A New Alternate of the Diet

By Ms. Sayaka Futagami, Managing Director of Gluten Free Association

Gluten-free has become one of the key categories in the US food industry. Is the gluten-free market growing the same way in Japan or not?
Gluten-free products were originally developed for people with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, or wheat allergies. When we give this type of information, many people who do not fall under these diagnoses will think, “This doesn’t matter to me.”

How about saying, “Gluten-free diet can help heal stomach problems”? Or what happens if you are told, “A Gluten-free diet can help relieve your daily neck or shoulder pain, which may be related to your gluten intake.” Wouldn’t more people show interest?

As written earlier, there are diseases related to wheat or gluten including Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, and wheat allergy. It is said that Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance are very difficult to diagnose. In other words, you could be suffering from gluten without knowing it.

In fact, there are cases where people who thought they were free from allergies tried a gluten-free diet and unexpectedly got healthier. We hear typical comments such as “my skin got better” from women and “my headache stopped” from men. Here is a remarkable example. A person who suffered poor health of unclear causes over a long period of time and could not go outside due to his health conditions got clear results only a few days after he switched to a gluten-free diet. He was soon able to enjoy going outside and within a month after switching his diet, he was a completely new person, full of vitality.

As a result, these people were putting a certain degree of strain on their bodies by consuming gluten without knowing it. In addition to poor skin conditions or headache, chronic fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, low attention span, frustration, atopic dermatitis, asthma, and rhinitis could be related to gluten. There are reports of gluten having connections with Autisms.

In order to find out the causal relationship between these symptoms and gluten, it is effective to try a “challenge test” by going on a gluten-free diet for 2 weeks, going back to a gluten diet after that, and see the physical changes. If many people are able to live a better life by reducing the intake of gluten, the gluten-free market will grow in Japan as a result.

Activities of Gluten Free Association in Japan

Gluten Free Association (GFA) puts effort into releasing information related to gluten-free for people who cannot have wheat or gluten due to health issues, people who are interested in gluten-free from its health and beauty benefits, people who are looking for a new alternative diet, and to the general public. In addition, GFA is providing ethical education to food manufacturers and suppliers and promoting certification systems. As part of this activity, GFA established “Organizing Committee for Gluten Free Promotional Event” in 2016 to organize “Gluten Free Fair 2016” this fall as a place to share information and promote sales, hoping to expand further gluten-free market in Japan.

Name Gluten Free Fair 2016
Date September 4, 2016 (Sunday) 11:00~18:00 Reception Party 19:00~21:00
Venue STOCK Sengakuji 2F
2-16-4, Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo
(3 min. walk from Toei Asakusa Line, Sengakuji Station)
Admission Fee 800 yen in advance / 1,000 yen on the day
  • Cooking demonstration and tasting activities by raw food chef Mimi: 4,000 yen (admission fee, reservation required)
  • Reception party: 3,000 yen (foods are included, additional charges for drinks)
Visitor Profile
  • People who cannot eat wheat or gluten due to physical issues
  • People who are interested in gluten-free for better health or beauty
  • People who are looking for a new alternative in their diet
  • Companies and organizations that develop gluten-free products
  • Hotels and restaurants that provide gluten-free menus
  • General people
  • Introducing products, activities at exhibition booths
  • Cooking demonstrations and tasting activities at studio kitchens by food manufacturers
  • Cooking demonstration and tasting activities by Raw Food Chef (GF & Vegan) Mimi (Reservation required)
  • Consultation space
  • Reception party with the organizer: Gluten-free pizza party
Organizer Organizing Committee for Gluten Free Promotional Event
Gluten Free Association