Gluten is the protein in wheat that holds pasta together. As a meat, chicken contains plenty of proteins of its own. Some people have digestive sensitivities that interfere with their digestion of one or more kinds of protein, leading to issues like gluten intolerance or an inability to process the proteins in poultry. Symptoms are all over the map and depend on the specific problem; anything from bloating to acne to food not staying down, or going through too quickly, can result if the person consumes the protein to which they are intolerant.
Shulamit doesn’t know that wheat and chicken are making her sick, because the technology of her world hasn’t evolved that far. All she knows is that she feels like death warmed over. But there is a glimmer of hope in the form of the ‘elimination diet’–cutting out foods to see if the symptoms resolve–and the fascinating young woman who’s suggesting it.
(Characters by Shira Glassman; drawing by Mina V.; inked/colored by Jane Dominguez. Read about Shulamit’s adventures in “The Second Mango”, a fantasy novel centering around a young lesbian bookworm and her adventures in a world of dragons and magic spells, available from Prizm Books and Amazon Kindle as eBooks, and in print pre-ordered from Wild Iris Books.)