French graphic designer Arthur Coulet likes bread.

I completely understand why. It's delicious. It smells amazing — especially when it's freshly baked or toasted. And breads can be called upon to heighten any meal or dessert.


Image by Beckmann's Bakery/Flickr.

According to the History Channel, people have been making bread for 30,000 years. In an interview with BBC, Coulet notes how integral the starchy staple has been for humanity: "Our civilization is based on wheat. There is a link between culture and agriculture."

In recent years, bread has come under attack, so Coulet decided to make it the subject of an art series.

The Gluten Free Museum is a Tumblr where he posts images of classic and popular art, iconic movie scenes, and TV shows — but with all bread and bread references removed.

Here's a gluten-free look at some of Coulet's work:

"Still life with bread and eggs" by Paul Cezanne

Via Gluten Free Museum.

"Cake slice" by Wayne Thiebaud

Via Gluten Free Museum.

"Le Petit Parisien" by Willy Ronis

Via Gluten Free Museum.

"The Milkmaid" by Johannes Vermeer

Via Gluten Free Museum.

"Les pains de Picasso" by Robert Doisneau

Via Gluten Free Museum.

"Eucharistic still life" by Salvador Dalí

Via Gluten Free Museum.

"American Gothic" by Grant Wood

Via Gluten Free Museum

"Harvesters" by Anna Ancher

Via Gluten Free Museum.

"Chief Wiggum" by Matt Groening

Via Gluten Free Museum.

A scene from Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction"

Via Gluten Free Museum.

The spaghetti scene from Walt Disney's "Lady and the Tramp"

Via Gluten Free Museum.

What's the beef with bread?

Years of dietary research has told us that eating less bread — like our ancestors from the way, way back — could help combat obesity and heart disease, which has paved the way for all sorts of fad diets that demonize grain-based foods.

GIF via Tumblr.

It may not be that simple, but for now it's all we know, says health and science writer Melinda Wenner Moyer:

"We can't say, based on today's evidence, that carbs are the root cause of all our chronic ailments, but scientific evidence suggests that we might stay healthier if we take flour and added sugar off our plates. Still, human nature is a moving target. Cookie by cookie, we might be forging humanity into new evolutionary territory, re-shaping our genes to handle our new dietary indulgences."

For some people, breads can literally be poison.

In recent years, there's been a spike in awareness around celiac disease a negative autoimmune response to gluten — that affects roughly 1% of Americans.

Sources of gluten (clockwise from top): wheat flour, spelt, barley, and rolled rye flakes. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Gluten are the proteins found in grains like wheat. It's what gives elasticity to dough and holds baked breads together. For people with celiac disease, gluten consumption can damage their small intestines and prevent their bodies from absorbing nutrients.

At the end of the day, Coulet wasn't trying to make a statement about our diets.

The gluten-free trend has been great for people with celiac because it's become so much easier to find safe food options. On the other hand, the gluten-free movement has also become a target of ridicule for anti-fad-dieters, some of whom deny celiac is a real disease.

To be clear, celiac is real. And it can be serious.

I had a conversation with Coulet, and he said he wasn't trying to be a critic of either side. He was mostly in it for a little photo-trickery fun:

"I just wanted to give people an opportunity to see familiar art pieces in a new light. Playing on trends was a way I could do that. I know gluten is a serious matter for some people. But for others, gluten-free is a fashion diet based on a kind of health paranoia. The Gluten Free Museum was a fun way to draw attention by casting humor on those food fears."

But props to him for creating such a teachable moment.

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Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

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Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

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Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

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It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
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  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
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“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

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Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

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That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

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