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Wednesday, July 22, 2015
My Letter to Zagat: Gluten-Removed is NOT Gluten-Free



Dear Zagat,

Thank you for featuring gluten-free cuisine on your YouTube channel. I appreciate you taking the time to interview the chefs of The Curious Fork and Senza Gluten. These people are making a huge difference in the lives of people living with celiac disease, myself included. To be a celiac and go into a restaurant and be able to eat anything and everything on a menu is a wonderful feeling. I have personally dined at Senza Gluten many times and love the "freedom" I have when ordering.

Unfortunately, your video immediately lost credibility when you featured a gluten-removed beer. Many people living with celiac disease, such as myself, cannot tolerate food or drink originally derived from gluten. This beer is made from barley and the gluten is removed through a special process. Once the gluten is removed, the beer is tested by the producer for the parts per million of gluten left in the beer. "Gluten detection isn't a particularly straightforward process, and there are several methods in use that can produce different results when used to test the same product."(SourceWhile the beer you featured says they are transparent with their test results, they also choose which tests to perform on their product. I believe that until these tests are regulated by the TTB or FDA across ALL products, individual companies will continue to use tests that are most convenient to their 20ppm or less regulations.

My question for you Zagat is why didn't you choose to feature a 100% gluten-free beer derived completely from gluten-free ingredients in a video about gluten-free options getting better? There are many delicious gluten-free beers on the market now that were not even for sale a few years ago. Breweries are now using gluten-free ingredients from start to finish in a dedicated gluten-free environment. I think it was a huge mistake on your part to feature a beer that is not actually gluten-free. The beer in the video can only be labeled gluten-free in the state of Oregon and outside of the United States. Featuring this gluten-removed beer made from barley (a gluten-filled grain) is misleading and confusing to the gluten-free customer.

In a video called "Gluten-Free Gets Good," all of your featured companies or restaurants should have been truly gluten-free. Perhaps a better title for this video would "Gluten-Free Food Gets Good While Some Beers are Gluten-Removed" or something a little bit more reflective of what you are actually showing. Yes, you do let the brewer explain his gluten-removal process but you fail to mention that people are having negative reactions to this type of beer or that it cannot legally be labeled gluten-free.

Zagat, you really could have done better with this video. More thorough research on gluten-free beers, a better title, and less misleading information would have made a huge difference. Maybe next time...

Sincerely,
Erin Smith
Living with celiac disease for 34 years

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Canyon Bakehouse Review and Giveaway



When I get a really delicious gluten-free product, I either eat the whole thing immediately or I ration it out to last as long as possible. My June delivery of the newest products in the Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free line was a little bit of both. I received Brownie Bites, Plain Bagels, and Everything Bagels.

I tried to make the new Brownie Bites last but that did not happen. My boyfriend Victor and I devoured them. They were soft, delicious, chocolatey goodness. The bagels, on the other hand, were rationed out because I just couldn't eat eight bagels in a row. Being a New Yorker and a carb-freak, the plain bagels were perfect to fill my carb cravings. They were thick but not too dense and made a great addition to breakfast. My favorite way to eat them is with a little almond butter or with some cheese and turkey bacon. So yum!

According to Canyon Bakehouse:

Similar to their existing gluten-free breads, the new brownies and bagels are made with 100% whole grains and have a taste and texture just like “real” bagels and brownies. 
  • Made with 100% whole grains and real food ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, organic agave and eggs.
  • No artificial additives and fillers.
  •  Certified Gluten-Free and do not contain dairy, soy or nuts.
  • No GMOs.
Canyon Bakehouse co-founder Christi Skow, who inspired the company’s creation when she was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 explained that, “the taste and texture are so similar to ‘real’ bagels and brownies no one will even know they’re gluten free.  Our bagels and brownies are perfect for families and households with gluten-free and gluten-full eaters since they will no longer need to buy two sets of these staples.” 
All three new products are now available for online purchase and at Target stores nationwide.


Prior to receiving these samples, I can't remember ever eating Canyon Bakehouse. Now that they are on my radar, I am starting to notice their product line in many local markets. I would definitely buy the bagels and brownie bites again. The products are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and use no GMO ingredients. Thank you Canyon Bakehouse for the delicious samples.

Want to win a prize pack of the three newest Canyon Bakehouse products? It's simple, just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, July 17, 2015
Gluten-Free Fun Friday Funny: Can I Get a Woot-Woot?

Happy Friday everyone! 



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Thursday, July 9, 2015
Thirty-four Years of Gluten-Free Fun
Today marks a major milestone. Thirty-four years ago today was the first mention of celiac disease in my medical charts. I don't remember an exact day of diagnosis because I was just a toddler but I have photographic proof.




My post from last year shares my feelings and more pictures from a lifetime of living gluten-free. I feel lucky to have been diagnosed at such an early age. I really believe the early diagnosis helped save my life. The past 34 years have definitely been a roller coaster of learning, trial and error, meeting amazing people, health highs and lows, and so much more. I believe celiac disease made me who I am today and cannot really imagine life any other way.






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