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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

On The Topic Of Buying Fruit/veggies
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I've seen some thing's about how many hands fruit and veggies pass through before they are sold, how well do you need to clean them to be safe? or what do you do for your fruit n veggies?

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I've seen some thing's about how many hands fruit and veggies pass through before they are sold, how well do you need to clean them to be safe? or what do you do for your fruit n veggies?

I rinse and peel most things. For salads or other non-peel veggies I have a salad spiner I use to re-rinse them even if they are the bagged variety that says "pre-washed, ready to eat".

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I think germs or bacteria are more of a worry than a stray cookie crumb. The cookie crumb should rinse off. Bacteria tend to grab on & need a bit of slippery soap and wiping or scrubbing.

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I think germs or bacteria are more of a worry than a stray cookie crumb. The cookie crumb should rinse off. Bacteria tend to grab on & need a bit of slippery soap and wiping or scrubbing.

I wash my veggies, but never peel them. That is where most of the nutrients are. If we keep our immune system strong with gluten avoidance and supplements like aloe, mangosteen, all organic foods instead of taking in all the pesticides and herbicides inside the food, then we should stay healthy. I just found some new supplements that I just received: www.essanteworldwide.com/organicliving No chemicals in those products.

A "little crumb" could send me to the hospital, so I'll take a few germs any day if there has to be a choice.

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You could always use baking soda to wash your fruit and veggies and it is cheep. I especially like to use it on apples and grapes. With grapes rinsing them just won't get that residue off. I put them in a bowl with water and some baking soda and swish them around. Then I rise them off. It takes the residue off. With things like apples and other things you can do the same thing or wet them and take a little baking soda and make a paste and rub over. It works well at getting the wax coating off the apples. For my melons I will wash the whole intact melon off with dish soap and rinse before cutting.

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how well do you need to clean them to be safe? or what do you do for your fruit n veggies?

I think in part it depends on how sensitive you are, and also depends on the produce itself, although the latter requires research.

I wash my produce 2-3 times with gluten-free soap and water. If it is small or harder to wash, I get a bowl of soapy water and wash it in that. I've tried to do it less than this, and at least half of the time I get a mild gluten reaction if I'm not careful enough. It's a pain in the butt, and I HATE washing my produce with soap (I never did before in my life!) but better more work than more getting sick, in my case.

Re: the produce itself. Growing practices can alter the potential for gluten cc for various produce before it even hits the store. As an example, many strawberries and mushrooms are grown with straw covering them for protection. And it's not uncommon for the straw to be gluten contaminated wheat or oat straw.

For organic produce, gluten contaminated straw can also be used in the mulch, which isn't a big deal in fruits, obviously, but could cause problems for produce that is low lying or touching the ground/straw.

Rye is sometimes a cover crop for sweet potatoes and can cc them.

Packaging used for shipping produce can contaminate it with gluten (an acquaintance was testing mail-ordered oranges, for example, and the packing paper and the oranges both tested positive for gluten. Only around 5ppm, but still detectable)

Crops that have to be picked in a short period, very rapidly, are often picked by field hands who need to go so fast that they don't stop for lunch breaks. I have read, and at least one farmer I've spoken to verified this for his own farm, that many of the field hands eat their granola bars or power bars as lunch in the fields as they pick the crops, so that adds cc, too.

And there's also some other issues that are just proximity issues. Like, does the small farmer grow wheat on the same property? And is that field downwind or upwind from the produce he/she grows? Do neighboring farms grow any gluten grains, and are they upwind or downwind?

That sort of cc risk can be hard to track down unless you can talk to the farmer and find out what the growing practices are, re: seed and field and pest control and so on. And admittedly, the amount of gluten cc is usually quite small, I'd imagine. If the produce is washed after harvesting, it can eliminate a lot of the cc, as long as the soap is gluten-free, too.

However, for those of us who are very sensitive, it can be enough cc to be an issue. And even for those of us who are not sensitive, when you end up having so many small points of gluten contact, it can add up to a problem, especially if it's with every bit of produce we're eating, ya know? Like, say, a strawberry covered in gluten cc'd straw, on top of mulch that contains gluten, then picked by someone who is eating gluten. And the berry is going to be nearly impossible to completely clean, simply because it does not have a smooth surface.

It adds up - only to small amounts, but still there. I sometimes wonder, actually, if some of the small lingering symptoms people can't rid themselves of might be from small sources of gluten such as this, which don't trigger a more noticeable response, but which might keep the body from fully healing.

Wish someone would do a study on it someday, actually!

...okay, sorry this went on so long. Guess the long and short of it is that I wash with soap and water, and while I didn't get sick every time I neglected this, it was often enough that I prefer to stay safe and wash. :)

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I agree with TH that it depends on how sensitive you are. For a typical celiac there shouldn't be any problem. For the first level of super sensitivity, the standard is to avoid the processed foods, but produce is safe. Those of us even more sensitive than that, should I say, super duper sensitive, there are more precautions to take as TH describes so well. That is what I have to do.

A stray crumb would make me sick for months.

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I'm with Roda. Baking soda is the cleaning king in my house, and his queen is vinegar. I generally have an apple a day, and the best way ever to get it clean is with a paste of baking soda. Everything else that doesn't get a paste scrub gets either a gentle paste bathing in my hands, or a swishing. I figure that it is better by far to eat my fruits and veggies than to ignore them for fear of CC!

-Daisy

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I buy from the organic market and grow a lot of our own. We have oranges, carrots, pumpkins, zucchini and tomatoes and other people around us have beans, snow peas, mangoes, strawberries, bananas and paw paw then anything else we need is direct from the farmer to avoid this. I hate going to the supermarket. A little paranoid but when I was a kid I saw this man reach into his pant for a scratch then pick up heap of the veg and check it out. Freaked me out and I never bought it from the shops again after that. I know weird hey but it's a phobia of mine now :/

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=O

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...when I was a kid I saw this man reach into his pant for a scratch then pick up heap of the veg and check it out.

Let me just say 'eeeeeeuuuuwwww!' That may be more motivating to wash than gluten. :D

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Let me just say 'eeeeeeuuuuwwww!' That may be more motivating to wash than gluten. :D

Yep it definitely has the YUUUUCCCCCKKKKKKK factor haha.

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After reading research demonstrating that the absolute best way to clear bacteria from fruits and veggies is with one part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water, that is what I do for bacteria. And I rinse everything again thoroughly after soaking in that for about ten minutes. Of course, this does not "kill" gluten, but, hopefully it washes away random crumbs.

Eating sweet potatoes nearly daily, I thought the info re: being grown in rye fields of note. I am curious, though, if simply growing there exposes the potato to the gliadin molecule which I THINK is inside the kernels? Love to hear more on that.

Oh yeah, I use vinegar, baking soda and lemon to clean just about everything in my house and to make my hair shine.

Tra la la...

Best to all,

lisa

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I buy from the organic market and grow a lot of our own. We have oranges, carrots, pumpkins, zucchini and tomatoes and other people around us have beans, snow peas, mangoes, strawberries, bananas and paw paw then anything else we need is direct from the farmer to avoid this. I hate going to the supermarket. A little paranoid but when I was a kid I saw this man reach into his pant for a scratch then pick up heap of the veg and check it out. Freaked me out and I never bought it from the shops again after that. I know weird hey but it's a phobia of mine now :/

We buy farm direct and organic, too, but that doesn't mean the farmer and local staff didn't somehow cross-contaminate the produce. I think good washing is the best protection, because you just never know. I don't know about you, but I've often seen farm stand workers sitting there with a sandwich. I used to work at a farmer's market and there was definitely cross-contamination risk everywhere.

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Eating sweet potatoes nearly daily, I thought the info re: being grown in rye fields of note. I am curious, though, if simply growing there exposes the potato to the gliadin molecule which I THINK is inside the kernels? Love to hear more on that.

The one farmer I spoke to the most on this didn't sell the rye but rather dug it back into the soil. It's one of those things where I don't actually know what the risk level is, you know?

I imagine that some of the grain is likely broken up when it is dug back in, and I don't know how long it takes for the outer coating of the grain to break down in the soil, and how concentrated it is in the soil, and how that might translate into contact with the sweet potatoes, or whether there is enough grain on the top of the soil left that it could contaminate the sweet potatoes as they're being dug up.

To my mind, it's more an issue of proximity with a grain that is problematic, so it's a slightly higher risk than sweet potatoes that do not use rye as a cover crop - not all do, by the way! Sorry if I gave that impression. It's just something that is used by some farmers with their sweet potatoes. Kind of like some farmers gas their sweet potatoes to keep them from sprouting, and some put a wax coating on them (organic and conventional, both).

Really a pain in the butt to find out which farmers do what, though, unless you can talk to the actual farmer, sigh.

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I was given my produce in a washed out Subway bag at the farmer's market once. That didn't make me too happy. Who knows how carefully it was washed out?

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I was given my produce in a washed out Subway bag at the farmer's market once. That didn't make me too happy. Who knows how carefully it was washed out?

They actually washed the bag? Never seen that. :blink:

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Thanks, Shauna; that's pretty interesting re: sweet potatoes- "sigh" is right, eh?!

Take care,

lisa

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OMG. This all makes one want to quit eating! IS anything safe? How about some wine anyone? :P

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The one farmer I spoke to the most on this didn't sell the rye but rather dug it back into the soil. It's one of those things where I don't actually know what the risk level is, you know?

I imagine that some of the grain is likely broken up when it is dug back in, and I don't know how long it takes for the outer coating of the grain to break down in the soil, and how concentrated it is in the soil, and how that might translate into contact with the sweet potatoes, or whether there is enough grain on the top of the soil left that it could contaminate the sweet potatoes as they're being dug up.

To my mind, it's more an issue of proximity with a grain that is problematic, so it's a slightly higher risk than sweet potatoes that do not use rye as a cover crop - not all do, by the way! Sorry if I gave that impression. It's just something that is used by some farmers with their sweet potatoes. Kind of like some farmers gas their sweet potatoes to keep them from sprouting, and some put a wax coating on them (organic and conventional, both).

Really a pain in the butt to find out which farmers do what, though, unless you can talk to the actual farmer, sigh.

I was raised on a sweet potato farm and none of the farmers, including my family, used any cover crops. Cover crops are expensive and in many places will not grow in the winter. Yams are planted in CA in April and May, if the rainy season is past. No time for a cover crop.

Someone made a comment about wine. Not seeing it on this thread. I found out wine has a high % gluten.

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OMG. This all makes one want to quit eating! IS anything safe? How about some wine anyone? :P

Sorry, I couldn't find your little post.

I came across an article about wine and gluten. Wine in oak barrels has gluten in the "paste" used to seal the staves. In Europe, they have a standard that wine can not have more than 200 ppm! Wine in most stainless tanks has hydrolyzed wheat protein to clarify the wine. I quit drinking all wines after I read that. There are a few wineries that are gluten free. Haven't researched it though. I tend to get fat when I drink wine. Might be the gluten... never thought of it that way.

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Someone made a comment about wine. Not seeing it on this thread. I found out wine has a high % gluten.

So you're back to the great wine myth! This has been hashed over many times on this forum.

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So you're back to the great wine myth! This has been hashed over many times on this forum.

I think it is a myth when you are talking about typical celiacs who can eat processed gluten free foods. When it comes to the tiny amounts that some of us super sensitives react to, I don't think that it is a myth. I think that I have been glutened by wine. Some is certainly better than others. There are references out there.

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Come on, the wine thing has been destroyed over and over.

And cap6, for the average person, all of this is complete overkill. I can assure you that 99.9999 percent of people with celiac do not and do not have to call farmers to find out how they plant or harvest anything and the vast majority don't soak their produce for 10 minutes or apply a baking soda paste. For those who feel they need to do this, that's fine, but most of us don't.

richard

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Come on, the wine thing has been destroyed over and over.

And cap6, for the average person, all of this is complete overkill. I can assure you that 99.9999 percent of people with celiac do not and do not have to call farmers to find out how they plant or harvest anything and the vast majority don't soak their produce for 10 minutes or apply a baking soda paste. For those who feel they need to do this, that's fine, but most of us don't.

richard

So sorry - I was just being funny which sort of laid an egg!

As for the wine - I have never felt it necessary to call a vineyard about gluten in wine. The vintner I spoke to about this was was attending and hosting the same wine tasting weekend at a resort as I was. Since we were casually chatting I took the opportunity to ask about the wheat paste/gluten in wine myth. This is where I got my info and why i sought it.

As for washing food..... sorry but I agree with the baking soda theory. Not because of produce being grown in fields of rye but because of pesticides used and who knows who touched what before they touched the food I buy. I wash my apple for the same reason as I wash my clothes. I guess we are all different. :)

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