Since May is Celiac Disease Awareness month, the question “what is gluten?” was posed to some unsuspected individuals. The answers revealed not only a very limited understanding of the topic of nutrition in general but also a complete information eclipse when it came to defining gluten.

I fully expected the answers to be funny and outlandish because, after all, this segment was from the Jimmy Kimmel show and not NOVA. However, I was still secretly hoping someone would answer somewhat knowledgeably and give a proper and succinct description of what gluten is. Not surprisingly, it never happened.

This funny/sad video made me consider a few things: Being blind mice following an anonymous flute player (Russian or otherwise) can have disastrous consequences. Always consider your sources. Whoever told you at the laundromat, the yoga class, the gym or the dentist’s office that gluten was inherently damaging or bad, had ulterior motives other than concern for your health. Only a nutritionist should provide you with such information, and even then, I recommend to keep a proactive approach and to do some research. Like with many other fads (and the field of nutrition is rife with them) the “gluten is the devil” approach will always have its followers and its detractors. I suggest you rely on science rather than anecdotal evidence to determine where you stand…and always, always take into account that every individual is different and a one-size-fits-all is already a big red flag flapping in the wind.