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jasonD2

Are Gluten-Free Grains Safe?

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Someone on here mentioned that every single non gluten or "gluten-free" grain still has gluten in it, even if its a small amount from CC. Is this true? If thats the case then what are we supposed to eat? Ive been eating Natures Path and erewhon cereals for years and now theres a chance that they might still have gluten? So now even if i go to a restaurant and get plain steamed rice theres a chance it contains gluten? Im all for being careful and strict, but this is getting out of control. Are we supposed to just stop eating and live on IV fluids?

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Perhaps this would be a good time to define "gluten."

The scientific definition of "gluten" is the protein from a grain. So, by that definition, all grains contain "gluten."

As the term is generally used, it refers to a subset of grain proteins, specifically those found in wheat, rye and barley. Some include oat protein, others don't. Celiacs react to all of the first three, but only about 10% of us react to *pure* oats (most commercial oats are contaminated with wheat).

You may occasionally see "corn gluten" in an ingredient list. This is the scientific definition of gluten, not the usual one we use. "Corn gluten" is safe for celiacs (unless you also have an intolerance to corn).

If you want an absolute guarantee that your world is 100% gluten-free, you need to move to an otherwise uninhabited island in the middle of the ocean and build a bubble. Live in it, and grow or raise all of your food in it. In our real world, there are no absolute guarantees. Sorry about that, but that is the reality.

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So then how do folks like us survive if its everywhere? Are we all doomed even if we are on what we all consider a gluten free diet?

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Perhaps this would be a good time to define "gluten."

The scientific definition of "gluten" is the protein from a grain. So, by that definition, all grains contain "gluten."

As the term is generally used, it refers to a subset of grain proteins, specifically those found in wheat, rye and barley. Some include oat protein, others don't. Celiacs react to all of the first three, but only about 10% of us react to *pure* oats (most commercial oats are contaminated with wheat).

You may occasionally see "corn gluten" in an ingredient list. This is the scientific definition of gluten, not the usual one we use. "Corn gluten" is safe for celiacs (unless you also have an intolerance to corn).

If you want an absolute guarantee that your world is 100% gluten-free, you need to move to an otherwise uninhabited island in the middle of the ocean and build a bubble. Live in it, and grow or raise all of your food in it. In our real world, there are no absolute guarantees. Sorry about that, but that is the reality.

I often think things would be so much easier if I could just live in a bubble. I don't have social phobia but feel that it is impossible to avoid gluten. I do feel on guard every place I go such as the gym, sports events, church, doctors office, grocery store, friends and relatives homes. I guess no one said it was easy going gluten free.

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We can only do the best we can. If you continue to believe that there is gluten lurking everywhere and there is no way to escape it, you will drive yourself crazy.

You already know to focus on naturally gluten-free foods--those foods that don't come with a label. As far as the gluten-free grains, I've heard that school of thought too, but as a very sensitive Celiac I can tell you that there are grains available that are safe to use and cause even the most sensitive among us no problems.

For example (and there are many others), Lundberg rices (the plain ones, not the mixes) are processed on dedicated lines. I've used those and Uncle Ben's Converted and Brown Rices for years with no problem at all. Any time you are not sure, just call the company in question and ask whether they share lines with anything else.

A blanket statement like "all gluten-free grains are contaminated with gluten" is not any more accurate than saying that all foods in a given category are gluten-free. It's just not true.

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I absolutely love Lundberg rice and also ate a lot of their rice cakes. Then I found out I was intolerant to rice. Believe me, it was much harder giving up rice than wheat. Unlike gluten, rice is an intolerance that I might overcome.

I'd love to try the safe oats but am holding off on them. I did try a cereal that included oatmeal a while back and that didn't sit well. I found out I was intolerant to corn which was in the cereal so that could have been the problem. I'm giving my tummy time to heal before I try oats again.

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Anyone try the precooked brown rice from Trader Joes? I use it when i travel but never occured to me that it might have gluten..im eating some now actually :)

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I have used EDEN

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Do you understand jasonD2 that some "glutens" do no harm to us? Corn gluten, rice gluten, and so on. As for contamination by the glutens that DO harm us, they can happen, but every celiac I know eats all other grains with no problem. Yes, you will se posters on any list who obsess every second, but for pretty much everybody, that's simply not necessary. Don't drive yourself crazy.

richard

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re wheat family triticale gluten "in everything"-

There is no way to tell whether that statement is true or not, because, obviously, there is no way to TEST all other human product grain products every time to see whether or not they have any measurable parts per million of wheat family glutens. So it's conjecture. Some foods will have such a low, measured amount of cross contamination that they will be considered to be relatively harmless. And this will be true for most celiacs and gluten intolerant people. This "tolerance" threshold will be different for each person, altho some governments in different countries will set a number limit on how high it can be, based on what they consider the best science at the time. But then the manufacturers/packers/processors have to try to stick with the standards, and the regulatory agencies have to make sure they enforce the laws and rules and have the political will to follow through, so the labels ARE accurate.

What are we supposed to eat-

food that doesn't make us feel bad after we eat it.

Is there a chance that they (cereals) have gluten-

well, yes, theoretically, but the PROBABILITY is very small in a known manufacturer with good practices, using gluten free grains, who is testing their product and following the gluten free labeling rules for their country. I could get hit by a meteorite tomorrow, too, but the probability is pretty low.

Restaurant food -

yes, there's always a chance that it might be cross contaminated, because it is a restaurant. Again, this is a matter of probability. Some restaurants are going to be very careful, and some aren't, and the careful ones are going to be much less likely of messing up. But again, I could get glutened AT HOME by my own family member because he FORGOT to do something basic like NOT washing his hands after petting a gluten eating animal, or using a gluten containing ingredient :angry: because he purchased it at the store without reading a label thoroughly, or didn't brush his teeth after eating a gluten item and kissed somebody.

One of the worst episodes we had here in the past year was he purchased the usual brand of dry dog food, which used to be gluten free, and the new bag not only had the label deliberately mis marked as "gluten free," but they had changed one ingredient to now include a grain that was obviously cross contaminated. And this dog is allergic as all get out to wheat, and he's a big house dog that tends to drool. So the poor dog is miserable, crying, whining, having to go outside and be sick a lot, and scratching himself raw in just a few hours, and I'm getting cross contaminated without knowing it and I'm getting really irritated and exhausted thinking he's got a contact allergy going when it was the dog food- I had cleaned him, and all the dog bedding and floors, and it didn't work, it took me a few days to think to check the bags, as we have 3 storage cans and buy several bags at a time, and I finally found the one with the new label. The other dogs were still eating out of the older bags stored in a different area. My husband had opened a new bag in the garage storage can, and fed him out of that. I about had smoke coming out of my ears.

I was absolutely furious because this poor dog was in such worse shape than I was, (he had to go to the vet to get treated) and the dumb**** manufacturers of pet foods do this deliberately all the time- I have spoken to the sales reps in the pet food stores about this, and to the clueless store managers, (when I'm not mad, but in Explanatory Mode) and they are dumber than a box of rocks when I show them what is wrong with specific labels. They also don't get the "why" thing until I ask them if their dogs LICK them. My cat also licks me. They lick themselves. I don't want this stuff all over the house. BARLEY is not "gluten free." Barley is related to wheat. OATS, unless from a special source, grown in certified wheat free fields, are NOT gluten free. Dog food with a label that says "grainless" but contains a grain product derived from barley is NOT gluten free. And it's not grainless, either. CORN is not always evil, and some dogs can eat it, so stop pretending that your expensive corn free dog food which is made from cheap barley is not going to make my dog throw up repeatedly all over the rug. And don't tell me that dog breed "X" can't eat corn, because my dog IS that breed, and he can eat my homemade dog food just fine. Stop putting 20 weirdo ingredients into each flavor and pretending that's healthier. No vet has recommended I start feeding my dog cranberries, seaweed, or tomatoes. Dog foods that are supposed to be "hypo allergenic" which contain SOY are NOT hypo allergenic. and the list goes on, and on. We found one store that "gets it" about the "dogs with allergies" thing, that is quite cooperative about talking to me on the phone and checking labels and getting customer feedback, so that's where we're getting pet foods now.

What I know, from previously studying and researching on the manufacture of pet foods, is that pet food manufacturers are still given a lot more leeway than human food manufacturers in terms of their final product matching what is on the label. In other words, they can change the contents of the bag without having to change their label to match, as quickly. The FDA gives them leeway. They also write their advertising to appeal to humans and their labels can be very deceptive. The smaller manufacturers are much more sensitive to bad publicity, and if a lot of pets have a poor reaction, they don't like it one bit. But some of the smaller ones are still not smart about what they are doing. What I find very disheartening, is when I've used a decent product for years, and they've now decided to suddenly cut corners and go very cheap, and the final result is that their ingredient lists are changing all the time. The ONLY way to see what is in it is to read the label at the store, and even THAT is iffy. "New and Improved" frequently isn't.

So, if I were to think of myself as running a restaurant for my dogs, (and I was for a while, until we got the allergies lined out and figured out who can and cannot eat what ) I am, as the kitchen supply supervisor, somewhat dependent on the suppliers to be consistent and honest about their products. If they aren't, then if I want to give myself a better chance of success, I have to use raw ingredients, and cook them myself, OR, be sure to get ingredients from somebody who will only sell products that are honestly labeled.

I'm careful and strict, and yet, still, sometimes, there are going to be things that are out of my control. So I have to do two things, one, READ EVERY LABEL, and keep on getting onto my spouse to do the same thing, every time, and to go ahead and bother me to check if he's not sure, and secondly, to watch both my dogs with this allergy very closely for any sorts of behavior changes after we open a new bag. Yes, it is a nuisance. That is life.

The important thing is that I make a good faith effort to avoid gluten containing products for both myself and for these pets, and not ASSUME that anything manufactured to a cooked stage is "safe." That means either reading labels, researching, asking somebody, checking the internet, calling the manufacturer, or checking reactions, and then, if I am not good with a certain food, I stop eating it.

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