Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The luck o’ the Celiac Irish

"Shamrock Stiletto", watercolor & ink, 5x7, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

Almost 2 years into living totally gluten-free I consider myself very lucky...

Lucky to have found the source of all that ailed me.

Lucky to have rid myself of all the gluten long enough to see real healing.

Lucky to have a husband who supported me through the good, the bad, the ugly, and most especially the really ugly - withdrawal.

Lucky to have a kitchen that is virtually gluten-free.

Lucky to have a daughter, not yet 4, who looks out for me and has a grasp of cross-contamination.

Lucky for an amazing GF community on twitter.

Lucky for all the understanding and respect from family and friends.

Lucky to be able to return to my art.

Lucky that the daily pain and headaches are gone.

Lucky that I now am comfortable baking - and appreciative of all who share gf recipes.

Lucky that the gluten-free product choices continue to grow.

Lucky that there are chefs and restaurants that are rising to the challenge of serving tasty and safe gluten-free meals so I can dine out occasionally.

Lucky that I can sit down to a gluten-free St. Patrick’s Day meal tonight! Complete with hard cider.

Lucky that the power of healing is in my hands and with every meal I eat I get healthier.


May the GF products rise to meet you. 
May the gluten consumption forever be behind you.
May the sun – and all its glorious Vitamin D – be warm upon your face.
And, may the GF grains fall softly on your baking.

Happy St Patrick’s Day to all!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Deceptive food labeling - finding the gluten

"Rapunzel", watercolor & ink, 8x10, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

I tried a snack today that boldly proclaims its gluten-free status on the front and back of the package. It also listed 100% vegan, wheat free, dairy free and peanut free. Great! Something new to try that should be safe.

On further inspection, below the ingredients was the following statement: "may contain trace amounts of allergens not listed in the ingredients." Ah, the infamous 'should.'

Now what does that really mean? Which allergens? It may be safe, but it may not be safe, but they are absolved from any mis-labeling?

So they get to go with the labeling 'trends' but make no guarantee. A trace of peanuts or dairy won't bother me but could put someone else in the hospital. On the other hand a trace of gluten will cause me a great deal of problems. Tremendous problems.

To me this is food labeling at its worst. Just to sell their damn snacks they don't care who they make ill? Who's their market anyway? Certainly not anyone who can not eat those allergens. And why can't they say which allergens it may contain? Don't they know? Or do they know any given batch may contain traces of any or all and they just don't care?

Don't play games with me. I have worked damn hard to get all the gluten out of my world - and to get healthy again. Food labeling should be straight forward. People's health and lives are at stake. Whether or not I get a gluten reaction today I won't be buying this product line again on principal.