The cost to eat gluten-free has become a big scam. The only winners are the corporations.
Notice anything different between these two packages? Look at the red dots. Look at the package weights. Compare to wheat version below.
Yep, the count has gone down from a mere 8 to now just 6. This package costs around $6.00. This change happened last month. And the tortillas are even thinner. Do the math, ounces/count.
Compared to standard wheat tortillas, count of 10 for about $2.25. And each tortilla is slightly bigger at a cost of about 22 cents each versus the gluten free version at a cost of about a dollar EACH! Are you kidding me? A difference of 4 to 1. Well, fewer soft rolled burritos in my life, back to scooping the filling with tortilla chips.
So, don’t be offended when you ask for just a taste of my gf cookie or muffin and I say “No!”.
Why would anyone choose to eat gluten free unless it is a medical necessity?
I try to convince myself that food I don’t prepare is probably safe. Who am I kidding? Only me!
I tell people about ingredients to watch for, things to do to avoid Cross-contamination, so they can “believe” they can “feed” me. But I’m only jeopardizing myself. I do want to believe I’m not getting Cross Contamination. But, I know I am being CC, which really is “Cross-Contact”.
I feel sometimes only slight indications or just off a bit and always try to tell myself “oh, it must be something else.” And NO, it’s not “just in my head.” That’s BS. It’s also what everyone is told until something is figured out. But when have you ever heard anyone ever say after the fact “Oh, I guess it was not really just in your head. Oh, you really were experiencing something.” Until science catches up with reality of what a Celiac experiences, the general population will continue to doubt us and think it is “all in our head.”
Yes, this gluten restriction is hard, really hard to live with.
Reminded this past week why I hadn’t eaten “out” in 2 1/2 months. It’s definitely like playing Russian roulette, except I lose every single time, no matter what I tell myself.
Here are some answers about CC, cross-contact. And, NO, you can’t destroy gluten by burning it off or heating it. Baking bread doesn’t “kill” gluten. Gluten is a protein (not a type of bacteria) and proteins cannot be “killed off” using heat or disinfecting agents like most bacteria can be. Read more here on where and how CC occurs.
Celiac disease (CD) patients adhering to a gluten-free diet (GFD) are exposed frequently to low levels of gluten that contribute to symptoms and persistent intestinal histologic damage.
These surrogate biomarkers of gluten ingestion indicate that many individuals following a GFD regularly consume sufficient gluten to trigger symptoms and perpetuate intestinal histologic damage. Link to 2018 scientific paper here:
Yes? No? I don’t know! Oh, geez! I just want for once to be able to buy a product and not have to think twice about it after I’ve consumed some of it.
So, it happened again. I guess I let down my defenses. Twice in fact, in the last month.
Both times with Trader Joe’s products. I really should just stop shopping there. But the store is so close, it’s small, unlike those mega super marts, the people are friendly and the prices are really good.
So what happened this time? Well, a couple of weeks ago we had some friends in for a casual get together. My friends are amazing and are always trying to bring gluten free products over to our house. We do almost ALL the entertaining because, unfortunately, everyone is too scared to feed me. But seriously folks, still invite me over. I can and will bring my own food.
Anyway, someone brought Trader Joe’s Organic Hummus. A quick glance at the ingredients looked safe. I mean, come on, it’s hummus. It was good. Someone else also brought some really cute little Trader Joe crackers. OMG, again the ingredients looked safe so I ate a few. I really liked them so I asked the person who brought them what they were called so I could pick up a bag at TJ’s. I get to TJ’s and I look at the fine print, “Processed in a facility with wheat”. Seriously? Seriously!
Okay, well, I can still buy the hummus, right? I know how to make homemade hummus, but again, sometimes I just want to be pampered a little bit. And, yes, by pampered, I mean not having to buy the raw ingredients, make it myself and clean up the equipment used in making the item. And, no, I can count on one hand how many times I eat out in a YEAR!
So, for the second time this week, I’m digging into this store bought hummus with my organic carrots and I think, “uh oh, this isn’t labelled GLUTEN FREE”. Well, but, the ingredients sound safe. Hmm…. no allergens are listed but then “gluten” is not required to be listed, just “wheat”.
Google if “Trader Joe’s Organic Hummus is gluten free”? Well, I come up with a list of products that are gluten free and a ridiculous long explanation of gluten free which is just a bunch of crap that I have to read through and already know. The hummus in question is not on the list. Now I get this weird feeling that this maybe the trigger of some migraine’s and various other unmentionable symptoms I’ve had over the last few weeks.
“Hey, dear hubby, you want to finish this hummus?” Thank God I have a husband who can eat all the products I buy and then later doubt their gluten free status.
I don’t feel safe eating the store bought hummus anymore.
As #45 would say,” SAD, bigly SAD!”
Okay, gluten free rant over. You can be glad the rants don’t come as often as they used to.
Oh my gosh, I am so relieved to know that my TOILET BOWL CLEANER is GLUTEN FREE. I plan on drinking my toilet water! NOT!
So, let me get this right, my bacon and ice cream, because they are meat and dairy products, DON’T have to be labeled if they are processed on equipment or in a facility with wheat, or contain added gluten according to the FDA. But my toilet cleaner is labeled?
Guess what? Processed, even just sliced and packaged products of meats and ice cream are known to contain enough gluten to make me sick.
I’ve been having vague tummy issues so I’ve been trying to narrow it down to what I’ve eaten lately. In doing so, I emailed Trader Joe’s the following:
How can I verify if products are produced in a gluten free facility? Are your Uncured Bacon Ends & Pieces and French Vanilla Ice Cream Gluten Free? They are on not on your Gluten Free Online pdf list. I am Celiac and am trying to figure out what I am reacting to.
Trader Joes Reply: Thank you for contacting us with your product inquiries. In response, both of the products referenced do not contain any gluten ingredients, however, they have not been tested for possible cross contamination. Therefore, we do not make a “gluten free” claim for these products.
They didn’t answer the first part of my question: Are they produced in a gluten free facility?
Duh, I can read the ingredients label and know that gluten wasn’t added but I’m asking about cross contamination.
Trader Joe’s used to be one of my favorite stores. But over the last couple of years I find I am buying fewer and fewer of their products for this very reason.
Back to making more homemade ice cream, homemade granola, my own baked goods and buying real food that I can identify the species: a banana, an egg, a zucchini etc. I’m realizing that meat “if packaged” may not be safe. I can usually get a straight answer from the butcher at the local market. Did you know that a packaged “fresh” turkey or packaged bacon can contain gluten? And as mentioned, legally ice cream doesn’t need to be labeled. Dairy and meat are exempt from the FDA lbelling law of the top 8 allergens.
Lesson Learned AGAIN! I should be blogging about my vacation but here it goes again….
Gluten? Is it hiding in that prepackaged Tri-tip sold at Costco? The ingredient list looks fine. But the packaging doesn’t say anything about allergens. Ok, google the product name and gluten free. Nope, don’t come up with anything. Hmm, there’s a phone number on the package. Ok, I’ll call. The person on the other end of the line, says, “I’m pretty sure it’s fine, it’s gluten free. But let me check and call you back”. (This is a local distributor in Huntington Park, California)
This whole Tri-tip issue came up because on our recent travels we stopped to visit some friends who wanted to feed us/me. They tossed a prepackaged Tri-tip from their Costco in Medford, Oregon onto the grill. The brand sold in Oregon is pre-packaged but WAS labeled Gluten Free. Unfortunately, after inquiring about cross contamination, I knew I could not eat their offerings. They have heated wheat rolls on their bbq and clearly they have gluten food products in their kitchen. I’m really getting tired of trying to explain to kind friends why I can not eat their offerings. NO, pouring boiling water over your cutting knives and utensils DOES NOT MAKE THEM GLUTEN FREE. Maybe washing several times and scrubbing with a never before used scrubber would work. I don’t really know how to make something gluten free except to NEVER expose it to gluten.
I had not realized until today that meat products are exempt from the labeling law. What the HELL?
Food Labeling Requirements: On August 2, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a new regulation defining the term “glutenfree” for voluntary food labeling. This new federal definition standardizes the meaning of “gluten-free” foods regulated by the FDA. Foods regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including meat and egg products, are not subject to this regulation. The regulation requires that any food with the term “gluten-free” on the label must meet all of the requirements of the definition, including that the food should contain fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten. The FDA rule also requires foods with the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten” to meet the definition for “gluten-free.”
Well, I finally decided while walking around Costco while waiting for phone confirmation if the Tri-tip in my cart was safe, to not buy it. I wouldn’t receive the confirmation phone call until much later, after I had left the store.
The answer from the company, the certified Angus Beef, Steakhouse Beef Tri-Tip from American BBQ Company distributed by www.GWFG.comis not gluten free.
Once again, an excellent reminder of why I should NEVER eat other people’s food unless they are also Celiac and their kitchen is 100% gluten free.
I was a bit extra cautious this time because recently I had once again slipped up on my diligence of being safe.
I hadn’t been to a Starbucks in years except to purchase a bottled by Coke Cola Starbucks Mocha Frapuccino, which are certified gluten free. It had been my birthday the day before and I still get those kind emails from Starbucks saying I could get a free drink “on them” for my birthday. We were traveling and had a very early start. I was sleepy. I had a free drink gift certificate. I goofed up. I stopped at a Starbucks and redeemed my free birthday coffee certificate. I splurged. I got a vanilla latte.
Oh no! That’s right, Starbucks coffee’s are NOT GLUTEN FREE. NO PREPARED DRINKS CAN BE GUARANTEED GF AT STARBUCKS. Repeat to self, Starbucks coffee’s are NOT GLUTEN FREE. Not even a plain regular cup of coffee.
In about thirty minutes after thoroughly enjoying my vanilla latte my stomach began to feel a little off. Hmmm…… google Starbucks again and gluten free.
Damn, the mix Starbuck’s uses for the vanilla flavor contains gluten. Oh, and a reminder, ALL of Starbucks teas contain gluten. Yes, you read that right.
Lesson learned. Lesson learned until I forget AGAIN!
It really shouldn’t be that hard to find gluten free corn meal. Lately, with the new FDA labeling guidelines, I find that I must continue to diligently read labels and the fine print. Most corn meal is processed on the same equipment as wheat flour. I used to be able to buy a tiny, itty bitty bag of Bob’s Red Mill GLUTEN FREE Corn Meal at the local market for an outrageous price. They don’t seem to be carrying this item anymore. Do I really need to order my essential baking ingredients online? No spur of the moment baking in this household. And on top of that, my gluten free corn meal is going to cost me two to three times as much as regular corn meal. Outrageous! Yes, regular corn meal can be had for a dollar a pound. Gluten Free is going to run me around three bucks a pound. Oh, and did I mention that my local gluten free bakery is closing their doors end of March. Insert sad face! At least Miglet’s was there for me when I started this sometimes crazy diet (with Celiac disease). Fortunately I’ve had over 5 years to learn how to bake gluten free and to modify most of my favorite recipes. I will, however, miss Miglet’s donuts. The last thing I ate before I went gluten free was some glutinous Christy’s Donut’s. I miss sour dough bread too, but not like I miss a good donut.