Thursday, January 22, 2015

Food and Gluten Cross-contamination?

What is cross-contamination?
Cross-contamination is when a substance that causes great discomfort to an individual because they are sensitive or allergic to that substance.

This makes eating out at cheap burger joints or pizza places almost impossible, even low end restaurants or buffet bars. This has improved in the last few years in my experience.

As I have been traveling more for our businesses, I find I can get away with snacking on good food (veggies and fruit leather) as long as I eat one really good hot meal Preferably a 10 oz Steak, steamed veggies with REAL butter, a sweet potato with REAL butter and cinnamon and a good salad consisting of veggies red wine vinegar and Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) plus a big glass of water with some of Lemon essential oil or Metabolic Blend. I find do so much better. I usually can find coconut wraps and use those to surround a 6 oz can of tuna that has EVOO, vinegar and 6 drops of Cilantro Essential oil. This makes a good travel meal and tasty detox meal. The breakfast of choice is scrambled eggs and turkey bacon or chicken sausage OR a huge steak and veggie omelet. Beverages are Herbal tisanes and Yerba Mate from South America. I keep my sugars low, except for whole fruit and the fruit leather. I make or find safe snack bars. I do find at convention centers once I explain and ask, 'can you guarantee gluten-free, corn-free, and white potato-free and no cross-contamination' most places have no problem with me bringing food and drink I can consume safely. You will notice not a lot of grains or grasses (Rice, Amaranth, etc) either, I do eat them on occasion but I keep them very low becase they do not always agree with my body.

Something I saw in an LDS Tech Newsletter, an individual wrote in about the Sacrament stating that only those with Celiac* really worry about having a completely gluten-free experience. Something that should be understood is that a Gluten-intolerant* person can have Celiac or they may not. You can be both*. I learned this through Danna Korn, founder of Raising Our Celiac Kids and speaker at many Gluten-Intolerance conferences, when presenting in West Jordan, Utah over a decade ago now.  I know from experience that the lifestyle can be maintained. But it does take vigilance in your food preparation and the items you use on your body. everything is important. That is what started my journey to making y own body care items. My food journey in reality began with Eat Right for Your Type by Peter J D'Adamo -The Blood Type diet, I experimented upon the word and took out the obvious sources of wheat and gluten for two weeks and felt absolutely wonderful. But I will save that story for a later date. I now eat more along the whole foods and GAPS diet, or maybe just more Paleo. I have done my best to reduce processed foods as much as possible. For us Growing a garden is key to that lifestyle because we can then preserve our own food for our use.

Where exactly am I going with this a very real area of concern. Food seems to be the center of most Church Activities. It is somewhat discouraging to participation in activities when you know there will be nothing there for you  or that it will be cross-contaminated in the preparation process.

It would be like telling the many diabetics in church that 'I am sorry you can't have sugar, but we really can't be expected to meet your dietary restriction.'

Think would you tell the parent of a child with a peanut allergy, 'I am sorry your child will die from consuming or being in the room with peanuts, but we cannot meet those restrictions we are serving peanut butter cookies to all the kids.' How would that really go over?

This is how a person with food allergies or restrictions feels...

I have personally donated the supplies and helped my aunt prepare gluten-free french rolls for 100 people, because they had 3 sisters who were gluten-free. It was pleasure for me to do that because I knew what it meant to those 3 sisters.

How hard is it to separate naturally gluten-free from gluten items? Not very hard it is a matter of thinking it through and planning, and being very clear about the procedures necessary in Preparation and serving. I am very blessed to have children that know first hand the results of 'a little won't hurt you'.  They act as centurions watching preparation and telling me don't eat you will get sick.

The solution is setting aside a Gluten-free and food allergy table being clear that is for those with that issue. Because like at home sometimes our 'free' food looks better than the other 'normal' food. Have plain cut up Fruit and veggies with a plain sour cream dip or safe home made hummus. At the very least share the menu so that person can bring something to eat. OR have the activity and save the time of eating until the end, so they can quietly duck out.

Something else for those who think hand sanitizer cleans up gluten from the bread or other gluten items- sorry no dice there- Only soap and water properly remove the gluten. Please let those who prepare our Sacrament know this. That little speck of a crumb you drop from your finger on that cracker can cause anaphylaxsis-been there done that-don't want to do it again. that is why I am so anal about Sacrament Prep and have been requested to hold mine in my own hands now.

As always, comments and questions are welcome.  I am willing to discuss the matter.

*includes Dermatitus Herpetiformis-includes skin contact with gluten, which results in breakout of acne like looking bumps but are painful and leak clear fluids. It does not make one look pretty.