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- By Jennifer Iscol
- Published 05/25/2011
The May 4th event was led by a broad-based coalition, including nonprofit organizations, celiac disease centers and gluten-free food manufacturers. Jules Shepard, a gluten-free cookbook author and baker, and John Forberger, a gluten-free athlete and blogger, met through Twitter, came up with the idea for the event and created the website www.1in133.org.
Andrea Levario, Executive Director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA), simultaneously crafted a successful political strategy in conjunction with ACDA President Beth Hillson, who is also food editor of Living Without magazine. ACDA has been a key proponent of gluten-free food labeling since 2003. I was the national liaison to the summit for the Celiac Disease Foundation, a founding member of ACDA. Here's part of our group, on the way to one of a dozen Congressional meetings on May 4th. From left: Susan Walters-Flood (NuWorld Amaranth), Andrea Levario (ACDA), Jeremy Reich, Beth Hillson (ACDA).
Members of Congress were very receptive. Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), are particularly committed to tracking FDA's progress and seeing this through. They both attended the evening reception at the Embassy Suites Washington D.C.
Just a few of the many others present that evening and supporting the event: Dr. Alessio Fasano of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research; the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center; King Arthur Flour Company; Nu-World Amaranth; Glutino/Gluten-Free Pantry; Celiac Disease Foundation; Gluten Intolerance Group; National Foundation for Celiac Awareness; Lee Tobin of Whole Foods Gluten-Free Bakehouse; and support groups from around the region.
Something that week also triggered a response by the FDA. Was it the Washington Post article critical of the FDA's delay, 10,000 letters to the FDA by members of the public, or perhaps the world's tallest gluten-free cake (11 ft. 2 in.!) at the evening reception? Mike Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods, attended the reception and seemed impressed that the coalition is so broad-based and includes prominent members of the gluten-free food industry.
Pictured below at the reception, from the left: FDA Deputy Commissioner Mike Taylor, Living Without magazine editor Alicia Woodward, Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN), American Celiac Disease Alliance executive director Andrea Levario.
Deputy Commissioner Taylor told ABC news "I want people to understand that the FDA gets it. We're on this. We'll get this moving," He also spoke before the assembled crowd in the hotel lobby and promised to get the job done. He said the long-awaited safety assessment to determine a safe level for gluten in food would be out within a few weeks, open for a public comment period, and the final rule would follow.
Let's see, that was three weeks ago...FDA, we are watching and waiting.
So who is Monty? The Celiac Disease Foundation support group I lead in Northern California, North Bay Celiacs, had a new mascot for our fundraiser this May during Celiac Disease Awareness Month. He is pictured below with our fundraising director, Molly Dillon. O.K., we must admit that he is not really a gluten-sniffing dog, but he is helping keep an eye on the FDA for us. He supports the FDA's proposed rule of allowing food to be labeled gluten-free if it contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
We'll keep everyone posted on developments.
Whether you have a single food allergy or multiple, you probably have been to allergists, general practitioners, gastrointestinal (GI) physicians and the list of traditional doctors can be endless. Well, if you want to go holistic then, the individuals to see are chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbalists, naturopathic doctors or even a health coach.
Now, a health coach has studied nutrition, diet and usually health science. They can assist you in building your very own personal food pyramid by simply having a one-on-one consultation. With this particular type of knowledge, it can benefit any client who needs assistance with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, one of the top eight food allergens, corn allergy Candida intolerance and much more.
Some individuals feel completely lost when they are very first diagnosed with a food allergy, but there is much more help today then, there was even a decade ago. By looking into health coaching, changing your lifestyle and educating yourself with some of your very own research, you'll find that you’re on the road to recovery.
We’ve all heard of Oprah’s Big Give show from a few years ago. I am suggesting during this Celiac Disease Awareness Month to do a “Gluten Free Give Back”, as we take time to give back to this disease that has changed our lives so significantly.
During this month I plan to do occasional postings on how we can give back to the gluten free community. This post is looking at food banks.
We all are likely VERY possessive of our gluten free food– it’s so expensive why would we just GIVE it to someone? I’ll be honest, that is one of my initial reactions, but it turns out in this bad economy there is a need for gluten-free food at your local food bank.
Needing Gluten Free Food at the Food Bank
Last week I set out to learn more about the need in my own community in Minnesota. I talked with Lisa Aune of Second Harvest Heartland and she said,
“We do occasionally receive requests from some of our food shelf partners about the availability of gluten free food for clients of theirs.” Can you imagine being caught in a place where you need to use the food shelf and you can’t even find food options that you can eat?
The gluten-free need has been noticed elsewhere too. In Massachusetts Pierce’s Pantry is a food shelf specifically for gluten free needs. You can find out how to donate or receive food at this helpful website.
Back in 2009 in Loveland, Colorado, they opened the country’s first gluten free food bank at the House of Neighborly Services. Organizer Dee Valdez of GlutenFreeDee.com told Tricia Thompson of GlutenFreeDietitian.com what prompted her to take action.
“I remember talking to a mother who had a sick 7 year old who had Celiac Disease. The exasperated mom said she had to choose between feeding her whole family or just feeding her sick daughter the very expensive gluten free food she could find. The distraught mother said, referring to her celiac daughter, “She’s just going to have to live with diarrhea.” — Dee Valdez, Gluten Free Food Bank Organizer and Gluten Free Advocate. Interview on www.glutenfreedietitian.com
That really is a heartbreaking story, but it lead to fabulous work by Valdez. She also played a role in the new Gluten Free Food Pantry for low-income celiacs in Pittsburgh. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness profiled the food bank opening on its website recently. It just opened this spring.
How Can You Get Active?
So what if there is nothing like any of the aforementioned food banks in your area? Teri Gruss had some ideas in her about.com article. She recommends talking to your local food shelf and asking them to put a call out for gluten-free donations. But you could also organize a food drive in your community or with your support group.
Back in Minnesota with my contact at Second Harvest Heartland, she supported the idea of donating gluten-free food,
“…I would suggest that you ask your readers to make those donations to their local food shelf. That way they are keeping the donations in their own community, and I’m sure the food shelves would be thrilled to get it.” Lisa Aune of Second Harvest Heartland
Nadine Grzeskowiak, RN CEN of GlutenFreeRN.com had a great suggestion, to donate gluten free food to the Stamp Out Hunger food drive that happens on May 14th. She says, “…put non-perishable GLUTEN FREE food in a bag in your mailbox and your local mail carrier will pick it up and take it to the local food banks.”
I will be donating gluten free food to my area food bank soon and I will let you know how it goes!
- By Scott Adams
- Published 05/2/2011
But for 3 million Americans, going gluten-free should be more than a lifestyle choice. Celiac Disease affects 1 in 133 Americans, yet 95% don't know they have it.
May is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month and the Celiac Disease Foundation is celebrating 21 years of raising awareness.
Monday, May 9th from 11a.m-2p.m join the Celiac Disease Foundation and Pam Mac D's Gluten-Free Market, (3516 W. Magnolia Bl., Burbank) to kick off National Celiac Disease Awareness Month!
Attendees to this FREE event will enjoy yummy, sweet and savory samplings from several Gluten-Free Food vendors, Gluten-Free Grilled Cheese Sandwiches courtesy of Rudi's Gluten-Free Bread, and Gluten-Free Goodie Bags courtesy of PF Changs China Bistro.
Foundation members will be on hand to answer questions and provide informational flyers about Celiac Disease.
Please join us as we raise awareness about Celiac Disease: "The #1 disease you've never heard of"
The Celiac Disease Foundation's Annual Educational Conference and Food Faire will be held on May 14th at the Universal Hilton, Universal City
Registration is available on-line: www.celiac.org. , or by calling (818) 990-2354
Tri City Cheese and Meats Recalls Teriyaki Flavored Beef and Poultry Products Due to Undeclared Wheat
- By Scott Adams
- Published 04/28/2011
The products subject to recall include: [View Labels]
- 5-oz. and 1 lb. packages of "Troll Smokehouse, Kippered Turkey, Teriyaki Flavor"
- 5-oz. and 1 lb. packages of "Troll Smokehouse, Kippered Beef, Teriyaki Flavor"
The problem was discovered by an FSIS inspector during a routine label review at the establishment, and occurred because of a spice ingredient change at the establishment. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.
- By Scott Adams
- Published 04/27/2011
The recalled Elsie Grace’s products were distributed in KS, NE, MO, NC, OH, IN, AR, KY, PA, OK, IL, SD, IA, WV, MI, to retail gift shops and food retailers.
Elsie Grace’s Dry Food Products are packaged as follows. Dip mixes are packed in clear, safety sealed, rectangular packs with the label stapled to it. They are not marked with any codes, UPC numbers, or dates. The ingredients are listed on the back. Dry soups are sealed in clear safety bags and then placed in a plastic lined craft paper bag. The ingredient labeling is attached to the back of the craft paper bag.
Any retailers still having any unsold products will be supplied with new corrected ingredient labels for all packages. Consumers will be able to return the product to retailers for full refund or package replacement. Replacement labeling will be identified with an asterisk (*) at the end of the ingredients.
No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.
This recall was initiated when it was discovered some of Elsie Grace’s Dry Food Products do not declare ingredients that are allergens. Subsequent investigation indicates the problem occurred in the company’s packaging process. Elsie Grace’s Dry Food Company has changed their labels to ensure customer safety.
Consumers who have purchased Elsie Grace’s Dry Food products are urged to return the product for full refund or replacement. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-785-292-4438 between the hours of 9am to 5pm CST Monday through Friday, or contact us at email@example.com.
Elsie Grace’s Zippy Bacon Dip Mix, net weight .12-oz., and Elsie Grace’s It’s Smokin’ Dip Mix, net weight .08-oz., use imitation bacon bits which contain soy and wheat ingredients. The beef base packets in the dip mixes contain milk and soy ingredients.
Elsie Grace’s Cheesy Onion Dip Mix, net weight .08-oz., contains packets of beef base which contain milk and soy ingredients.
Elsie Grace’s Hearty Potato Soup Mix, net weight 10.6-oz., contains milk, soy, and wheat ingredients.
Elsie Grace’s Spuds and Cheese Soup Mix, net weight 10.6-oz., contains milk and soy ingredients.
Elsie Grace’s Broccoli and Cheese Soup Mix, no net weight on packages, contains milk and soy ingredients.
Elsie Grace’s White Chili Soup Mix, net weight 9.9 oz., contains milk and soy ingredients.
Growing up, the Easter Bunny never brought a lot of candy he always seemed to bring the one thing we were “dying” to have, so when it came time for the Easter Bunny to start visiting my little girl, it only seemed right to have a little candy and toys to make up for the lack of candy. Kaia has been dairy free since she was 6 months old so Easter has always been a little bittersweet for her (me really). I have never found (at least one I can afford) a Kaia friendly chocolate Easter Bunny.
Kaia’s Easter Basket has always consisted of little toys, coloring books, latex free markers and crayons (Crayola is cross contaminated), socks, bubbles, summer play toys and whatever Kaia just couldn’t live without that year.
Fast forward to Easter 2011. This year I had to read for that one extra ingredient—wheat/gluten. As I started to head to my tried and true candies for her, they were quickly slipping away. Twizzler—the second ingredient is wheat flour!! Argh! Nope that jelly bean has gluten, that one two, oh that chocolate is gluten free, but no it has dairy, this went on and on. The more aggravated I got, it seemed the less candy she could have. It seemed all I could find that was Kaia friendly was dum dum suckers, Double Bubble, and Swedish Fish and Eggs. I had my old standby her Enjoy Life Candy bars, but I wanted something special.
The more I got read ingredients the madder I got, then it hit me---Kaia doesn’t miss what she has never had. The worst part of going gluten free was taking pop tarts away and she handled that like a trooper. I was getting upset, not because Kaia wouldn’t have an Easter Basket, I was getting upset because I was again hit in the face that my daughter is different, however she rarely notices she is different.
A couple minutes of self pity and I moved forward. Kaia had the Easter basket of her dreams with everything she wanted—and in the end I had a huge smile on my face—all because my beautiful little girl was happy--really happy.
Help me spread the word that there is help for chronic headaches.
Please contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Thanks for your help with this exciting new project!
- By Sarah Curcio
- Published 04/12/2011
There was a post on Facebook, in the Celiac Global Guide, about something called meat glue. It told celiacs to beware if you are eating meat because you are most likely digesting transglutaminase (aka meat glue.) It might be one way that harmful ingredients are getting into your system and why you may not be recovering, even if you’re being really careful about gluten.
Unfortunately, the meat industry is protected. They do not need to list this as an ingredient. This enzyme has been approved for use in the United States, Japan and most European countries. This white powder called meat glue makes scraps of beef, lamb, chicken and even fish paste together so closely, that it appears to be a solid piece of meat.
Now, everyone believes if you eat gluten free and have fresh meats, fish, fruits and vegetables you will become healthier. Well, this new secret could be the exact reason why celiacs are not getting better. In fact, this may be a cause for celiacs developing colon cancer and other auto-immune diseases.
Going vegetarian or vegan, if possible, might be a safer bet. If you continue to eat meat try to go organic, antibiotic and hormone free. Plus, consider trying chop meat because there is nothing to glue there.
So, for more detailed information, check out this exclusive for yourself:
- By Dyani Barber
- Published 04/11/2011
Mrs. Alaska United States is a prestigious and elite title, which requires each contestant to choose a platform to speak on throughout their reign, should they become Mrs. Alaska. Brandy Wendler chose as her platform: “Against the Grain, Raising Awareness for Celiac Disease” and has already begun making appearances throughout the community to increase awareness and support public health.
Mrs. Alaska, Brandy Wendler, currently lives in Eagle River, and is available for appearances and speaking engagements.
More information, including her public calendar and Mrs. Alaska blog, is
available on www.MrsAlaska.com
- By Scott Adams
- Published 03/31/2011
Greetings from Celiac Disease Society of India-Maharashtra chapter!
We have recently started Celiac Disease Society of India-Maharashtra chapter in Central India. Prevalance of CELIAC IN Northern India is well know . Unfortunately we have no data from central India. We have started Central India Celiac Disease Registry.
In JULY 2011 we are planning to have CME with public awareness program for celiac disease.This would be first monothematic CME in CENTRAL India WITH emphasis on celiac disease for genral public as well as pediatricians and clinicians.
We face same problems as availability of gluten free products, their standards, gluten free medications, low awareness even among physicians about this condition.
We would like to request you to contribute academically AND for management of this venture. Combined venture of CDSI-Maharashtra chapter &YOUR'S organisation over a larger scale as International forum would be sincerely appreciated BY ALL and impact value for work in celiac HERE IN CENTRAL INDIA would move forward in a right direction.
Please do feel free to communicate and suggest regarding any query.
Hoping for long term symbiotic association.
Fellow in pediatric Gastroenterology & liver transplant
Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
CARE hospital, NAGPUR.MAHARASHTRA, CENTRAL INDIA .
CELIAC DISEASE SOCIETY OF INDIA-MAHARASHTRA chapter.
NATIONAL LIVER FOUNDATION-PEDIATRIC chapter
CENTRAL INDIA CELIAC DISEASE REGISTRY.
PEDGIHEP-evidence based pediatric gastroenterology group.
- By Scott Adams
- Published 03/31/2011
The products subject to recall include: [View Labels]
- 1.5-lb. cases of "Old World Meats ORIGINAL FLAVOR BEEF STICKS HOT" with each box containing 24 individual 1 oz. packages.
- 1.5-lb. cases of "Old World Meats ORIGINAL FLAVOR BEEF STICKS TERIYAKI SNACK STICKS" with each box containing 24 individual 1 oz. packages
The problem was discovered by an FSIS inspector during a label review at the establishment and may have occurred because of a change in ingredients at the establishment. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.
- By Scott Adams
- Published 03/16/2011
The products subject to recall include: [View Label]
- 100 count cases containing 1-oz. packages of "HANNAH'S HONEY CURED TURKEY STICK." These products have an identifying case code of "706179" and the following package codes (use by/sell by dates): 09/09/11 and 10/01/11.
- 560 count cases containing 1-oz. packages of "HANNAH'S HONEY CURED TURKEY STICK." These products have an identifying case code of "330074" and the package code (use by/sell by date) of 10/01/11.
The products were packaged on Dec. 13, 2010 through March 4, 2011, and shipped, including via internet sales, to institutions (prisons and one homeless shelter) in Calif., Colo., Ill., Mo., and Ohio.
The problem was discovered by the plant, and occurred because of a change in ingredients at the establishment. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.
Faribault Foods Announces Voluntary Recall of Field Day Organic Garbanzo Beans Due to Undeclared Wheat
- By Scott Adams
- Published 03/14/2011
The Minestrone soup contains wheat, milk, soy, and egg allergens.
People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to wheat, milk, soy, or egg allergens run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume the Minestrone soup product.
The products involved were sold in grocery and other retail outlets nationwide.
The following product, with the specific code date listed, is affected by the recall:
- Field Day Organic Garbanzo Beans Size: 15 oz UPC: 42563 60003 Code: 813 C1 014 10
No illnesses have been associated with these products. Retailers are removing the product from the store shelves.
Natural Choice Distribution Company Inc. Voluntarily Recalls Certain Lots Of Fare And Square Sandwiches, Superfresh Sandwiches, And Real Wraps Burritos Due To The Presence Of Undeclared Wheat
- By Scott Adams
- Published 02/23/2011
- Products that have “cheese” listed as an ingredients do not declare the allergen MILK
- Products that have “whole grain bread” listed as an ingredient do not declare the allergens WHEAT and SOY
- Products that have “expeller pressed canola mayonnaise” listed as an ingredient do not declare the allergen EGG
Fare and Square Sandwiches, Superfresh Sandwiches, and Real Wraps Burritos ready to eat sandwiches and wraps are distributed throughout California. The products affected are listed below.
Only products with the following USE BY dates are included:
All Real Wraps burritos
With USE BY dates: 2/20, 2/21, 2/22, 2/23, 2/25, 2/26, 2/27 and 2/28
UPC codes: 614294201038, 614294201052, 61429201090, 614294201076, 614294201120
Superfresh Foods Avocado, Jack and Tomato sandwich and Vegetarian Smoked Turkey sandwich
With USE BY dates: 2/21, 2/22, 2/23 and 2/24
UPC codes: 614294030157, 614294035992
All Fare and Square sandwiches
With USE BY dates: 2/21, 2/22, 2/23 and 2/24
UPC codes: 011059107800, 011059108005, 011059108814, 011059108104, 011059108203
Natural Choice Distribution Company is taking this action to protect consumers who may be unaware that the ingredients contain the aforementioned allergens. The Company is currently putting additional allergen labels on all of the affected products but there is a possibility of some products with undeclared allergen labels still out at retail stores or in consumers’ homes.
Consumers who have purchased these Fare and Square Sandwiches, Superfresh Sandwiches, and Real Wraps Burritos and are sensitive to these allergens are urged to return them to the place of purchase for full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Natural Choice Distribution Company Inc. at 1-510-653-8212 Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time.
CA State Senate Introduces Resolution to Declare May 2011 as Celiac Disease Awareness Month in California
- By Scott Adams
- Published 02/21/2011
Celiac disease is the #1 genetic autoimmune disease in the United States as well as the most common in the world. It is estimated that 3 million Americans are affected by celiac disease, yet 97% of them don't even know it....yet. The average delay in diagnosis is 9 years.
If left undiagnosed, related autoimmune diseases include Type 1 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Thyroid Disease and certain types of cancers.
- There is no cure. Celiac disease is the only disease completely controlled by diet. The "cure" requires a life-time commitment to a strict Gluten-Free diet. Ingestion of even a crumb of wheat, rye and/or barley can cause a severe reaction.
- Symptoms may include: diarrhea, weight loss/gain, migraine headaches, anemia and infertility.
- Research shows that the numbers of affected Americans doubles every 20 years.
May is already recognized as National Celiac Awareness Month, and New York, Oregon, North Carolina and Ohio have recently come on board at the state level with their own resolutions. Declaring May as Celiac Awareness Month in California will help bring attention to the disease and facilitate the goal of increasing awareness. Elaine Monarch, founder and executive director of the Celiac Disease Foundation, expressed the importance of such a designation: "CDF is grateful to Senator Bob Huff for being at the forefront of this Resolution, which will help us shine a light on the importance of the early diagnosis of celiac disease"
Celiac Disease Foundation
13251 Ventura Blvd. Suite 1
Studio City, CA 91604
Prime Choice Foods Corporation Voluntarily Recalls Certain Lots Of Garden Of Eatin'® Multi Grain Tortilla Chips Due To The Presence Of Undeclared Wheat
- By Scott Adams
- Published 02/16/2011
Consumers who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to wheat or soy run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.
No illnesses or allergic reactions have been reported to date. No other Garden of Eatin’® products are involved in this recall.
The recalled products were distributed to food stores nationwide. The recall only affects the following lot codes:
- Garden of Eatin’® Multi Grain Sea Salt Tortilla Chips (9 oz). Unit UPC code # 15839-00795. Lot codes: 07MAY11, 08MAY11, 19MAY11, 24MAY11, 02JUN11 and 22JUN11
- Garden of Eatin’® Multi Grain Everything Tortilla Chips (9 oz)
- Unit UPC code # 15839-00797. Lot codes: 08MAY11, 24MAY11, 25MAY11, 01JUN11 and 22JUN11.
- Garden of Eatin’® Multi Grain Blues Sea Salt Tortilla Chips (9 oz)
- Unit UPC code # 15839-00940. Lot codes: 08MAY11, 25MAY11, 26MAY11, 22JUN11 and 23JUN11.
The recall was initiated after it was discovered that product was packaged in the wrong bag, and the ingredient statement did not list wheat and soy.
Consumers who have purchased any products covered by this recall are urged to return them to the store of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions or concerns please call 1-800-434-4246, during extended hours from Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm EST and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
This voluntary recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.