Authorities in Portland, Ore. have discovered detectable levels of gluten in the city’s water supply, causing a citywide panic.
The city’s water bureau discovered the contamination yesterday and is desperately trying to find out how gluten got into the water. A preliminary report found that the contamination may have occurred “at least eight or nine months ago” when a child dropped a loaf of bread into a local river.
Officials have declared a state of emergency and plan to drain all of the city’s reservoirs. The mayor has also deployed city’s spiritual and wellness counselors to provide relief to beleaguered residents who drank the gluten-contaminated water.
“I haven’t seen anything like this since the Tofu Crisis of ‘08, when we discovered that the Pacific Northwest’s entire supply of tofu had been prepared alongside bacon,” said city engineer Bryce Shivers. “I imagine we’re going to be seeing the disastrous effects of this on the city for decades, like higher rates of obesity, cancer, brain damage and illiteracy.
“Or whatever it is that gluten does. Frankly, I have no idea. My Hot Yoga guru just gave me a brochure.”
Make it grain (free)
Gluten, a type of protein in wheats and certain grains, is found in numerous products including flour, pasta, pastries, beer, cereal, salad dressings and lip balm.
Although gluten-free food is recommended for people with celiac disease, it has become a fad diet for many, including millions in trendier-than-thou Portland. Gluten-free foods are becoming mainstream throughout the U.S. — even though very few consumers can explain what gluten is or why they think it’s bad.
“This is the worst news I’ve ever heard,” Portland resident Steve Arlo said as he sat drinking a microbrew made with barley and rye. “It’s like being told they dumped fluoride into the water supply. Wait! Have they dumped fluoride into the water supply?”
Dex Parios said she started her gluten-free diet “before anyone ever heard of it.” Now depressed by the news about the gluten, she is concerned that Portland is losing its reputation for livability and alternative lifestyles.
“When I moved here after getting my master’s degree in order to work part time at a record store, I thought Portland was a haven for intelligent, well-educated and cultured people,” she said. “But it’s so dangerous. Our leaders can’t even protect us from chemtrails, cell phone towers, bark dust fires, Republicans, people trying to talk to you, and now gluten outbreaks. It’s becoming like Baghdad or Afghanistan day by day.
“If I want to live in a city filled with provincial, arrogant, short-sighted morons, I’ll move to Gresham.”
Despite the paranoia gripping Portland’s streets, not all scientists are convinced by the city’s analysis and believe the water bureau has made a grave error.
“Gluten is not soluble in water, so it’s extremely unlikely to be found in tap water,” says Dr. Chaz Friday of Portland State University. “Nevertheless, just to be on the safe side perhaps hipsters with gluten-sensitivity should move to Seattle instead.”