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Gluten-free food is crowding the grocery shelves, and food companies are raking in billions of dollars.  Many consumers insist it makes them feel better. But what's replacing the gluten? We separate fact from fiction. Also, why are our batteries stuck in the 1990s? On today's Talking Point, asset forfeiture by local police. Is it highway robbery?

Photo: Ongjulian

Why Are Our Batteries Stuck in the 1990s? 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Millions of Americans this holiday season are buying new smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices. But the batteries that power those devices aren't keeping up. Ian Sherr is News Editor at CNET magazine. When we spoke with his late last month, he'd been looking into why our batteries are stuck in the '90s.

Guests:
Ian Sherr, CNET News (@iansherr)

The Crusade against Gluten: Health, Hype and Big Money 34 MIN, 1 SEC

Gluten is a protein, which humans have been consuming for some 10,000 years, mainly as a component of wheat. For about one percent of the population, gluten causes celiac disease, which involves stomach problems. But now, some one third of Americans are trying to avoid gluten — so many that gluten-free food has become a $10 billion industry that’s still growing. The phenomenon is so much part of the culture that animated series South Park devoted a whole episode to it. Critics call it a fad based more on fear than science.  In this rebroadcast of our November 27 discussion, we separate fact from fiction.

Guests:
David Perlmutter, Neurologist (@DavidPerlmutter)
Joseph Murray, Mayo Clinic (@MayoClinic)
April Peveteaux, Celiac sufferer (@peveteaux)
Kim Severson, New York Times (@kimseverson)
David Sax, Journalist and Author (@saxdavid)

More:
Severson on the gluten-free trend
Sax's 'The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue'
Perlmutter's 'Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers'
Murray's 'Mayo Clinic Going Gluten Free: Essential Guide to Managing Celiac Disease and Related Conditions'
Peveteaux’s ‘Gluten Is My Bitch: Rants, Recipes and Ridiculousness for the Gluten-Free’

Widespread Abuse of Police "Stop and Seize" Power 9 MIN, 23 SEC

Since September 11, 2001, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have spent big money training local police, sheriffs and state troopers to be more aggressive in searching for suspicious people, illegal drugs and other possible contraband. The Washington Post reports they may have learned their all lessons too well.  Local police have seized hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from motorists — stopped, but never charged with crimes. In order to get their money back, thousands of drivers have been forced to prove they’re the rightful owners. That’s according to an investigative series in the Post called “Stop and Seize.” Robert O’Harrow wrote those stories.

Guests:
Robert O'Harrow, Washington Post (@robertoharrow)

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