Read the Fine Print: What is Truly Gluten-Free?

I ventured to a liquor store recently and when passing by the refrigerated beer isle noticed the “Gluten-Free” signs. Behind the door were many brand options such as New Planet (a beer made from gluten-free ingredients) and Omission (a beer made from barley and processed to remove gluten). At that moment, I was reminded of a recent experience. I was over at a meal at a friend’s house, one who knows I am gluten-free and has always been very diligent in ensuring items she prepares for me are free of gluten. On this particular day my friend prepared the most amazing smelling orange chicken with seasoned veggies and steamed brown rice. It was delicious. When assisting in the clean-up I noticed the container for the sauce and right there in small print but in definite black and white read: contains WHEAT. I was frustrated. I was upset at myself for not making ensuring and looking at all of the ingredients prior to indulging in the meal. I was frustrated with my friend for not catching the error before serving the meal and assuring me it was gluten-free. She felt horrible, and soon, so did I. Flares are never fun. For me, it starts with a mental cloudiness combined with a head ace followed by bloating, cramping, and pain. Sounds lovely huh? Needless to say, my evening turned out a little differently than expected.

This experience could have been avoided. The good news that came from it was learning a few lessons. One is to never feel guilty asking for details. Another is sometimes it can be difficult to read the fine print. In the case of a food allergy or intolerance, can lead to undesirable consequences and infringe upon an individual’s quality of life. Eating or drinking small amounts of gluten CAN cause reactions in the human body and people ARE reacting to products labeled as gluten-reduced. Perhaps this is why the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (the agency in charge of alcoholic beverage labeling) continues to say gluten-free label claims for products made from gluten-containing grains are misleading to customers who seek to avoid the consumption of gluten for health reasons.  The TTB goes one step further to remind consumers that the FDA has determined there is still no scientifically valid way to evaluate the claims that beers made from gluten-containing grains can be processed in a way that removes gluten and that there is inadequate evidence about whether such methods are effective.

For some who choose to live gluten-free, consuming trace amounts of gluten may not cause reactions. At Grouse Malting and Roasting, we believe all people deserve access to high-quality food and beverages that are truly gluten-free. We provide the highest quality ingredients for you to brew and enjoy delicious beer that is 100% gluten-free.   It is true that for some drinking a gluten-removed beer may not induce symptoms. It is all a spectrum of sensitivity. For me, drinking a gluten-removed beer would be like eating that orange chicken all over again. I’ve learned to read the fine print. Have you?

Zum Wohl!

Further Reading

http://www.ttb.gov/announcements/gluten-announcement.pdf


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