About Me

My photo
My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A banner day for gluten-free eaters?

You may have heard the word on the street. 

The FDA has defined a gluten-free standard, which leads to hope that gluten-free eaters will be able to confidently choose a food that is labeled gluten-free and know it meets a certain threshold for gluten: less than 20 parts per million (ppm). 

An excerpt from the FDA's findings states: 

"In addition to limiting the unavoidable presence of gluten to less than 20 ppm, FDA will allow manufacturers to label a food "gluten-free" if the food does not contain any of the following:
  1. an ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barley, or crossbreeds of these grains
  2. an ingredient derived from these grains and that has not been processed to remove gluten
  3. an ingredient derived from these grains and that has been processed to remove gluten, if it results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million (ppm) gluten
Foods such as bottled spring water, fruits and vegetables, and eggs can also be labeled "gluten-free" if they inherently don't have any gluten.
The regulation will be published Aug. 5, 2013 in the Federal Register, and manufacturers have one year from the publication date to bring their labels into compliance."

That doesn't solve all the problems, of course. There are people who cannot tolerate 1 ppm of gluten. But it's a start. 

In the meantime, look for these seals certifying pretty rigid standards for a food to be defined as gluten-free. Or stick to naturally gluten-free foods, including fruits, vegetables and meat. If using gluten-free grains, make sure they are certified gluten-free. Bob's Red Mill has certified gluten-free oats, for example, as well as gluten-free flours. 

Just be careful. Each of you is a unique treasure; take care of yourselves! 

For more information, check out these articles: