Living FREE

We live in a world that is gluten free, peanut free, dairy free, etc to accommodate for the differing allergies, intolerances and autoimmune diseases that we see in the world.  Gluten free has become a buzz word and everyone thinks that if it doesn’t have wheat, it’s safe for consumption.

Not the case.

Last August the FDA created a mandate that said that anything labeled gluten free must be 20ppm or less of gluten.  While I considered it a win, a step for those of us that need to be gluten free, it’s not enough.

Here is how I see it:  if something was labeled peanut free but still had 20ppm or less of peanut dust in it, it wouldn’t be labeled peanut free, right?  I mean, if someone ate something that was labeled this way and had a peanut allergy it would still cause a reaction.  Probably death.

So, why is it good enough for something that is labeled “gluten free” to have SOME gluten in it?  It’s not.

It’s time for gluten free to mean that.  FREE of gluten.  Zero, zilch, nada.  A little bit can still hurt someone who is Celiac (or has a wheat allergy or intolerance) and for a Celiac, just 1/64th of a teaspoon can cause damage.  Damage that could take months to heal.

So Celiacs, let’s stand together and show these companies, and the FDA, that gluten free must be FREE of that that makes us sick!

Rant over.

Just a Little Bit

I’ve been asked often “A little bit can’t hurt, can it?”  And at first, I thought it couldn’t but the truth is, it can.  It can hurt a lot.  Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder and the damage done can’t be undone with an epi pen so when I eat something with wheat, barley or rye it damages me.  It take months, maybe years, to undo the damage and sometimes the damage can’t be undone.  All of this depends on how long it took for diagnosis and then how long it takes to completely be gluten free.

A little bit can hurt a lot.

Nicole Kuhl, CCN, Director of Nutrition, and Health Coach at LifeSpan, says, “Another way to think about it would be to consider the effects of adding a couple drops of cyanide to a glass of water. A couple of tablespoons would be more toxic than a couple drops, but a couple of drops is still toxic.”

That bite of a muffin, taste of a pasta dish, sip of beer can have a huge impact on my well being.  That is why the FDA will be strongly enforcing the 20ppm limit for things labeled gluten free.  This law will go into affect next August and I will be happy to know my food is safe for me to eat.  Because the FDA believes that this is the best way to prevent me, and many others, from being accidently “glutened”, it MUST be important to not have it.

So next time someone says that they follow a gluten free diet, refrain from asking “don’t you want just a little?”  The truth is that they probably do but can’t.