The Harvard Allston Education Portal on Thursday hosted a workshop examining the effects of gluten on health, with Jennifer Zartarian of Cambridge Health Associates answering questions and acting as a guide through the latest research.Zartarian started the workshop by asking if anyone in the group had celiac disease, a serious condition connected to gluten, a substance found in cereal grains, particularly wheat.Bibiane Baptiste, who works in Harvard Alumni Affairs and Development, was diagnosed with the disease in 1995. Baptiste said her digestive system was “always bad” for as long as she could remember. Dull pain in her stomach escalated when she ate fried or spicy foods. Her reactions were so severe her color changed, and she couldn’t walk. She also had problems with fibromyalgia. “I felt like I was dying,” she said, until finally she was diagnosed and adjusted her diet.“It’s easier now,” Baptiste said, because there are so many gluten-free options on the market. But, she said, living gluten-free can still be a challenge and “very expensive.”Baptiste’s story is a typical one, said Zartarian. Many people also experience fatigue, depression, and numbness, among other conditions, as a result of celiac or gluten sensitivity. In addition, research suggests celiac sufferers are at greater risk of developing lymphoma, she said.Gluten shows up in everything from bouillon cubes to “natural flavors,” besides being in many pastas and breads. According to Zartarian, “One percent of the population has celiac, and 6 percent has gluten sensitivity,” or some type of reaction to gluten.More awareness is helping, she said. The Food and Drug Administration recently ruled that to be labeled “gluten-free,” a food must contain less than 20 parts of gluten per million, because “any more than that risks irritating the gut lining.”Gluten-free grains include brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, wild rice (which is actually a grass), corn, and gluten-free oats. These can usually be found in the bulk section of health food stores, and make a nice addition to meals. Slow cooking or soaking grains overnight makes them easier to digest, Zartarian said.Gluten-free grains include brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, wild rice (which is actually a grass), corn, and gluten-free oats. These bags of wild rice were handed out to attendees. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerShe also suggested adding nuts, or toasting grains in the pot prior to adding water to bring out their natural, nutty flavors. Turning to baking, she recommended combining rice flours with other gluten-free flours, such as garbanzo.Finally, Zartarian encouraged the group to experiment, and made sure everyone left with recipes.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York In response to this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations, Schneps Media, under co-publisher Victoria Schneps, launched a campaign to put a voice to uncover systemic racism that exists for the Black and brown population in New York City.Schneps Media’s “Your Voice, Your Viewpoint” campaign invited students ranging from eighth grade through college to submit essays, poems, videos, and TikToks on the topic.Peter Klein, president of the Claire Friedlander Foundation, awarded a $15,000 grant to Queensborough Community College to help encourage students to submit their stories.Klein, who is also the Chief Investment Officer and Founder of Aline Wealth (Melville, NY) and author of two books (Getting Started in Security Analysis, 1998, 2009; A Passion For Giving: Tools And Inspiration For Creating A Charitable Foundation, 2012), said he felt compelled to help launch the “Your Voice, Your Viewpoint” campaign.“Throughout my financial services career, I understand the impact, influence, and importance of the written word,” Klein said.For many years, Klein served as an investment advisor for the late Claire Friedlander, a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to New York and became blessed with wealth. She established the foundation and asked Klein to advocate for her beliefs.“Civil rights, human rights, eliminating intolerance, prejudice, racism, bias, and stereotyping were important issues to Claire,” Klein said. “She inspired people, especially students, to stand up, speak out, engaging in freedom of expression — rights taken away from many during the Holocaust.”Klein said he believes that the Claire Friedlander Foundation’s partnership with Schneps Media and Queensborough Community College for the “Your Voice, Your Viewpoint” campaign can “energize citizens to become drivers of positive social change in their communities.”“We have the ingredients, including a vital college campus which can attract students and a prominent media platform which can spread communication and dialogue on these issues,” Klein added.The winning entries were selected by a panel of Queensborough Community College students, with a $500 prize given to each winner.The winners of the “Your Voice, Your Viewpoint” campaign are:Grand PrizeName: Skyla ChimAge: 12School: Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74Runner UpName: Zoe ChuangAge: 13School: JHS 190Grand PrizeStudent: Violetta KingAge: 14Central Park East High SchoolRunner UpStudent: Joshua MercadoAge: 15 years oldSchool: La Salle AcademyPanel’s Honorable MentionStudent: Luke EcksteinAge: 19School: Kingsborough Community CollegeVideo Submission (“The Invisible Man”)Student: Mekhi HewlingAge: 16School: Curtis High School on Staten IslandSign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.