Gluten-free diets have become quite the fad. On store shelves today you can find a gluten-free version of almost everything. Even some restaurants are getting in on it with menu options that eschew the controversial wheat protein. Some point out, however, that scientists have not confirmed the extent, or even the existence, of gluten sensitivity for anyone except those who have celiac disease, according to several online outlets. What’s more, wheat has been raised since the beginning of agriculture, and it seems unlikely to many that it can be so bad for us. A recent article in Mother Jones points out that it may not be wheat gluten but how we bake bread today that is bad for us. Modern companies have an interest in quickly getting product out the door to make a buck, so bread is not given the hours or days to rise that it used to get through most of history. The author of the article noticed that he felt better after eating bread that had more time to rise.
This article may be on to something, but there is probably one more reason. The flour that people use to make bread today is not the flour our ancestors used. It is white flour that has had most of its nutritional content denuded from it. If we truly wish to eat bread that is as healthy as our ancestors ate, it would need to be slow baked and made from unprocessed whole flour. If this was what had been on our store shelves all these years, one wonders if we’d have so many reported sensitivities and allergies and other food related maladies.
On Saturday, a new measure has been in force to cover meals served in restaurants, cafes, bakeries, care homes and packaged produce available at the supermarkets. The food menus should provide information if the particular food item contains allergens such as wheat, soya, gluten, celery, milk, and nuts. There will be a fine for repeat offenders.
The European Academy reported that food allergy has affected over 17 million people all over Europe. Each year, there are about five thousand patients in the hospital treated for severe allergic reactions in the U.K. and in some cases, these can cause death.
The Europe FIC Regulation passed a new legislation that requires all food providers and manufacturers to inform their customers if their food contains any of the following:
* Sulfur dioxide – this is typically used as a preservative and can be found in alcohol, vegetables, soft drinks, meat products, and dried fruits.
* Soya – this is usually found in tofu, edamame beans, and bean curd.
* Sesame seeds – this can be found in most tahini, humus, and bread.
* Peanuts – this can also be found in groundnut oil.
* Mullusc – this can be found in squid, oyster sauce, land snails, and mussels.
* Lupin – this can be found in most bread, pasta, and pastries.
* Eggs – Foods which are glazed with eggs are also included in this category.
* Crustaceans – this includes shrimp paste, prawns, lobster and crabs.
* Cereal with gluten content – this also includes barley, rye, wheat, and spelt.
* Celery – this can also be found in stock soup and cubes.