[Sca-cooks] Hidden sources of food allergens
Tara Sersen Boroson
tara at kolaviv.com
Sat Aug 19 12:31:40 PDT 2006
These lists were vastly oversimplified. Off hand, I can tell you for
wheat, other common culprets are:
- Soy sauce and tamari. Brewed with wheat. (You can get some
wheat-free tamari, but you have to shop for it specifically). Soy sauce
is very common in salad dressings, marinades, worchestershire sauce...
- Salad dressings and sauces. Very often thickened with modified food
starch or other wheat derivatives, not to mention the soy sauce or
worchestershire sauces used in them. They're also frequently
sweetened/colored with barley malt syrup, which is a danger to celiacs.
- Soups. Thickened soups are usually thickened with flour. Clear soups
are often cross-contaminated with wheat from equipment. If the problem
is gluten (celiac disease), commercial broth often has barley malt in it
for some damned reason *grumble grumble*
- Gravy. Usually thickened with flour.
- "Plain" roasted meats. Chefs sometimes dust things like chickens with
flour to help them brown nicely. Also, poultry is sometimes injected
with fluids, including wheat derivatives, to help them stay moist during
- Other grains. There is a high rate of cross contamination from the
field between wheat, rye and oats. Volunteer plants from rotated crops
contaminate the crop, and because the grains are of similar size,
mechanized sorters can't sort them out. (There are a couple brands of
truely, tightly controlled, gluten free oats. But, they're hard to come
by and *very* expensive. No, Irish oats are not gluten free.) There's
cross contamination from the mill between all kinds of different grains,
and even sometimes between other milled products such as soy flour, rice
- Candies. Wheat flour is often dusted on production lines to prevent
sticking, and unlisted in the ingredients. Many non-chocolate candies
use wheat - caramels, licorice.
- French fries. First, the oil in which they're fried may be
contaminated. Second, commercial fries are usually dredged in flour to
help them crisp. Fresh cut fries fried in oil that hasn't been used for
breaded products would be safe, but they're very rare.
- Cosmetic products. Lipsticks, hand creams, etc.
- Medicines. Many use glutinous products for fillers.
That's just a quick offhand. I don't mean to be snotty or anything. but
as someone who's living without wheat, I can tell you - it's a lot more
difficult than that made it out to sound. If someone was relying on
that list to help them pick appropriate foods to feed me and my
daughter... we probably wouldn't be able to eat. The other lists there
were just as insufficient.
Tara Sersen Boroson
'Normal' is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car you are still paying for, in order to get to the job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car, and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it. -Ellen Goodman
[T]o admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. -Virginia Woolf
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