Gluten-Free Simplicity

Useful Info, Tasty Anecdotes and Simple Recipes for Attaining Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posts Tagged ‘Hidden Source of Gluten’

Way #34: Remember, It is OK to Politely Ask A Vendor or Manufacturer About the Ingredients of Her/His Product When One Is Trying to Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on December 30, 2008

Way #34: Remember, It is OK to Politely Ask A Vendor or Manufacturer About the Ingredients of Her/His Product while one is choosing whether or not to buy.

  Since the Gluten-Free Labelling issue is NOT yet resolved with real power by U.S. A. policymakers, it is up to consumers to defend themselves and their loved ones from hidden sources of gluten in otherwise desirable products.  There have been international Standards since “In July 2008, the Codex Alimentarius Commission” made its decision.  The U.S.D.A. and the other agencies have made proposals and clearly struggled with these issues.  It can be confusing as this Wikipedia entry demonstrates:

“Requirements for proper labelling are being formulated by the USDA. It is currently up to the manufacturers of “gluten free” food items to guarantee such a claim. “A final rule that defines the term gluten-free and identifies the criteria that would enable the food industry to use that term” is scheduled to be released by the FDA on August 2nd, 2008. Many so-called gluten free products have been found to have been contaminated with gluten (such as chicken bouillon, corn cereal, caramel ice cream topping.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten-free_diet

And still there are concerns, and more concerns from may concerned advocates.  As we are finding thanks to folks like Celiac Chicks, Gluten-Free Fraud is still possible and some are watching carefully.  As absurd as it may seem, some even feel that Gluten-Free Labelling Laws could cause a rise in Gluten-Free food prices.

   So it is still largely up to consumers such as you and me to handle this on our own. 

  As was noted in another set of suggestions, there are ingredients to watch out for that may indicate that the product contains Gluten.

  But what about at restaurants and places where there is no list of ingredients to read as one chooses?

  One can always ask prior to making each purchase.  But there are likely to be many many times when the server simply cannot tell you. Also, though this may be necessary at times, this can get very old.

  Another method is to watch for certain characteristics in the product that may indicate that it has gluten in it. This may not always work, but it can help to some degree.
  Things to watch for:

  • Soup and Sauce thickeners
  • Liquids of colors other than their natural color or clear
  • Fancy Vinegars and Salad Dressings containing Vinegar, Tomato or Mayonaise 
  • Liquors and Beers
  • Stuffed Items
  • MSG, Soy Sauce, Tenderizers, and Condiments
  • Crusts on anything

  Certainly there are versions (some popular) of each of the above items that are made without Gluten. If that is the case, then simply ask the server, “What type of soy sauce do you use?” or whatever the product is. Then if it matches those you know to be gluten-free you are home free.

  Meantime, remember, it is perfectly fine to politely ask questions about that which you are about to put into your mouth and body. Isn’t it?

  There are some really super wonderful things about a Free-Market Economic System as is ideally found throughout the U.S.A.:

  1. I can choose NOT to buy from certain vendors, and
  2. A vendor can choose NOT to sell to me.

    Therefore, it is perfectly OK to Politely Ask A Vendor or Manufacturer About the Ingredients of Her/His Product When One Is Trying to Attain Gluten-Free Simplicity.

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Way #22: Recognizing Gluten Relapses as They Happen Might Help as One Attains Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on December 26, 2008

22. Recognizing Gluten Relapses as They Happen Might Help as One Attains Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  Face it, Relapse happens.  I would even go as far as to say that Relapse is often a part of Recovery.  Just because a person relapses, does not mean that she/he is giving up on recovery.

  It is difficult to be completely free of Gluten in the U.S. today.  Even if one wants to and tries their best, there seem to be all those hidden sources of Gluten that can sneak up from behind us and put us down for a while.

  The point is, the sooner one recognizes Gluten intake as a “relapse”; the sooner that person can try and get back on the wagon of Gluten-Freedom.

  One topic that we could talk about all day would be the idea of how Gluten exposure can cause a relapse of symptoms and pathologies of other diseases such as Celiac Disease.  http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=13417930.  Granted, this can be awful and even dangerous.

  But the topic for this post is the idea of relapsing with the Gluten itself.  Yes, as if it were a drug or a substance that one might be addicted to.  This is in no way a comment on ones character.  More so, this is a simple acknowledgement of how powerful Gluten can be in our lives in the U.S.  Particularly if we NEED to NOT have Gluten in our bodies.

  Think about it.

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It Can Be Frustrating Being Victim to Hidden Sources of Gluten

Posted by nepeht on November 6, 2008

  Sometimes for some of us, a little (or a lot of) Gluten seems to be OK.  That is our choice.

  But for others, those who choose NOT to have Gluten in our system, it can be frustrating when we find (typically through symptoms and recapping what we have eaten lately) that we have eat something containing Gluten.

  I love Chines food.  Really!  But in some cases, there is wheat in the soy sauce they use to make dishes.  Others might use wheat in thickening those wonderful sauces. 

Reading Accurately Between the Lines is NOT Always Easy (c.2008, WTB)
Reading Accurately Between the Lines is NOT Always Easy (c.2008, WTB)

  One cannot always read between the lines of a menu that does not even have the words “flour” or “wheat” on it.  And this is in no way the fault of those who own Chinese restaurants.  It is rare one finds those words on menus in any U.S. restaurants.

  Perhaps it seems selfish, but I wish that restaurants in the U.S. would note dishes containing Gluten for their customers.  This would not be too difficult.
  I have heard that in some countries, such warnings are common. 
 
 I recently read the following post at http://www.otmenu.com/blog/category/gluten-free:
People avoiding gluten love to dine out as much as anyone, but their choices tend to be limited, boring and sometimes hazardous. Often a restaurant’s staff is not educated on a gluten-free diet, leaving the job up to the customer. Imagine having to explain your diet every time you dine out? If the message doesn’t reach the kitchen staff or isn’t thoroughly understood, then dining out becomes a health risk. The experience can leave a bad taste in the mouth and a stomach ache to boot.
Gluten-free dining is a win-win for everyone. Gluten-free dining options create many happy guests. And happy guests are loyal customers.
We at On The Menu, LLC have a division of our company called the Gluten DetectivesÒ. We help restaurants solve the mystery of offering gluten-free foods. We investigate foods; tracking down suspect ingredients and running background checks to ensure a gluten-free outcome. We educate restaurant staff on the gluten-free diet and provide them with tips to prevent cross contact.
  I was glad to see that the “Gluten Detectives” exist http://www.gluten-detectives.com/.  On their website it says:
The Gluten Detectives at On The Menu, LLC solve the mystery of offering and finding gluten-free foods. We investigate foods; tracking down suspect ingredients and running background checks to ensure a gluten-free outcome. We debrief foodservice companies with tips to prevent cross-contamination and will even train their staff.
Whether you have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance or just want to eliminate gluten from your diet you can count on the Gluten Detectives to get the facts.
Check out the restaurants that we have helped develop gluten-free menus.
  Isn’t that something?!?!?!
  Let us hope that more of these advocates will pop up and that eventually, the problem of accidentally eating hidden gluten will no longer exist.

Posted in G-F PsychoBabble, The Personal Side | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Be Careful, Gluten Can Be Where One Least Expects It

Posted by nepeht on October 15, 2008

  It is important to warn you that while a positive outlook is necessary in this quest for gluten-free simplicity; one needs to be critically informed to carry a bit of skepticism about the possibility of hidden sources of gluten.

  How can this be.  The most popular belief is that gluten typically comes from wheat, but there are other sources of gluten.  The Internet Health Library site can be helpful as can other sites and sources http://www.internethealthlibrary.com/DietandNutrition/gluten.htm:

  In short, is says:

Gluten is the protein found in wheat. Similar proteins which are harmful to Coeliacs are present in rye, barley and possibly oats. Wheat, rye and barley are therefore excluded from the gluten-free diet. Oats may be allowed for some patients, under careful medical and dietetic supervision.

Under “Hidden Sources of Gluten”, it states:

Gluten is also contained in manufactured and processed foods where wheat flour is commonly used as a processing aid, a binder, a filler or as a carrier for favourings and spices. Contamination with wheat or wheat flour can also occur during cereal production, storage, processing or manufacture.

  So, this would include products that are processed using any of these grains.  Some of these potential products could be:  Vinegar, Salad Dressings, Soy Sauce, Other Sauces, Soups and others.

    In fact, wheat is used in the production of many products, including non-foods according to a recent published article.  Follow this link for more information on that: http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2008/08/20/news/business/doc48ab391e83b5d534866162.txt.

  Any person hoping to attain gluten-free simplicity probably ought to get into the rewarding habit of reading product labels.  And here’s the kicker: The label might not state that the product contains wheat however, the vinegar in the product (such as with some salad dressings) might have been distilled using a gluten yielding grain.

  Get it?  So I know it might sound complex and even more complicating to ask one to not only read product labels, but also to read (into) product labels.  My hope is that once one learns these basic facts though, they will be a few steps closer to G-F Simplicity.

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