Buyer Beware


When The Gluten Free Section Isn't

I went to HomeSense yesterday . This was my first trip to the store and I went thanks to the suggestion of a friend. When  I approached the food section, I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of Gluten Free items. They were in a section labelled as such too. I was so happy at the site of this that I took a picture with my phone.

Now for the not so cool part. Today I was going through yesterday's GF purchase of almost $40.00 to decide what product I would be enjoying first. Upon reading the ingredients/directions I discovered that  I had made a silly mistake. A novice mistake. In my shear joy of seeing a section full of Gluten Free goodies, I neglected to read EVERY label of every item I was placing in the shopping basket. I bet you can guess what is next! I ended up purchasing 2 NON Gluten Free products. Total bummer! I have labelled the 2 items in my photo in hopes of preventing the same mistake from being repeated by anyone else. At first I thought, okay I must have grabbed these items from a different section. Nope. So there seems to be a mishmash of Celiac friendly and pain inducing (non gf) product in the so called Gluten Free area. Not sure if this is a mistake or if this is just how that section is taken care of. Unfortunate I know.My mistake completely for not verifying and triple checking like I normally do. But still, you would think that a Gluten Free Section would be just that wouldn't you.

Metro's GF Freezer Bin
Metro has a freezer bin almost full of amazing Gluten Free items. I say almost as a few items in the right of the bin (not in the photo) are only nut free. Interesting how prominent the Gf sign is and how there is NO sign advertising the nut free part of the bin. A sign is needed not only to help promote the nut free product, but to prevent confusion. Oh, and the cookies on the top of the bin are NOT GF. Im not even sure they are nut free.

 The Real Canadian Superstore , like many grocery stores has Gluten Free mixed in with Organic and Natural items. This is where I do my groceries so I am well aware of the regular stock of GF items. Anything new, I triple check.

I guess I would just like to see a Gluten Free section that is just that. Gluten Free.
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Spelt, Kamut, Ezekiel and Confusion

Spelt, Kamut and Ezekiel bread.  There seems to be a mecca of people who just don't understand  grain. Although these grains may be easier for some people (who can maintain a normal diet) to digest, they are NOT and never have been safe for those with Celiac Disease.

It is important to note that although an item can be labelled "wheat free", that does not mean it is gluten free as well. In order to be safe for consumption, a product must be both wheat and gluten free.

Spelt and Kamut are a form of wheat.They are often referred to as “ancient grains,” which is just a fancy way of saying that they have not been modified.

Ezekiel Bread contains a combination of wheat, spelt, rye, barley, and millet along with  great northern beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans. The only difference with this type of bread is that it is made from sprouted grains. Still a giant no for Celiac's.

According to the Health Canada website - Gluten: any gluten protein or modified protein, including any protein fraction derived from the grains of the following cereals: barley, oats, rye, triticale, wheat, kamut or spelt.  The definition would also apply to the grains of hybridized strains of the cereals listed above.

The below chart from U.S Dept. of Health and Human Services breaks down the different species of grains. It does a good job of showing the many different and often confusing forms of grain that are not safe. It also shows which grains are indeed safe to eat.

Allowed Foods
Indian rice grass
Job's tears
wild rice
Foods To Avoid
  • including einkorn, emmer, spelt, kamut
  • wheat starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, hydrolyzed wheat protein
triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
Other Wheat Products
bromated flour
durum flour
enriched flour
graham flour
phosphated flour
plain flour
self-rising flour
white flour
Processed Foods that May Contain Wheat, Barley, or Rye*
bouillon cubes
brown rice syrup
chips/potato chips
cold cuts, hot dogs, salami, sausage
communion wafers
French fries
imitation fish
rice mixes
seasoned tortilla chips
self-basting turkey
soy sauce
vegetables in sauce
Do not feel obligated to try something just because someone tells you that it is safe. Well intentioned people make errors from time to time. I have seen two Canadian talk shows to date that have had (cooking and fitness) guest's speak about food being gluten free when in reality said food is not GF. 

There are also those who don't have your best interest at heart and are just trying to make a quick buck. Unless you are 100% sure something is safe, don't risk it. In the end, your health is top priority.

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