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UK Cuts Gluten-Free Food Prescriptions

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In the face of budget cuts, and in a move that may offer a glimpse of things to come, doctors with the the UK's National Health Service are eliminating gluten-free food prescriptions for adults, beginning in parts of Devon.

As of July 1, the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) responsible for planning and buying the majority of healthcare services for local people have recommended limiting gluten free foods including bread, pasta, flour and multipurpose mixes, to under 18 years of age.

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I think for adults who are disabled or have really low incomes, they should be allowed to keep their Rx.  But anyone else who is an adult and has a job, they should pay their own way.  There are so many options available in the UK now and their gluten-free options are really good.  You have better bread than we do in the States and the cost in many instances is lower than it is here.

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When this was introduced there was very little gluten-free food available and it could be inordinately expensive for someone on a low or regular wage.  These days there's a lot more choice and although you pay a premium for gluten-free it's no longer massively more expensive, unless you're eating more of the processed gluten-free substitute foods than you really should.  Our health service is overstretched and short of funds and  although I sympathise with those who are currently relying on this service I don't think in these circumstances the subsidy is defensible any longer.  

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1 hour ago, Gemini said:

You have better bread than we do in the States and the cost in many instances is lower than it is here.

One thing that struck me when I lived in the States (pre gluten free) was that much of your supermarket bread wasn't great and it seemed very expensive in comparison to the other foods in my grocery trolley.  It took me awhile to realise that the bread in the UK was subsidised via EU common agricultural policy which accounted for the difference in price. It didn't explain why the bread wasn't so nice though. Especially when bread from bakers etc was lovely. I wondered if it was to do with giving it a longer shelf life given the distances it needed to cover, or maybe there was just a difference in taste preferences between our respective countries. 

If its any consolation your meat was much cheaper and the cuts were HUGE compared to the UK. Although I did worry about the antibiotics I'd be eating along with it :o

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22 minutes ago, Jmg said:

One thing that struck me when I lived in the States (pre gluten free) was that much of your supermarket bread wasn't great and it seemed very expensive in comparison to the other foods in my grocery trolley.  It took me awhile to realise that the bread in the UK was subsidised via EU common agricultural policy which accounted for the difference in price. It didn't explain why the bread wasn't so nice though. Especially when bread from bakers etc was lovely. I wondered if it was to do with giving it a longer shelf life given the distances it needed to cover, or maybe there was just a difference in taste preferences between our respective countries. 

If its any consolation your meat was much cheaper and the cuts were HUGE compared to the UK. Although I did worry about the antibiotics I'd be eating along with it :o

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It has always been odd to me that the US, the land of innovation in the world, cannot make great gluten free bread. Of course, no one cares about that except Celiac nation.  I am not saying there isn't good gluten-free bread here because there is.  In the 12 years since my diagnosis, it has come a long way.  However, every time I visit the UK, I am amazed at how much better the bread is.  It more closely matches the flavor and, most importantly, the texture of gluten bread. In fact, there were a few times when I ordered something with bread in a restaurant, and I panicked after taking a bite, thinking they had gotten the wrong bread. No, they didn't...it was just that good! 

For those near to London, I implore you to visit here:  http://www.beyondbread.co.uk/ 

You see those French baguettes?  I had a panini sandwich made from one of those and it was almost a religious experience.  ;)  They have won awards for their bread and I can believe it.  I tried to get them to come to the US and open another bakery but I don't think that's going to happen. They have 2 locations......Fitzrovia and Islington.  The Fitzrovia location is very near to the Goodge St. station. Now, hop on the Tube and go there!

The meat IS good here, JMG.  We just have so many cows. Cattle country. Now they have created dry aged steaks, which are pricey but they are like the crack of meat. Once you taste how tender they are, you have trouble going back to regular, non-aged meats. They are so tender, they cut like butter. As far as the antibiotics in meat, you can easily buy unadulterated meat here. It's the cheaper, mass produced meats that do that. I know my food and the one thing I love about Europe is the food. In many ways on certain items, the quality is unsurpassed!

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10 minutes ago, Gemini said:

For those near to London, I implore you to visit here:  http://www.beyondbread.co.uk/ 

It looks insanely good. First time I've wished I was back in London for ages :(

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10 minutes ago, Gemini said:

The meat IS good here, JMG.  We just have so many cows. Cattle country. Now they have created dry aged steaks, which are pricey but they are like the crack of meat. Once you taste how tender they are, you have trouble going back to regular, non-aged meats

Omg I have to leave the thread I've not eaten yet and now I crave steak :D

 

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You have the best sense of humor!  :lol:

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2 hours ago, Jmg said:

When this was introduced there was very little gluten-free food available and it could be inordinately expensive for someone on a low or regular wage.  These days there's a lot more choice and although you pay a premium for gluten-free it's no longer massively more expensive, unless you're eating more of the processed gluten-free substitute foods than you really should.  Our health service is overstretched and short of funds and  although I sympathise with those who are currently relying on this service I don't think in these circumstances the subsidy is defensible any longer.  

I agree JMG, in fact I've never bothered with the prescription because I hoped by not having it I'd be saving the NHS some money.  I imagine this will put a burden on some people though.

I can't say I've found a gluten free bread I really like yet in the UK, though, although there was a loaf at a wedding the other day that was as near to the real thing as I have tasted in years - but it wasn't clear where it came from (which is a bit of a worry, perhaps it was real bread after all!).  

Do you have a favourite? I think Genius is probably my favourite, best toasted, but M&S produce a seeded loaf that actually  is so convincing that when my sister made a batch of cheese and pickle sarnies with it no-one noticed! I think the seeds were a distraction.

I had some amazing artisan gluten-free focaccia once but no idea where that came from either - probably the real thing too! No wonder I've got 'gastritis'!

I have considered buying a bread making machine but not because I'd make bread with it - what I really miss is those iced currant buns with cherries on the top.  

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http://www.newburnbakehouse.com/gluten-free-artisan-bread

I had no idea they now have artisan breads and now I am upset because these look amazing.  Is it possible that people emigrate to other countries because of the bread?  ^_^  The wraps they have are really, really good. They roll without splitting and cracking. 

OMG...they even have crumpets.  I really may have to move there..........:)

http://www.justglutenfree.co.uk/#Section2

We bought this at Whole Foods in London and the bread is quite good.  It makes delicious toast!  The rolls are very good also.

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