I’ll just start by I’m not a celiac and I’m not (knowingly) wheat intolerant. However I am trying to cut down on wheat and other grain products at the moment.
It’s not easy.
So much of the food in our modern society is based on grain products. This was brought forcefully to my attention today when I was looking for something to eat for lunch.
I popped into the local Sainsburys looking for a healthy lunch to take away. Obviously the common sandwich was out of the question, as was the now standard wrap or sushi pack. What I was really after was some kind of vegetable and meat based salad. I wasn’t even going to be too picky about organic meat. How difficult could it be? As it happens – very difficult.
Quite apart from the large range of named pasta salads, I found that virtually every salad in the store seems to have a pasta component. I looked at rocket salads, vegetable salads, different varieties of chicken salads, a caesar salad and a salad niçoise. All came with pasta.
Now I’ve been to Nice, and for the sake of research I’ve spent some time reading about the composition of a salad niçoise. There are furious debates over anchovies, what kind of beans and olives to use, but nowhere, nowhere is there any discussion or reference to pasta of any kind.
I did eventually find one that was pasta free – Moroccan Spicy Chicken – with couscous. Not really achieving my wheat free goal.
And in case you think that I’m having a go at Sainsburys, I later had a look in Tesco, and late last year I was in a huge Asda (one of the ones that have their own weather climate) and they were no better.
Now I can appreciate that pasta is a cheap filler, but surely not everyone expects or desires pasta with every salad version. Even a few options might help those like myself who would prefer not to, or those with intolerances or allergies who can’t have wheat products.