Outrageous price gouging and iffy labeling of gluten-free food.

I really don’t get why people jump on fad diet bandwagons. The gluten-free diet is necessary for about 1% to possibly 2.4% of the population. Of that 2.4%, 72% do not have celiac disease. Several sources would indicate that up to 25% of the population eats gluten-free some of the time.  Why?  Gluten-free is not a weight loss diet, it is not cheap, it is not healthy (it lacks fiber and necessary nutrients). These fad followers have made a joke out of my medically necessary diet.

Restaurants don’t take us seriously when we ask about cross-contact/cross-contamination.  Manufactures are slapping “Gluten-Free” labeling on all sorts of products and then in tiny, itty bitty fine print, hidden somewhere on the packaging they add the clause: “manufactured in a facility, or on equipment that uses wheat”. This disqualifies their product as being safe for a sensitive individual with Celiac disease or at least confuses the heck out of us, wondering if it is or is it not safe for us to consume.

Please give me back my gluten-free food medical prescription. 

Here are two label examples seen this week.  My go-to flour substitute has doubled in price over the last 5 years. One pound of my gluten-free flour costs $4.  The equivalent wheat-based flour can be purchased at a cost of $0.25 per pound.  Gluten-free flour is 176% more expensive than wheat flour. 

Here’s an example of a product I got excited to see labeled gluten-free at Costco this week.  I love potato salad but don’t always think far enough ahead to make it.  One, I need the raw ingredients on hand and second I need to prepare, cook and cool the potatoes well before I wish to assemble the salad, and then there’s the cleanup. As you can see, this San Francisco potato salad is clearly labeled on the front as gluten-free.  How many times have I bought a gluten-free labeled product, only to discover later that there is some fine print disclosing that it really maybe isn’t truly gluten-free? 

I had hope that when the FDA passed the new labeling law in 2014, it would have cleared things up. That was the goal at least. I keep hearing about too many products being recalled under the labeling law and I can’t find anything about that little itty bitty disclaimer “processed on equipment or facility with wheat”.  What does that mean to a Celiac?  

 

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