Saturday, July 21, 2012

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Dear Gluten-Free consumers and/or those who have ever heard of the Gluten-Free lifestyle movement,

The gluten-free movement has grown albeit entering near mainstream, is at a pivotal moment for improvement or destruction to our health. I need not scare you, but I challenge you to educate yourself more fully about gluten-free food ingredients and manufacturer preparation.

Gluten is the common name for the proteins in specific grains that are harmful to persons with Celiac Disease. These proteins are found in ALL forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn and faro) and related grains ryebarley and triticale and MUST be eliminated. Celiac Disease (CD) is a lifelong inherited autoimmune condition affecting children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with CD and cause health problems.

After reading more about Celiac Disease, since you may not have known, gluten-free movement was birthed for Celiac Disease consumers, not for a trendy health kick.  Therefore, it's important to know that some people aren't as strict as others, and may not know they have an intolerance, digestive issues or think they feel better off of gluten containing foods. That's okay, but that's just the beginning dont' stop there. All gluten-free consumers must ensure that a food is truly 100% gluten-free if it choses to be labeled that way and then the community can progress or it will self destruct. And this is the case,  because we're experiencing a major misconception in the market place today for specialty "gluten-free" casual food labeling.

I hope to speak for all Celiacs when I ask, please do not ever eat food that is labeled "gluten-free' unless you ask questions and/or find out it has been tested for gluten ppm or truly certified gluten-free. The GF certification is expensive and some small business owners cannot obtain this proof, but luckily there are home kits and food labs that you can send your samples out for evaluation of 5, 10 or 20 gluten parts per million (ppm) or less at a fairly low price.  The level of 20 ppm was deemed safe by the FDA based on the available analytic methodology and testing with patients. Data from peer-reveied scientific literature detect at these low levels for gluten in wheat, rye, barley because contamination is very common in everyone's home, commercial kitchens and in the world itself from the over use of gluten-wheat use in foods today.

Friends and family, please inquire further with everyone who labels food "gluten-free" and don't always settle because we can't accept anything less than truly 100% gluten-free. Anyone can slab a  "gluten-free" label on a product, but don't get excited too fast.  Let's push this 100% gluten-free movement forward and all be educated at a higher level, for all of us. 


For more information or questions to ask restaurants and to learn more, inquire to: GlutenFreeG@Gmail.com. Or go to Celiac.org or Celiac.com to continue your gluten-free education.