Sunday, 20 December 2009
Today I was made aware of a blog about a boy who got symptoms from eating gluten free wheat bread.
First let me say, kudos to the parents of the blog, for trying to keep a completely free gf house for their son!
A surprising amount of parents/family members refuse to be gf at home. I find that very frustrating, on behalf of the suffering relative, spouse or child(ren). It's always SO FABULOUS to see parents/family members who go the whole nine yards!
Unfortunately, they’re new enough to the diet to mistakenly assume that all celiacs understand what “gluten free” means.
Specialty food product manufacturers that lie make me SO angry! That man makes a bad name for anyone in the gluten free industry who is trying to build a good, reputable company.
Thankfully, as far as I know, he is the exceptional exception.
Most specialty gf business owners are extremely careful about their ingredients and their claims.
HOWEVER - and this is a big however as you can see -
I deal with people, all the time, who make the mistake of thinking that claims of "low gluten" or "low wheat" products are okay to eat.
They take the word of the health food store owner or nutritionist (and there are many) who says, "You can have spelt (Ezekiel bread, or whatever), it's low gluten." Not all of them say that... but it is still, unfortunately a common claim.
This particular “manufacturer’s” website said "wheat bread". If I've said it once, I've said it a million times... low gluten or gluten free wheat product should not exist in the realm of those who suffer gluten sensitivity. The minute you hear those words, it must cease to exist for you.
As consumers of ANY product, we MUST think critically before purchasing anything (like that diet pill that can cause heart issues, or vitamin drink that really contains almost no vitamins, or the doll that doesn't really walk like it does on t.v., etc.).
That said, I loved her blog, loved her post, loved the photo of the rash (I see it quite frequently in people who haven't isolated/eliminated all the gluten products in their homes or their own personal level of tolerance.)
I, myself, had to learn the same 'trust' lessons as she did, many times over during our first year of being gf. Even still, these years later, we get temporary lessons taught to us.
For example, two years ago, one of our recent restaurant finds (caters to allergies) served an awesome fried spring roll that they said was gluten free. Turned out, the same oil also fried gluten products. The owner wasn't being malicious. She just didn't realize that oil made the difference until she was told. She, immediately, pulled the fried rolls off of her gf list.
I've also run into celiacs/sensitives who will eat low gluten/low offensive products because they "don't get symptoms". However, they don't know how their intestines are doing... and I can often see existing symptoms that they simply refuse to acknowledge, or they minimize their possible symptoms when I point them out.
Some people are just determined to eat gluten, almost no matter what. Those of us who expect better life quality have to be careful of those people who "understand" what we need. It's unfortunate but true.
Learning to ask the right questions as we go along is part of the process.
First question: Is their gluten/wheat in it or do you touch it with any gluten/wheat based product?
Response: Run the other direction as fast as you possibly can. ;)
From my understanding, part of the problem in the U.S. is that there are no standards for a gf claim. I could be wrong on that front though as I haven't reviewed U.S. standards for a couple of years.
Again, great blog, great parents. I'm absolutely thrilled that she's not just sitting back, letting everyone else make the same mistake. People using false gf claims need to be prevented from continuing to put out a misleading selling line.
I'll be interested to hear about the final outcome of that event.
Every Celiac's Nightmare