Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Trader Joe's Forced To Change Gluten Labeling

Knock Knock

Who's There?

Trader Joe's 

  Trader Joe's Who?

Leadership Woes

For many years Trader Joe's have claimed to be at the forefront of gluten labeling. But we all know that's a joke because their labeling is the laughing stock of the gluten-free industry. Why? They have been labeling g+ products for years that albeit may have no gluten ingredients, but admit these products are strongly believed to have all sorts of cross contamination concerns and tell shoppers on a strict gluten free lifestyle to avoid them! Hmm, that's a mixed message, isn't it?! That makes no sense Trader Joe's team.  In reality, this signifies that gluten-free food is being polluted with other gluten containing foods from either supplier, manufacturer or preparation, but their staff has been promoting is as a legitimate gluten-free product in the marketplace and Trader Joe's doesn't seem to care.  The heart wrench is that those innocent people with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, wheat allergies, and a variety of lifestyles that find gluten to be damaging to their health have been lied to.  This is a big deal and their lack of respect below could be interpreted that they don't care. 

Inconsiderate Label Changes

Example: Trader Joe's management and staff have told me dozens of time that their dark chocolate gluten-free almonds were indeed gluten-free. Skeptical, a few years ago I did believe them until I got very ill! I stopped and was very glad to have the will power to find a safer product elsewhere. Now that the FDA has enforced an August, 2014 gluten-free guideline you can see that Trader Joe's has legally been forced to end their deliberately misleading g+ no gluten ingredient claims.  See how these once g+ dark chocolate almonds now have a black marker crossing them off and their staff finally say to avoid them as a gluten-free consumer. This is a big deal and they show it with such disrespect.  You'd think that Trader Joe's who claim to be at the forefront of the natural food and gluten-free labeling would know that our bodies are smarter than their false advertising.

In Summary

  • Trader Joe's new GF claims: Product that are labeled "gluten-free" abide by FDA
  • What's next for Trader Joe's g+ label: It's being retired forever - Hallelujah!
  • Will I Shop There: I purchase mostly produce and some meat and poultry.
  • Recommendation: Shop elsewhere where you can trust and shop on the borders of grocery stores for perishable produce, meat, poultry and fish and look for certified GF products to trust. 

FDA Guidelines Are Working!

Thank you FDA for putting together a gluten-free guideline! Now be sure to enforce it, police restaurants, brands and retailers and hold business accountable for mislabeling to the public.  Shoppers must continue to be wary and when in doubt do not eat or drink anything that isn't clearly labeled gluten-free and has no risk of gluten contamination. Call the 1800 brand and find out how they back up their gluten-free claim. Re-gain control of your life and your health. Say no. Live smarter.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top 10 Gluten-Free Misconceptions

False Gluten-Free Statements From Actual People

  1. Cross contamination only effects people with Celiac Disease
  2. I eat Gluten-Free by only avoiding bread, pasta and pastries
  3. Eating at family or friends kitchens is not a big deal
  4. Most restaurant have a safe Gluten-Free menu
  5. Eating gluten once in a while is okay
  6. Gluten-Free labels are trustworthy
  7. Gluten-Free Will Cure Everything
  8. Corn chips are Gluten-free
  9. All wine is Gluten-free
  10. Healthy = Gluten-free

Why are these false and why are these dangerous you may ask? Simply because you can't say anything you want about anything without proving it. Don't we learn this as kids? Gluten-Free signifies that all inherent ingredients, manufacturing and preparation areas are all gluten-free and verified to be <20 ppm or much less of gluten contamination per FDA (and common sense). Most products in the world are "contaminated" on some level by other foods, it happens, by machines, people, or accidentally so you cannot trust everything until proven safe, and that goes for everyone, not just someone with Celiac Disease. 

In our society, restaurants and brands have been doing whatever they want with very little regulation. Consumers trust professionals, but it's their own fault to have been doing so. Are these professionals naive or are they simply lying to make profits effecting innocent people's health? We can't let this happen we all need to stand up for health safety. Good thing is that finally those opinions are starting to change! The FDA gluten-free guidelines go in effect in August 2014 and we'll all be watching closely  to see if brands and restaurants make changes to their existing offerings. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Gluten Free Craze - Is it healthy?

There have been lots of chatter about gluten-free "diets" and "lifestyles"and whether they are healthy or not; Reference Wall Street Journal article. Together, let's review the food basics to help clear the air and educate each other on why the gluten-free lifestyle (when done correctly) is your road to a healthy, smart and long life ahead.  To elaborate, the following foods were created on the planet Earth without gluten. Gluten-free lifestyle choices are the healthiest and most likely the only, truly sustainable "diet" on the planet Earth.

  • Vegetables: All
  • FruitsAll
  • MeatAll
  • Poultry: All
    • SeafoodAll
    • Beans, Seeds, NutsAll

    The obstacle that many Americans face in the world is convenience. People want everything in the now and quickly. They jump to low sugar, reduced fat and calorie count diets to fix laziness or struggles with food obsessions. Sure, those effect a lot of people, but if you don't learn facts then you're going to make mistakes and fail forever. Gluten-free is a lifestyle diet that was created for those with Celiac Disease, an auto-immune disease related to the "poisonous" effect that gluten proteins have on a person. The common side effects are diarrhea, villous atrophy, gut permeability, head fog, malnutrition and if not treated by avoiding "gluten containing foods and cross-contaminated gluten related foods" then you'll be a very ill person and possible die long term.

    Fact #1 Reduce food intake that is heavily processed.

     Choose foods with ingredients that you can easily pronounce and have few ingredients that are processed if any at all! Or you're eating the wrong foods.  Most gluten-free food brands have re-created what you've eaten before with alternative gluten-free ingredients with sugar/syrups, as the common additive. Most of these foods are delicious after previously 20 years ago being inedible. However, people who are undertaking the gluten-free diet either by choice or for specific illnesses were previously eating gluten containing foods, such as; pizza, crackers, chips, cake, pasta, sauces, dressings, donuts and are craving replacement foods. Hence, processed foods, made in a building with no windows, not directly from the earth or via little processing. Did you know that these foods were unhealthy previously and just because they're gluten-free won't miraculously zap them to be any healthier, unless you read the ingredients and check if they truly are!?

    Some gluten-free processed foods can be unhealthy! But there are gluten-free brands who try harder and use truly the best ingredients on earth to provide tasty, nutrient dense pastas, crackers and breads.

    In Summary, gluten-free consumer packaged goods (processed foods) found in a box, in a a tray, in a pack, in a sleeve or in a carton, (and not found directly from the earth) may be just as unhealthy as when you were eating gluten. Obtain a food education to avoid unhealthy foods, and find the gluten-free, organic and raw foods that are truly safe and healthier alternatives. You can do this if you truly try to make a difference in your life by supporting healthy gluten-free foods.

    Learn more about about the food supply, organic, non GMO, and healthy gluten-free foods from me and other knowledgeable bloggers.

    Note: Man made manufacturing facilities often contaminate these "naturally" gluten-free foods, such as nuts, and contaminate them in the facilities processing wheat or other ingredients. This means their facility equipment is "dirty" and they have lots of other stuff in their manufacturing facility that could get someone ill. That's the main issue in our world, other than restaurant contamination. Be sure to buy certified gluten-free products and/or those that verify contamination via other methods and can prove their claims < 10 ppm. The FDA guideline for all products as of August 2014 is <20 ppm, but it's recommended to shop smarter and make your own food, do not eat out. The testing mentioned is to verify if any gluten is indeed in a product and requires ongoing verification for each food batch created and shipped to stores.