By Phillip Chaff
Whole Grain and Enriched Flour Affairs Intern
Claiming that avoidance of gluten has reached hysterical proportions and in most instances violates state and federal anti-discrimination laws, wheat on Monday filed a lawsuit against people who “frivolously and ignorantly” avoid it. Gluten is a protein found in wheat as well as in barley and rye, both of which are co-plaintiffs in the case.
The lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County District Court, seeks to reintroduce gluten, by force if necessary, into the diets of “most but not all” people who have stopped eating it. An exception would be made for people with celiac disease, a disorder affecting a tiny and disposable percentage of the U.S. population. Gluten triggers a harmful immune response in celiac sufferers, caused by their having spoken ill of gluten at some time in the past. “These people and only these people should be allowed to avoid the invaluable protein,” according to the suit.
Speaking outside the courthouse, an attorney for wheat was uncompromising. “Intolerance of any sort—whether of gluten, lactose, foreigners, or strange organisms—is not acceptable. It has no place in a civilized society and must always be opposed. The issues in this particular case are not complex. My client asks for nothing more than fair and equal treatment of grains by human beings. Wheat emphatically does not desire special status, only the same status as rice, corn, oats, millet, quinoa, sorghum and amaranth.”
Friends and family of wheat cheered the statement from the courthouse steps. Among them were bulgur, kamut, spelt, farina, matzoh, couscous and semolina.