Friday, January 23, 2015

South Park Goes Gluten Free

Hello everyone G-Free here.  I may be behind the times but I just caught my first episode of Comedy Central’s show, South Park. I was encouraged to watch it by a friend since it had a theme that revolved around gluten – or should I say, the fear of gluten! As most of you probably know, South Park is a crude and over-the-top adults-only (I hope!) cartoon that focuses on current events and topical satire. Over the years, the creators of the show have tackled a number of social issues, and I guess it was the gluten-free movement’s turn to be roasted!

I will begin by saying that while I was amused by a few parts of the show – I found it mostly vulgar and absurd. Upon deeper reflection however, one can argue that the episode could be of some value. Past the surface elements, and off color gags, the show actually did a good job illustrating the point that there is considerable confusion about gluten-free living and gluten sensitivity – on both sides of the issue (those living gluten free, and those not).

My takeaways from watching the episode were twofold.

First, the main theme of the show was right on point: People need to educate themselves about things and not overreact or under react. Gluten isn't a poisonous killer that must be eradicated at all costs, any more than it is a throwaway chemical that fad-conscious folks cling to in an effort to simply appear trendy or health conscious.

But second and more importantly, I couldn't help but feel that it may have done more harm than good to advancing the understanding and tolerance of the gluten-free lifestyle. Not everyone living gluten free is a loon who’s simply looking for the latest fad, knowing nothing about the actual merits or roots of what he’s doing. Many of us take our gluten-free living very seriously, either because we believe in its benefits, because we are intolerant of gluten, or both.

I've never agreed with the idea that all press is good press, but anything that gets people talking about something that’s generally misunderstood, in theory gets us closer to understanding it. In summation, if you have not already you may want to watch the episode. A note of caution however, this show is filled with adult language and humor. You’ll very likely come away with some opinions – and I’d like to hear them! Let’s get that talking and understanding started right here, and right now!

No comments :

Post a Comment