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Old 08-18-09, 04:45 PM   #1
KrisPistofferson
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Explain "Gluten-Free"

I actually went to wikipedia to try to figure out what the deal with this stuff is, because I'm seeing it all over food packaging, but I looked at how many people are actually affected by this disorder, and it's like 0.5-1% of the population, this is like the same amount of Muslims or observant Jews in this country, and we don't label everything that's halal or kosher. It's a little strange.
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Old 08-18-09, 04:49 PM   #2
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Its just another thing to put on the package to make it sound better.

I saw a big sack of rice the other day that said "A Fat Free Food" on it. Completely unnecessary.
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Old 08-18-09, 04:57 PM   #3
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Actually, most stuff I see these days has kosher inspection markings on it (a little "K" in a triangle or "U" mark in a circle, or the word "pareve" on the packaging.) And halal stuff is popping up a lot of places too.

What costs more? A class action lawsuit because you didn't mark your stuff and the consumer bought it and got sick/died/is doomed to hell for eternity or putting a little more info on your product?

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Old 08-18-09, 05:06 PM   #4
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You might be surprised how much is labelled, espcially Kosher - it's tens of thousands of things.

As for gluten free, it's actually a health issue for some; not just a choice based upon some ideology.

But, yeah mostly it's just more marketing.
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Old 08-18-09, 05:08 PM   #5
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Its just another thing to put on the package to make it sound better.

I saw a big sack of rice the other day that said "A Fat Free Food" on it. Completely unnecessary.

Wrong^ one billion.


Gluten is a protein that many people are allergic to. Gluten is what makes bread dense and chewy, less gluten is what helps makes biscuits light and fluffy.

Many symptoms, usually painful, are a result of the allergy. The body can't digest it, fights it, similar to fighting a pollen allergy or allergy to cats/dogs/insects.

My niece, 5 at the time, developed a gluten allergy, got stomach aches so bad she wouldn't/couldn't eat....she was afraid of the pain. She stopped eating, so she stopped growing, until they figured it out. Now she's 7, and doing well.

A person I work with is so sensitive he has much harsher reactions, it can kill him.

Gluten is found in many things, often hidden. For example, despite the name, soy sauce is often brewed with soy and wheat. In the case of my colleague, any food made on equipment that also produces wheat could trigger a reaction. In the case of my niece, she can eat sorghum.
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Old 08-18-09, 05:35 PM   #6
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Many type 1 diabetics suffer from gluten issues. I think Celiacs disease is an allergy to it. Beside being very painful, it can kill some.
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Old 08-18-09, 05:46 PM   #7
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Eliminating it from my diet is something I did when I lost all that weight. I don't know how much of a difference it's made, but I definitely still weigh less...
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Old 08-18-09, 05:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
I actually went to wikipedia to try to figure out what the deal with this stuff is, because I'm seeing it all over food packaging, but I looked at how many people are actually affected by this disorder, and it's like 0.5-1% of the population, this is like the same amount of Muslims or observant Jews in this country, and we don't label everything that's halal or kosher. It's a little strange.
Same thing/reason as "this product was made in a facility that processes peanuts/tree nuts," except in bigger type.
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Old 08-18-09, 06:48 PM   #9
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For a big guy I have a small gluteus maximus. I'm always thought that meant I was practically gluten free.
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Old 08-18-09, 11:27 PM   #10
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For example, despite the name, soy sauce is often brewed with soy and wheat.
Tamari is soy sauce without the wheat.
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Old 08-18-09, 11:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
I actually went to wikipedia to try to figure out what the deal with this stuff is, because I'm seeing it all over food packaging, but I looked at how many people are actually affected by this disorder, and it's like 0.5-1% of the population, this is like the same amount of Muslims or observant Jews in this country, and we don't label everything that's halal or kosher. It's a little strange.

Two comments -

1. People can actually get sick from ingesting gluten
2. Things that are kosher and halal certainly are labeled. Maybe not as prominently as you expect them to be, but they are.
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Old 08-19-09, 07:37 AM   #12
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Many type 1 diabetics suffer from gluten issues. I think Celiacs disease is an allergy to it. Beside being very painful, it can kill some.
My Dad has that and has been gluten free for 20+ years now. You'd be amazed at the amount of stuff that has gluten in it. It's great that there is more and more awareness about it now and more products out there that are easily available at most supermarkets. It was pretty tough going 20 years ago when everything had to be special ordered through the mail. Now there's even gluten-free beer and it's not half bad.
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Old 08-19-09, 07:47 AM   #13
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I have a friend who truly needs gluten-free foods. I have another friend who eats gluten-free as a fad.

This gluten issue certainly is real and very dangerous for some. However, the person I know who must eat gluten-free doesn't need labels on her packaging to tell her what to eat; she just knows from living with it.

So, I think the labeling in big, bold font is marketing, to make the company look like they care, if anything else.
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Old 08-19-09, 07:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
I actually went to wikipedia to try to figure out what the deal with this stuff is, because I'm seeing it all over food packaging, but I looked at how many people are actually affected by this disorder, and it's like 0.5-1% of the population, this is like the same amount of Muslims or observant Jews in this country, and we don't label everything that's halal or kosher. It's a little strange.
When you have celiac disease or happen to love someone that has it it stops being strange.

Because wheat is so cheap it is used as a filler in everything, cross contamination is common and for those with a high sensitivity to gluten shopping can be very challenging.

Dining out can be impossible for some due to the health risks it poses.

One of the consequences of untreated celiac disease is stomach cancer... it is not a fun way to die.
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Old 08-19-09, 07:57 AM   #15
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Dining out can be impossible for some due to the health risks it poses.
I met a woman a few weeks ago that knows of a website that lists restaurants with gluten-free menus. Of course I don't know what the website is called, but it's great to know something like that exists. Anyway, we went to a restaurant and she asked for a gluten-free menu and they were as readily available as the regular menus.
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Old 08-19-09, 08:07 AM   #16
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When restaurants have gluten free menus you have to keep in mind that they prepare foods that contain gluten so the risk of cross contamination becomes high.

I worked with individuals with celiac disease and the steps one has to take to make sure this cross contamination doesn't happen almost warrants going to restaurants that are gluten free.

The staff have to be extremely knowledgable and nearly religious about this to make sure proper steps are followed.

At one point my house will become gluten free and we are working toward that now.
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