I’m addressing this blog post to you because I want to open a dialogue about your gluten free range.
I firstly want to say how wonderful it is that in recent years you’ve created more gluten free and vegan products for those of us with more than one dietary requirement. It was good to see such a well known company stepping up and providing for Coeliacs. I also hope that it has increased your sales, as now those who had to avoid your products for their gluten content can buy them again.
Having said that, I am writing this to draw your attention to your use of gluten free barley in your gluten free products. YES, your gluten free barley IS gluten free technically speaking (under 20 ppm), but I’m curious as to whether you realise that you are still alienating a large portion of your potential customers?
Whilst Coeliacs need gluten free food, as the gluten free community are aware, sometimes it is not enough to remove the gluten from a usually gluten containing grain and still use it in your product, or to use a small enough amount of said gluten containing grain that it comes to under 20 ppm. This has come to light recently with the use of codex wheat in some of Schar’s and Juvela products. Whilst these foods are certainly gluten free, they contain wheat, and some Coeliacs still react. It is also important to mention non-Coeliacs who need to gluten free for health reasons – IBS sufferers, for example.
This is a very grey area, and legally speaking it is still fine to use gluten free versions of usually gluten containing grain. But I wanted to raise this point to try to discourage you and other companies from doing this. You must realise that not everyone who needs gluten free food (whether they are Coeliac, suffer from IBS, Hashimoto’s, Colitis etc.) can eat these grains.
Therefore I ask you to consider this, to discuss it with those in the gluten free community, to test alternatives and to see whether you could use a different ingredient in your gluten free products. I ask whether it would be possible for you to consider that not everyone who is gluten free can eat those grains, even when the gluten is removed, and to work towards making a product that is suitable for all of us.
The Gluten Free Veggie