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Paul Smith

I am 60 years old. An Architect and Landscape Architect by training, graduating in both in 1974. I have an MBA (Master of Business Administration Degree) from Melbourne University in 1990. My family have owned FG Roberts (a gluten free/soy products factory in Melbourne Australia) for 54 years. I have been employed by the company full time since 1980 in various technical, management, operational, product development, research and marketing roles. My Web site is: www.glutenfreehealth.net

 Articles by this Author

One of the main and largely unrecognized health problems facing the Western world and people on diets of highly refined, processed and starchy foods, which are often low in or devoid of dietary fiber, is that of constipation. This is a particular issue with Celiacs where the gluten free flours they use are largely starch based and often low in protein and dietary fiber. Unfortunately, we live in a world where it is often considered normal and acceptable to empty the bowels perhaps 2 -3 times a week, rather than the more desirable 2 – 3 times per day.

Soy as a Food Allergen

Soy is a food allergen and there are several main issues. Firstly, Soy Proteins, especially the trypsin inhibitor enzymes, along with the proteins in dairy products, wheat, peanuts, eggs, sesame seeds, shellfish and crustaceans, have a tendency to produce allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. However, all my reading and experience of soy, over 50 years, suggests that soy protein is somewhat milder in its action than the proteins in peanuts, eggs and sesame seeds. From a toxicological point of view and as reported by FSANZ, the presence of soy at less than 88 p.p.m. (parts per million) does not register for the vast majority of the population, whereas in susceptible individuals and by comparison, gluten, eggs and peanuts can all register adversely at or at less than 1 - 3 p.p.m. There is no history of severe anaphylaxis and sudden death associated with soy that I am aware of.

Many infants, toddlers and young children are either born with or develop a variety of protein allergies with symptoms including anaphylaxis, intolerance or sensitivity to milk, egg, shellfish, crustacean, peanuts, nuts, sesame seeds, soy and gluten. These symptoms can manifest themselves in a variety of ways including coeliac (celiac) disease (gut damage), eczema, shock, migraines, headaches, crankiness, aggression, depression, listlessness, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel, wind, flatulence, diarrhea, bloating, fluid retention, poor growth patterns, feeling vaguely and sometimes seriously unwell: a general failure to thrive.

The major concern in producing gluten and allergen-free foods is always that of cross contamination. In my view, the only safe way to produce gluten-free meals and products is in a rigorously controlled and totally gluten-free environment where all ingredients are strictly gluten-free and all benches, utensils and equipment, etc. are dedicated and remain in a totally gluten-free condition at all times.

Hypersensitive reactions to food are becoming increasingly problematic in society. Allergy experts report that the prevalence of food allergies appears to be rising and while there are no exact figures for this in Australia, some studies have shown marked increases overseas

Is it Gluten-free? Are you sure?

Nowadays every type of food you can desire is available in a convenient form, ready to be popped into a microwave or an oven. This demand for convenience has caused grain consumption to escalate. If you think you don’t eat that much grain (and gluten), think again: much of the gluten that you consume is hidden - you don’t even know you're eating it!

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