Allergen-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2014

Posted on October 4th, 2014 by Alison | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

This is a quick list of allergen-free Halloween candy for 2014. This list includes candies that do not contain gluten or the top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish or shellfish) as an ingredient. I have listed coconut separately since I don’t consider it a tree nut (nor do most allergy organizations), but I recognize that there are coconut allergies. I also listed sesame if stated on the label (sesame is becoming a more common allergen). If there is an allergen warning on the package, I included it.

StarburstFor the complete listing of allergens and company statements see the Gluten-Free Allergen-Free Halloween Candy Guide 2014.

For a quick list of candies that are gluten-free, see the Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2014.

Note: Please, as always, double check ingredients. This list is meant as a guide only.

NOTE for bloggers/organizations/media: Please do not reprint this list without my permission. Linking to it, however, is just fine and dandy! Printing is encouraged for personal use or for schools, etc. I appreciate your consideration of my work.

ADAMS & BROOKS

  • Fun Pops Scooby Doo
  • Packaged on equipment that also packages egg, soy and dairy-containing products. Processed in a facility that also handles peanuts, tree nuts and wheat.

AIRHEADS

  • Airheads Bites
    • Ingredients contain: coconut oil

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Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2014

Posted on October 2nd, 2014 by Alison | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

Tootsie RollThis Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2014 includes candies that do not contain wheat or gluten as an ingredient, but in some cases there is a possibility of cross-contamination, so I have included the allergen statement if it mentions wheat or gluten.

For the complete listing of allergens and company statements see the Gluten-Free Allergen-Free Halloween Candy List 2014.
For a quick list of candies that are free of the top allergens, see the Allergen-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2014.
To print this list, click on the Print icon above the title. (If you don’t see the print icon, click on the title of the article first.)

Note: Please, as always, double check ingredients. This list is meant as a guide only.

NOTE for bloggers/organizations/media: Please do not reprint this list without my permission. Linking to it, however, is just fine and dandy! Printing is encouraged for personal use or for schools, etc. I appreciate your consideration of my work.

ADAMS & BROOKS

  • Fun Pops Scooby Doo
  • Processed in a facility that also handles wheat

AIRHEADS

  • Airheads Bars, Mini-Bars, Big Bars
    •  Manufactured in a facility that processes wheat flour
  • Airheads Bites

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Gluten-Free Allergen-Free Halloween Candy List 2014

Posted on October 1st, 2014 by Alison | Read 6 Comments - Add Your Own »

Candy-CornThe 2014 Gluten-Free Allergen-Free Halloween Candy List is here! As I do every year, I’ve personally scoured labels to update ingredient changes and allergen statements, and gathered current manufacturers statements by web and phone. Each candy shows if the ingredients contain wheat/gluten, milk (represents all dairy), soy, egg, tree nuts, or peanuts (6 of the top 8 allergens — fish and shellfish are not included since I have not found this to be a concern with candy). I included coconut where I saw it on a label and found that this year, more companies have added coconut oil to their ingredients.

Note for consumers of candy: Please, as always, double check ingredients and also check with the child’s parents before giving them any candy or allowing them to eat anything! I will not be held liable for any accident occurring due to the use of this list. It is meant as a guide only.

Note for bloggers/organizations/media: Please do not reprint this list without my permission. Linking to it, however, is just fine and dandy! Printing is encouraged for personal use or for schools, etc. I appreciate your consideration of my work.

Need a short list? Check out these:
Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2014
Allergen-Free Halloween Candy Quick List 2014
Natural and Organic Candy List 2014 – Coming Soon!
To print this list, click on the Print icon above the title. (If you don’t see the print icon, click on the title of the article first.)

List is organized by company, with candy names below:

ADAMS & BROOKS (located in Los Angeles, CA 213-749-3226)

  • Fun Pops Scooby Doo
  • Ingredients free of: peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk, wheat/gluten, soy
  • Ingredients contain: none of top 8 allergens
  • Package statement: “Packaged on equipment that also packages egg, soy and dairy-containing products. Processed in a facility that also handles peanuts, tree nuts and wheat.”

AIRHEADS (parent company: Perfetti Van Melle headquartered in Italy and Netherlands)

  • Airheads Bars, Mini-Bars, Big Bars
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk, wheat/gluten
    • Ingredients contain: soybean oil
    • Package statement: “Manufactured in a facility that processes wheat flour” “Made in a facility that does not process nuts.”
  • Airheads Xtremes Belts
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk
    • Ingredients contain: wheat flour, soybean oil
  • Airheads Bites
    • Ingredients free of: peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk, wheat/gluten, soy
    • Ingredients contain: coconut oil

Gluten-Free info (via web Sept 2014): Airheads Bars do not contain gluten; however, they are processed in a facility that uses wheat flour in other items, so Perfetti Van Melle [the parent company] does not claim that Airheads Bars are gluten free.

Allergen info (via web Sept 2014): Airheads do not contain peanuts, tree nuts, pine nuts, sesame, eggs or dairy; however, since it would not be typical for these items to be found in our products, we perform no specific test for them. Please keep in mind that due to the fact that most of the ingredients are agricultural products and could be processed on equipment that may also handle products containing these items, we cannot make the claim that our products are free of said items.

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Special Event – Is Eating Gluten Worth the Risk? An evening with Rodney Ford, MD

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

gigofmarinPioneering gastroenterologist, Rodney Ford, MD from New Zealand will be the featured speaker at a special Gluten Intolerance of Marin event on Tuesday, September 30 at 6:00 pm.

Dr. Ford began investigating adverse reactions to gluten 30 years ago when a gluten-free diet was prescribed rarely and only for a then-little understood condition called celiac disease. Decades before his medical colleagues recognized the prevalence of celiac disease, Dr. Ford suspected it as the culprit causing his patients’ symptoms, including eczema, dermatitis, rashes, bloating, sore tummy, abdominal pains, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel, gastric reflux, heartburn, headaches, migraine, tiredness and low energy. He was also an early-adopter of trying a gluten-elimination diet to treat a variety of complaints presented by his patients that seemed unrelated to celiac or gut health. He coined the term “gluten syndrome” to describe the array of symptoms affecting the gut, skin, brain and other body systems that are caused by gluten.

Dr Rodney Ford “The main food culprit is gluten! I came to this conclusion after seeing tens of thousands of sick children. I observed that many of these children responded quickly to a gluten free diet but they did not have celiac disease. This fact has launched me into the realm of gluten intolerance,” says Dr. Ford.

Internationally recognized as a dynamic speaker, Dr. Ford is coming to Marin to speak on Is Eating Gluten Worth the Risk?

GIG of Marin will be reaching out to the wider SF bay area community about this special opportunity to hear Dr. Ford. Our event will feature gluten-free hors d’oeuvres, wine, and vendors focused on gluten-free living all in the lovely Cascade Room at the Mill Valley Community Center.

EVENT DETAILS:
Date: Tuesday, September 30
Time: 6:00-9:00 pm
Location: Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, MV, 94941
Tickets: $35 if purchased before the event, $45 on the day of the event. Buy tickets here.
Includes gluten-free hors d’oeuvres, wine, and samples.
For more information, call 415-322-8105 or email glutenfreemarin@yahoo.com

More about Dr. Ford:
Dr. Ford graduated with honors from the University of New South Wales, Sydney in 1974 (MB. BS). He is fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in pediatrics (FRACP). He has studied food allergy/ intolerance problems in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. Formerly, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Otago University, New Zealand, he directed the pediatric allergy and gastroenterology clinic at Christchurch Hospital, for more than 15 years. He now directs the Children’s Clinic and Allergy Centre, in Christchurch, New Zealand.

 

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Asian Box – Fresh Gluten-Free Asian Food

Posted on August 10th, 2014 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

Asian Box logoAsian Box is a new fast-casual restaurant offering made-to-order Asian street food inspired boxes made with high-quality, all-natural ingredients. It first opened in Palo Alto, CA, and now has locations in Mountain View, San Francisco, Burbank and Los Angeles. I had the chance to try the restaurant a few days ago, at their San Francisco location in the bottom of Macy’s in Union Square. I loved it! And everything on the menu is gluten-free. EVERYTHING!

The concept is like Chipotle in that you get to pick what you want in your meal, step-by-step. Asian Box starts with the choice of Brown Rice, Jasmine Rice, Asian Salad or Chilled Rice Noodles (my favorite!) Then you choose a meat (chicken, pork or beef), or tofu, or shrimp. Each protein has its own special marinade or spice blend. Every box includes vegetables and then you pick your toppings, which include fresh bean sprouts, pickled vegetables, fresh jalapeno, scallion oil, crispy shallots, chopped peanuts, fresh herbs, fresh lime squeeze, and caramel egg (extra charge). I highly recommend just saying “All” and you won’t be disappointed. Lastly, you choose your sauce — Tamarind Vinaigrette, Sriracha, Fish Sauce, Peanut Sauce, and a few more signature sauces. You can even choose more than one sauce.

I had the chilled rice noodles, beef (garlic and soy glazed), all toppings, and then I asked for two sauces on the side, the Tamarind Vinaigrette and the Peanut Sauce. Both were delicious. Everything was really light and fresh. The pictures I took are not great, but give you an idea of the meal you get. The first is my meal as described above. The second is my friend’s — tofu with sriracha sauce. For a complete look at their menu, visit their website.
Asian Box BeefAsian Box

At “The Box”, they make all that they can from scratch in their restaurants. They buy from local farmers whenever possible, they never cook anything that was raised with hormones, antibiotics or pesticides, and all of their packaging is compostable (with compost bins present in their restaurants).

Besides all these great things about the restaurant, and the tasty food, the best part is not having to wonder or ask about whether the ingredients are gluten-free! This is a rarity when it comes to Asian food, as wheat and soy sauce (which contains wheat) is used so commonly.

I encourage you to try Asian Box for a casual meal if you are in the vicinity of any of their locations in northern and southern California (there will be more opening soon, I’m sure). I wish they had a location closer to my house so I could eat here often!

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Gluten-Free Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Posted on July 15th, 2014 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

When you are gluten-free, you generally no longer get to have ice cream flavors with cookies in them — like cookie dough, cookies ‘n cream, or brownie flavors. But there are a few companies out there that are making these flavors gluten-free! Here are the ones I could find (and have mostly tasted). For you dairy-intolerant people out there, you will happy to know that all but one is dairy-free also.
*Note – I obtained these ingredients from the companies’ websites for your quick reference. Ingredients can change at any time, so please read all labels before consuming.

COCONUT BLISS
“We take the issues of cross-contamination very seriously and we do everything within our power to ensure that our products are free of undeclared allergens.”

Coconut Bliss Ginger Cookie CaramelGinger Cookie Caramel

“Spicy cookies & creamy caramel in rich vanilla.” All ingredients are organic! Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, peanut-free, nut-free.
Ingredients:
Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum)
Organic Agave Syrup
Organic Coconut Extract
Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract
Organic Caramel Sauce (Organic Coconut Milk, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Guar Gum, Salt)
Organic Ginger Cookies (Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Rice Base [Organic Brown Rice Flour, Organic White Rice Flour, Organic Sweet Rice Flour, Organic Tapioca Starch, Xanthan Gum], Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Ginger, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Cloves)

Coconut Bliss Chocolate Walnut BrownieChocolate Walnut Brownie

“A divine treat for chocolate lovers.” All ingredients are organic! Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, peanut-free.
Ingredients:
Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum)
Organic Agave Syrup
Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract
Organic Fair Trade Cocoa [processed with alkali]
Organic Chocolate Brownies (Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Rice Base [Organic Brown Rice Flour, Organic White Rice Flour, Organic Sweet Rice Flour, Organic Tapioca Starch, Xanthan Gum], Organic Fair Trade Cocoa [processed with alkali], Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Vanilla Extract, Baking Soda, Sea Salt)
Organic Walnuts

SO DELICIOUS
“So Delicious Dairy Free applies strict quality control measures in an effort to prevent contamination by undeclared food allergens.”

So Delicious Coconut Cookie DoughCoconut Milk Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Bits of gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough in vanilla coconut milk ice cream. Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, nut-free, contains soy lecithin.
Ingredients: ORGANIC COCONUT MILK (WATER, ORGANIC COCONUT CREAM), ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, COOKIE DOUGH {DARK BROWN CANE SUGAR, RICE FLOUR, CHOCOLATE CHIPS [CANE SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, DEXTROSE, COCOA BUTTER, SOYA LECITHIN (AN EMULSIFIER), VANILLA EXTRACT], NATURAL OIL BLEND [PALM FRUIT, CANOLA OIL, OLIVE OIL, WATER, SALT, NATURAL FLAVOR, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, LACTIC ACID, ANNATTO EXTRACT], POTATO FLOUR, TAPIOCA FLOUR, CANE SUGAR, VANILLA EXTRACT, GUAR GUM, BAKING SODA, BAKING POWDER, POWDERED CANE SUGAR}, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, CHOCOLATE FLAKE (DRIED CANE SYRUP, COCONUT OIL, COOCA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, VANILLA), CAROB BEAN GUM, GUAR GUM, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR.

So Delicious Coconut Cookies n CreamCoconut Milk Cookies ‘N Cream

Chocolate creme cookies in vanilla coconut milk ice cream. Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, peanut-free, nut-free.
Ingredients: ORGANIC COCONUT MILK (WATER, ORGANIC COCONUT CREAM), ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, GLUTEN FREE CRÈME COOKIE (TAPICOA FLOUR, RICE FLOUR, CANE SUGAR, ORGANIC POWDERED SUGAR, PALM OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, CASSAVA FLOUR , COCOA, POTATO FLOUR, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, SALT, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR, BAKING SODA, XANTHAN GUM, SALT), CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, NATURAL FLAVOR, CAROB BEAN GUM, GUAR GUM.

So Delicious Almond Cookies n CreamAlmond Milk Cookies ‘N Cream

Chocolate creme cookies in vanilla almond milk ice cream. Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, peanut-free.
Ingredients: ALMOND MILK (WATER, ALMONDS), ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, GLUTEN FREE CRÈME COOKIE (TAPIOCA FLOUR, RICE FLOUR, CANE SUGAR, ORGANIC POWDERED SUGAR, PALM OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, CASSAVA FLOUR, COCOA, POTATO FLOUR, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, SALT, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR, BAKING SODA, XANTHAN, SALT), CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, ERYTHRITOL, PEA PROTEIN, CAROB BEAN GUM, GUAR GUM, NATURAL FLAVOR, MONK FRUIT.

So Delicious Soymilk Cookie DoughSoy Milk Cookie Dough

Bits of gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough in vanilla soy milk ice cream. Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, nut-free.
Ingredients: WATER, ORGANIC SOYMILK (WATER, ORGANIC SOYBEANS), ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, COOKIE DOUGH {DARK BROWN CANE SUGAR, RICE FLOUR, CHOCOLATE CHIPS [CANE SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, DEXTROSE, COCOA BUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT], NATURAL OIL BLEND [PALM FRUIT, CANOLA OIL, OLIVE OIL, WATER, SALT, NATURAL FLAVOR, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, LACTIC ACID, ANNATTO EXTRACT], POTATO FLOUR, TAPIOCA FLOUR, CANE SUGAR, VANILLA EXTRACT, GUAR GUM, BAKING SODA, BAKING POWDER, POWDERED CANE SUGAR}, ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, CHOCOLATE FLAKE (CANE SUGAR, COCONUT OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, VANILLA), ORGANIC SOYBEAN OIL, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, NATURAL FLAVORS, CAROB BEAN GUM, TAPIOCA DEXTROSE, GUAR GUM, ALGIN (KELP EXTRACT), YUCCA EXTRACT, SEA SALT, GELLANGUM, ANNATTO.

So Delicious Soymilk Cookie AvalancheSoy Milk Cookie Avalanche

Chocolate creme cookies in vanilla soy milk ice cream. Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, nut-free.
Ingredients: WATER, ORGANIC SOYMILK (WATER, ORGANIC SOYBEANS), ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, GLUTEN FREE CRÈME COOKIE (TAPIOCA FLOUR, RICE FLOUR, CANE SUGAR, ORGANIC POWDERED SUGAR, PALM OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, CASSAVA FLOUR, COCOA, POTATO FLOUR, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, SALT, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR, BAKING SODA, XANTHAN, SALT), ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, ORGANIC SOYBEAN OIL, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, NATURAL FLAVOR, CAROB BEAN GUM, TAPIOCA DEXTROSE, GUAR GUM, ALGIN (KELP EXTRACT), YUCCA EXTRACT, GELLAN GUM.

STRAUS

Straus Cookies 'N CreamCookies & Cream

Big pieces of rich, organic chocolate cookies in organic vanilla ice cream. Gluten-free, soy-free, peanut-free, nut-free.
Ingredients: PASTEURIZED ORGANIC CREAM AND ORGANIC NONFAT MILK, ORGANIC CANE SUGAR, ORGANIC GLUTEN-FREE COOKIES (ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE SUGAR, ORGANIC NON-HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, ORGANIC DUTCH COCOA POWDER, ORGANIC RICE FLOUR BASE, [ORGANIC BROWN RICE FLOUR, ORGANIC RICE FLOUR, ORGANIC TAPIOCA STARCH, XANTHAN GUM], ORGANIC EGGS, ORGANIC VANILLA, NATURAL CHOCOLATE FLAVORING, BAKING POWDER, SEA SALT, AMMONIUM BICARBONATE), ORGANIC EGG YOLK, ORGANIC VANILLA EXTRACT.

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Flour Chylde Bakery goes gluten-free

Posted on June 26th, 2014 by Alison | Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

Flour Chylde Bakery in Novato, California has gone completely gluten-free. They are not a new bakery — in fact, they have been baking gluten-free tortes for 12 years, but the bakery itself was not exclusively gluten-free. ‘Til now!

Flour Chylde Bakery

I visited the cafe yesterday, brought my computer to do some work, and ordered a sandwich. I felt like a completely normal person! I had the Turkey & Brie sandwich, which has dried cranberries, Italian vinaigrette and Dijon mustard. It was delicious, although I would have preferred more filling in the sandwich. With a side salad it was $7, which I found very reasonable. They have a full sandwich menu, including breakfast sandwiches, veggie sandwiches and a BLT. Or you can take one of their bread selections home with you.

Flour Chylde Sandwich

The bakery case holds all kinds of gluten-free goodies: tortes, scones, fritters, turnovers, cookies and muffins. I couldn’t resist getting one of my favorite tortes, Rapture. It is a combination of their Linzer Torte (also delicious) and the Chocolate Torte (so rich!)

Flour Chylde Goodies

Flour Chylde Rapture

Full-size cakes and tortes are also available. The take-away menu lists double-layer frosted cakes — Rustic Vanilla, Chocolate Devil’s Food, Red Velvet and Pumpkin. There is a large selection of tortes, both small and full-size.

If you can’t get to their cafe, you can find them at one of the many Bay Area farmers’ markets – to see which ones they participate in, please see their Farmers’ Market listing.

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Baking a Difference Gluten-Free Baking Class July 12, 2014

Posted on June 21st, 2014 by Alison | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

Baking a Difference Gluten-Free Baking Master Class
a fundraiser for GIG of Marin

Saturday, July 12
11 am to 4 pm
at a gorgeous private kitchen in Tiburon, CA
Purchase tickets ($200 donation)
Space is limited!

Baked Goods by Jeffrey Larsen

The Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin is delighted to offer you the chance to delve deep into the secrets of successful gluten-free baking with master baker and recipe developer, Jeffrey Larsen.

Take the mystery out of gluten-free baking and learn how to make satisfying bread and pizza at home while connecting with a sought-after teacher and a small group of others who share your interest in all things gluten-free.

Only 11 tickets will be sold for this exclusive chance to learn hands-on how to make bread and pizza, the gluten-free items that frustrate people most.

Jeffery will lead you step-by-step through the recipes he’s spent years perfecting; recipes that create bread and pizza you will be proud to serve to anyone (without using xanthan or guar gums, additives you’ll find in most store-bought GF items but which can cause allergic reactions for many people).

Bread by Jeffrey LarsenHighlights will include:

  • Comprehensive review of gluten-free baking – flour varieties, baking techniques and tips, setting up a gluten-free kitchen
  • Demonstration and hands-on instructions on how to make
    • whole grain bread plus dinner rolls, hamburger buns and hot dog buns
    • rye bread created in a bread maker
    • everyday bread – an easy weeknight bread made with baking soda (no yeast)
    • pizza and focaccia – deep dish and thin crust
    • crackers and breadsticks
    • scones and biscuits
  • Tastings and special instructions on converting your favorite recipes

After your in-depth hands-on class, you will leave with 11 recipes for the items you’ve made and tasted (recipes for breads, pizza, biscuits, scones and crackers–not available any where else) and a folder full of baking techniques, resources, tools and simple ideas for recipe conversion that Jeffrey has perfected over years of experimentation.

Bring your apron and a notebook and get ready to gain a new understanding of gluten-free baking that you can put to work in your own kitchen! Your whole family will enjoy these recipes and no one will miss the gluten-filled stuff.

Jeffrey LarsenJeffrey Larsen is a food stylist, recipe developer, pastry chef and cooking instructor, specializing in allergen free cooking and baking. He served as a stylist on nine books for Williams-Sonoma and on almost every issue of Sunset Magazine for the last 10 years. His allergen-free journey started when he began developing recipes for his dairy- and gluten-intolerant mother 11 years ago. Jeffrey gave himself a head start when he discovered that he is also gluten and dairy intolerant. In addition to teaching, Jeffrey now consults with individuals and businesses on developing menus and products and creating allergen free kitchens. Recent styling projects include: a gluten-free baking book, Flourless, by Nicole Spiridakis, to be released August 12th and a gluten-free baking book for Williams-Sonoma, Gluten Free Baking, by Kristine Kidd to be released January, 2015.

Please join us for this unique opportunity to develop your gluten-free baking skills with master baker Jeffrey Larsen!
Note: Jeffrey is generously donating his time and talent to GIG of Marin, so that we can continue to provide education and resources to those who need our support.

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Are peanuts hiding in your packaged snacks? A warning to those with food allergies!

Posted on June 15th, 2014 by Alison | ADD A COMMENT »

Ocean SprayOcean Spray announced on June 5, 2014 that it was recalling packages of its Greek Yogurt Covered Craisins® Dried Cranberries because three consumers reported that they founded yogurt-covered peanuts in the bag. Yikes! And there was a recent news story about a 7-year old girl who reached into a bag of chocolate-covered banana pieces only to bite into a chocolate-covered walnut, to which she had a known allergy. Luckily she was okay after a trip to the emergency room.

So how safe is it to eat any packaged food if someone has a food allergy? And how accurate are those food labels? The Craisins label does not have a warning that the product may contain peanuts, but it that does contain a warning that the product is made on equipment that also processes nuts. Perhaps someone with a nut allergy would have steered clear of this product in the first place. However, it seems like many food packages (especially Trader Joe’s labels) contain a warning about all of the top eight allergens just to cover the bases, whether the allergen may be present or not. This can be very confusing for the consumer.

If you are not sure about a product, it is best to avoid it. If you want to find out more, call the manufacturer. They can tell you whether they have Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) with regards to allergens — whether they segregate allergens, clean between runs, have special days that they run products with allergens, have dedicated machinery, or don’t do anything at all to prevent cross-contamination. You will probably get better information from someone at the company than the generic statement on the label.

For recall information, I encourage you to sign up for FARE’s (Food Allergy Research & Education) allergy alerts that you will receive via email. For an entire list of recalls, not just allergen-related, you can visit the FDA’s Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts page.

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Travel Dining Cards for Gluten Intolerance and Food Allergies

Posted on May 14th, 2014 by Alison | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

vietnamese-cardThe first big trip I took after being diagnosed with celiac disease was to Vietnam. I had only been gluten-free for a year, and I worried about how I would be able to communicate my dietary needs in a foreign country where I could not speak a word of the language and the writing was completely unrecognizable to me.

I decided that I needed to have a written explanation of my gluten-free diet so that I could just hand it to someone — a miscommunication could lead to one bite of gluten which could ruin a whole day of my (and my husband’s) trip. I had become friendly with one of the employees at the photo-developing place (remember those?) who was of Vietnamese descent, so I asked if he could help me. He was able to have the sentences I had written translated by his relatives and returned a hand-written note to me. I had the sense to laminate that little piece of paper that ended up saving me again and again on my travels.

Japanese nut allergy cardI was reminded of this story recently because my parents (who are also gluten-free) were getting ready to travel to Japan and I suggested they bring a dining translation card with them. It’s much easier now to communicate gluten intolerance or food allergies in almost any language because of the available online resources. Some you have to purchase, and some are free. Some are already written for you, and some can be customized. You have to find what works for you, but without a doubt, having a dining card with you will ease your mind and, hopefully, keep you safe, whether dining out in your own country or in different one!

Here are some of the travel and dining card resources I have found: CONTINUE READING ARTICLE »

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