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Would you be surprised to find out there are currently no regulations covering gluten-free labeling? The FDA passed the Food Allergen and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA), to help consumers identify the presence of any of the top eight allergens in their food. Manufacturers must comply with the act and list any of these allergens on their food labels. Gluten is not considered one of the top eight allergens. The act was passed with the promise to supply gluten-free labeling regulations by 2008. In 2011 there is still no regulation, only a draft. At this time gluten-free labeling is voluntary. The FDA pretty much leaves companies to self-regulate in this area.

Where Does That Leave the Gluten-Free Consumer?

There are companies which practice high standards of care for their gluten-free customers. They are answering the questions which are necessary for those of us with the inability to eat gluten.
Is their facility a dedicated factory? If not, is the product made on dedicated equipment? What steps are taken to prevent cross-contamination? Is there regular testing for gluten?

What about labels that actually say “gluten-free” on the front and “processed in a facility which also processes wheat,” on the back? These labels do not mean these foods aren’t gluten- free. This information is there to make you aware of the possibility of cross-contamination.

Products which are not labeled gluten-free can be safe too, but may require some research. Always read labels of packages of foods you have found to be safe, as ingredients can change.

Some Quality Companies and Their Practices

Many companies with gluten-free products also cater to customers with other food sensitivities.
Namaste Foods has a dedicated allergen-free factory with yummy things like pizza crust baking mix, chocolate cake baking mix, waffle and pancake mix and muffins. Because they are organic there are no genetically modified ingredients to worry about. Namaste Foods is also kosher certified.

Bakery on Main makes many different kinds of granola and granola bars. Flavors like cranberry orange cashew and apple raisin walnut are certainly enticing. All of their products are gmo-free, kosher, with no dairy or casein. Bakery on Main is certified by the gluten-free certification organization (GFCO). Each batch of their products is tested and certified safe for celiacs.

Amy’s Kitchen makes delightful frozen meals ranging from breakfast to dinner with veggie burgers and soups along the way. Amy’s makes gluten-free as well as non-gluten-free products. All their ingredients are listed on the ingredient statement (except for specific spices). Amy’s takes every possible precaution to avoid cross contamination. Amy’s doesn’t use peanuts, fish, shellfish or eggs in any of their meals.

Tempt Hemp milk from Living Harvest makes drinking dairy obsolete. In addition to their original flavor there is chocolate and vanilla too. Living Harvest products are free of soy, gluten, tree-nuts, and dairy. They are also vegan, non-GMO and contain no trans fats or cholesterol.

Living Harvest products are processed in facilities where there may be traces of peanuts and tree nuts. From their website: All of our suppliers have extensive and strict guidelines for cleaning and adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in order to help ensure that cross contamination does not occur.

The Tinkyada company has made sure you don’t have to give up pasta. They make nothing but gluten- free rice pasta products in a dedicated facility. The products range from big shells for stuffing and lasagna noodles to penne and spirals.

All of these companies are striving to help those with dietary issues continue to enjoy the experience of food and meal preparation by offering healthy, delicious, viable options. TrueFoods Market is doing their part by gathering these organic foods into one convenient, on-line shopping site.


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