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shayre

Anyone Use Penzey's Spices?

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After going gluten-free...I found a Penzey's spices store in our area. I know that they have some retail stores and also an online store. I was told about this place by a local celiac who doesn't react with them. I inquired by email about gluten and also asked in person. They seemed very knowledeable. I am trying to tweek my foods to eliminate any other accidental exposure. Does anyone react to them? I have a hard time distinguishing belly turmoil from intolerance to the food or gluten cc sometimes. I think that I have a little turmoil from a couple of them, but I had completely filled my spice drawer with their product. It is wonderful! Their retail store is huge, and everything seems to be top quality.

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Penzey's spices are definitely fine for the vast majority of us.

dilettentesteph, did you actually have problems specifically with Penzeys? I think that should be clear.

richard

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I think I saw a post in which you questioned whether you might be super sensitive. If so, you would be better to grow your own spices, or at least buy fresh spices at the grocer and wash them before using. As a super sensitive, I had problems with all sorts of spices and now I grow my own.

Yes, I do question the super sensitive thing, but I think that I've been doing okay on Penzey's only spices. But I really would like users of Penzey's to say if they've reacted. I have tried to grow my own spices in pots on my kitchen window sill and I got too grossed out when I realized that there were these little teeny tiny bugs ALL over them. I threw them away. I don't want bugs in my house at all, and I don't want to use chemicals. I would love to grow fresh...naturally...without bugs. Do you have a solution?

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I think that's a gardening question. Mine don't get any bugs and I don't use chemicals.

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I love Penzey's. I wish I had a store in town! They've never given me any trouble, but I haven't ordered too many becasue of the cost.

For the tiny bugs and mites, you need to start with clean pots and sterilized potting soil and start your herbs from seed. Soak the pots in bleach if they aren't new. Then don't set any other houseplants that could have bugs or mites in the same room with your herbs.

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I use Penzey's for everything and have never reacted.

Which ones are you having trouble with? If you have a problem with peppers, that might be it. A lot of their blends have dried peppers (versus peppercorns.)

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I use Penzey's for everything and have never reacted.

Which ones are you having trouble with? If you have a problem with peppers, that might be it. A lot of their blends have dried peppers (versus peppercorns.)

I don't usually like peppers in my spice, but I seem to feel digestive issues after the Fox mix and ground onion. I also love the Italian Herb mix, but that might cause me slight distress...hard to tell cause I use it everyday. I have a drawer full of others but I have not used all of them.

Thanks also for the gardening tips:)

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I'm a photographer and the some of the Penzey family members are clients of mine. One came in last week actually after seeing my facebook post about gluten free.. and brought me a huge basket of amazing spices... they said they love people with allergies because their spices are pure and natural and they pride themselves on super high quality and good practices to support allergies. Honestly too.. i think their prices are even better than grocery store! :) i learn new recipes each time i get their catalog.

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I don't usually like peppers in my spice, but I seem to feel digestive issues after the Fox mix and ground onion. I also love the Italian Herb mix, but that might cause me slight distress...hard to tell cause I use it everyday. I have a drawer full of others but I have not used all of them.

Thanks also for the gardening tips:)

Hmm. I wonder if you're sensitive to alliums -- the ground onion and the Fox mix are chock full of them.

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This got me curious enough to contact the company. They have a gluten free facility for their spices, which was lovely. But after assurances by two different employees that they test for gluten, I still emailed them because no one knew what the ppm cutoff might be for the test, and that's an issue for the people in the family I might buy this for.

After some back and forth, with a quick response time from them, I got this answer yesterday:

"...According to our chemist, Penzeys Spices does not use wheat, rye, or barley products in any of our spices and seasonings or processing with the exception of some soup bases. Soup bases are produced at another facility and are known to contain gluten. Ingredients are clearly listed on our soup bases.

We do test equipment for surface protein

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They would pick up wheat with allergen testing. Really, how likely is barley or rye CC? I would consider that safe.

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If they don't use any products that have gluten, & most wouldn't even be near a wheat field or wheat harvester or wheat silo or wheat truck, why would they go to the expense to test for gluten? Even then all they could say is it tests for less than 20 or 10 or 5. The tests can't say 0 even if it is 0.

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If they don't use any products that have gluten, & most wouldn't even be near a wheat field or wheat harvester or wheat silo or wheat truck, why would they go to the expense to test for gluten?

Actually, I would say that the likelihood of spices being near wheat fields may be more than you might imagine. When we were trying to track down issues with spices, especially the ones from India that I liked to use, I had a lot of discussions about this with some of the suppliers. I spoke a lot to an NM company that dealt more with small farmers, and when she inquired about growing conditions of the Indian spices, she discovered that a lot of the small farms that grew spices also grew wheat for their own family's use, on the same farm. Sometimes dried next to whatever other produce/herbs/spices they were drying, too.

Rye and Barley are also grown and eaten in India. I'm assuming it would likely be grown and dried in similar conditions, but she just asked about wheat at the time.

I can only imagine that in India, on the farms or plantations where spices are grown, it's likely near other farms where grains may be grown, too. So contact with gluten can be an issue for some spices. I'm not saying that it necessarily is, but a lack of testing means we have no way of knowing.

Although just from a philosophical standpoint, the fact that I was told by two different employees that they test for gluten, and that turns out to be completely false, pisses me off. I'd like to get the right information from a company so I can make an informed decision, you know?

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