I began living gluten free without really understanding what the term meant. Now I’ve moved from the stage when I ate what the experts told me to eat to the present I write professionally (I hope) on the subject of gluten free living. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately to clear up my own thinking on this topic. Here are some articles that I can recommend to you:
This article, simply titled “Gluten Free“, explains why a ‘zero tolerance’ to gluten is neither feasible nor desirable. It explains the Codex Alimentarius, a document by the World Health Organization that set standards for food labeling.
This article from ‘Living Without magazine‘ explains the idea of “parts per million”, the measurement used to describe the gluten content of food. It points out that most experts agree that twenty parts-per-million is an acceptable limit.
This article talks about ‘homogeneous’ and ‘heterogeneous’ mixtures. It’s important and not as complicated as it sounds. For example: tomato soup is a homogeneous mixture. Every spoonful of soup will almost certainly contain the same amount of gluten. Compare that to a soup that contains a mixture of vegetables and gluten free grains. Most spoonfuls will be OK. A few will be gluten-toxic. How do we label this soup?
This chart prepared by the Celiac Sprue Association compares the information in the Codex, the regulations proposed by America’s Food and Drug Administration, and the requirements for certification by their organization.
Where am I going with all this? I’m convinced that the term ‘gluten free’ is being used in so many different ways that it practically useless. I’m determined — at least on this website — to give it a specific meaning. Here is a link to my latest article on the subject.