Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gluten Free? Or "Mostly" Gluten Free?

I am pondering the gluten-freeness of a product I eat on a daily basis.

It is no secret that I may single-handedly cause the tuna fish to go extinct. I consume unnatural amounts on a day-to-day basis. At work I generally enjoy my delicious tuna on these rice crackers:

Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins. Now don't consider this a plug for these crackers. They are good and are sold at the Fry's grocery store across the street from my work. They hardly classify as UH-MAY-ZING, like for instance, these rice crackers:

Back to Nature White Cheddar Rice Thins. Hey, you--whatdaya say we get out of here and go do some....snacking? Eh?

I love these crackers. I have dreams where I run off into the sunset with these crackers. What can I say? I take my food seriously. I can only find these at specialty stores though, hence my settling for rice crackers that fall short on my amazing-meter.

I know what you're thinking. BFD, right? HERE is my pro-blem-o.

As I was munching on my typical lunch today, I got to looking at the Nut-Thins box. Right there on the front, Wheat and Gluten Free. Gee, that's nice of them. Oh, lookie there, they are "proud to support Celiac Disease Foundation." Neat. Doo-doo-doo---WTF??

"Each production run is sampled and tested to confirm gluten levels do not exceed 20 PPM."

I'm not sure how I feel about this, or what to think.

So I could potentially be ingesting 19.9 PPM of gluten per day? How can that be considered gluten free? Is that enough to equal my 1/48th of a piece of bread that is enough to cause damage to my intestines? I don't know about you, but I strive to be completely FREE of gluten, not just consume it in microscopic amounts. Shoot, if that was my intention, I'd just eat a donut really, really slowly.

What do you think? Should I stop eating these? What are the opinions of my fellow celiacs on products that contain less than 20 PPM of gluten?


Marlow said...

I feel you on this! Unfortunately the US has some pretty low standards when it comes to what can be labeled gluten free. I have stopped eating those crackers just because I feel like they could make them 100% GF if they were willing to create a separate and more controlled facility. That isn't to say that if I were at a party and they were being served as my only option I wouldn't pop some in my mouth.

GF Steph said...

Hey Marlow, thanks for your input! I think I will probably do the same!

Sally said...

I eat them fairly regularly and I'm pretty sensitive. I've never had any symptoms of gluten ingestion from them, but I suppose that doesn't mean they couldn't be contaminated. All "gluten free" items can be called "gluten free" if they have a below 20 content, so Nut Thins is just putting that on the box. I think the rest of the GF products are the same way...