Gluten Free Food Manufacturer Glutino Purchased by Smart Balance

According to this press release from the Smart Balance website, they’ve just purchased Glutino.

Commenting on the announcement, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hughes
stated, “We are truly excited about adding the Glutino Food Group to our portfolio of health
and wellness brands. Glutino has increased its sales approximately 30% annually over the past
three years, and we are confident about its growth prospects and contribution to Smart
Balance. The demand for gluten‐free products is significant, and is now a category of over $2
billion in retail sales. We are bullish on the continuation of the category’s 10% compound
annual growth rate due to increased awareness and diagnosis of gluten‐induced ailments,
including celiac disease, gluten intolerance and wheat allergies.”

That’s pretty interesting.  It could be really good for the Glutino brand as well.  They get a large U.S. company with a large U.S. distribution chain to push their product.

Another interesting factoid in there is the fact that the gluten-free product category of food is an over $2 billion market.  No wonder there are so many manufacturers jumping into the game.

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Bakers Challenge

Betty Crocker has, lately, been one of the shining stars of the corporate food manufacturers for their gluten free push.  Their mixes are amazing, and they make every effort to clearly mark their product if it is gluten free.  It’s smart on their part, for sure, but it is a godsend for those who have to struggle through the supermarket trying to find food that is safe for them.  Now, they’ve announced a Bakers Challenge:

Betty Crocker Bakers ChallengeBetty Crocker® Announces the Baker’s Challenge Gluten Free Recipe Contest

Minneapolis, MN – May 24, 2011 – Hold the gluten, grab your aprons, and start your ovens! The Baker’s Challenge Gluten Free Recipe Contest, Betty Crocker’s first-ever gluten-free recipe contest, is open for entries Wednesday, June 1st. Through June 30, 2011, gluten-free bakers from across the country can enter online at www.glutenfreely.com/bakerschallenge for the chance to win a Grand Prize of $5,000 and the chance to be featured on a Betty Crocker® Gluten Free dessert mix or Bisquick® Gluten Free baking mix package and/or be featured in a Betty Crocker publication. Entrants will be challenged to create an original gluten free holiday-themed appetizer, bread or dessert recipe, using any Betty Crocker Gluten Free dessert mix or Bisquick Gluten Free baking mix.

Submitted recipes must be entirely gluten free and will be judged on five key categories: taste, creativity, ease of preparation, consumer appeal and appearance. On or about September 20, 2011, Betty Crocker will announce the 10 selected finalists, who will each receive a Betty Crocker Gluten Free Baking gift basket filled with baking items and Betty Crocker Gluten Free mixes (estimated retail value of $119). The finalists’ recipes will be voted on by the public on www.glutenfreely.com/bakerschallenge, and the finalist whose recipe receives the most votes will be announced as the winner on or around November 1, 2011.

“We’re excited to offer this opportunity to the gluten free community,” said Allison Miller, Marketing Manager, Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Mixes. “The Betty Crocker Baker’s Challenge Gluten Free Recipe Contest is a great way for gluten free bakers to share their innovative creations and show the world how delicious living gluten freely can be.”

For gluten-free recipe inspiration and more information about the Betty Crocker Baker’s Challenge Gluten Free Recipe Contest, visit www.glutenfreely.com today. In addition, through the end of June, save 20% on the purchase of any of the five of the Betty Crocker Gluten Free mixes at www.glutenfreely.com/ourstore.
###

Contest Abbreviated Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open only to legal residents of the United States, 18 years of age or older. Submit your entry online. Entries must be received by June 30, 2011, Void where prohibited. See Official Rules for details. Sponsored by General Mills Sales, Inc., One General Mills Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55426.

It’s an incredible thing.  I can’t wait to see some of the recipes that are going to come out of this!  Have you got a super duper recipe that you make from a pre-mix?  It might be worth $5000 in this challenge!

Another Chef Gets Gluten Wrong

This time, at least, it’s across the pond and has little chance of poisoning you while you’re in a restaurant in the U.S.A.  Well known U.K. chef, Anthony Demetre, while on a morning television show doing a demonstration Gluten Free recipe is asked what the reasoning was for the gluten free meal.  Here’s his response:

Direct Link to YouTube video should  the embedding not work for you.

Someone from the Celiac London group spoke to Phil Vickery, another U.K. Chef and an Ceoliac U.K. food advisory group and got the following response from him:

After seeing Saturday’s BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, and receiving emails I have to make the following comments.
It just goes to prove that this awful disease is still looked on as a joke and in a very flippant way in the certain areas of the cat…ering industry, that frankly, really should know better.
This sort of ill informed advice or statement coming from a well respected chef sends out the totally wrong message. It also magnifies, just how little is known and more worryingly how much these guys actually care about Coeliac disease in the restaurant environment.
It should be compulsory for all young chefs to undergo basic training in all areas regarding diseases and allergies, sadly until that happens, we are going to have to put up with the sort of moronic comment time and time again.

Phil Vickery
Coeliac UK National Food Ambassador
10th April 2011

I couldn’t agree more.  It’s one thing to poison people with Gluten maliciously, like we saw Damian Cardone do, but this just reeks of poor education on the subject.  Here, we have a chef, who is supposed to know more about food than most of us will ever hope to know, who seems to be unknowingly poisoning himself because he doesn’t know any better.  Sad really.  I hope that Phil Vickery or someone in the U.K. Ceoliac community has reached out to him and is going to help him and educate him on the subject.  For him, it’s a matter of life and death.  Not to mention all the people who watched that show or have spoken with him or his doctor on the subject.  Which brings up another subject.  That of doctor education.  I’m still surprised, almost daily, by the lack of knowledge of such a widespread disease by those in the medical community.

Education, education, education.  We need so much more of it.

Educating the Community

In light of the Damian Cardone fiasco, I thought it was time we revisit the education part of The Gluten Free Life.  One of the most important things that a newly diagnosed Celiac can do is to educate himself/herself on what that really means.  There’s a great deal to learn about what you can and cannot eat, and all the funny names that gluten can hide behind. But, no matter how much you educate yourself, it’s clear that you still have a lot to watch out for.  And, even then, you end up getting gluten’d by people like Damian Cardone.  Which is why your education efforts don’t end with yourself, or even your friends and family.  You’ve got to attempt to educate your entire community.

Let’s start at the beginning.  You’re planning on going out to eat at a local restaurant. Don’t wait until you get to the restaurant to find out if it will be safe for you.  If you can, do it days ahead of time. Not every trip will be scheduled that far in advance, but, try to give yourself at least an hour or two.

  • Start by looking online to see if they have a website.  If they do, see if you can find any information on allergy/dietary needs or (if you’re really lucky) a gluten free menu.
  • If they don’t have any info online, call ahead, before they’re busy and discuss your visit with the chef.  You’ll likely get some wonderful advice on what you can and can’t have while visiting the restaurant.  Avoiding discussing it at the table while everyone else is trying to order will help avoid any annoyance on the part of the wait staff, and the chef.
  • If you have days before the event, offer to stop in and visit with the Chef.  You may be surprised with how many times you’ll get taken up on the offer.

Taking steps to keep yourself safe, while doing it ahead of time, and in a respectful way, can help other celiac sufferers too.  The more positive experiences that chefs have with gluten free diners, the less likely it is that they will develop an attitude towards gluten free diners like that of Damian Cardone.  Another thing to keep in mind is that if the restaurant that you’ll be visiting is one that is local to you and that you will likely be revisiting again, the more important it is to develop a relationship with the chef and staff of that restaurant.  Putting in a little time here and there to help educate them can give you a safe haven dining spot where you know that, not only is the staff attempting to deliver food that is safe for you, but that, because of the education help they’ve received from you, they likely will deliver food that is safe for you.

Additionally, many of the gluten free and celiac organizations offer educational materials and classes to help educate people, and the staff of food service companies like restaurants.

Celiac learning is an offering by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.  They have great courses for both food service professionals and medical professionals.

http://www.celiaclearning.com/

The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG) also has a wealth of information on their website, including a training/education program specifically for restaurant workers.

http://www.gluten.net/gfrap.php

 

Controversial Post on Facebook by Chef

Many of us who have Celiac, or live with those that who do, know the importance of avoiding gluten at all costs.  Many times, finding a restaurant or cafe that has a gluten free menu and takes the time to make sure it doesn’t get contaminated is a source of great excitement.  And, sometimes, gluten gets in there anyways.  This post by a chef on facebook makes me wonder how often it isn’t a mistake…

Damian J Cardone

Damian J Cardone calls Gluten Free Diners Idiots

I really just don’t understand how anyone can make a claim like that. Maybe he’s looking for the more immediate reaction that, say, a peanut or shellfish allergy would bring? Somebody needs to educate this fellow. And until then, he should not be serving anyone anything at all. Unbelievable.  Anyone from Glenwood Springs, CO that knows where this guy works? UPDATE: Based on a few photos from his facebook page, I think he may work at an Italian restaurant called Florindo’s in Glenwood Springs, CO.  If you are gluten free and find yourself there, you might ask if he’s cooking first.

Here’s a direct link to the facebook post on his wall. (for as long as it stays there. Maybe he’ll get smart and delete it. UPDATE (3/30/11 3:58 Eastern): It looks like his entire facebook account is gone.  Glad I got a screenprint…)

Also, here’s where I first heard about this: Celiac Handbook on Facebook

ADDED: In another post, he says “May god help the Liberal hippie idiot whos going to ask for gluten free pasta this weekend.

ADDED: A really well written post as an open letter to the chef at Injera and Chocolate Gravy

UPDATE (3/31/11 12:07 am): It made the news in Glenwood Springs on the 30th.  Here’s a link to it: KJCT 8 covers Damian Cardone story

UPDATE (3/31/11 12:36 pm): The local newspaper, The Post Independent, ran an article about as well: Former Glenwood Chef’s Facebook comment angers celiac sufferers (note: it’s kind of a sloppy piece, but it gets the job done. For instance, Shauna Ahern didn’t break the story.  The first place I saw it was on the Celiac Handbook facebook page, and it likely was on Celiac.com as well, way before either Shauna or myself broke it.)

UPDATE (3/31/11 10:19 pm): I finally found the link to the second television spot: 9news: Chef’s gluten free secret

Kelloggs to Introduce Gluten Free Cereal

Kelloggs is all set to introduce Gluten Free varieties of some of their cereals this year.  I can’t find anything on the Kelloggs website, but have seen several places (including their facebook page, Gluten Free Appetite, Gluten Free Optimist, and Gluten Free Living ) with this little blurb on it:

We are excited to tell you that we will have a Rice Krispies Gluten Free cereal launching late May 2011.

Whether that means they’ll be adding other cereals in the future or not, it’s a good start.  The link for Gluten Free Appetite, above, claims that there will be several cereals and bars that will be labeled as Gluten Free.  The site also has a nice picture of the Rice Krispies box.

This is exciting for so many reasons, not least of all because it opens up the options for foods that Celiacs can eat.  It’s also exciting to see another major food manufacturer producing Gluten Free foods.  That’s just awesome!  Keep your eyes out for those Gluten Free Rice Krispies in May 2011!

10 of the Best Weight Loss Tips

The words weight and loss together, trigger much debate and return pages of diet based search results.  It seems everyone these days is promising some sort of “lose weight fast” program, but losing weight is much like a marathon.

When it comes to losing weight, slow and steady commitment win the race.  Here are ten tips to not only help you lose weight, but also help you keep it off.

Slow and Steady. Once you’ve decided you’d like to change your lifestyle and lose weight many people are eager for results.  Slow down.  The people who lose weight slowly and consistently are the most likely to keep the weight off.  Flash diets, power cleanses, over exercising and other tricks to lose weight fast are not only dangerous to your health, but over time actually slow your metabolism.  Stick with slow and steady.  It will help make the battle easier over time.

Moderation. One of the biggest and best tips for weight loss is moderation.  Eat chocolate, candy bars, dessert, and your favorite snacks.  Denying yourself these pleasures results in whole day binges full of junk food or constant dissatisfaction and cravings.  Still treat yourself, but eat less of these favorite sweets and snacks and in moderation.  Also look for healthier alternatives to your favorites and experiment with them to see if they quench your cravings.

Hammer365: 159/206 Next Magic TrickEat Breakfast. One of the first things people do when they think about losing weight is cut meals.  This is a huge mistake because not eating means that your metabolism slows.  Eating breakfast not only starts the day off right, but it helps kick start your metabolism so that you can burn the maximum amount of calories throughout the day.

Some studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are more likely to eat fewer calories throughout the day because they have increased levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite.  Be smart about your choices and keep in mind this morning meal is your fuel to start the day.  Choose whole grain cereals, oatmeal, fruit, toast and peanut butter or other high fiber low sugar meals.

Keep a Food Diary. A few times a day, jot down what you have just eaten and be sure to include how you are feeling, if you are hungry, and anything else you may want to write about.  The food diary does not have to be solely for recording your meals and snacks, it can also be a vehicle for helping you track ways to effectively reduce stress and anxiety.

Don’t stop at just recording your habits in your diary though.  Look back on your day or week and analyze what triggers you to eat certain foods.  Once you are aware of your eating patterns it becomes easier to tell yourself that you might not really need that second afternoon snack.

Your food diary shouldn’t be a point of dread where you count calories in total fear.  It’s more of an aid that can help you spot patterns and guide you toward a healthier lifestyle.

Eat Slowly. Many studies indicate that it takes 20 minutes for our brain to even register that our bodies are full.  Eating slower can help our brain catch up to our stomach and avoid overeating. Try also drinking a full glass of water with each meal, taking sips in between bites to slow yourself down.  Also do not wait until you are starving to eat, if you are too hungry you will want to eat much faster.

Eat Throughout the Day. Eating throughout the day may sound like a misleading weight loss tip, but studies have shown that five small meals throughout the day is a more healthy lifestyle than three larger meals.  Eating smaller meals helps to keep your metabolism working throughout the day and helps to maintain portion control so that you do not get so hungry in between meals that you binge when it is time to eat.

Exercise. Once you get past a healthy diet, one of the most important components to losing weight is to get active and stay there.  Most experts recommend that you participate in at least five 30 minute sessions per week.  The type of exercise can vary depending on your weight loss goals, but is important to be active and in ways that are not too overwhelming.

Creating a routine that you actually look forward to is important, not only because it will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, but also because people who dread and stress out about their workout won’t reap the same benefits as those who look forward to their routines.  Running, hiking, playing sports, fast walking or jogging or even taking your pet for a long walk and mixing in weight routines help to vary the activities are all great ideas for exercise.

Use Weights – Exercise does not only have to be aerobic.  Mix some weight routines into your workout.  Aerobic exercise is great for burning fat, but incorporating weights will help build muscle to keep the fat off.  As a general rule of thumb, one pound of muscle burns more calories per day than one pound of fat.

Sleep. Many researchers note that lack of sleep leads people to overeat throughout the day.  Adults who get inadequate rest are more likely to wake up feeling hungry and dissatisfied.  A lot of people snack during the hours they stay awake.   Sleep however, is a double edged sword in that many people who are overweight or overeat due to stress and anxiety are more likely to also have insomnia which just perpetuates their inability to lose weight.  Most adults need around eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, not only to help lose weight but to stay healthy in both mind and body.

Find Some Support.  Losing weight and getting healthy is something so many people are working toward.  With new technology like the Nike+ and social networks, finding a group of people at your level can be es easy as going online.  Your family and friends can be great support groups as well.  Having a partner to push you that extra mile or help you make healthier eating choices will make all the difference.

2010 NFCA Gluten-Free Candy List

Just in time for Halloween, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has released their 2010 Gluten Free Candy list.  It’s a nice and long list, but, of course, most candy is just straight sugar and flavoring, so most is safe.  As is usual, the list is accurate as of printing, so if anything changes at the manufacturing point, it is possible for some of it to become unsafe.  Should work wonderfully for this Halloween though!

CNN Eatocracy Takes on Gluten

The CNN food blog Eatocracy has a semi-nice post today about gluten and what a gluten free diet is.  I say semi-nice because it doesn’t seem like there can be an article from a serious news organization that doesn’t have some modicum of inaccuracies or where it doesn’t seem like they are taking it lightly despite it’s affects.  That being said, most of the article does come across as being a serious article with some nice facts.

Celiac disease on the contrary, is an autoimmune disorder with intense gastrointestinal symptoms – like cramping and bloating – among others. When people with Celiac disease eat foods with gluten, it damages the villi of the small intestine wall – thus, preventing basic nutrients of food from being absorbed.

Simple avoiding bread doesn’t do much good. Gluten pops up in surprising places, including soy sauce, sausage, lunchmeat, some instant coffee, soups, sauces, and even Communion wafers. Sufferers often need to go to extreme measure to avoid encountering it – hence the uptick in gluten-free products, cookbooks and restaurants.

There’s also a poll at the end of the article where they’re polling your proximity to the gluten free lifestyle.  Take it, and show thank them for taking what can be a very harmful (and deadly) disease seriously.  Now, if only we could get most of the doctors to do the same…

Stubb’s Barbeque Sauces Certified Gluten Free

Stubb’s Barbeque sauces recently announced that they’ve gotten their full line of sauces certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization and will start having the seal on their labels on shipments beginning July 1, 2010.

Stubb’s all-natural barbecue sauces are available in Original, Spicy, Mild, Smokey Mesquite, Honey Pecan and Hickory Bourbon. Marinades include Beef, Chicken, Pork, Texas Steakhouse, Moppin’ Sauce and Wing Sauce. All the flavors are gluten free and use cane sugar rather than corn syrup for sweetness.

“The average consumer won’t taste any difference with the gluten-free reformulation, but those who eat gluten free will love our sauces, rubs and marinades as much as our long-time fans,” Koegler said. “Stubb’s is truly a sauce line that everyone can enjoy.”

It’s exciting to see yet another mainstream product take the effort to make their product Gluten Free and go through the certification process.  As always, make sure you buy a few bottles to support their efforts.  Dropping them a line or email doesn’t hurt either!

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