on March 14, 2015
Entering the Spooky World of Gluten and Food Additives
I am constantly amazed at the number of people that still don’t know what gluten is, but I do enjoy helping to educate anyone willing to listen. I was checking out at the grocery store the other day and the girl noticed as she was scanning my groceries, that I had several items labeled Gluten Free. She asked what is that like for diabetes? So I explained to her what gluten was and that we had Celiac Disease and why we had to avoid gluten. I could see the light come on behind her eyes! ( I love it when that happens) ( Oh and BTW, I was the only one in line, there was not anyone behind me waiting while we had a gluten lesson.)
Anyway I’ve noticed that a lot of you are new to eating Gluten Free are having trouble figuring out what is and what isn’t gluten free. It is confusing I know, with all of the food additives that have hidden gluten. So here is a partial list to help get you started.
Anything that obviously contains wheat
Malt ( is derived from barley)
Cellulose ( this can be made from wood chips, wheat or barley straw)
MSG, monosodium glutamate ( a lot of people believe that this is not gluten, but when you research how it is made, it becomes clear, that the base of this product is wheat gluten) MSG, is a big scary one for our family. My sister and I both have extreme reactions to it.
The FDA says there is not gluten in MSG, but here are some links that prove them wrong. http://msgtruth.org/msgand2.htm
Other Possible sources of gluten are:
Maltodextrin ( in the US maltodextrin is supposed to be safe, my problem with this is, how do you know that a product made in the US did not buy some of their ingredients from other countries?) That is why we have to be diligent and do our research.
When in doubt go to the company’s web site or some have phone numbers you can call and just ask.
If you have a reaction to a product, don’t eat it. There are most usually alternatives.
Those Sneaky Little Additives
As you are out doing your last minute shopping for the holidays, PLEASE be aware of the sneaky way food companies have of enticing us to buy their products. The pictures look so appealing and appetizing. The chicken, or the steak, looks mouthwatering, but remember those are just pictures. A good food photographer was paid very well to make that picture look like that. It does not in any way mean that it’s real food.
I know it seems like I have said this a lot, but read the labels. Those little words like enhanced, or glazed, especially in meat and sometimes vegetables, just means you are paying for extra water or a flavor enhancer like MSG. Which not only adds to the weight of the meat, but also can be potentially dangerous for those of us that are sensitive to those additives. Those little enhancers, besides making you sick, can throw off a recipe and ruin a meal. Sometimes there is so much sodium or sugar already added, that when you add the amount called for in your recipe, it doubles or even triples the amount needed. And if you aren’t aware it is already in the meat, then by the time it’s cooked it is too late.
I know it is tempting, especially with the crowds and long lines to just grab and go, but it is important READ THE LABELS!! Ok I’m through, with this. ( for now)
by Janet Monk
Pure Ingredients = Pure FLAVOR!!
Not only is eating Gluten Free a necessity for some of us, it is a choice for others. Gluten free cooking has so much more flavor! Simply because you cook with pure ingredients. There are no fillers in the spices, no additives to the meat, you actually taste the real food.
I have had this conversation so many times with people. They always ask me or tell me that soy sauce is already gluten free, it is made from soy not wheat. So why is some soy sauce labeled gluten free and some soy sauce is not? Because some food companies like to cut corners and add wheat or gluten containing fillers that are cheaper. The same with spices, I’ve also had people wonder why do I put in my recipes “additive Free”? Sometimes the product has been produced in the same plant or on the same equipment as gluten containing products, thus it will contaminate the pure spice. If the company did not clean their equipment, that bottle of cheap spice that you just purchased may contain the remains of what was previously processed, then you did not get an additive free product.
I’ve also had a conversation about turkeys, they are not made from gluten so they are gluten free right? Well they should be, but if the meat was injected with flavorings or preservatives that contain gluten, then the turkey is no longer gluten free. Ham is the same way, if it has been injected in the curing process with gluten containing products or preservatives, then it is not gluten free. People just assume that food products are pure. Anyone with food allergies or celiac disease will tell you this is not true. If you have ever had your throat close up and you can’t breathe because of MSG or other food additives, then you become very diligent, even to the point of being paranoid about what is in your food. Or you’ve had body aches, stomach pains or other digestive problems so bad it puts you down for a week or sends you to the hospital; or your child cannot control himself and the school is calling you every day because he has gotten gluten or other food additive that sends him into a tailspin, then you become obsessed about what you put in your mouth, or on your child’s plate!
So whether it is by choice or necessity, pure true ingredients win out over fake every time!
by Janet Monk
McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell And More Have Wood Pulp In Food
The entrance of this non-absorbable fiber into fast food ingredients has been stealthy, yet widespread: The compound can now be found in buns, cheeses, sauces, cakes, shakes, rolls, fries, onion rings, smoothies, meats—basically everything.
This product is marketed under a few different names;
, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) or “powdered cellulose” , “methylcellulose, as components of their menu items. Or, in plain English, wood pulp. corncobs, wheat straw, barley straw, etc.
I did a little more research and found the patent process for the food additive, this is what I found:
22, A process as in claim wherein said lingo cellulosic comprised of sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, or nitric acid. material is wood, cotton, soy bean hulls, oat hulls, rice hulls,
A prOcess as in ‘laim wherein the concentration of 30 corn cobs, corn stalks, bagasse, wheat straw, barley straw, said acid solution is about 1 to 5% (wlw). oat straw, or sugar beet pulp.
by Janet Monk
I thought this was funny. This is a conversation with one of the cook book editors. Apparently they are not from the south! The title of the recipe is in green, the editors concern is in blue, my response is in red.
by Janet Monk
Someone asked me recently how Chili could have gluten in it. There is so much hidden gluten in our foods, you wouldn’t believe it. You could potentially be making Chili with gluten products.
You would think that when you buy a can of tomato sauce or tomato paste, that is what you are buying. NOT ALWAYS SO! That’s why you need to read the labels very carefully! There are companies that do have pure ingredients, but there are so many out there that like to use gluten to thicken, and stretch their products. Also MSG is a big problem in canned foods, or for that matter MSG a BIG problem in a lot of foods!
Spices are also a source of gluten and MSG. Please just read your labels and make sure you are buying G F products!
And since you need tomato sauce and spices to make chili, or lasagna, or any casseroles, you could be loading your dishes with hidden gluten! That is the reason I name most of the brands that I use in the recipes, but please still read
those labels. A company could change the ingredients, at any time! Just be careful yall !!!