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Gluten-free products are 242% more expensive

Posted on September 19th, 2008 by Alison Read 4 Comments - Add Your Own »


That’s right, I did say 242%! This is according to a report on Gluten-free and regular foods: a cost comparison in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research. They found that commercially available products labeled gluten-free are far more expensive than their “regular” counterparts. I have definitely found this to be true.

So, what are the options for people who must eat gluten-free? I would recommend trying to eat foods that don’t come in packages as often as possible — fresh meats, fruits and vegetables, grains such as rice or quinoa. This seems hard to do in our packaged society, but it can help keep costs down.

Aside from that, you pretty much just have to accept it as part of the overall cost of your well-being. I justify it by reminding myself that I no longer pay for asthma medication, iron pills and doctors appointments because I am no longer sick like I was. For me, the cost of my special diet is well worth how good I feel. Luckily I can afford to eat gluten-free.

Tax Deduction?

There are supposed to be tax deductions for gluten-free food, but it seems that it is a lot of work for little, if any, gain. Imagine having to record every single gluten-free item you buy and its cost comparison. Sounds tedious! According to the author of an article Tax Deductions for Celiacs, “…the following individuals should consider compiling and deducting the cost of the gluten-free diet: Those who pay for their own health insurance, and those who had large, uninsured medical bills. For most everyone else, such an exercise would, most likely, be an exercise in futility.”

Other articles:

Tax Deductions for Gluten-Free Foods as a Medical Expense
Flexible Spending Accounts and Celiac Disease

Hopefully someday living gluten-free will be easier for everyone.

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  1. Indeed they are very expensive. It starts with the raw ingredients though. My wife’s GF Patisserie uses a specially milled rice flower that is already three times as expensive as regular wheat flour, add to that the insane price for Xanthan or other necesseties and you got prices comparable to New York City’s fine restaurants….

    Regardless, Celiacs are willing to pay that premium if the quality is there. But most bandwagon hitch hikers deliver so so products for outrageous prices.

  2. I believe it! I have to buy lots of alternative foods for my son with food allergies (nuts, peanuts, dairy eggs) and whew boy! It’s spensy.

  3. Interestingly, the Italian health care system pays for the cost of gluten-free products for diagnosed patients. I used to live in Italy and was looking at their very comprehensive
    Italian Celiac Society ( http://www.celiachia.it ) whose efforts have resulted in:
    * Free allocation of gluten-free therapeutic dietetic products to all celiacs diagnosed by the National Health Service
    * Exemption from military service
    * Creation of a “network” of restaurants informed about celiac disease

    Sure would be nice if we could enjoy the same benefits in the USA . . . but we are still squabbling over bringing our health care system up to the universal level Italy enjoys.

  4. It’s incredibly fucking stupid, gluten free products have less in them and should have half, not 242%. I’m GF, and I hate it so fucking much, I often get left out, I’m fed up of telling people and now it’s going to cost me lots of money, I really fucking hate gluten, I would make whoever made gluten die in a fire alive and hope it takes him at least an hour to die with a whole audience cheering at his/her death, gluten is for me by a long way the worst thing ever.

    I rarely use swear words, but I hate that kind of shit so much that I had to swear about it, it’s one of the only times and only things in the world I would use those words about, you should only use swear words when you’re horribly angry, which I am, it’s beyond words how much I hate it

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