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Going Gluten-FreeMay 5, 2010

Gluten Free Going Mainstream

I was standing in line in my local grocery store the other day and realized that six of the eight items I was buying were labeled “gluten-free.” I felt like I had arrived. No longer was celiac disease and the gluten-free diet a secret little society in which a few people traded tips and product information. I looked around and wondered how many other people in the checkout line were thinking the same thing, were eating gluten free.

According to the latest statistics, more than 15 million Americans are choosing gluten-free products over gluten-filled. I shouldn’t be surprised. I just returned from the Natural Products Show in California and nearly every other booth there called out “gluten free” on its labels and its literature. 

It’s an exciting time when gluten free is becoming a mainstream term. The other day, I even saw a gluten-free television commercial! A mother was offering all of her children General Mills Rice Chex, happy that she didn’t have to single out the child who needs a gluten-free diet, thanks to these products.

Of course, I wish we had one labeling standard for “gluten free” in this country so I would know that each of these manufacturers is playing by the same rules. Nevertheless, gluten free has come of age. It’s worth cheering about.
 
Perhaps it’s a testament to how much this niche has grown, but I read the ads before I read the articles when my latest issue of Living Without arrives. What new products have you discovered recently? Do you have favorite ads that have caught your attention in Living Without and other magazines lately?

Comments (5)

Like Kim A, I also live in a small rural town without a health food store and the problem of a language barrier. Much of our medical personnel are Indian from India. Our population is Hispanic, Native American, Indian, Oriental (Japanese, Chinese, Philippino) and European. Walmart has been a godsend. Nothing in the freezer section, but shelf space on one gondola 3 feet on four shelves. Fry's has frozen products, and a few items on their "health food" shelves.

I still prefer to make my own bread and tortillas. Would love to see Expndex in stores. Corn meal invarious grinds are available.

Joani J

Posted by: JOANMARIE J | May 11, 2010 12:54 PM    Report this comment

This is a gret thing but in reality we all need to eat less of these types of baked and processed foods. I actually think it is blessing that I am gluten free and that there haven't been many products easily available because I have learned to "Live Without". Now- that doesn't mean I don't make pizza once in a while or eat some GF baked goods but I eat far less than the average person and am much much healthier because of it. Too much GF things is just as bad for our health- lots of sugar and refined flours(convert to sugar in the body) that will destroy our heath. Think about it....what is better to eat GF pretzels or an apple?

Posted by: Kim R | May 8, 2010 8:52 PM    Report this comment

One of the cashiers at the grocery store I frequent noticed months ago that I was buying GF baking supplies and asked me about it. She went GF the beginning of this year and feels 90% better! A women who was stocking the organic/specialty foods one day asked me about GF products and it turns out she is wheat-free. A customer overheard our conversation and joined in. Her DH is GF/dairy-free/soy-free (!!). It seems like everywhere there are people who are GF, know someone who's GF, need to be GF themselves, etc. I think there is just so much more awareness that scientists/doctors are making the connection between what we eat and how we feel.

I am really excited about the new King Arthur GF baking mixes. Can't wait until my store gets them in. I have tried the Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix and seriously, if a person didn't know they were eating something GF beforehand, they'd never be able to tell. The Bob's Red Mill Pancake mix makes really great chocolate chip cookies! I would love to see Expandex in the stores, but no luck so far. I agree with Kim A. It seems like every week there is something new (or improved) at the store. :-)

Allison

Posted by: Allison K | May 6, 2010 11:36 AM    Report this comment

My favorite gluten free/wheat free "find" are Quinoa Tortilla Chips by La Rosa. They are every bit as good as the tortilla chips that I used to be able to eat! I'm able to buy them at New Seasons and Whole Foods. I still prefer to make my own salsa, as I've been glutenized buying some of the ready made salsa. The next time I visit a Mexican Restaurant, I plan to bring my own chips!

Posted by: Nancy B | May 6, 2010 10:23 AM    Report this comment

I live in a small, rural town and am so excited when almost weekly our large grocery store carries another gluten free product. Makes my life so much easier. Can you comment on the status of the gluten free label - what does it actually mean right now and is legislation getting closer which will require it to be a specific standard?

Posted by: Kim A | May 6, 2010 8:51 AM    Report this comment

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