Shame on You, Aunty Beeb!
Yesterday, on Saturday kitchen, Michelin starred chef Anthony Demetre admitted binging on gluten, despite having been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. For a coeliac, this is really dangerous behaviour and shows either a complete lack of understanding of his illness by Demetre, or a complete disregard of his responsibilities when discussing such an illness on national TV. Or maybe both.
If you didn’t see Saturday Kitchen yesterday, here’s a video clip from the programme
Coeliacs everywhere are rightly outraged by this, not just the claim that the coeliac body needs gluten, but the reaction of programme host James Martin and the BBC for broadcasting it. You can read more about why this is a problem in my post from yesterday over on The Sated Coeliac. For those with Coeliac Disease, a gluten free diet is not a food fad, it is a medical necessity. We are not allergic to gluten, but we are intolerant of it. We have an auto-immune disease and eating gluten causes the immune system to attack the intestines. This has wide-reaching effects, including malabsorption of vitamins and minerals. Much of the damage can be repaired if gluten is cut from the diet completely, but continuing to eat gluten puts sufferers at higher risk of bowel cancer, and for women, can cause infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth.
If you’d like to complain to the BBC you can do so from their complaints page. If you’d also like to contact the chefs in question, you can contact Anthony Demetre by emailing his restaurant Arbutus and you can contact James Martin by emailing his management company Limelight Celebrity Management.