All posts filed under: Coeliac Disease

In the news: ‘Fake-food’ and food labels

As a coeliac, the recent news regarding the the proliferation of ‘fake-food’ worries me. This article from The Guardian details various horrid (barely) edibles including ‘meat emulsion’ and ‘cheese analogue’ that are secretly added to our food, but what really bothers me is the claim that a third of food products tested in a West Yorkshire sample, were incorrectly labelled. A third.  People like me who have coeliac disease rely on food labels. I check the label of every single thing I eat. Every day. For life. I need food companies to label their produce honestly and accurately, so that I can minimise risk to myself by avoiding gluten, which as readers of this blog will likely know, is like poison to coeliacs. Although the article doesn’t specifically mention gluten, it does make you wonder how much you can trust food labels, especially as wheatflour is an ingredient that is often used to bulk out cheaper processed products. This is purely my speculation; I would be interested if anyone knows anything more about this. The article …

When ‘gluten-free’ isn’t gluten-free enough…

———————————————————————————————————- [PLEASE NOTE THE COMMENT FROM THE RESTAURANT –  I wrote this post a year ago and it seems that things have changed for the better. I haven’t visited myself to verify yet, but it seems legit.] ———————————————————————————————————- Last night I was out in Islington with my friend M, on the hunt for food. I am coeliac and she is lactose intolerant, so we needed a place that could cater for us both. Waiters love us! We found a fish & chip shop on Upper Street that claimed to serve gluten-free fish & chips. Great! But wait… I asked the waiter on the door a little about exactly how ‘gluten-free’ gluten-free was. I asked if the fish & chips were suitable for coeliacs? Yes. I asked if they fried the gluten-free fish in the same oil as the wheat batter? Yes. Hang on… When I told him that if the items were fried in the same oil then they would not be suitable for coeliacs, he came back with… ’…the heat is so high that it …

Starbucks: ‘What’s gluten?’

Today I had one of those rage-inducing encounters that I’m sure most coeliacs and gluten-free dieters experience once in a while. This exchange took place in a Starbucks in London. Me: Hi, do you know if any of the hot chocolates are gluten-free? Starbucks Lady: Gluten…free? Me: Erm, Gluten is found in wheat, barley, oats and rye; it might be present in some of the powders and syrups- perhaps you have an allergy checklist I could take a look at? Starbucks Lady: Ahhh I don’t think they are gluten-free. They all have milk in them. Me: I asked about gluten, not milk? Starbucks Lady: Maybe you have the coffee with soy milk. Me: I don’t need soy milk, I just need to know about gluten. Starbucks Lady: The gluten is in the milk. Me: [losing patience] Gluten and dairy are different things – could I just take a look at the ingredients? Starbucks Lady: Maybe you can have the americano. Me: I just want to know about the hot chocolates. Starbucks Lady: But they all have …

Coeliac UK

Coeliac UK creates gluten-free app!

Coeliac UK have been busy. Not only have they given their website a full makeover, but they are to launch a gluten-free app. You will be able to check your purchases against the Coeliac UK Food and Drink Directory by scanning the barcode of items, as well as make use of their gluten-free ingredients checklist when checking labels. As if Coeliac UK were not being damn useful enough, the app will also feature a venue guide, which will enable you to use your location to search for Coeliac UK-approved venues nearby. I think this is a genius idea for gluten-free app, and if it works it will be invaluable for coeliacs on the go, especially the newly diagnosed. Good for CUK for being innovative and keeping up with the times. Full details here.  

COELIAC DISEASE IS NOT A FAD DIET!

Paul Hollywood has just alienated a huge chunk of Bake Off fans. His ill-informed comments about coeliac disease have angered the coeliac community, and have been spread around gluten-free forums, Facebook groups and the blog community. The baker stated that he is ‘skeptical about this whole coeliac thing’ and seemed to suggest that people are often misdiagnosed and should buy better bread as a solution. ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. First of all, I would have hoped that as someone who works with food, he would have at least a passing knowledge of food intolerances and allergies. Second of all, WTF?!? Does he think that people eat a gluten-free diet for fun? Although you can (and I do) eat very well on a gluten-free diet and there are many fantastic products available now, it is not the easy or cheap option, and given the choice, I imagine most would rather not have to worry about what they eat. Paul, if you’re reading, please take a look at the Coeliac UK website (yes, an actual charity for all those fake …

sainsburys-logo

Sainsbury’s Meal Deal rage

Sainsbury’s have got my goat. Once in a while, I pop in to buy a meal deal for lunch. I have previously enjoyed the fact that I could do so; how normal it felt to be part of the hordes of office workers and simply go get a sandwich. The £3 limit made it affordable. So I was rather cross when I noticed a few weeks ago that the gluten-free options appeared to have been removed from the meal deal. This was one of the few areas in which I wasn’t paying extra for the gluten-free version. So, annoyed when I couldn’t pin down a member of staff instore, I emailed a complaint to head office. This is the reply I received. Huh? I dropped in again to check. There were two varieties of GF sandwich on the shelves, not three, and only one of them had a label. It was not labelled as being part of the meal deal, and the remaining sandwiches were shoved in a corner amongst the sandwiches for normals, making …