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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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Does Anyone Else Have Issues With Trader Joe's Labeling?
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TGK112    7

I have always been a very loyal Trader Joe's customer. However - I find their labeling totally irresponsible! They have MANY products with a "g" icon on front - implying gluten free. However, on the back side of the product , there is often a disclaimer that the product was made on equipment shared with wheat containing products. I have brought it to store managers' attention and I have written the headquarters. The reply was - the "g" just represents no gluten ingredients and went on to say " We are happy to let you know that, now that the FDA has finally passed a ruling on what it means for a product to be 'gluten-free, we will be testing all of the products that currently contain the "G" icon for actual gluten-free status. This process, of course, will take quite some time, but we definitely feel it will improve our allergen control program."

I was disappointed to hear that it took an FDA mandate for Trader Joe's to step up their labeling. I expected a lot more from them. When I replied with my disappointment in them - I never heard back.

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mushroom    1,205

I personally feel that we should be happy that they voluntarily let us know about the shared equipment (or facilities) :) ; since the equipment is thoroughly cleaned between runs, they are not obliged to.

I worry more about the companies that change the ingredients without letting anyone know, just to keep you on your toes :rolleyes: A market I buy from makes their own sausages. They started making a gluten free line and they were good, won a national award with them. Hubs and I both individually compliment them on their sausages. They are very proud of them and declare, (proudly I might add), that they do not put any soy in them either. Yesterday I looked at their sausages.... strange, none are marked gluten free. I read the labels - rice flour, etc., etc., everything fine, and then... I notice hydrolyzed soy protein :o Totally blew me away. :angry:

Yep, just keep on reading the labels and adjust your purchasing according to your own particular needs.

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Lisa    457

" We are happy to let you know that, now that the FDA has finally passed a ruling on what it means for a product to be 'gluten-free, we will be testing all of the products that currently contain the "G" icon for actual gluten-free status. This process, of course, will take quite some time, but we definitely feel it will improve our allergen control program."

....News to me, or am I behind the curve? :huh:

http://www.fda.gov/F...s/ucm177323.htm

Currently, there is no Federal regulation that defines the term "gluten-free" used in the labeling of foods. Based upon comments FDA received during its public meeting on "gluten-free" food labeling held in August 2005 and other information available to the Agency, there is no universal understanding among U.S. food manufacturers or consumers about the meaning of a food labeled as "gluten-free." FDA believes that establishing a definition for the term "gluten-free" and uniform conditions for its use in the labeling of foods will ensure that persons with celiac disease are not misled and are provided with truthful and accurate information.

....I heartily agree with Mushroon. Read labels and be comfortable with what you see. And full disclosure helps me make the best decision for me. I prefer to support those companies.

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psawyer    687

....News to me, or am I behind the curve? :huh:

Lisa is right, as far as I know. There is a proposed standard of less than 20 parts per million. It has been a proposal for a number of years. :angry:

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kareng    1,992

As of the last time I checked, about a week ago, it wasn't passed and no one was paying any attention to it.

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WhoKnew    0

I have huge issues with Trader Joe's labeling. For example their frozen Tamales claim to be Gluten Free with the "g" logo. There is NO statement on the back about the facility or equipment. I was sick within minutes.

The same thing has happened with multiple items from TJ's. I know they are not obliged to disclose anything about equipment. But what bothers me is they make such a big deal about being about health, healthy stuff, neighborhood, community, etc. But what they have done is jump on the mercenary "Gluten Free" bandwagon to make some more bucks, when their offerings are NOT technically Gluten Free at all. They are obviously all made on shared equipment, in shared facilities.

The staff are unbelievably uneducated about TJ's Gluten Free products. All go glassy-eyed when I point out that the "g" logo doesn't in fact mean "Gluten Free" it means no gluten ingredients were used, but it's highly likely those lovely tortillas went on the machines right after the last flour tortillas batch.

In summary, TJ's has made me sick too many times with their BS "g" stuff and I won't even shop there any more.

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notme45    2

I talked to my dietitian (who also has Celiac disease) about whether I should avoid foods that are made on shared equipment.  She told me that she does not avoid foods made on shared equipment.  Her rationale is that the fact that the company gave you a warning shows that they are at least aware of the problem.  If you instead buy the item from another manufacturer there is no guarantee that the other manufacturer might have the same problem, but might not be warning you about it.

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brigala    3

I'm more comfortable buying TJ's stuff than things made from random companies where I don't know what their manufacturing practices are like. At least I know TJ's has policies in place requiring their manufacturers to use safe allergen-handling practices. Of course there's no way to know how well those policies are actually applied.

 

I figure every time I buy a prepared food from a company that doesn't exclusively specialize in gluten-free foods, I'm taking a risk. 

 

I buy TJ's stuff occasionally, but I wouldn't make their prepared foods (or any prepared foods) a part of my daily diet. I've heard cases of people getting sick from it, but most of my Celiac friends do fine. Same with Amy's brand gluten free things. They're made in shared facilities and often on shared equipment and there's a risk that someone didn't clean things well enough one day and that's a risk you have to live with if you buy prepared foods.

 

And the Applegate recall really gave me pause about buying prepared foods from companies that make gluten-containing foods. 

 

The safest thing is to learn to eat basic fresh foods. To the extent that I can keep my own laying hens and plant my own garden that makes my food chain even more secure; I only wish I could do more. I'm going to try planting buckwheat this year, though. 

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A friend went to visit family recently and the brother in law went to Trader Joe's to buy gluten-free food for him.  An employee told him to get stuff with purple labels.  They got him all sorts of gluten containing things like wheat pretzels.  This would be funny except that a newbie might actually eat the stuff without checking the ingredients for himself.   That is a labeling issue, or maybe an interpretation of label issue.

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Gemini    785

I have huge issues with Trader Joe's labeling. For example their frozen Tamales claim to be Gluten Free with the "g" logo. There is NO statement on the back about the facility or equipment. I was sick within minutes.

The same thing has happened with multiple items from TJ's. I know they are not obliged to disclose anything about equipment. But what bothers me is they make such a big deal about being about health, healthy stuff, neighborhood, community, etc. But what they have done is jump on the mercenary "Gluten Free" bandwagon to make some more bucks, when their offerings are NOT technically Gluten Free at all. They are obviously all made on shared equipment, in shared facilities.

The staff are unbelievably uneducated about TJ's Gluten Free products. All go glassy-eyed when I point out that the "g" logo doesn't in fact mean "Gluten Free" it means no gluten ingredients were used, but it's highly likely those lovely tortillas went on the machines right after the last flour tortillas batch.

In summary, TJ's has made me sick too many times with their BS "g" stuff and I won't even shop there any more.

How can you possibly expect anyone who isn't a Celiac or gluten free to be experts on this?  I am not an expert on the diet to control diabetes or any other range of medical problems.

It is up to the individual to learn about their condition and requirements for the diet, not the rest of the world.  I see this all the time on this forum. It's fine to ask questions when new to the diet BUT people need to educate themselves to make the right decisions based on knowledge. 

 

I don't rely on the government to do it for me, either.  Labeling laws would certainly make it easier but most reputable companies disclose ingredients well, considering they are not required to do so.  Do you think those companies who go to all the trouble of being dedicated and certified would make products that make people sick on a regular basis?  They wouldn't last.  There are good companies who do things right so stick to those.  Trader Joe's is a warehouse and make no claims to be dedicated or certified gluten free.  I do not shop there because I am extremely sensitive and I figured that out within the first couple of months of being gluten-free. Some people will do fine with TJ's stuff but I can't eat food from there.  There's a learning curve with Celiac so patience and education are a must!

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WhoKnew    0

How can you possibly expect anyone who isn't a Celiac or gluten free to be experts on this?  I am not an expert on the diet to control diabetes or any other range of medical problems.

It is up to the individual to learn about their condition and requirements for the diet, not the rest of the world.  I see this all the time on this forum. It's fine to ask questions when new to the diet BUT people need to educate themselves to make the right decisions based on knowledge. 

 

I don't rely on the government to do it for me, either.  Labeling laws would certainly make it easier but most reputable companies disclose ingredients well, considering they are not required to do so.  Do you think those companies who go to all the trouble of being dedicated and certified would make products that make people sick on a regular basis?  They wouldn't last.  There are good companies who do things right so stick to those.  Trader Joe's is a warehouse and make no claims to be dedicated or certified gluten free.  I do not shop there because I am extremely sensitive and I figured that out within the first couple of months of being gluten-free. Some people will do fine with TJ's stuff but I can't eat food from there.  There's a learning curve with Celiac so patience and education are a must!

 

Respectfully, you misunderstand me. I don't expect anyone who isn't Celiac or Gluten Free to be an expert.  I didn't say this.  

 

I do expect a large corporation selling food they are branding with a "g" icon to denote Gluten Free, to properly educate their staff about what this own-brand packaging claim means.  

 

I don't expect TJ staff to know whether ANYTHING in their store is Gluten Free, but I do expect them to understand what a TJ branded product labeled with a "g" means.

 

You said Trader Joes makes no claims to be "certified" Gluten Free.  "Certified" being the key word here.  They are however claiming there is no Gluten in specific products, and labeling those products with a special icon. If there is ANY GLUTEN in these products, even a miniscule amount by cross-contamination, then Trader Joes is making a false claim.

 

I am patient, and I do educate where I can.  I was responding to the tone and theme of the original post, and your rant at me is somewhat over the top I think.

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Gemini    785

Respectfully, you misunderstand me. I don't expect anyone who isn't Celiac or Gluten Free to be an expert.  I didn't say this.  

 

I do expect a large corporation selling food they are branding with a "g" icon to denote Gluten Free, to properly educate their staff about what this own-brand packaging claim means.  

 

I don't expect TJ staff to know whether ANYTHING in their store is Gluten Free, but I do expect them to understand what a TJ branded product labeled with a "g" means.

 

You said Trader Joes makes no claims to be "certified" Gluten Free.  "Certified" being the key word here.  They are however claiming there is no Gluten in specific products, and labeling those products with a special icon. If there is ANY GLUTEN in these products, even a miniscule amount by cross-contamination, then Trader Joes is making a false claim.

 

I am patient, and I do educate where I can.  I was responding to the tone and theme of the original post, and your rant at me is somewhat over the top I think.

Learn to not be so sensitive.  There was nothing over the top about my reply and I understood perfectly what you meant.  There is gluten free labeling and then there is gluten free reality. 

 

In a company like Trader's, which make no claim to be leaders in the gluten-free world, they may have a "G" logo but that does not mean it is gluten free.  They are a cut rate market so the odds of them testing anything is nil.  However, they do put in the disclaimer, and it is up to you, the consumer, to read this and understand what it might mean.  Many people do fine with shared facilites so these foods would work for them.  If you are more sensitive to cc, then all bets are off.  Soemtimes you might not know if you are still learning and getting sick will be the teaching tool to let you know what you can and cannot tolerate.  For anyone to expect the whole food selling world to 100% ensure that their labeled gluten-free products are 100% gluten-free is wishful thinking.  It would cost too much to do that level of testing, anyway.  You'd pay $10.00 for a loaf of bread.

 

As far as as the staff go, you shouldn't expect them to know anything.  The same with restaurants. Even with gluten-free menu's, there are many who know nothing.  That's where the managers and head chef's come in.  Thsoe are the people you should be talking to because they are in charge and if they don't know what they are doing, then I run and don't look back.  With time, poeple learn what is safe and what isn't and how it all works.  Is it a pain in the beginning?  Sure, but that goes away with time.  It's wonderful when you meet those who get it and are knowledgeable but that isn't reality and you have to work with what we have.

 

You say that Trader's has made you sick many times?  Why would you continue to eat food from a company that made you sick to begin with?  It takes me once of getting sick on something and I know that the product won't work for me. It may work for someone else but not for me and I don't get all mad about it.  I rarely get sick anymore but have been doing this a long time. You have to read a lot of articles and educational material with this diet to get good at it and time is a factor also. But don't expect a lot from those who aren't gluten-free because they don't even know what's in the food THEY eat.  That is not likely to change.  It's really up to us to be as knowledgeable as possible to make sure we make good choices.

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JNBunnie1    164

Learn to not be so sensitive.  There was nothing over the top about my reply and I understood perfectly what you meant.  There is gluten free labeling and then there is gluten free reality. 

If your goal here is to help people, 'Learn to not be so sensitive' is entirely non-functional.

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WhoKnew    0

If your goal here is to help people, 'Learn to not be so sensitive' is entirely non-functional.

 

Thank you, I appreciate somebody else saying this.  I am scratching my head to be honest.

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kareng    1,992

Pretty much reiterating whats been said here but here's another article on issues with Trader Joe's gluten free labeling.  Definitely something to be aware of.

 

http://ithp.org/articles/bewaretraderjoesglutenfree

I don't know who wrote this or how credible they are. When I got to the part about some US law on what is gluten-free, I knew they weren't a reliable source. There is no US law on the meaning of gluten-free.

In the case of apple juice, I would have serious doubts there could be gluten in the juice. Using a little common sense, juice factorys will not be equipped to make cookies ot process flour. Fruit is picked and transported differently then wheat, rye or barley. But if a juice bothers you, don't drink it.

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Nikki2777    20

Yesterday I looked at their sausages.... strange, none are marked gluten free. I read the labels - rice flour, etc., etc., everything fine, and then... I notice hydrolyzed soy protein :

I'm confused. How does soy protein affect gluten free status?

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kareng    1,992

Yesterday I looked at their sausages.... strange, none are marked gluten free. I read the labels - rice flour, etc., etc., everything fine, and then... I notice hydrolyzed soy protein :

I'm confused. How does soy protein affect gluten free status?

It doesn't . Lots of things are gluten-free and not labelled that way, even at TJs. For example, I don't think any of the cheese is labelled gluten-free, it just is.

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lako    0

Another product review -- I hope this helps others choosing gluten-free products at Trader Joe's.  I tried their gluten free cupcakes today, and got sick sick sick, in the normal gluten way.  I have also gotten very sick from TJ's gluten-free pizza in the past.  So disappointing from my favorite grocer!  (Their gluten-free waffles, however, are quite good and fortunately have never made me sick.)  However, I will be sticking to Whole Foods from now on for my gluten-free products.  Yes, they're more expensive, but so much more reliable.

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Another product review -- I hope this helps others choosing gluten-free products at Trader Joe's. I tried their gluten free cupcakes today, and got sick sick sick, in the normal gluten way. I have also gotten very sick from TJ's gluten-free pizza in the past. So disappointing from my favorite grocer! (Their gluten-free waffles, however, are quite good and fortunately have never made me sick.) However, I will be sticking to Whole Foods from now on for my gluten-free products. Yes, they're more expensive, but so much more reliable.

Tj's has cupcakes? Pizza? I think I'm slow...I only just now found the waffles.

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BabsV    19

The only gluten-free things I've noticed at my TJs are some breads (Udi's I think...) Must depend on where you are and the manager of the store.

 

The manager of the store I go to sticks to what the Trader Joe's website says (pasted below). He also said that the company policy is to include as much information as possible re: shared equipment on labels BUT the manufacturers don't always give them that info. The TJ signage states "no gluten ingredients used" -- for some that seems to be ok. For me, it isn't. I stick to fresh produce, meat and wine from TJs. Anything else I skip.

 

From the website:

 

A set of universal dietary guidelines for Celiac Disease does not exist. The Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) uses criteria based on the latest scientific research and advice from its' Medical Board of Advisors. For information about Celiac Disease please contact the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) at (818) 716-1513, via email at cdf@celiac.org or on the web at www.celiac.org.

  • Our suppliers follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP's) to segregate ingredients on shared equipment and/or in the facility.
  • Always read the label - ingredients and suppliers may change.
  • Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye and their derivatives such as malt or spelt.
  • As a general rule of thumb, dairy, juice, meat and produce do not contain gluten or any gluten derivatives.
  • Under Trader Joe's Brands, ingredients listed as "natural flavors" or "spices" do not contain gluten or gluten derivatives.
  • Use common sense and remember the motto: When in doubt, leave it out.

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This is an old post, but I'm glad to read it. My friend made me dinner last night, and it included Trader Joe's lentils. Totally made me sick. I've noticed this with other benign items like beans. No glutin listed in the ingredients, but the cross contamination kills me. I don't have this problem with other brand names or in store brands. 

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Ennis_TX    283
43 minutes ago, NoGrainNoPain said:

This is an old post, but I'm glad to read it. My friend made me dinner last night, and it included Trader Joe's lentils. Totally made me sick. I've noticed this with other benign items like beans. No glutin listed in the ingredients, but the cross contamination kills me. I don't have this problem with other brand names or in store brands. 

Lentils are a industry wise issue, that and beans, they are commonly grown near wheat or on rotation with it in the fields. The farmers use the same trucks to transport it to the factory from the fields. You see how contamination here starts? They are processed with random spare gluten grains and contaminate a whole batch. This is why we normally suggest going to Gluten free dedicate sourced ones, and in addition we suggest sorting them out, and washing/rinsing them several times before cooking with them.

On a side note, your probably had other CC issues. You said friend...did they rinse and wash them in the standard colander they use for pasta or was a dedicated gluten-free one? Was the pot a dedicated unscratched gluten-free pot or did it have scratches in that could have gluten from the last time they cooked a gluten meal? What about the utensils? Did they use a wooden spoon or one with a neck, or perhaps one with scratches that was previously used with gluten? All of these have to be considered also.

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      “Therefore, we suggest the possibility of a class effect.” Losartan, olmeseartan - doesn’t matter. And I'll say it again, there must be a way to disseminate this information more widely as I had no idea about this adverse effect, and never heard any docs speaking about it either. It really warrants wider sharing. Finally, one person who is often an overlooked resource is your pharmacist. They have just tons of knowledge and should be able to talk to you in some depth if asked, in an articulate, easy to understand way. They may even be able to do some digging and research for you. Plumbago
    • Plumbago et al, Thanks for letting me know  about the "artan" drugs being ARBs. I think Cyclinglady was right the Losartan research is not free and thus not public. I saw the link with no abstract but wanted to read it to confirm as you noted in your ETA that it was another "Artan" drug Losartan causing the problem. I believe it is. I found a great (after more digging) review of all the "artans"/ARBs or most of them about whether they can contribute to sprue symptom's in addition to Benicar. here on wiley as studied by the alimentary pharmacology and therapeutic journal (AP&T) for short. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apt.14176/full I wish I knew how to post the able alone it is very informative.  Please scroll over the table to the end of it since it even tells how long to expect before your sprue symptom's/conditions improve IF the "artan" drug is causing your symptom's which I find the most helpful thing about the table.  They also note histological feature (degree of villi blunting) to expect on biopsy. They note Losartan can cause "total atrophy of duodenal villi" by their reporting. I also recently had an issue with my potassium levels so I feel sure it is the Losartan. I remember reading a study about how losartan was better at the "chronic cough" I had developed using Lisinopril so I changed to Losartan a few years ago . . . now I find I could of been making my GI symptom's worse. But to answer  your other question since I began taking Folic Acid a few months ago my BP numbers went down to a healthy level of 120/80 or less sometimes . . . but with medicine. I had already been thinking I wanted to try get off the BP medicine (for good) so this is more motivation. C0q10 worked well but it is too expensive for me to take all the time! I called my doctor to have them put me back on Amlodipine/Norvasc and I can't remember why I changed off that medicine to begin with now.  I do remember needing two medicine's back then to control my BP so maybe we stopped the Norvasc instead of the Linsinopril. But now that they have put me back on Norvasc I hope my potassium levels will correct themselves. I just don't feel safe anymore taking Losartan after learning it could be making my GI symptom's worse or causing the to be unreliable. I first thought my touch of D. was from an antibiotic round but when kefir didn't get me back on track I suspected something else when my Vitamin D levels showed up low too again! Thanks everybody for ya'lls great suggestions and good research on my behalf. I also recommend this verywell article if you are still having GI problems and you suspect an "artan" like ARBs BP medicine and looking for a medicine that might have less severe  or more manageable symptom's for your lifestyle because it comprehensively list's the medicine's by drug types. https://www.verywell.com/hypertension-drugs-1745989 no medicine is without a side effect as (I) am learning but I never thought sprue would be one for my BP medicine and why I prefer Vitamins when I can find out which one too take. Now that I have the Norvasc approved as a replacement for the Losartan I might see if my BP goes up again if I stop my medicine all together as I was hoping the Folic Acid might help me with it (without medicine) and it explains why I was low in Folic Acid to begin with again. posterboy,    
    •   Ironic, We went entirely gluten-free in our home after 2016 for how bad my neurological , joints, mood gets now in addition to my former gi, skin, and other issues . My son shows signs of my early symptoms and voluntarily went off gluten, corn, and milk like me as he did his own food like diary symptom tracking. My daughter continues on gluten outside the home. We warn her of our concern for at times in toddler hood she was constipated and would bloat.  We asked their Dr to test them as I was undergoing my testing and she said no until I had my diagnosis. As we know these things take time and my son went gluten-free . He said after watching mom on my gluten challenge that he will not go back on it .  We await technology further research and we silently watch our soon to be teen girl for we know even if tested negative it can show up one day.  She says I know mom I know. The more Whole Foods here in the home we notice she actually craves gluten / processed foods less and is slowly transitioning as well.  Does your child also naturally eat less gluten and processed as well away from home? I wonder if the taste buds / craving change as the parents diet changes food options.  Thoughts?
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