Monday, January 31, 2011

Labeling Tips

Do not eat foods with questionable ingredients. Some may be derived from wheat, barley or Spelt grains.You must read labels each and every time. Companies change ingredients to their products throughout the year.They may buy X this time for a great price but next time X will cost more so they change the ingredient to keep costs down for the company. Be sure to read each label each and every time.

If you are not sure about a food in question go without. Even if you have bought this product tons of times, it doesn’t mean its gluten free unless stated. Also look for the CSA label which means it is certified GF.  It is better to be safe than sorry. Damage to the gut lining happens each and every time there is an ingested insult to the body.

If you’re at the grocery store and there is a product you would like to try or the ingredients are confusing, call the company. I take my phone with me always. I tell them I am at the grocery store and I need to know if product X is gluten free, corn free, milk free.

If there is a “word” on the ingredients list you aren’t sure of (such as a derivative name for wheat etc.) Give them the lot number and where you are purchasing it.  Remember wheat free is NOT gluten free (example: Paul Newman's cookies that say wheat free). Even if it says “wheat Free” know that they didn’t happen to mention barley (as cousin of the wheat) or other ingredients that contain gluten. The product may still contain Rye, Barley, and Spelt-based forms of gluten, Durum, Einkorn, Faro, Graham, Kamut, Semolina and Triticale or other ingredients that are not gluten free. There is no global "wording" for gluten free at this time. Hopefully in the future this will change as people become more aware.

Also stay away from foods that are GMO (Genetically Modified), MSG and anything artificial including artificial sugars, colors and corn syrup. Corn syrup is invasive in our food culture and is linked to diabetes and obesity. If something calls for corn syrup, try using a rice syrup that states it is gluten free.

Distilled vinegars and alcoholic beverages are gluten free. They carry no gluten peptides because it is too large to carry over in the distillation process. I prefer to use Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. Use what you prefer. Some wine and hard liquors are safe unless you have a corn allergy. Call the company and ask about their distillation process and if it contains gluten and or corn. Lagers, ales, and malt vinegars are not gluten free, nor regular  beer. However there are several Gluten Free beers on the market that are becoming popular. Check with Bev Mo, they have a small selection.

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