Unless Caveman-With-Glasses-Who-Probably-Has-A-Name knows as a fact that Caveman-With-Freakishly-Large-Teeth has Celiac disease, why would he care whether he eats gluten?

Basically, cartoonists in 2018 understand gluten about as well as cartoonists in 2012 understood global warming.


  1. The one with glasses is named Clumsy Carp. The other one is Thor, but I had to look him up, because he, BC, and Peter are mostly identified by haircolour, and I can never remember which is which.

    And I don’t think that the joke is supposed to be saying gluten is bad, but that Clumsy is being nutty – gluten and GMOs are both things people get inappropriately upset over, and the punchline is Thor getting tired of Clumsy being a twit. (Not eating endangered animals is actually a reasonable choice, at least for wild-caught.)

  2. There are people who think that gluten is bad for you even if you don’t have celiac disease. From what I remember reading, it can cause, shall we say, digestive issues.

  3. I’m reminded of a (now-deceased) New Agey friend of mine who once boasted proudly that “There are NO CHEMICALS in MY body!”

  4. Didn’t the B.C. people eat up all the dinosaurs anyway, and that’s why there are no dinosaurs?

  5. But, if you genetically modify a plant to produce gluten, you’ll
    have very few of them, and they’ll thus be endangered. You’ve got
    the trifecta.

  6. Peter’s the one with the curling front lock of hair. BC’s got kind of a longish scruffy head. Thor looks like Peter without the curl…he’s also a little taller.

    “Things my brain refuses to let me forget”

  7. (none of the above need apply anymore, I guess. I haven’t really followed BC since the 80s. Everybody could’ve morphed with the new guy)

  8. I was thinking more along the lines of what if you genetically modified the wheat so the gluten it produced no longer proved itself indigestible to celiacs, but I like Arthur’s take better.

  9. larK – One would think that modifying the gluten would be helpful, but so much of the market for celiac-safe food (i.e. the stuff that can be legally labelled “gluten-free”) is the “gluten is a toxin” crowd. This means that a GMO gluten-free food wouldn’t do as well commercially, so there isn’t incentive for anyone to sell it. It’s similar to the problems that the “gluten is a toxin” types (aka “gluten-free by choice”) caused before “gluten-free” because a regulated term that actually meant something.

  10. My mother is a celiac, and she therefor hates the gluten-free-by-choice crowd (largely because she’s a lifelong hypochondriac who finally has something real to latch onto, and thus disparages those who lessen the realness of her real disease); I point out to her that if it weren’t for all those life-style idiots, she’d have a really hard time finding gluten free food — those idiots subsidize her dietary necessities, she should be endlessly thankful that it became a fashion just around the time that her diagnosis came. (Although I suppose if it had been a fashion 50 years ago, she might have accidentally stumbled into it, found relief for her symptoms, and possibly never even become a hypochondriac…)

  11. “Unless [Clumsy Carp] knows as a fact that [Thor] has Celiac disease, why would he care whether he eats gluten?”

    Because he’s a food Nazi. That’s the joke.

    This is a cartoon by a [young syndicate attempting to imitate the stylings and opinions of a now dead] crotchety reactionary old man. And he’s mocking (unfunnily) the perceived trend (… okay, it’s a real trend. And an irritating one. But the sneering non-thinking dismissal anti-“politically correct” backlash is so much more objectionable to me…) of self-righteous admonishing the foodies do.

  12. ….. I point out to her that if it weren’t for all those life-style idiots, she’d have a really hard time finding gluten free food — those idiots subsidize her dietary necessities,….

    Wow. I *never* thought of it that way.

    (I *really* hate those life-style idiots…..) [… but not as much as I hate the anti-PC backlash…] … {gee… I’m just full of hate. It’s so much fun being a curmudgeon… except when it is painfully awful…}

  13. I’ve had this comic happen to me (not all at once) at the grocery store. Like the total stranger in the cereal aisle who said (with no previous comment on my part), “You should get this one. My grandkids like it and it’s gluten-free!”
    One of these days someone will start plugging wheat protein as the perfect health food and people will buy supplements of it to sprinkle on their gluten-free products…

  14. “Food Christian” may seem more appropriate depending on your viewpoint. But “X Nazi” is the common pop-culture terminology for the phenomenon of self-righteously isn’t others conform and be judged by your standards.

    By the way, how can it be that Bill’s my age, has been reading comics all his life, been doing this blog for 22 years, knows the name of child in Barney and Clyde and the girlfriend in Buni, but doesn’t know the name of the cavemen in B.C.

  15. “A downside, though, is that some waitstaff might not take your mother’s needs with the seriousness it requires.”

    That *does* happen a lot.

    This is a weird age we live in.

    But we’ve probably always lived in it.

  16. re: This is a weird age we live in.
    But we’ve probably always lived in it.

    “Life is very strange”, said Jeremy.
    “Compared to what?”, asked the spider.

  17. My wife can’t eat flour — not even gluten-free, since this has nothing to do with Celiac — but waitstaff are always trying to overthink it rather than, you know, just giving her what she asks for.

  18. Oh, my mother makes sure to inform anyone and everyone that she is really a celiac, she’s not doing it as a lifestyle choice, she has a real disease. The waitstaff might spit in her food for her self-importance, but they have been informed that her requirements are real.

  19. The whole “Grammar Christian” thing wasn’t funny to begin with, and is no funnier this time around in modified form.

  20. Robert avoids gluten free foods because rice is a problem for him. We are both Type 2 Diabetics. We eat very small portions of carbs. I can eat a small portion of rice without a problem. Any rice – even wild rice which is not really a rice – will send his blood gluten high. So when anyone says that something is gluten free – it is “no thank you”.

  21. CIDU Bill – My daughter has inherited my dairy allergy. I basically refuse to let anyone who isn’t me (or a few friends who I know are really good about food sensitivities) vet her food. I’ve had far too many “oh, don’t worry, we used margarine instead of butter” incidents (fun fact: I can still have butter, because while my reaction sucks, I’m not that sensitive). Or “I found lactose-free milk, so you can have this!”

    larK – letting the waitstaff know that you’re actually celiac only helps if they have enough awareness. Some people really really don’t get the concept of cross-contamination. But I’m sure it helps a bunch of places, even if only because the waitstaff then know to ask “wait, why is this important?”

    Meryl A – my mom has some sort of weird non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and she found that she gained weight when she switched to gluten-free foods because of how starchy they are. She hates them (and tends to just eat foods that wouldn’t normally have gluten, avoiding the gluten-free replacement baked goods, which I generally consider a good strategy for life with food restrictions), and cannot for the life of her understand why anyone would voluntarily eat gluten-free baked goods, let alone consider them healthier.

  22. Re avoiding dairy:
    An adult I worked with mentioned his problem of finding truly
    dairy-free foods. He didn’t realize that anything marked
    “pareve” (sometimes spelled a bit differently) would not have
    *any* dairy. Anything marked kosher but not pareve likely would.

  23. Milk products are perfectly kosher, of course, but any kosher product containing meat would not contain any dairy whatsoever.

  24. Around here they tend to say what they are. It’ll have a little kosher symbol on the front, and underneath say “dairy” or “pareve” (Presumably there’s a “meat” one, but I’ve never seen it.) It also helps that milk is on the list of legal allergens, that have to be clearly listed in ingredients lists. But I still wouldn’t trust someone random to check, because the “contains” list at the end isn’t always comprehensive.

  25. Interesting story about the Kosher symbols on packaged foods. First there a several symbols – each shows which group of rabbis is supervising that the food is kosher.

    Around the turn of the last century when prepackaged food was becoming more common a group of Jewish women’s groups started going to the companies that were packaging the food. They suggested that if the food was marked as kosher (if it was) it could help to increase sales for the companies. They said that a small symbol on the packaging would not be obvious or mean anything to anyone else, but that it would let people who were kosher know that the food was okay for them to use and they would buy it They explained what was needed to have the food checked by the rabbis to allow the symbols to be used. And the idea caught on.

    I read several books on Jews in American history a few years back. I gave a talk at my reenactment unit (we take turns sharing info on different period subjects at meetings) on Jews in Colonial America and kept reading the rest of the chapters in the books. For some reason the talk was referred to by others and myself as “Jews in Space”.

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