[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 
flour, etc.
- 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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