Former Owner David Lower on Gluten...
The problem I have with the "gluten-free" craze is that no thought is given as to why? Why, all of the sudden, is the food (wheat) with it's gluten (the food which has sustained the western world for over 4,000 years) the cause of so many health problems?
We should be talking about how bread has changed in the last 100, or even the last 50 years. First, there was the advent of baker's yeast. Then came white flour, with its chemical additives. Next, commercial bakeries learned how to make bread in an hour or less, instead of 6-12 hours. Quality has lost out to profit margin - again.
A well-made, slowly fermented sourdough bread is just about a thing of the past. A few of us continue the tradition - very few. Additionally, there are very few bakeries that make whole wheat or whole spelt sourdough bread. In fact, most people, even people who try to eat right, have no idea what a good loaf of bread is. Basically, it's just not out there. Generally, you won't find it, even in a health-food store. Most states do not have a bakery which makes the real thing.
Sourdough is a process of fermentation using naturally occurring microbes. Wild yeasts, and naturally occurring lacto-baccillus bacteria provide the culture to ferment flour (wheat, rye, and spelt). In the process, which takes many hours, the grain is broken down. Complex carbs become more digestible, simple sugars. This is a good thing for diabetics. Proteins become amino acids. The gluten is broken down into a digestible form, and unless one suffers from celiac disease, should be easy to digest. And remember, the beneficial bacteria are free.
I encourage you to do your own homework. Start with "Sourdough Bread and Health" by Mark Sircus. Google sourdough fermentation and gluten. Take a little time to research bread, and please, don't just jump on the gluten-free (5 Billion in sales/year) bandwagon. Well made sourdough breads should be a staple in almost every home.