how celiac are you?
I just recently reviewed Amy’s Kitchen Rice Mac & Cheese, giving it about 7,000 thumbs up. On Twitter it was then pointed out that Amy’s isn’t a gluten free company – that it does in fact say on their boxes their foods are produced in a facility that also contains wheat. So, it must be noted – if your guts are beyond crazy sensitive and you only eat foods made in a dedicated gf facility, this is not the product for you.
After an initial internal defensive stance (well, I’ve never had a reaction!), I calmed down and realized – I do play with wheat-y fire a lot with my celiac disease.
My kitchen should bear the same warning – it is not a wheat free facility. When I was first diagnosed years and years ago, it was recommended I essentially have my own entire kitchen. Um, f-ck off. That would be incredible, but that is not logical. I use the same pots, pans, toaster, baking sheets, cutlery & glassware that my wheat-y family does.
I do have a separate butter dish and most condiments are squeezable (to avoid the dreaded wheat crumb-y knife double dipping.) Beyond that we use common sense and careful wipe downs to ensure I don’t get sick.
When out shopping, I buy lots of food products that aren’t officially designated gluten free. I am so commonly versed in what ingredients gluten masquerades in that I can pick up a package, scan the ingredients and slam it back on the shelf in 4.3 seconds if it’s not for me. Yes, it may ultimately be a game of food Russian roulette, as an apparently safe food may be packaged somewhere in a wheat field, but that’s a risk I guess I’m ok to take.
I trust myself. I trust my knowledge. I trust my guts literally. Mayonnaise, cheap rice, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, rice crackers, chips, pop, cereals and on and on are not marked gluten free. But I eat them. I know intimately what I can and cannot eat. Items on restaurant menus aren’t marked gluten free, but I ask the server kindly what I can eat, and when they come back to the table eager to help me choose something, I do so with full faith and trust I am being served a gluten free meal. And it happens. I am safe.
If it says food starch, I avoid. If a waiter seems to think I’m speaking a different language, I order a salad. If my sweet but elderly Grandma is “pretty sure” there isn’t any wheat in her special Christmas cookies, I gently decline and help myself to more fruit and tea.
If I was only to purchase items that advertised they were gluten free, there would be a bunch of duds in there, things full of fat instead of flavour, dry lifeless crackers, Skittles and very very expensive frozen baked goods. It would be a terribly pricey and boring world.
With my knowledge I cam able to freestyle. I can tweak recipes on the fly. I can make a meal out of a smorgasboard buffet. Believe me – I would know if I made a misstep. When you have celiac disease and you ingest gluten, the reaction is not subtle.
Bottom line I trust myself and my celiac education.
I hope new celiacs, and maybe older ones, scared of foods, can one day do this too.
- onemoreshot likes this