Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Crunchmaster crackers

I received some Crunchmaster products free over a month ago. I have been late to the game in reviewing them, but here goes. The 7 Ancient Grains were solid snacking crackers. They claimed 7 grains, though I think flax and sesame are categorized as "seeds" not grains, but I digress. Their crunch is loud, and consistent with a rice cracker, but the flavor is slightly more complex, and the finish isn't as sweet as traditional rice-only rice crackers. My favorite part was that they were well balanced in the salt department, not too much, but not too bland either, thus escape the fate of many a dull gf cracker.

 The other package was of the Multi-Grain Crackers.
These contained oat flour. I do not eat oats, gluten-free or otherwise. So I handed them off to a gluten-eating mouth, which reported that they were good and not too-cheesy. (No Smartfood like white paws post snacking did appear)

Monday, October 24, 2011

I miss gluten

I am having one of those rare days, a day that I thought I was done with having. I miss gluten.

It is not so much that I miss a particular food, but I miss not being able to just grab something to eat without having to think, worry, check, and ask a zillion questions to make sure I CAN have it.

I know these days happen from time to time, I just sort of hate it, but I know there are a ton of others out there hating along with me. Our fingers (and the fingers of our friends) are crossed hoping for the day when going out to eat is a celebration rather than an ulcer-inducing stress-fest.

I have a giant list of places I would go to, things I would eat, a lot of street food for sure! I still have a lot of hope on this front. Hope for no weird stomachaches, hope for having my skin behave somewhat normally, hope for pizza and beer! There is a lot of hope in the mix of this sad, hissy-fit of a day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy No Gluten Required

I got into one of those great conversations today that made me want to share it with the world. It was about the occupy movement, which as of this weekend, is now international.

It also got me thinking about the connections between Celiac Disease and the current conversations happening at and around Occupy

-Funding for disease research is dictated by drug companies. 
Disease research functions a lot like our currently lobbyist system, where the deepest pocket, or perceived deepest pockets drive what gets funded and researched. Barring a celebrity fund raising for a disease, only diseases with giant potential financial gains are focused on. There are lots of drug options for erectile dysfunction, not so much for hard to detect autoimmune diseases with actual co-morbidity, and life-threatening side-effect stats.

-In the United States, we treat the ability to have access to socially and culturally appropriate foods as a privilege, not a right.
In Italy, Ireland and Sweden, there are programs that enable people to purchase gluten-free substitute foods at a lower costs - comparable to gluten-filled products because eating what YOU deem food is important. Celiac Disease is treated like what it is, a disease, not a choice, where only wealthy persons with access to specialty grocers or the internet with a secure shipping address, have the ability to eat the foods that they feel are appropriate for them.

-Access to medical care is considered a privilege, not a right
11 years is still the average rate of diagnosis of Celiac Disease in the United States - this is IF you are so lucky to have health insurance, good health insurance, that will pay for the specialists and tests. Who is able to have care, and find out why they are in pain and often suffering from several of over 300 symptoms, is not in the control of us, the people.

-There is no legal definition or protection around the consumption of items labeled "gluten free"
There have been two federal-level attempts for a legal definition of "gluten free". Companies have highlighted the "____-free" marketplace as a trend that is bringing in a lot of money. This money is great for companies, but for those who MUST avoid certain foodstuffs, not having a consistent definition of what gluten-free is and is NOT, often means people are taking a risk with their health and well-being when purchasing a processed good. The USDA and FDA are not protecting us, the citizens who have a right to know what is and is not in our food.

If you are interested in learning more, continuing conversations, and getting involved, there are lots of ways to support the protesters and the idea(l)s of democracy.

A friend has created a website to collect demands and track popularity.
Occupy Against Big Food, which is happening 10/29.

Talking about it.
Talking about what is happening is making a difference. It is entering into discourse with friends, family members, co-workers and strangers, about what is going on and how you feel about your democracy. It is a huge step. By talking about it, I learned that the Occupy Boston, that I walk by every day, does not need food right now, but is in need of other supplies for the library they just started.

Let the occupying of comments commence!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gluten Free Awards

Its time for the second annual Gluten Free Awards.

Go forth and nominate my dear readers.

PS - I have been cooking up a storm. I have smoked cinnamon roasted celeriac, onions, and carrots over chicken polenta for lunch. I just haven't been so awesome at posting. In the true spirit of Columbus Day, I shall work hard to invade your home, call it mine, and plunder some great recipes. (Hopefully you have all had your smallpox vaccines)