I got hit with the following question yesterday:
I have been hearing a lot of buzz lately about sourdough bread being safe on a GF diet. WHAT?! Yes, I’d kill for a grilled cheese on real sourdough but wondered what you know about it. Some articles say ‘some’ sourdough is safe for GF but not for those with celiac. My gut (literally) tells me to not even try. What say you?
Now I’ve see headlines in the past that talked about this but never gave it much thought. I mean, who would ever trust that bread made with gluten would be safe for those with celiac disease? Well…I should know better than to underestimate our society and especially our media. It seems a lot more than I had assumed. Some examples:
Mind Body Green
“A team of scientists in Italy in 2010 showed that gluten content was much lower in breads that were made in the traditional, old-world style. The difference was so stark that celiacs in the study were able to consume the sourdough with no ill effects.”
Dude response: I’m pro-science. They tested 5 people. And these studies used a specific hydrolysis process created with specially bred strains of yeast and lactobacilli, which is not even being offered commercially. According to Joseph Murray from the Mayo Clinic…”For those with true celiac disease, it is too soon to extrapolate the findings of a small study to changes in diet. For the bread to be an option, there would have to be a way to work out the baking process so that the gluten is guaranteed to have uniformly degraded to the point where the bread could be tolerated in each batch.”
“Most gluten-free breads are dense, dry and expensive. But wheat bread may be making a comeback for the gluten-intolerant thanks to new research on sourdough. It turns out this old-fashioned baking technique may help break down gluten in wheat. Sourdough is not only good for baking but may also help heal the gut in those newly diagnosed with celiac disease.”
Dude response: First of all, everyone has got to stop saying gluten-free bread is awful. They must only be eating Udi’s. Plenty of decent breads on the market. Second…this is just dangerous advice. “Help heal the gut for those with celiac disease?” No words.
“Is Sourdough the Future of Gluten-free Bread?”
Dude response: Shut up.
“Celiacs Can Say Yes To Sourdough Bread. Calling all celiacs! If you think you’ll never eat wheat bread again, think again. Some bread-loving Italian researchers have discovered that slow-fermented sourdough bread may be safe for people with celiac disease.”
Dude response: The headline screams it’s safe. Then in the first paragraph they say it MAY be safe. Real responsible reporting.
I could go on, but I’ll just stop there.
So based on ONE study of FIVE people, many in the food industry and the media are saying it’s ok to eat sourdough bread. And here’s the thing. Even if MAYBE it POSSIBLY you know COULD BE safe, why would you ever risk it? More and more, food manufacturers are trying to convince the GF community that we are missing out because we can’t have gluten. So they are adding gluten to their products, then “processing” it to theoretically remove enough gluten to get by the FDA rules, and then labeling and promoting said item as GLUTEN-FREE.
Speaking for myself, stop. Seriously…just stop. I don’t miss gluten. I don’t want gluten. I don’t need gluten.
And if anybody asks me if sourdough bread is safe for the celiac community…here is my response:
As Nancy Reagan said…just say no.