Category Archives: Prepared foods

“Gluten-Free” Dunkin’ Donuts may not be worth the hype

Today’s headlines feature some big gluten-free news,

“Dunkin’ Donuts to offer gluten-free donuts, muffins”

and “Dunkin’ to Sell Gluten-Free Doughnuts in Fast-Food First.”

The expanding availability of GF foods in the mainstream is always exciting. The angel on my shoulder says, “remember how much sugar and fat they put in to make it taste good and be GF!” while the little devil whispers, “Who cares? D-O-N-U-T!”

Putting aside nutrition for the moment, let’s break this news down a little bit. First, Bloomberg claims that Dunkin’ Donuts will win the race with fast food competitors, Starbucks and McDonalds to offer gluten-free items. Um………. didn’t Starbucks offer gluten-free baked goods and few years ago and then stop selling them? Yes, yes they did. Way to do your research Bloomberg.

Second, haven’t we all seen how “gluten-free” doesn’t always mean “free of gluten?” For example, Dominos rocked the fast food world with their offering of gluten-free pizza in 2012. Celiacs and the Dominos legal team quickly discovered that the pizza often had traces of gluten due to the shared kitchen facilities. Dominos now states their GF pizza isn’t safe for Celiacs. While it’s great news that Dunkin’ Donuts will offer GF items, we need to know more about how cross-contamination will be handed.

This new venture by Dunkin’ Donuts is a great way to increase visibility for gluten issues. As a community, we need to push them for transparency in their practices and high standards in ensuring a gluten-free preparation line.

Who wins in your internal debate? Angel telling you to steer clear of sweet treats or that little devil driving you to temptation?

xoxo,

Gluten Free Vermont

 

Traveling in Canada, gluten free!

Traveling to Canada this summer? Our guest blogger discusses her experiences:

Traveling with a gluten allergy is getting easier and easier. I just
spent a week in Montreal – and we were able to find restaurants
sensitive and caring about gluten issues, including Celiac.

I ordered gluten-free meals on VIA Rail, Canada’s Amtrak, for a long
train trip from Montreal to Vancouver, BC. What a surprise to read the
VIA Rail magazine for June, Destinations, article, “Gluten-Free
Delicacies” – in both French and English. The article says that
according to Health Canada 1% of Canadians have Celiac disease and up
to 15% of North Americans have some degree of gluten allergy.
Much of the article highlights restaurants throughout Canada who have
gotten the message that providing for gluten-free customers is good
business.

The article lists resources for travel in Canada:
• a directory of gluten-free restaurants in Ontario at glutenfreeontario.com
• gluten-free products and services for restaurants at theceliacscene.com
• gluten-free brewers at lesbieresnouvellefrance.com
• recipes (gluten-free) in French from epicurean Josee Fournier at
bonheursangluten.blogspot.ca

My first gluten-free dinner on the train from Montreal to Tornot? Not
the absolute best, for sure. Chicken cubes, a tiny salad, some rice
and corn, overcooked green beans, white wine, yummy cold fruit salad
(melons), a rice cracker with butter… But you know, I liked it
(especially the fruit and the chocolate)—and was impressed that the
dietary request filed with VIA rail some six months ago was catered to
today by the car attendant’s quick scan of my ticket and a cheery,
“I’ve got your special meal!”

Late tomorrow we leave Toronto on the VIA Rail train to Vancouver, BC.
I’ll let you know how it goes as we get further from Vermont.

T.K. Writing for Gluten Free Vermont

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Summer rains? Time for Soup! @stonesoupvt

It’s 60 degrees and raining. My jaw aches (maybe its the rain?) and I want something easy to eat. My gluten-free Mom is visiting and we wander into Zabby & Elf’s Stone Soup to find warm Thai Carrot Soup (sub kale or brown rice for bread!). Top it off with a Hibiscus- Chamomile-Mint tea and we’re feelin’ warm and cozy!

Mom enjoying Stone Soup

How much is “just a little” when it comes to gluten exposure?

My mother has been “glutenated” a few times recently. She’s learning that she’s more sensitive to gluten than when she first went GF. For example, I’ve seen her eat regular soy sauce several times, whereas I *must* have GF soy sauce. A few weeks ago she picked up prepared chicken kabobs at the grocery store and thinks they made her sick. I asked if they had soy sauce and she said she didn’t really pay attention because the ones at the other grocery store were always fine. Then about a week ago she got sick after chinese food that may have had soy sauce in it– she thought it didn’t but hadn’t bothered to ask since it had never affected her before.

Getting more sensitive to gluten the longer you are off of it is a common story for most of us. In my experience, we all think “I will never be THAT sensitive” but at some point you realize you are sensitive to smaller and smaller exposures. That is a subject for another blog…

I told my mother that REPEATED exposure can make each reaction worse. The chicken kabobs taxed her system and then repeating the exposure just a week or so later made for another bad reaction. Had these events been spaced weeks or months apart it is possible the second one wouldn’t have been so bad.

For those of you questioning your gluten intolerance levels, here is a great article on “HOW MUCH GLUTEN WILL MAKE ME SICK?”  

Gluten-free prepared meals (@BeetNikFoods)

I’ve never tried a prepared meal service before but I could see their usefulness… for an out of town guest, for a hectic week in your life, for times where you want a good meal but just can’t cook it yourself. Living Social is offering a discount this week for prepared meals for a week from Beatnik. Check it out! 

It’s about awareness

If you could change 5 things in the world to make life better for GF folks, what would they be?

Gluten-free Living provides a few great ways that the GF “movement” can move forward.

Read the full article here:

http://gluten-freeliving.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-top-5-gluten-free-changes-id-like.html

The summary:

1. FDA clearly defining “gluten” free

2. Restaurants taking gluten contamination as seriously as sanitation

3. Increase the availability of healthy gluten-free items

4. Remove trace ingredients from common foods (following after Chex cereals)

5. Rule-out Celiac’s before going GF, as it can impact your long-term health and management

So, what’s on your list?

Trader Joe’s… coming soon to a location near(er) to you!!!

This just in… Trader Joe’s moving into South Burlington!

Since I moved to VT in fall of 2012 I’ve heard plenty of moans about “if only there were a Trader Joe’s!” Friends driving to NJ stop in Albany to stock-up. Likewise with Boston journeys.

Well, the stockpiling of cheap almond butter and goat cheese will end sometime next year. The South Burlington Review Board just approved the development. It now has to go through city council where it is favored to pass. 

IT would have a prime location on Dorset St. The owners of next-door Healthy Living welcome the addition, saying that it will bring more people into the area. I look forward to being able to walk between the two!