Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Celiac Support Group meetings moved to Tuesday

We're trying something new with the Celiac Support Group of Jacksonville. We're moving the meetings to Tuesday evenings.

The next meeting will he held next Tuesday, June 19, at 6 p.m. at the same old location: Sunrise Assisted Living of Jacksonville at 4870 Belfort Rd., just south of Butler Boulevard.

Basically, a number of people have been unable to attend out meetings on Saturday mornings for one reason or another, so we're hoping that the Tuesday evening time will work better. I hope many of you can attend. And if you have celiac disease and have never attended one of our meetings, please come. No need to RSVP. The meetings are generally informal sessions in which we discuss the trials and tribulations of living with celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. We do bring in guest speakers on occasion also.

If you have any question about the support group, drop me an e-mail at

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

CeliAct finds Domino's pizzas pass its gluten-free test

Here's an interesting twist on the Domino's pizza controversy...
As you may recall, Domino's last month announced that it is now offering a gluten-free pizza, but it also said that it can not guarantee that the pizzas would not be cross-contaminated with gluten from other pizzas made in the same kitchen.
Some celiac advocates jumped all over Domino's, but I gave the company credit for at least being honest about its pizzas.
And yes, I tried the pizza and found it to be very good, and I didn't get sick. But of course, I normally don't get sick if I ingest gluten like many other celiacs do. My only complaint about the pizza was the price ($11.99 for a small pizza with two toppings).
But last week, a company called CeliAct, which sells nutritional supplements for celiacs, announced that it has independently tested Domino's pizzas. It bought pizzas from three restaurants in Boston, New Orleans and Washington, and found that the New Orleans and Boston pizzas had less than three parts per million of gluten. The Washington pizza had 7 parts per million.
Remember, the proposed FDA standard for labeling a product gluten free, which researchers assure me is a sound standard, is 20 parts per million. So these Domino's pizzas all could be considered gluten free.
Obviously, gluten contamination will vary by Domino's location. And I realize that some people can't tolerate even minute particles of gluten without getting sick. But I think I'll continue to order Domino's pizzas from time to time without worrying about it.
You can read the full report from CeliAct here:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Smart Balance acquiring Udi's

Smart Balance Inc. yesterday announced an agreement to acquire Udi's Healthy Foods. This comes about 10 months after Smart Balance acquired Glutino Food Group.
As a business writer, I can always see the logic in a merger and I normally don't take mergers personally. But as a gluten-free writer and eater, this deal worries me. I think it's a lot better for us if there are more companies competing to put out better gluten-free products.
Businesses always talk about "synergies" after a merger, which means they're going to find a way to cut costs by eliminating overlapping operations. So I worry that this merger reduces the variety of gluten-free products out there.
My personal opinion is that Udi's bread products are better than Glutino, so I'm particularly hoping that the different Udi's products (bread, buns, bagels) continue to be produced after the companies are merged together.
We'll see what happens.