard flock of chickens and hunting down nearby sources for heirloom vegetables, all popular pastimes buoyed by growing demand for so-called "local" foods — a market the government predicted this year would generate some $7 billion in sales.
And so went the year in food, a period marked by some unusual dietary dichotomies.
2. I have no bad effects from gluten, nor does my wife.
Pasta is a staple in our house. If gluten bothered me, though, I'd certainly cut it out of my diet. I can't see any reason to do that unless a person has difficulties digesting gluten or it causes actual symptoms. Humans have been eating gluten-bearing grains for a very, very long time.