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dh204

Celiacs In France?

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My daughter loves YOP!

I have tried it and did not have any reaction but I just started becoming more sensitive in the last couple of months. I read the ingredients and they dont mention any items that seem alarming except for "coloring" which doesnt give any additional information or its derivatives. I have tried to be extra cautious since coming here and dont consume many processed products but I have to admit its hard to stay away from the creamy yogurts.

I had no luck with any French companies getting food allergen info and mainly depend on listings on the back of products (which is not very detailed) and US or UK advice from manufacturers. The US Yoplait customer service agent was very helpful to me and I "believe" researched my concern about the fruit yogurts in France. It took some time to get a response but they did eventually. Thats why I am partial to Yoplait because Dannon US said they could not assist me with a foreign food concern.

Thanks for the info on Monoprix. We have one in Toulouse and I might make a trip over there soon to see if they have any goodies. Also, I believe they are owned by LaFayette so maybe I will pop in there and take a look around. If I find any good products I will pass it on.

Oh, and your absolutely correct - the French do not understand the concept of Customer Service

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If Yop is gluten free in Canada and the UK then chances are it is gluten free here as well.

I found the website for BioMarkus: www.biomarkus.com

They are only located way out in the suburbs but there are a few of them. None down south, but if you happen to have a car and just happen to be in the north...

Also you can try this chain of stores called Biocoop (biocoop.fr). I think they are all over France. They have a small selection of gluten free products. I think they mostly carry the label France Aglut (blech!). I've been to a store near my apartment in Paris. It's teeny tiny and my boyfriend doesn't like going there because he thinks it's "cult-like". Just because here in France those who frequent organic stores tend to be more New-Age-y, which really freaks out my boyfriend. I really don't agree with him, but whatever.

I once found a website that listed all the organic stores in France and I had printed out a list of all the stores in Paris and near Fontainebleau (where my boyfriend's family lives). I'll try to find the list and see if the website is printed on the pages. The thing is, I've been to a bunch of stores on the list, and while they are all organic stores, a lot of them are teeny tiny and don't sell any gluten free products.

As for customer service; the funniest thing is that my boyfriend went twice to New York with me (his first time anywhere outside of France without French people) and he was so stunned at the level of customer service! He was all "Wow! It is SO nice to have people greet you with a smile! And people are SO efficient here! And you ALWAYS get a glass of water that is constantly refilled! How nice!" So now that we are back in France he has really noticed how here people greet you with a scowl and they never want to help you and it drives him crazy, to the point where he feels totally insulted...I do remember though that he and his family and my friends here have always said repeatedly that the best way to deal with the French (especially in all manners bureaucratic, but it applies everywhere else) is to be humble and non-aggressive. No shouting, and no arguing with the other person. Instead, the other person (NOT the customer) is ALWAYS right, and if they yell at you and refuse whatever it is you've asked, you are supposed to say "Oui Madame/Monsieur, vous avez complètement raison, merci" and leave. Then you are supposed to go back either later in the day or a few days later and ask someone else.

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If Yop is gluten free in Canada and the UK then chances are it is gluten free here as well.

Well they make one with wholegrain heat in it so I guess that is out!

It's teeny tiny and my boyfriend doesn't like going there because he thinks it's "cult-like". Just because here in France those who frequent organic stores tend to be more New-Age-y, which really freaks out my boyfriend. I really don't agree with him, but whatever.

Well I see what he means they sell all sorts of new age crap like crystals as well. Its hgard to take someone seriously that claims putting a crystal in your house is going to give you health benfits not to mention the all too frequent claim "but its organic wheat so it won't make you ill!

As for customer service; the funniest thing is that my boyfriend went twice to New York with me (his first time anywhere outside of France without French people) and he was so stunned at the level of customer service! He was all "Wow! It is SO nice to have people greet you with a smile! And people are SO efficient here! And you ALWAYS get a glass of water that is constantly refilled! How nice!" So now that we are back in France he has really noticed how here people greet you with a scowl and they never want to help you and it drives him crazy, to the point where he feels totally insulted...I do remember though that he and his family and my friends here have always said repeatedly that the best way to deal with the French (especially in all manners bureaucratic, but it applies everywhere else) is to be humble and non-aggressive. No shouting, and no arguing with the other person. Instead, the other person (NOT the customer) is ALWAYS right, and if they yell at you and refuse whatever it is you've asked, you are supposed to say "Oui Madame/Monsieur, vous avez complètement raison, merci" and leave. Then you are supposed to go back either later in the day or a few days later and ask someone else.

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We have a bio-coop in Toulouse but they also dont sell much in the way of gluten-free. I found our local Vie Claire to carry a bigger selection - they carry just about all the brands available and have a good selection.

Although the French idea of customer service is all most non existant I really think many are trying to change it - but it will take some time and I am sure it will never be to the same standards of service that Americans are use to. There is a large Anglophone community in the Toulouse area and I think many of the local offices are use to dealing with us - even our poor attempts at French. I had to go to the local Tax office and was a month late submitting my tax forms (complete oversight of a new expat). I thought they were going to have a fit and possibly fine me but the man was so friendly I was shocked. I sure wouldnt expect the Tax man in the states to be so understanding or helpful.

I will never understand paying for telephone time when you have a technical issue with a service, especially since its their service that is the problem - that makes no sense to me! I guess it really cuts down the customer complaints. C'est la vie en Francais

All in all, I have found the French to be very nice and helpful in any part of the country I have visited

and it is a beautiful country with so many great places to see and visit.

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Hey everyone,

It's not so much the crystals that freak out my boyfriend; I think it's more the pictures of various people/philosophers with little quotes underneath them that really freak him out. Also the clientele scares him - I think it's the Birkenstock wearing crowd that does it. I told him not to stereotype and anyway the stereotypic organic-eating person is totally harmless.

That is so funny about La Vie Claire; there is one near my apt that is teensy tiny and they have absolutely no gluten free products in there.

I think it's nice that the tax man was so helpful. I guess since Paris is a big city people are a bit more harried. Kind of like how we New Yorkers used to have a reputation for being mean.

Anyway, I don't mean to sound all anti-French and everything cause I'm really not. After all, my boyfriend is French, and a lot of my friends are. And I have been here for...not counting the few years I went back to school in New York...I guess about 4 or 5 years in total. I think I am just really frustrated this past year because of my visa application process which is a total nightmare - I've been jumping through hoops for awhile now (and dragging along my bf and his family with me).

Yes, the whole paying for technical problems is really weird. It doesn't make any sense to me. Also, anything bureaucratic related also has one of those special numbers that are billed at a higher rate. My boyfriend thinks it is scandalous that we should be forced to pay for customer service and that kind of stuff and then I always point out how it should be free (like, say, in the US). But his family pointed out that there isn't that much competition for phone service so the price of telecommunications is more expensive here (just like gas/electricity). They said it was unlikely that tech lines would become free because there is a kind of stranglehold in the industry, and France is a much smaller country than the US or Canada, so chances are there won't be too many other competitors. It's changing now what with the VoIP phone lines and stuff but I don't know that it will change much because of the different rates when calling different carriers.

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Yes, the whole paying for technical problems is really weird. It doesn't make any sense to me. Also, anything bureaucratic related also has one of those special numbers that are billed at a higher rate. My boyfriend thinks it is scandalous that we should be forced to pay for customer service and that kind of stuff and then I always point out how it should be free (like, say, in the US). But his family pointed out that there isn't that much competition for phone service so the price of telecommunications is more expensive here (just like gas/electricity). They said it was unlikely that tech lines would become free because there is a kind of stranglehold in the industry, and France is a much smaller country than the US or Canada, so chances are there won't be too many other competitors. It's changing now what with the VoIP phone lines and stuff but I don't know that it will change much because of the different rates when calling different carriers.

With the exception of calling mobiles all calls for me are free to France, Europe, US and Canada (including mobiles) with my internet connection. €30 a month ... and the website is hosted on it as well oh and free cable TV 100+ channels as well.

So things are changing, 5 yrs ago Noos charged €35 just for 6 channels and 1/2 Mbit internet, now I have 22Mbit all in the 30€/month. However getting your line unblocked from France telecom is a major hassle that they will rip you off as long as possible.... I sent a letter to cancel my Wanadoo connection at the same time as my french telecom line and it took 2 months to get rid of the France Telecom line ... then Wanadoo just continued charging me ... I wrote several letters folliung up the original registered one and still Im being billed ... and they're taking the money from my account.

6 months later I cough up for another registered letter and demand to know why ...

1) The original letter had a single grammatic error, I missed one accent therefore they said the letter was incomprehensible, I reworite in in block caps and it was ?????

2) The other letters, Oh we throw away ANYTHING not registered .. read your 60 page contract!

3) They ring me up to ask why I'm cancelling .. like the above isn't enough by itsself???? I inform them that unless they want to pay me for my time on the phone I will not speak to them and hang up and they ring back!!!!!!!!

But the thing in France is just the service attitude, you can buy a product, take it home and find its boken without even disturbing the internal wrapping and they will refuse point blank to take it back without a receipt, even when its their brand and a model thats only been available for a month (meaning they know you bought it there in the last month) ...

They just don't seem to care what you think at all.

If you did the same thing in the UK they wouldn't even quibble ...

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[As for customer service; the funniest thing is that my boyfriend went twice to New York with me (his first time anywhere outside of France without French people) and he was so stunned at the level of customer service! He was all "Wow! It is SO nice to have people greet you with a smile! And people are SO efficient here! And you ALWAYS get a glass of water that is constantly refilled! How nice!" So now that we are back in France he has really noticed how here people greet you with a scowl and they never want to help you and it drives him crazy, to the point where he feels totally insulted...I do remember though that he and his family and my friends here have always said repeatedly that the best way to deal with the French (especially in all manners bureaucratic, but it applies everywhere else) is to be humble and non-aggressive. No shouting, and no arguing with the other person. Instead, the other person (NOT the customer) is ALWAYS right, and if they yell at you and refuse whatever it is you've asked, you are supposed to say "Oui Madame/Monsieur, vous avez complètement raison, merci" and leave. Then you are supposed to go back either later in the day or a few days later and ask someone else.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

I don't know about the French but my husband is Iranian and they make horrible waiters! I told my husband that the Iranians have such big egos they can't stand the idea of serving someone else. If they do a poor job of serving you, then you'll realize that they are, of course, not meant to be waiters but something else but unfortunately this is what they are doing right now (or in this life). God forbid they did a good job then you would actually mistake them for real waiters!

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Hey everyone,

Exciting news (sort of)! This wknd we went to the monoprix (or inno, in my case) and I wanted to show my bf the gluten-free section. So we went over there, and they had stocked up the section! So now there are gluten free breads and cookies there too (but no more pasta). I bought a bar of the gluten free milk chocolate and a box of these mini marble loaf cake things (there are 6 in a box and they are really small). It's that brand Allergo that I mentioned before. Anyway, I tried them both this wknd -- the marble cakes arae actually not bad but the chocolate is not great. It tastes a little weird and has a funky texture. My bf's mom had a little piece of the chocolate and she thought it was caramel chocolate, and I said, no no, it's gluten free! My bf also tried a piece of the chocolate but thought it was disgusting. I did manage to eat a large chunk of the chocolate though.

So if you go to the monoprix, the gluten free section is this teensy tiny hidden part of the dietetique section (with all the soy products and weight loss cookies).

Oh, and we also took a walk in our neighborhood this wknd and went to this indoor market. There was a stand that sells these "produits minceur". They have a bunch of food mostly geared for weight loss, but they claim that their products don't have any flour in them. I'm a little skeptical; they said that their pizzas for example are made with "soin d'avoine" which I think is oatmeal. They have a website where you can order deliveries too. They mostly have salads, salmon, chicken -- very french dishes.

The website is www.midiminceur.fr

Also in the market is a woman who sells bread and bread products. We asked her if she had anything gluten free and she said she had a spelt bread. I am not convinced that spelt is gluten free, but she really insisted. She said the bread was pure spelt flour and not any other kind of flour. She also sells gluten free flour at her stand. I might go ahead and try the spelt bread, as I was originally diagnosed as having a wheat allergy rather than gluten intolerance. I have pretty much cut out everything with gluten though, because it's hard to find things just without wheat. Also, I have never really been tested for celiac, but I do feel terrible everytime I eat something with wheat. I was diagnosed with the wheat allergy by my allergist in the US, who did a skin prick test with all the major food groups, and I reacted only to wheat and soy. She said that my test meant that I was just allergic to wheat (not gluten) and I should avoid any wheat.

For those who are interested, the market is called the Marché Couvert de Passy. I don't have the exact address but it is just across the street from the McDonald's and a bar/restaurant called Aéro. It's smack in between the métros La Muette and Passy.

Oh, and about waiters -- I waitressed once way back when and I admit is is not easy to deal with people. The customer service industry is very hard and there are always difficult clients. So I can understand sometimes when waiters are rude, but I guess it's different when you're not really working for tips and you know you can't get fired. So here, there's really no incentive to be nice to people.

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hi there,

I've read through a lot of the posts about problems coeliacs have in France; it might be worth noting that there are many specialist suppliers in the UK who will (at a price) deliver/post stuff to europe. for more info have a look at Coelic Society website.

Good luck.

Chris.

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Good News!

Monoprix in Toulouse also has a gluten-free section and now Leclerc is adding one in their biological section. It looks like they might be catching on to the need for mainstream gluten-free products!

Enjoy,

Theresa

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hi!

I'm a single mum of 2, a newly diagnosed Coeliac in th UK, I've just moved to France.

It's quite difficult out here though.

I've just yesterday made a website dedicated to helping others.

Please check it out, email me too, I'd love to hear feedback.

I am only amateur at creating websites, so don't judge too hastily!

Hopefully this is the first of many better sites to come !?

Visit My Website

Please click on the banners to help support my website :)

Just to add, Valpiform are a top gluten free brand in France, I have a link for them on my website.

They can deliver and some of it is reimbursed.

Thanks,

Sharon xx

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Hi

Interesitn to hear how they treat youwith celiac in France.

Here in Norway, those with a diagnosis get 1600NOK (200 euro) a month from NAV, the health and work ans social security office. They pay the regular doctor fees, about 15 euros with a roof of about 200 euros a year for both doctor fees and treatments and chronic disease medicines combined.

nora

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