Sunday, May 1, 2011

I am a ZERO gluten man

Yes! I am a ZERO gluten man. This is based on the concern that tiny amounts of gluten in your food are enough to stimulate your immune system – even if you are not feeling directly unwell from the trivial exposure. What is trivial to you is not trivial to your highly tuned & sensitive immune system.

By definition, Zero gluten means ZERO! In other words – it is undetectable gluten (say less than 1ppm – gluten detection is now getting down to these very low levels). Consequently, ANY FOOD that has gluten detected between 5-20ppm should NOT be labeled GF. It is NOT gluten-free, even if it contains an apparently trivial amount. It needs to be labeled 5-20ppm!!! We need to know what is in our food! We need this information to make healthy food choices.

Although the manufacturers say this is not practical to make ZERO gluten products, it is if enough effort is put into cleaning up the contaminated food chain. The ZERO gluten market is growing. The GF community does not want gluten traces in their food. If we people do not buy their products - then they will have to change - or decide that they will not chase the GF market.

Yes, sensible labeling needed.

I propose a 3-tier system: zero gluten, less that 20ppm gluten, and glutened. It is that simple. Then we know what we are getting. How hard is this! Everyone satisfied. Why does the FDA just want one definition? It cannot be done – that is why they have had this “problem “ on their too-hard pile for the last 7 years!

Another piece of sound advise from Gluten Free Planet

Cheers, Dr Rodney Ford


  1. I think it can be even less confusing. I'd prefer having a gauge type indicator instead of having a simple GF/NGF indicator. In automotive circles the simple dash board lights (instead of gauges that actually tell you something) are called "idiot lights". Members of the gluten-free community are far from "idiots". I think they are some of the most educated consumers in the food market place.

    List the gluten content on the label and let me decided if I want to purchase it.

    They do this with sodium content now.

    I would like to know what commercial gluten testing will go below detectable levels of 3ppm gluten/1.5ppm gliadin.


  2. Yes, good point, however, a manufacturer is not going to test each batch - so a range of gluten levels will be averaged. What ever is decided, we need to be given the facts. Currently, detection is down to a few ppm. Elisa tests will be usually adequate - will need to leave methodology to scientists. A favorite saying for me is "What gets measured gets done"

  3. The food side of it is relatively easy if you want to go zero gluten - you eliminate all grains and pseudo grains, largely reducing cross-contamination at the source and largely removing the concern that your sugar and vegetable oil laden gluten-free slice made in the cafe kitchen where they just rolled the dough for the bread, has been contaminated. Then you eat a diet made up of meat, chicken, fish, eggs, all vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, etc. Gluten-free products are nothing more than candy cigarettes.

  4. Yes, we need the facts in order to make educated decisions. Some companies DO test each batch of finished product (as well as incoming raw ingredients), however currently it is not wide spread.

    @Jamie - I'll agree, removing grains/pseudo grains and eating foods naturally GF offers the best possible chance to consume "zero" gluten. However, as of today, there's no way to know or physically prove if one is really consuming absolute zero ppm of gluten.

    So, applying "What gets measured gets done" to absolute zero ppm of gluten. If we can't measure it, will it ever get done?

  5. Zero gluten for me please. I seem to react to miniscule amounts. Therefore I concur with Dr Ford's statement that, 'that tiny amounts of gluten in your food are enough to stimulate your immune system'.

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  7. April, a high tTG is very suspicious of early celiac disease. Sometimes the gluten antibodies do not get altered. If you decide to continue eating gluten, get another tTG test in 6 months - if it is going up - get a biopsy and go GF.

  8. thanks - what gets measured gets done - the more testing the more we know what is in our food. Yes Jamie is right to point out that GF processed goodies are not helpful for health - they are a distraction for a healthy diet. RF

  9. April, high cholesterol can be directly related to a high-carb diet and insulin. High cholesterol "runs in my family" too, so when mine was over 220 when I was a 25 year old vegetarian athlete, I just chalked it up to genetics.

    However, after many years of declining health, once I stopped being vegetarian (by necessity a carb-heavy diet) and started eating paleo (including lots of bacon and eggs!) my "naturally high" cholesterol dropped to 169. It has never gone back up and I am 45 now.

    If you already have celiac markers and high cholesterol, then "not sticking to" a diet that's good for your body may spell long-term deteriorating health. Boy do I wish I hadn't waited so many years to fix my health with proper eating!

  10. "The food side of it is relatively easy if you want to go zero gluten - you eliminate all grains and pseudo grains, largely reducing cross-contamination at the source...Then you eat a diet made up of meat, chicken, fish, eggs, all vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, etc."

    I really, really wish it was that easy, but it's SO much harder than that. I react with a noticeable neurological reaction to less than 5ppm of gluten, and finding truly gluten free food is nearly impossible, frankly. Gluten cc is present at nearly every point in our food supply, no matter what the food.

    As some examples?

    Farm raised fish are fed gluten feed, in their water, which coats their skin as a result. Even if you don't eat the fish itself, this also affects our produce because some of these fish are gathered and made into gluten cc'd fish emulsion which is very often used on organic farms and cc's the produce resting on the ground. Cornmeal (often gluten cc'd, as we know) is being used more often now as a pre-emergent over the soil on organic farms.

    Oat and wheat straw are often used to cover strawberries and mushrooms. Mulch and compost often have gluten contaminated straw and contaminate the produce it's used with.

    Field hands often eat their lunch (often gluten containing granola bars and such) while picking food in the fields, so that they don't lose the time it takes to pause for lunch.

    Animal manure often has leftover gluten grains in it and is used as fertilizer. Rye is often a cover crop for sweet potatoes and contaminates the soil. Soaps used to wash the produce can have gluten, as well as soaps used to wash the machines to process nuts and seeds.

    Chickens' bowels release in the defeathering machines and if they were fed gluten cc'd grains it contaminate the entire skin. They are sterilized after that point, but it doesn't destroy the gluten.

    Truly gluten free food is REALLY, REALLY difficult to find. Heck, we've tested oranges for gluten and had the skins come back at 5ppm.

    I don't think people realize just how ubiquitous this substance is in our farming and food processing, even for whole foods. It takes an unbelievable effort to get completely gluten free.

    Worth it, but much, much harder than just eating whole foods and eliminating grains, as much as I wish that wasn't the case.

  11. i've been drinking bird nest soup every night (i only get the homemade kind
    back at home). the only reason why i drink it is because it's supposed to be
    good for complexion.

    i’ve been taking the store-bought kind online (e.g. of famous branded
    only of course) which is directly mailed from Hong Kong. this would be at a
    more affordable price.

  12. I have read that gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin. However, I have experienced intestinal symptoms from having hair color that contained gluten on my head. I realized a couple of years ago that working with hair products (I'm a hairstylist) gave me the typical reaction I have when I eat even small amounts of gluten so I stopped using ANY products of any kind on my skin and hair that contain gluten. Last week I used some hair color that I was told by a sales person was gluten free on my own hair. After about 20 minutes with the stuff on my head I started getting the bloating and stomach pain I get when I am 'glutened.' I washed it off immediately, called the store and the manager told me it DOES contain hydrolyzed wheat protein. SO... what do you say to the "experts" who say gluten cannot be absorbed into the skin? It seems to me that if the skin is scratched or has any breaks it would allow the gluten into the body. Also, if using peroxide, strong chemical, such as those in coloring products, the absorptive qualities of the skin could be enhanced. Also, with products, such as toilet paper, which sometimes use gluten-containing glue to hold the paper together and glue the end onto the roll, the gluten could be absorbed into the mucous membranes. I am 100% gluten free, even with paper products, skin products, etc.