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Category Archives: Urgent Alerts

Third Time’s a Charm?

Wine Country Living

Name Change

Well, here I am again, wanting to write, wanting to change the focus of this blog, wanting to change the name to reflect that change.  As gluten-free awareness has exploded the last three years, there is less and less need for a gluten-free sleuth.   Expanded, detailed information and research have obsoleted my hard-earned and, many times, painful original research to discover the landmines of hidden gluten.

With the new government regulations of 20 ppm of allowable gluten in foods labeled GF, those of us that are super sensitive or have an extreme case of Celiac disease already know we still have to read ingredient lists even when the food is labeled GF.  For example, teff flour has some gluten in it, but falls under the 20 ppm of gluten allowed by the FDA.  One day of eating something with teff flour does not affect  me; whereas, consecutive days rip my stomach apart.

While I am not thrilled that the FDA arbitrarily decided on our behalf that any ppm of gluten is ok for Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, the new labeling guidelines at least point me in the right label-reading direction, saving me time in the grocery store.  For that, I am thankful.

So…my daily focus has swerved to GF Wine Making and GF Wine Country Living.  The blog name needs to reflect this new direction.  After this entry, I will be changing my name to GF Wine Country Living. Again, I hope I do not lose any of you, but in case I do, the new name will be the following:

GF Wine Country Living.

www.gfwinecountryliving.wordpress.com

Last time I changed names, you did not have to do a thing.  WordPress automatically carried you along.  Hopefully, this third name change will be “the one.”  Thanks for your loyalty, and stay tuned for a new, fun focus.

 

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Wheat in sugar?

A neighbor stopped by the other day, outraged, because she saw a wheat alert on an organic sugar package.  How great that people without Celiac disease or wheat intolerance are becoming aware of the prevalence of wheat in our food supply on our behalf!

That said, I believe that many companies put the caveat of “May contain wheat” at the end of their lists of ingredients to simply protect themselves from lawsuits.  Personally, if the ingredient list does not specifically contain a gluten ingredient, I do not worry about eating the product, even if the label indicates manufacturing on wheat-shared equipment.  If I did, I would never eat anything, because almost all products now include this disclaimer.  Rarely do I get stung.  However, each of you must make this call for yourselves.

Here is the info from the sugar label that upset my neighbor.

  • Company:    Rapunzel
  • Product:  Organic Whole Cane Sugar  (Unrefined & Unbleached)
  • USDA Organic – Hand to Hand Fair Trade Program
  • Ingredients:  Organic unrefined whole cane sugar.  *May contain wheat.

I do not find this alarming and would use the product without a second thought.

Hair Product Alert

 

Just saw Wheat as a main ingredient in a hair detangling spray.  Be careful out there, everyone!

Glue Alert!

For those of us archaic enough to want to send holiday cards that slide into flap-over, glue-stripped envelops, please remember that the glue almost always contains wheat in some form or another. DO NOT LICK!

I spent 48 hours in bed once with a wild gluten reaction from licking 58 Christmas card envelops.

The good news is that these types of cards are rapidly becoming obsolete.  The holidays are evolving into a much more gluten free friendly place with electronic greeting cards (my option for 2013), family portrait postcards, and peel-off strips with self adhesive envelops.  Gone are the days when I’d have to get the sponge out; line up envelops on the countertop and struggle with the sealing process trying to gage the water content of the sponge to keep the envelops from curling …many times resulting in a messy scotch tape recovery.  To add to the silliness, I’d have to throw away the sponge in fear of gluten contamination that could not be washed out.  Thank goodness those days are over!  (For those of you fairly new to the diet, this is what the holidays were like a decade ago.)

So…Yee Ha to progress!

Glutenfree Health Drink Alert

Health Drinks labelled Glutenfree

I just spent three days at this amazing eco farm called Lodestar in Arizona, visiting friends. The hostess had been giving her aging mother this wonderful health drink filled with nearly all the nutrients a human body needs to thrive.   And…the mother’s health was responding beautifully.

Of course, when she offered me some, I responded with my usual, “Could I see the container, please?”  In big, bold letters on the outside label were the words, VEGAN, GLUTENFREE.

“Cool!” I carefully dipped a teaspoon into an already made shake to try the flavor. After all my years as a health food nut, I have ingested some foul tasting health drinks, trying to increase my stamina and immune system health. Thus, the teaspoon sized taste.  Crazy what you will swallow to heal yourself!

“Hmmm! This tastes really good.” I have also learned to suspect good tasting health drinks, because they usually have too much sugar or something not necessarily “good” for a body.   I like to read the label to ferret out the unhealthy ingredients that are making it taste so good.

Surprisingly, about halfway down a monstrously long list of ingredients, I see the words “barley” and “wheat.”

“WHAT? No. That can’t be right!” I read it again. “Barley and Wheat” were definitely still in the list of ingredients. I flipped the jar over to make sure I saw the big bold GLUTENFREE  tag on the bottom of the label. Yes.  It was still there.  GLUTENFREE.

“Crazy,” I’m thinking. “Who wrote this label? How could this be marketed as glutenfree, when it clearly was not?” I had no answers to this. However, I now know that even if a product says Glutenfree on the label, I need to ALWAYS read the actual ingredient list. We, Celiacs, can never get a rest from ingredient scrutiny, can we?

NEWSFLASH– READ THE WHOLE  “INGREDIENT LIST” EVEN IF A BIG, BOLD GLUTENFREE IS WRITTEN ON THE LABEL!

As a disclaimer, the drink did have wonderful, nourishing ingredients for any body not plagued with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance.  The good taste was not caused by any non healthy ingredients that I could see.  There was a bit of stevia powder as a sweetener.  However, that is good in my mind, because it does not set off any insulin reactions.

I cannot stress enough the shock I had over this inaccurate label. Even with today’s better GF labelling overall, buying products is still a land mine.  Beware!