27 January 2018

You can now buy gluten-free water

The BBC offers a perspective on the abuse of the term "gluten-free":
The food labelling craze coupled with banner headlines about the dangers of gluten, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and hormones are leading to increasingly absurd results. For example, you can now buy “premium” water that’s not only free of GMOs and gluten but certified kosher and organic. Never mind that not a single drop of water anywhere contains either property or is altered in any way by those designations...

In my experience as a food economist, such “fake transparency” does nothing to inform consumers about the nature of their foods. Moreover, it can actually decrease well-being when accompanied by a higher price tag...

Since federal regulation requires that hormones not be used in pork or poultry, advertising a chicken breast as “hormone-free” doesn’t make sense – yet doing so allows a company to charge more or help its products stand out from the less-labelled competition.


  1. A while back, after binge-watching Almazan Kitchen episodes (in which not a word is uttered...and all you can here is the crackle of the fire and the sound of water as the food cooks), I began to notice the pretentiousness that I doubt I would have noticed had I not watched episode after episode. Indeed, every item is oh-so-special--organic this, and organic that. But when it said "organic water," yeah, that was the proof I needed that this was a too-precious attempt to act like their food HAD, by absolute necessity, to taste better, etc. Nope. I enjoy watching the episodes, but I now realize that I'm watching at least a partial charade.

  2. I had the tap in my kitchen rigged to spit out gluten-free water. Definitely worth it.

  3. Regarding kosher water, years ago I read about rabbis suing New York to eliminate microscopic crustaceans from its tap water.



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