Friday, July 29, 2016

A significant study on gluten sensitivity

I get a lot of alerts about celiac and gluten-free studies that look like a waste of time but today I read about a reliable new study that basically confirms the science behind non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

This study comes from Columbia University researchers including Peter Green, director of Columbia's Celiac Disease Center. As I posted a couple of months ago, he recently published a comprehensive book on celiac disease (click here for my post on that). He's a trustworthy source (there are so many "experts" out there that you can't trust).

You can read more about the new study at Beyond Celiac's webpage.

Friday, July 15, 2016

This Chick's Kitchen is gluten-free friendly

I made my first visit this week to This Chick's Kitchen, a tiny but very gluten-free friendly restaurant in Jacksonville Beach.

This Chick's Kitchen is a farm-to-table restaurant with a lot of interesting dishes, and nearly everything is gluten free. I had a chicken stir fry dish that was really good.

I had a chance to talk with the owner who is very gluten-free aware. I mentioned I was celiac and she asked me a lot of questions about possble additions to the menu. For example, she wants to bring in regular bread for customers who are not gluten free and asked if I would have a problem with that. I said no, it's only a problem when restaurants make their own bread and flour could contaminate gluten-free dishes. She said other customers have told her the same thing.

The restaurant is hard to find if you're not looking for it, at 353 6th Ave. South, just east of Third Street. It's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

It's also pricey. To me, that's the drawback of farm-to-table restaurants that offer food produced by local farms. It's great in theory, but it's not a place I can visit a lot because it's just too expensive.

However, I love finding local gluten-free friendly restaurants that offer something different, so I'll be back.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Panera: Are you kidding me?

Allow me to rant about Panera Bread for a few minutes.

I've eaten salads at Panera a number of times in the past few years. Now I know there is a risk of cross-contamination and some people will feel differently about this than I do, but I believe the risk in a salad is minimal if all the ingredients of the salad are gluten free -- by minimal, I mean below 20 ppm.

Anyway, I haven't been to Panera in quite a while so I was checking its website to see what salads are gluten free, and I found this on a page titled "Avoiding Gluten" which listed several menu items that don't have gluten in the ingredients:

It talked about the cross contamination risk but said you can eat these items "if you want to avoid or reduce gluten and do not have celiac disease, a heightened gluten sensitivity or a wheat allergy."

In other words, these items are for people who don't have any reason to avoid gluten but are under the ridiculous illusion that gluten-free food is a healthy option. The people I have been complaining about for five years.

Panera, you may recall, is test-marketing a gluten-free bread. What for? Fad dieters who think it's trendy to order gluten-free bread? Are they going to introduce this bread nationwide and then tell us we shouldn't eat it?

So basically, Panera's gluten-free program is absolutely useless. I guess that's one more place to cross off my list.