Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shame On Me

I have been a bad, bad blogger.  Tisk, tisk on me folks!!  This is mostly due to my current lack of kitchen situation that will hopefully be remedied in the next 2 or 3 weeks.  You see, I've moved to the UK for work for a bit, and although I very much miss the states in some ways (and my state in a lot of ways) I have to remark that London is amazing!  Especially for the allergy-laden and gluten-free eater.  

Everything is labeled clearly and easily; their regulations must be stricter here. This labeling system works especially well for those with life-threatening allergies because I read one package that said basically the following:  Product contains no nuts.  No peanuts or nuts are on the premises.  We cannot guarantee that all of our ingredients were obtained from similar conditions. Do you know what it would say in the US?  Either product contains no nuts or product contains traces of nuts but the way our labeling system works, legally they could get away with the first label since their plant is nut free.  However, a highly allergic child might go into shock from eating the item.  See what I mean?

Anyhow, I went to a regular grocery chain last night and found a whole half a long isle filled with oodles and oodles of gluten-free and allergy-free goodies. Ready to go pancakes, english muffins, breads, cakes, tarts, french toast sticks, no oat fake granola bars, mixes, flours... You name it, they have it.  Now mind you, this isn't a special organic or diet store.  This is their regular supermarket and it's just one of the many chains that recognize special diet eaters.  I have to tell you, when I see something like this, it baffles me as to why there are so many limited allergy-free products in the US.  

Now you may say there are several gluten-free products, just look around. However, most of them contain nuts, milk, eggs, or soy which are all extremely common allergies, especially in gluten-free people.  The only 2 problems for me are the nuts and soy, but imagine all those who can't eat eggs.  Well I found a country for you folks!

And all the restaurants understand what gluten-free means.  Most of them have menus marking their GF items.  No more strange looks when you ask if the chef flours the beef or chicken before grilling.  They understand you.  They understand me.

So, basically, this is my salute to you UK.  You have excelled far past my allergy expectations and have gone straight to the top of my list for most GF understanding country (at least, that I've experienced so far.)  And while I don't have a kitchen, I will try to post a few old recipes that don't have pictures and maybe review new allergy-free or gluten-free products that I've found, or restaurant experiences I've had.  But don't worry, I am counting the days until I fire up that oven once again :)

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