24 August 2005

Gluten-free fun facts

We should learn something new every day. In the past few days I have learned some new things about Celiac Disease. Feel free to share them with friends or use them to impress people at parties.

1. In England "Celiac Disease" is called "Coeliac disease" and could result in something called "gut cancer."

Long-term non-treatment of Coeliac disease is associated with throat cancer, gut cancer and nutritional deficiencies, such as anaemia. The most common complication of the disease is osteoporosis, since the absorption of calcium is reduced significantly.
"I'm so glad to be gluten free" by Abigail Wild, The Herald, 22 August 2005.

Can you picture Dr. House telling a patient "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that you have Stage Four gut cancer. There's nothing we can do."

2. The Gluten-Free Certification Organization - the folks who will have my back on the whole labeling thing - was developed by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) in cooperation with the Food Services, Inc., a subsidiary of the Orthodox Union (OU), the world's largest and oldest kosher certification agency.

"Food Services, Inc. and the Orthodox Union are pleased to be included in this key development on behalf of those who for health reasons are required to be gluten-free," declared Rabbi Menachem Genack, Chief Executive Officer of the OU. "The OU's standard of excellence in kosher certification is recognized worldwide. OU field inspectors are deeply familiar with modern food technology and with the intricacies of industrial food manufacturing equipment, which will be applied to their work with Food Services, Inc. We look forward to this opportunity to use our expertise on behalf of the gluten-free consumer."
"New Food Safety Program - Independent Certification Program for Gluten-Free Food Processing" by the Gluten Intolerance Group on Foodconsumer.org.

And considering how persnickity Jewish dietary laws are supposed to be, this makes me quite happy. If inspectors, following guidelines that the OU find acceptable, say that there is no gluten in a product, then there ain't no gluten anywhere in it and possibly not for a few inches around it. Unlike our government which allows you to not list the flour that you rolled the chocolates in to keep them from sticking together because what the heck, the flour isn't in the stuff. There is no "what the heck" at the OU.

Okay, that's it for today. More fun facts as we learn 'em.


David Gorsline said...

I keep telling you, it will go easier on you if you become a vegan who keeps kosher.

Casey Jones said...

A Kosher Vegan. Sounds like a religious title, or one you'd see in royal court.

"Ah, we will now hear from the Major Domo. Or the Chamberlain. Ah! The Kosher Vegan. How good of you to come. Pig in a blanket? No, I thought not."

Anonymous said...

In a counterpoint to David's urgings, we find ourselves eating more meat then we used to, and certainly more fish and chicken at home, since many many vegan products have wheat in them. The meat substitute "Meat of Wheat"? Not such a good idea for us! :D


Shauna said...


The Orthodox Jews are going to supervise the gluten-free labeling? Now I'm happy. Shalom.

I'm like you--I just keep learning new fun facts. What a fascinating business this "gut cancer" is.

ANd hey, thanks for the soup recipes!