shelton26-0979When I started reading food labels, I realized that all the bacon and sausage we normally purchased contained nitrates. Because I didn’t know back then that way more bacon was gluten-free than contained gluten, we switched to bacon brands that were labeled gluten-free. They also happened to be nitrate free and delicious.

Eventually, we found Shelton’s brand turkey sausage at Whole Foods and our health food store. Shelton’s gluten and dairy free products are all free of nitrates. The brand offers both turkey links and patties and both are delicious. The sausage is not particularly low in fat or calories, but it is lower in both than most pork sausage, of course. The main reason we eat a lot of turkey is that it’s easier to digest than red meat.

The turkeys used in Shelton’s products are raised without antibiotics in a barn-yard like setting. There are no additives or fillers, which are present in many mainstream sausages. The products are minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. The taste of Shelton’s sausage is wonderful and the spices used in them make for a terrific flavor! We also enjoy several of their gluten-free soups. I’d really love to try their Turkey Jerky, which is sold on, but it’s kind of pricey. I’ve tried a couple of gluten-free beef jerkys (not made by Shelton’s), and have not liked any of them.

shelton2829-0551Over the last few years, we’ve had trouble finding ground turkey that had much taste to it. It seems like some of the brands we used to eat changed somehow. Eventually, we found Shelton’s ground turkey at our health food store. It’s not cheap, but it tastes great which makes it worth the extra cost for us. We use ground turkey for burgers (seasoned with spices and Worcestershire sauce) and to make lasagna, meatloaf and one of the Mrs. Leeper’s gluten-free meals that call for ground beef.

If there is something we can all appreciate, it’s the fact that we know what we’re putting in our bodies because we have to read food labels. Most people have no idea the food they’re eating is full of chemicals, preservatives and additives that many agree are not necessarily that suitable for human consumption. The color used to make Twinkies golden colored is actually a poison – approved for use in food by the FDA. Dr. Sanjay Gupta did a story abut fake food on his CNN show once, and a food scientist explained that the dye in the famous crème filled snack cake is poisonous, but that it would take a whole lot of to make someone sick. More than would be reasonable for one person to consume.

Being on the gluten-free diet led us to make better choices for all types of foods. We eat better quality meats and dairy products as well. When our budget allows for it, we buy organic produce. It’s wonderful that there are many companies trying to do right by U.S. consumers. Shelton’s is definitely one of those companies!

*The Triumph Dining Grocery Guide lists many gluten-free bacon and sausage brands!