When fellow New Yorker and Celiac Susan Cohen reached out to me recently to take a look at her gluten-free documentary Generation Gluten-Free I was really excited to take a look. The film itself was shot in the summer of 2005 and released the following January. Oh, and she just happened to film it while a student at Barnard College which makes it even more impressive. Now you may be wondering to yourself why you would want to watch something that was made six years ago about a condition that has really only recently made it into the headlines. That’s just the reason. You see, many Celiacs, myself included, remember what a very different world it was for us even five years ago. Let me tell you that when I was diagnosed more than nine years ago I was beside myself and really had few gluten-free replacements to help me maintain a gluten-free lifestyle.  Resources were also few and far between and the Celiac journey at the time was a pretty lonely one where we sort of learned as we went along.

Fast forward to today where gluten-free is the new buzz word and more and more mainstream manufacturers are jumping on-board to provide us with gluten-free options of some of our longtime favorites. Even major manufacturers aside, the niche gluten-free market has also exploded with a range of great products available in the click of a mouse and from quite literally around the world. While I am certainly happy that we have come such a long way in raising awareness of Celiac disease there is still a long road in front of us and I can’t think of a better way to continue to move forward than by looking back at some of the trailblazers in the community that helped Celiacs like myself start to live a more normal life. The film is also a fantastic commentary on our general gluten-free world just a few short years ago and I actually find it refreshing to see how far we have come as a community.

The film includes (in alphabetical order) interviews with:

George Chookazian, Owner and Founder of Foods by George – probably the first good gluten-free pizza and English Muffins I had when first diagnosed.
Sue Goldstein, the founder of the Westchester County, New York, Celiac Sprue Support Group
Dr. Peter Green, Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University
Beth Hillson, Founder of The Gluten-Free Pantry
Pat MacGregor, Founder of the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program
Joseph Pace, Owner of Risotteria restaurant in NYC – a New York City gluten-free stand-by.
Peter Zakakis, Owner of Peters Restaurant in NYC – one of my personal favorites here in the City that makes a mean gluten-free Monte Cristo.

I found it so interesting to put faces with many of the names that have become synonymous with the Celiac community and hear their first-hand takes on their motivation for becoming involved in the Celiac world. It is also interesting to note that many of their primary motivating factors are the same reason many of us do (to whatever degree) what we do to help raise awareness for the disease and make the gluten-free journey easier for the newly diagnosed than it was for many of us.

Kudos to Susan for making this film well before gluten-free was “cool” or really “in vogue” to immortalize the beginnings of what would fast become the gluten-free movement before us today.  I for one and proud to count my self among Generation Gluten-Free.

Susan has also graciously given me a copy of her film to give away to one of my readers. So why not head-on over to her Web site and view the trailer and learn more about the film or purchase your very own copy. To enter to win your own copy, just leave a comment here Enter by March 18, 2011). That’s all it takes and thanks again to Susan for helping document the Celiac experience.

11 responses on “We Are All Generation Gluten-Free

  1. Wendy says:

    I can’t wait to check out the documentary. My son and I both have Lyme Disease and it has been suggested to go gluten-free. I have been searching and taking suggestions from different place trying to learn, however, it is a large learning curve. I can’t imagine having celiac and having to learn quickly. I am hoping that I “just get it” soon.

  2. Samara says:

    It’s amazing how many people really suffer from gluten sensitivity or intolerance. I am new to all this, but I am glad there are more options available now. I love pasta and beer, so at least there are choices for me.

  3. Susan says:

    Hey. This sounds like a good resource. Especially for someone still trying to navigate the gluten free diet.

  4. Jackie says:

    This documentary looks really interesting. My cousin and I both suffer from Celiac disease, so I think it would be a great learning tool for us to use, in order to further our understanding of the world of gluten free.

  5. Ashley says:

    Looks interesting and very helpful! I live in SC and have celiacs and my great state is just now catching on 🙂 I bet this will be a great resource for me!!! 🙂

  6. Shannon J. says:

    As a new gluten free-er, I am constantly on the lookout for something that teaches me what I am in for to lead a healthier, happier and more sustainable life. This documentary looks like something that fits the bill! Thanks for the opportunity!

  7. Rachel O says:

    I think this is a fantastic tool for friends and family who do not understand about being Gluten Free.

  8. Jenni D. says:

    This looks great, I can’t wait to check it out!

  9. Alena Mack says:

    I would love this, not only for myself, but to share with my clients as well. Thank you!

  10. Dominique says:

    Wow, I would love to win and show this for my customers! Good work getting the word out!

  11. Jeri says:

    I can not wait to watch this. I was diagnosed in 2007 after a horrific year of health (multiple enoscopies, colonoscopy, brain surgery (not related to CD)… all I could do was pray for an answer. I didn’t even care what it was, I just wanted to feel better! After my diagnosis, my parents were tested and it turns out my Dad also has CD. It was tough on him being an airline pilot and never knowing where he was able to eat. And at the time, he didn’t think he had any symptoms, so it was hard to stick to the diet. Now we are both GF together and it makes life easier to have someone to go through it with. I meet someone weekly almost who was recently diagnosed and I love sharing my knowledge because I know how tough it can be when you are first diagnose. Thanks for posting this on your blog and allowing us to comment!!!

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