Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Report says P.F. Chang's lawsuit dismissed

According to a report on website EmaxHealth, the class action lawsuit against P.F. Chang's over its gluten-free menu pricing has been tentatively dismissed.

The class action lawsuit contends that increased prices for gluten-free menu items are a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, because those of us with celiac have no choice but to eat gluten free.

A lot of people, including me, were disturbed by this lawsuit. I'm pretty sure the response of the restaurant industry would be to just not offer gluten-free menu items if they had to offer them at the same price. Yes, it's irritating that we pay more for gluten-free meals, but I've met a lot of restaurant owners and they've convinced me that they have to charge more because their suppliers are charging more for gluten-free ingredients.

It's a little unclear what the ultimate resolution of this lawsuit will be from the story. I'll be looking for more details, but you can read the EmaxHealth story here:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Gluten-free bakeries on the road

Here's a really good list from the Gluten-Free Travel blog of gluten-free bakeries in various cities, with a good number of them in Florida. I know I'll be making a point of visiting them when I'm in those cities:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Gallup poll: 1 in 5 Americans avoiding gluten

Gallup, one of the best-known polling organizations, actually did a poll this month on gluten-free eating and found that 21 percent are trying to eat gluten-free foods.

You know how I feel about that. Other than the 1 percent of us with celiac and the other 5 percent with non-celiac gluten intolerance, there's no reason that anybody should be trying to eat gluten free. But on the bright side, I thought the number would be much higher. I've seen previous polls suggesting it would be more like 1 in 3 people who are trying to avoid gluten.

It's an interesting survey. You can read the full results here:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Still looking for gluten-free dumplings

Last fall, I wrote about how happy I was to find gluten-free Chinese dumplings at Earth Fare. That's one of those foods I really miss and hadn't been able to find in a gluten-free version anywhere. So I was hoping these frozen dumplings made by Feel Good Foods would fill my craving.

They were okay, but not as good as I hoped. I thought the problem was my lack of cooking skills. The only way to cook them was to pan fry them, and they just didn't come out quite right.

So I was happy last week on another visit to Earth Fare when I checked on the dumplings again and found they added new cooking instructions for a microwave. I'm guessing I'm not the only one who had trouble cooking them. Maybe I'm not so inept after all.

So, I bought the dumplings again and microwaved them and ... they were just okay, not great. And this time, I know I cooked them perfectly.

Oh well, I guess I'll keep looking.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Gluten-free ice cream lists

Here's a handy list of Breyer's gluten-free ice cream varieties from the Gluten Away blog:

As you'll see, this page also has links to gluten-free lists for Edy's, Haagen Dazs and So Delicious ice cream.

Ice cream is generally gluten free, although some varieties may  have added flavorings that include gluten. So in the dog days of summer, these are are nice lists to check.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Another possible pill for celiacs?

I'm very skeptical about this, but there have been several reports the last couple of days about a pill being developed in Canada and possibly available soon that would allow celiacs to eat gluten.

There are a lot of pharmaceutical treatments in various stages of development, but I haven't seen anything that's been embraced by the leading celiac researchers.

Anyway, if you're interested, check out this report on the Canadian pill from Popular Science:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tolerant offers a different kind of gluten-free pasta

I was recently contacted by a company called Tolerant to see if I wanted to sample their gluten-free pasta.

To my surprise, I received a big box with six different varieties of pasta. I haven't been able to try them all yet, but here's what I can tell you so far.

Tolerant's pastas are certified gluten-free and made from either red lentils or black beans, as opposed to other gluten-free pastas made from ingredients such as corn or rice.

Tolerant says the advantage of its ingredients is that it makes its pasta much higher in protein and fiber.

So far, I've tried two varieties of red lentil pasta and one black bean variety. The red lentil pasta tasted basically the same as other pastas. I really didn't like the black bean pasta all that much.

Normally, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the taste of pasta. I figure the sauce will make or break the dish, and the only thing I worry about with pasta is its texture. I can't really describe it, but there was something about the black bean pasta that I didn't like.

Tolerant's pastas are available in a variety of stores, according to its fact sheet. I did a search on its website and found the only stores in Jacksonville carrying it are Native Sun and Grass Roots.

I haven't seen it myself on store shelves but according to the fact sheet, Tolerant pasta can be expensive at $2 to $3 "per serving." The company says the higher cost is due to the difficulty of finding a supply of lentils that have "no chance of cross-contamination."

You can check out more information at

Monday, July 13, 2015

Djokovic: Wimbledon grass is gluten free

Did you see what Novak Djokovic did and said after winning the Wimbledon men's singles championship yesterday? He decided to eat a blade of the grass court and then said this, according to the London Daily Mail:

"I was assured it was gluten free, it's not processed, completely organic and natural and I could eat it ... So I had no reaction."

I thought that was a pretty good joke, but I've been disturbed about the coverage of Djokovic's gluten-free diet over the past few years. Sportswriters are always writing about how his game improved after he started going gluten free, suggesting the myth that a gluten-free diet is some kind of fitness program. But they never mention his history.

Djokovic used to feel very sickly all the time and while he was never diagnosed with celiac (I have never been able to find out if he's been tested), he at least was diagnosed with non-celiac gluten intolerance. So he went gluten free and started feeling much better, and his tennis game improved.

I would cut him some slack, but Djokovic wrote this book two years ago: "Serve to Win," subtitled "the 14-day gluten-free plan for physical and mental excellence."

It makes me want to scream.

By the way, if you watch the baseball all-star game tomorrow night and Mark Teixeira gets in the game, I'm sure you'll hear the announcers tell you how his turnaround season has been helped by his new gluten-free diet. I have not seen anything indicating he went gluten free for any kind of intolerance.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

More gluten-free adventures at Trader Joe's

Okay, if you haven't been following my recent quest at Trader Joe's, let me summarize: first I go and find gluten-free bagels, but no hamburger buns. Then I go and find gluten-free hamburger buns, but no bagels.

So this week, I go and find: no buns or bagels.

Trader Joe's introduced its gluten-free breads in April and I keep talking about it because I do like their hamburger buns and bagels, which are very reasonably priced -- at least compared with other gluten-free products. Unfortunately, you can't rely on finding them when you actually visit Trader Joe's.

This time, I decided to ask the check-out clerk and she actually seemed to know the full story. She said the demand for the new gluten-free products was greater than Trader Joe's expected, so its supplier has been unable to keep up with demand. She said they are hoping to resolve the issue soon and have a steady supply of the new gluten-free products.

Oh well, wait and see.

Meanwhile, I decided to try Trader Joe's soft corn tortillas, which are gluten free. Since going gluten-free, I've been unable to find any soft tortillas to use at home. They always crumble in your hands.

Sure enough, Trader Joe's gluten-free tortillas were just as bad as all the others. At least they were priced right, at $1.49 for a pack of 12.

Someday, someone will figure out how to make a gluten-free tortilla. And Trader Joe's will find a way to have its gluten-free products readily available.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Another thought on celiac testing

During Celiac Awareness Month in May, I wrote about the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness' renewed push to encourage our relatives to get tested for celiac.

Since celiac disease is a genetic condition, if you have it, there's a good chance that some family members also have it, or at least have the gene for it. Remember, the gene can be dormant for years before something triggers it and you develop celiac disease, and researchers still don't have a solid handle on how the trigger works.

Over the weekend, I was reading an article in Gluten Free Living magazine about celiac testing written by Amy Leger, who writes one of the best blogs out there (

Amy doesn't have celiac herself but because so many family members have it, including her daughter (which is why she started the blog), she kept getting herself tested to see if she did have it.

Recently, she decided to take the testing a step further and have a gene test to confirm that she carried the celiac genes, even if they hadn't been triggered. She was quite surprised to find she didn't. I don't completely understand the science but apparently, the celiac genes are actually a combination of genes, so it is possible for parents to pass the right combination on to their children without having the combination themselves.

Anyway, the point of the story is that if you have relatives who are concerned that they may develop celiac later in life, it might be worth their while to get the genetic test (although it can be expensive). As Amy said, now that she knows she doesn't have the genes, she doesn't have to get any more tests to determine if she has celiac. She won't ever have it.

For more information, read the full story in Gluten Free Living.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Next gluten-free cereal: Lucky Charms

The next long-time cereal to come out in a gluten-free form will apparently be Lucky Charms.

According to a story by financial website MarketWatch, General Mills announced plans to come out with gluten-free Lucky Charms today as the company announced its quarterly earnings. You can read the story here:

General Mills also makes several varieties of Chex cereals, which are gluten free, and has already said it will introduce gluten-free Cheerios to the market this year.