It seems like everywhere you turn these days, gluten-free news is popping up. Of course, it likely only seems that way to those of us who are living a gluten-free lifestyle. Some people don’t like that term, but being gluten-free is way more involved than simply following a diet. If being gluten-free during every meal (or snack) of every day, week, month and year was easy, family members of people with celiac would not avoid being tested for celiac. Doctors would not avoid testing patients for celiac and tell people that “you don’t want to have celiac”, as if people had a choice in the matter.
Following the gluten-free diet successfully requires a lot of time, planning and even some skill at times. One has to be a label reader, ingredients expert and product investigator – among other things. There is so much to keep up with that at times, my head is spinning from all the gluten-free news coming at me. Here are a few stories that might interest some of our readers.
- Late in December 2009, we found out that having celiac disease is “in” for 2010. Interesting that a disease can be considered “in”, I think. Here is the Washington Post article in case you missed it.
- In January, a rumor about Redbridge gluten-free beer being discontinued sprouted, but to date, Anheiser-Busch that makes the beer, reports that there are no plans to stop making Redbridge. The representative I spoke to stated that some beverage distributors are choosing not to purchase the gluten-free beer, and suggested people contact their local distributor with questions. Two Publix stores near us have been out of Redbridge for over a month. However, Wildfire (in Atlanta) had it two weeks ago. The folks over at Gluten-Free Living were given the same information that I got from Anheiser-Busch.
- Zach over at Gluten-Free Raleigh broke a big story that is quite upsetting, but also comforting to know that charlatans can’t fraudulently sell gluten containing foods as gluten-free and get away with it. At least they can not do it in the state of North Carolina. Zach will continue to cover the details of this unfolding story about Great Specialty Products, which we should all appreciate very much. How this case turns out will no doubt, have an effect on our community at large.
- Twitter was abuzz a while back about the fact that Honeybaked Hams are now gluten-free. However, since they have been gluten-free for over two years in my market, I had no idea that was news to some people. Just like Butterball did with their gravy packets, Honeybaked Ham removed wheat from their glaze. Honeybaked Ham and Turkey are gluten-free and the company believes that none of the older products (with gluten in them) are in the market at this time. However, just as with the Butterball gravy, read the ingredients. If you don’t see wheat (the only form of gluten in either item before) listed, the item is gluten-free.
- Jens Gluten Free blog posted an interesting L.A. Times story about how gluten-free is still a huge buzz word in the grocery trends. It seems clear that the gluten-free market will continue to expand for a long while. Keep in mind that less than 90% with celiac in the U.S. know they have the condition.
- Just this week, the news from Gluten-Free Philly about Whole Foods discontinuing their gluten-free baking mixes came as a bit of a surprise to some of us. The mixes were not being made by Whole Foods and were rumored to be Gluten-Free Pantry mixes. However, neither company would confirm who was making (or buying what) from whom. There are such things as non disclosure agreements, after all.
If you enjoyed the Whole Foods brownie mix, buy the Betty Crocker gluten-free brownie mix and use 6-7 tablespoons of butter instead of 4. The ingredients are the same – the difference in the taste has to do with the amount of butter called for in each mix. If your local distributor drops Redbridge from their line-up, check out Bard’s Tale, which is now more available than it was when Redbrdige was introduced. If you don’t like the fact that the U.S. has no gluten-free labeling laws yet (which allowed the NC scenario to happen), please complain directly to the FDA. The toll free number is 1-888-463-6332.