Wheat Chex are Gluten Free? I'm Not Sure Whether to Laugh or Cry.

wheat chex gluten free

I’m not gonna rant about this one. (Dude note: If you can’t see the picture above, click here.)

I really try to balance the pulse of this blog so I don’t come across as a complainer; though lord knows there’s enough to kvetch about (yes…I said kvetch, though I have no idea if I spelled it right.)

Why just the other day on Twitter, somebody called me, and I quote, “a whiny little girl”. I was hurt beyond words. I hate being called little.

While erroneously calling Wheat Chex gluten-free make get a guffaw out of some people, I just can’t laugh about these types of mistakes.

Why? Because gluten free is our medicine and getting it wrong just isn’t funny.

Repeat after me: Gluten Free is Our Medicine.

It’s how we thrive. It’s how we survive.

To me, this is akin to a doctor prescribing a medicine to a sick patient that instead of healing the patient, actually makes him sicker.

Everybody…and I mean everybody…who promotes gluten-free has a responsibility to understand what gluten-free truly means.

And if you don’t get it…if you can’t do it right…whether you’re a grocery store, a restaurant, a food manufacturer, whatever…then you don’t have the right to promote it.

I walked into a local Italian restaurant last week that not only has a huge “Gluten-Free” sign on their front window but also has gotten praises from some in the gfree community. I asked the cashier about cross-contamination. Got a blank look. So the manager comes over and I asked him the same question. He had to ask the head chef. So the chef comes out to talk to me and instead of answering my questions, all he kept saying is that they can make any meal gluten-free.

And then he says, no joke, “We can even make Chicken Parmesan. We just won’t add the cheese.”

Seriously…this is a head chef in a restaurant that proudly advertises gluten-free food and he thinks CHEESE is the problem?? They had NO IDEA what they are doing yet they were still promoting it.

It’s irresponsible. And worse…it’s dangerous.

Blame it on the fad. Blame it on the trend.

And until it’s taken more seriously, our community will continue to suffer.

And I just don’t think that’s funny.

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92 thoughts on “Wheat Chex are Gluten Free? I'm Not Sure Whether to Laugh or Cry.”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more! I have family and friends that say ‘this restaurant has gluten-free options’. We don’t eat out hardly ever, and we would never eat any place that doesn’t have a dedicated gluten-free prep area. I just tell people ‘that’s not all there is to it’ because I get tired of explaining it.

  2. You’re right, it isn’t funny. I think that it’s especially bad for the newly diagnosed person with celiac disease because when so much convenience food has to get thrown out the window, it’s easy to reach for the thing that says gluten free rather than researching it to verify that it’s completely safe. When your head is spinning with the diagnosis and you’re feeling depressed that you can’t eat your favorite things anymore, it makes sense.

    Ensuring that products are created in dedicated gluten-free facilities are so important and is the responsible thing for manufacturers. For restaurants, knowing a safe way to handle food is also essential.

  3. Dude you did much better with restraint than I thought you would when I first saw this. The reality is GF processed food, the fad & being able to eat out really are a double edged sword of this exsistance. Yeah fad we have more choices in expensive processed replacement foods, boo we have restaurants that believe cheese is the problem because the “gluten free masses” accept it. Remember this moment in a few years when we are all back making our own bread & STILL experiencing the eye roll from chefs. “Stupid is as stupid does” sometimes is more true than we like to believe…in this case some genius that labeled all the chex GF like the boss said.

  4. I have seen this problem over and over…infact…have acct purchased only to get home…..and realize error…I have given away a lot of food lately lol. sadly when you do get sick….its so much harder to shop … and you just see oh GF …no its not…..that’s just sad is what it is its just sad that they think no one will notice…..

    1. I just give the food to the rest of my family. I am the only celiac in my family which sucks, but I am used to it.

  5. My friend Mary has been diagnosed with celiac disease for a lot longer than I have, but she had her first really awful experience at a restaurant last year. She always does her homework, calls the restaurant a few days before, explains the situation, asks lots of questions. The chef assured her that they have a lot of gluten free options, and she was most excited about a seafood paella. The dish is delivered, and it has a lot of breaded fish. When she asked to speak with the manager and the head chef, they both told her that gluten free meant “low fat.” And it took 20 minutes of arguing before they agreed to take the paella off of their bill.

      1. Last summer I went to Liam Maguires in Falmouth Center and questioned the beaf stew ingredients, an item on the gf menu. The OWNER came over and was so angry I questioned the menu. When I tried to explain she literally yelled at me and said “this is why people like you should stay home and eat in your own house! Restaurants dread when people like you walk into our restaurants!” Mind you, they advertised a Gluten Free menu and I called ahead to ask if they could accommodate. Some restaurants just throw GF out there to get business. But this was disgusting on so many levels! Don’t go there!!!

    1. And on a not so serious note, seriously? Breaded fish in paella? That’s disgusting. They not only don’t have any business offering gluten-free, they don’t have any business offering paella.

  6. I am remembering a few weeks back when I was watching the newer commercials for Chex and noticed they had started putting a disclaimer at the bottom notifying viewers that Wheat Chex and Multi-grain Bran Chex are not gluten free. I thought this was the craziest disclaimer I had ever seen and such a “master of the obvious” statement. Now I know why they started displaying it.

  7. On the flip side of this, I bought some granola bars a few months ago that were in the gf section at Wal-Mart. I almost had one in my mouth before I realized that it was NOT in fact gf. I intended to talk to a manager at Wal-Mart to make sure they were aware of the error, but there wasn’t one available the day I was there so I found a couple employees and kindly pointed out that people might get sick if it wasn’t corrected. I fully expected them to be in the same spot next time I was there a few weeks later. But to my total surprise and delight, they had not only removed those granola bars from the gf section but they had redone their entire cereal bar section and added Kind and Larabar to their offerings. And this was Wal-Mart! Every now and then we do get a win. It isn’t often, but it’s nice when we do. πŸ™‚

  8. I have found out recently that most restaurants(when ordering their cheese), purchase shredded cheese that is floured for longevity and separation. Maybe this is common knowledge already and I am only catching up. Our families saving grace was most Mexican restaurants until I discovered this unsettling info. Thank you always for maintaining your integrity and due diligence.

    1. That’s actually the first thing I thought of when the chef said he would make the Chicken Parm without the cheese.

      @GlutenDude, you know you can make chicken parm without breadcrumbs or deepfrying right? The chef’s comment would have prompted me to ask more about what’s in their chicken parm first before drawing the conclusion he didn’t know what he was talking about. The comment about the cheese could have been talking about issues with floured shredded cheese. (‘Course, I would have walked out at that point because any restaurant making their chicken parm w/shredded cheese is disgraceful as it should be real parmesan…but that’s beside the point πŸ˜‰ )

      So much of what we have to do is like being a journalist. Probe while interviewing, remain neutral until the sum total of the information is heard.

      1. Exactly what I was thinking: oh, God, an Italian restaurant that uses pre-shredded Parm? But, exactly…this is entirely doable and maybe he did know what he was doing.

  9. The worst thing that comes to mind is when somebody that isn’t GF does the shopping for their loved one and brings this home. I can just envision a frustrating situation coming out of it.

  10. Laura @gf-archivist.com

    I have been informally counseling several gluten intolerant people over the last few weeks that have just given up gluten. I keep making the point that each of them has to double check everything; it frustrates me that I can’t tell them to simply trust the consumer labels as they adjust to their new life

  11. It’s not a laughing matter and those who don’t have an intolerance and/or Celiac Disease just brush it off like its some “girly food allergy.”

    I struggle not to lose my cool when I see a product labeled “gluten-free” yet it’s been packaged in a facility that also packages wheat products. I struggle with the 200ppm – I have Celiac Disease and I’ve been glutened over and over eating out and from products.

    The best way for me to remain gluten-free is to eat non-processed, nutrient dense whole foods. Don’t get me wrong this girl likes crackers and chips with the best of them, but I now only purchase products I know are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. I no longer want to take the chance with my health if I can help it.

    Thanks Gluten-Dude for keeping an eye out for all of us & bringing attention to these little details that are so important – What you’re doing for the community “is not little” – Education is key & you’re helping to educate us all!

      1. I agree with everything Rachel said above about eating whole unprocessed foods. I feel that I just can’t trust labeling or marketing, or even what I might read on a package itself when scrutinizing the small print. This example here is a prime reason why. I won’t trust chefs in restaurants either. As you say, this lifestyle is our medicine, and it must MUST be taken seriously. I accept the responsibility for that. (Note that this doesn’t stop me from being infuriated by examples like this one, the 20ppm being considered “gluten free” or other problems!)

        And I also echo and her thoughts on you and this blog, Gluten Dude. You are simply amazing, keep on doing what you do and don’t worry about what others think.

  12. GD-

    Is this a what the *&# moment or what? I had one the other week when I was out for in inspection for work and a group & I stopped at Mastori’s (famous Jersey place, think cheese bread). I stopped on the way out and asked the bakery chef if any of the items were gluten free. Just curious. Here’s how it went:

    JG (me): Are any of your items gluten free?
    BC (bakery chef): Yes.
    JG: Really (yay!)? Which ones?
    BC: Those right there.
    JG: Uhhh. Those are sugar free.
    BC: Yup.
    JG: Do you know what gluten is?
    BC: Yeah, so that’s why we use sugar free Jello in those ones.
    JG: That’s sugar free.
    BC: Yup.
    JG: Gluten free and sugar free are not the same.
    BC: oh. well. Those are really good though.

    Jersey Girl

  13. Isn’t it interesting how people who are insensitive enough to disregard the needs of sick people also label those needs “girly” (eg the Dude being called a whiny little girl — I saw what you did there, Dude, and smiled! — and the “girly food allergies” comment mentioned as well, definitely something I’ve heard too). Just goes to show you that being inconsiderate of others is rarely limited to just one aspect of life. Disregarding people because of their medical needs, their gender, their mental health, their differences … it’s all one rotten package deal.

    On topic, I never trust those supermarket shelf labels, because it’s too easy for them to be wrong, or for products to get shifted around. Check the box, check online, verify the brand’s info…it’s the only way. But I didn’t know that until the last six months, and spent years trying to eat gluten free but still getting sick.

  14. I am glad that I compulsively read every label when shopping for ANY snack food or specialty flours for baking. I don’t eat out much as its just plain scary. I know its crap shoot every time we eat out with people who don’t really understand what we need to LIVE. I love the picture of the Wheat Chex. That’s the obvious mistake, so on to label reading.

  15. As a dietitian who teaches label reading to people with diabetes, heart disease and more besides celiac, I always start out by saying, “As much as you can eat foods with no labels.” Then they can fill in their diet by carefully reading the labels. I can tell you that label reading is just as problematic for people with other health problems.
    General Mills must know this is a problem because they have been advertising that the wheat has gluten and have made their Gluten-Free on the boxes much bigger. A lot of these supermarkets are labeled and stocked by kids. My local store knows me and changes things that I point out are wrong and goes out of their way to help people with celiac. It shouldn’t be our job to educate stores and restaurants, but we are helping our fellow celiacs when we do.

    1. You’re right Gloria. It shouldn’t be our job to educate stores and restaurants, but sadly, it is. I long for the day when I no longer have to educate every restaurant I go to.

      1. So who’s job is it to educate? Every interaction is an opportunity to educate. If you just express annoyance and walk away, how will things improve? If they don’t want to learn that’s one thing, but if we spent equal energy educating as ranting, maybe there would be more progress,

    2. bernadettepeigirl

      I agree Gloria i have had celiac for almost 11 years now mind you it took over 8 years to find out what I have…..I worked as a waitress since I’ve been 15 years old now 46 so i see alot that goes on….I work in a chinese resteraunt and have had countless numbers of customers coming in to order gluten free meals the other waitresses were like sure we have gluten free food and didn’t have a clue to what it even is……so myself I go over to table and let the customer know I have abs as well as celiac and that I can help with any questions I can being in the same boat I told them are meals are only prepared when ordered and went on to tell them we had veggie dishes our rice and or spare ribs were all gluten free and then could order any one of these dishes and promise it wouldnt hurt them in any way as myself I eat at work and only eat the things mentioned as for store they dont always put gluten free products where they should be superstore is one of them but then you have a store like food land that has its own shelfs that is strictly gluten free

  16. I have also been glutened by store-bought and restaurant gf food. Soon after my diagnosis, I bought a frozen dinner from a well-known national company that touts its gluten-free and vegan foods. I had read the label and did not see any obvious gluten ingredients, but after eating the dinner, I had obvious symptoms of a glutening. I dug the box out of the recycle bin and saw, in very fine print, that the dinner was made in a facility that also processes wheat. I no longer buy anything made in such a place. As for restaurants: we went to a well-known local restaurant a couple of weeks ago for dinner with friends. I called ahead and spoke with the manager and was assured they had a gluten-free menu. This restaurant has a sister restaurant in town with a certified gf kitchen, so I figured they knew what gluten was (wrong!). When we ordered, I explained to the waiter and to someone from the kitchen that I needed a gf meal from the gf menu and they assured me that would be no problem. Imagine my surprise when the waiter brought my salad…with croutons! I should have kept that salad at the table until he brought a clean one, but I sent it back for a replacement. Better still, I should have just not eaten. Got sick that night. Not going back there!

  17. And…this is why having this disease is such a pain in the ass. I advocate everyday, everywhere I go out to eat and purchase food. But this sort of thing is what makes me “sick to my stomach”, literally.

    How in the world can these businesses get away with this nonsense? Who’s holding them accountable? We are. We have too, otherwise some poor, newly diagnosed Celiac is going to get themselves sicker by eating these “gluten free” foods.

    Ack! More awareness must take place soon. This is ridicluous already.

    I was diagnosed 6 years ago and went into my “gluten free cave” 3 years ago, not reading anything about Celiac or gluten free because it’s all too upsetting. It’s just as much of a joke now as it was then and that’s pitiful. No progress that I can see, whatsoever in the media. Okay, I’m going back into my gluten free cave because this kind of thing just pisses me off. (Maybe this needs to be in the rant section.)

    1. I have been celiac for almost two decades and this does not make me as upset as you. Back then there were no GF foods in the grocery. Yes, groceries have a lot of work to do and this was a mistake made by someone in an office somewhere making labels. But I seriously doubt that a celiac person would accidently purchase WHEAT Chex. All of the GF Chex are clearly labeled in very large letters. If I saw that label I would speak to the manager of the store and they would remove it. I often point things out at my local grocery store and they are very appreciative and accommodating. You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

      1. Maybe you should take your own advice and use some honey instead of vinegar when responding to others? If you can’t tell, no, I didn’t really like your judgmental last sentence. How do you know how I speak to grocers/ restaurants? I’m actually very kind and patient with them. I was merely expressing my sadness and frustration that there is not more awareness yet in general about what gluten free means to us.

  18. Sadly, Hospitals aren’t much better with the gluten free options. My mother basically had to BRING me food because they were so clueless

    1. Alex..totally agree with your hospital comment. I recently had surgery. The surgeon know I had celiac disease. I informed the hospital I had celiac disease when doing the preoperative paperwork. I told the nurses in the staging area I had celiac disease. Came out of surgery and was in recovery /post op and they asked if I wanted something to eat or drink. They had NOTHING gluten free. Luckily my surgery did not require an overnight stay.

      1. Yup…. When I was in the hospital, I was amazed that I had to tell them what I could and could not eat. I thought I would say I was gluten free and be done with it. Guess what? they even toasted bread on the same toaster. This is a prestigious NYC hospital to boot. Luckily, i have a very devoted jewish mother who brought me food and left me with safe Gluten Free bars. ugh.

  19. NO WORDS!! At least none I want say out loud..WT He- double hockey sticks???? I’ll have a hard cider and come back.

  20. Dude, The sign did make me laugh, but it’s not really funny. It’s tough to always be the one complaining or educating others, but please keep at it! We all need to work together to make sure nonsense like this doesn’t continue to happen. Sadly, it reminds me of my favorite quote: “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.” – Johann Ludwig von Goethe

  21. About a year ago this would have made me cry. I am so tried of trying to read labels. So instead I try to eat whole foods as much as possible or things with only only a few ingredients that are understandable. I try to eat nothing I can’t pronounce. As far as restaurants sushi is the best because they are already so great at keeping everything clean because most things aren’t cooked.

    1. I don’t want to burst your bubble on sushi, which I love, too, but there are some places that use a malted vinegar in their sushi rice, so you do have to check that. My local Whole Foods in Atlanta has sushi that is clearly marked “gluten free,” and they use a non-malt white rice vinegar in the rice (yes, I asked and the nice Japanese lady checked). But when traveling to both Austin and D.C., the sushi in those Whole Foods stores is NOT gluten free because of the vinegar they use. Which is a bummer because that’s an easy grab and go lunch when traveling.

  22. Hi Gluten Dude,
    While it’s always funny to see these mistakes, reading your words “Gluten Free is our medicine” makes me want to do SOMETHING!!! I know your blog is amazing and just by writing about it is doing something but I would LOVE a real plan to stop this kind of stuff from happening. My kids (and my) health depend on our being gluten free. I hate eating out because so often this happens. I am also dairy free (doctors orders too) so that also makes it super tricky to get a meal out that doesn’t make me sick. I could tell you so many stories. I guess I will have to do a post on it. Is there anything we can actually DO??? I can’t stand it any more. Anyway, if you think of something that I can help with–I’m in. You are so full of great ideas–I just thought I would ask. It is really terrible how people don’t take this seriously and they screw it up ALL the time.
    Kirstin @ourGFfamily

  23. Thankful For Whole Foods

    Alright then, now I am THANKFUL that I am also lactose intolerant in addition to having celiac. I HAVE to always read the label even it if says “Gluten Free.” And, such great advice…”Eat foods with no label!” The more labels I read the less of those foods I want to eat. Short term enjoyment of the taste is not worth the potential for long term bad health.

  24. Just to point out the obvious that the General Mills Wheat Chex were NOT labeled gluten free and it was just a mistake on the stores shelf label. General Mills has been very helpful to the celiac community, taking feedback from us on what products we need and listening to our concerns. They were the first major manufacturer to change some of their products to GF and publishing GF lists and recipes. As a dietitian who works with many low income families I can say it has been a big help to have GF mainstream products in everyday grocery stores. The stores are still learning, but remember this is new to them. Always read the package. I doubt if any celiac would buy a box labeled WHEAT Chex.

  25. I think I can form an intelligent response now.. I want to cry, scream and generally throw a fit. I know this is a store mistake and most of us would not buy Wheat Chex even on our worst brain fog day- this one is almost laughable. But so many other situations like this are not funny at all! Like an on going situation at my local Whole Foods. In their gluten free cookie section they have A brand of cookies that has wheat listed as the first ingredient. I have pointed it out several times.The staff always “seems” helpful and eager to correct the mistake and move the cookies. However, the next time I go in, there they are.. gluten laden cookies stuck right back in the gluten free section. I can only imagine how many unsuspecting people that are new to gluten free this store has made sick. They don’t seem to care. I can relate to all the responses- It is so frustrating when stores, restaurants , manufacturers don’t get it. You have to read and re-read every label of everything you buy for fear of you or your children getting sick. I think the worst part about this disease is how hard you have to think about food and how we always have to be on the defense. What infuriates me the most are foods that are labeled gluten free on the front of the package in bold letters ..BUT in tiny letters on the back – it says “may contain wheat or produced in facility that also produces wheat”.

  26. Yes it is very frustrating to go out for dinner and they have a gluten free menu but they just think that gluten means wheat and bread…we have even gone so far as to ask for their nutrition listings for their menu (every chain has one) and it contradicts what they have on their gf menu…it’s very frustrating..to have to educate the managers

  27. So annoying! I was shopping for feeling-sorry-for-myself GF cookies at the local Harris Teeter and just started pulling off the big “Gluten Free” tags on the half dozen or so things that I saw that either obviously contained wheat (duh, sesame wheat crackers) or that had possible cross contamination issues due to shared equipment. I was in a bad mood anyhow, but just ranted and cursed under my breath then realized – I must look insane! I hurried out with my Glutino cookies, still fuming, but quietly.

  28. Hi Gluten Dude,

    I was diagnosed with Celiac disease nearly 15 years ago and am very familiar with the challenges of managing a gluten free diet. Everyday we place a great deal of trust in gluten free labels and claims; whether at home, in the grocery store, at a friend’s house, or in a restaurant. If that trust is betrayed we can face some pretty serious health consequences (been there!!). I also work for Chex and can speak to the brand’s serious and thoughtful commitment to the gluten free community. With seven gluten free flavors and one containing gluten (Wheat), we must be extremely careful and diligent with production, certification and labeling. This is why, as several commenters mentioned, we include a disclaimer on any gluten free correspondence that Wheat Chex is not gluten free. We feel it’s never safe to assume.

    Thank you for highlighting this important issue. We will continue to work with our retail partners on the importance of proper labeling and understanding what gluten free means.

    Carly Beetsch
    Community Engagement Specialist
    General Mills

  29. I can see my mother, bless her heart, seeing that sign in the cereal aisle and picking a box up for me. And I can hear the conversation that would follow. It’s the same conversation that we had when she wanted me to eat “special low-carb high-protein pasta” because “protein can’t hurt you” or Rice-a-Roni because it’s rice.

    Me: Mom, what is pasta made from?
    Mom: I don’t know. Flour?
    Me: Where does flour come from?
    Mom: I don’t know.
    Me: Turn the package over and read the list.
    Mom: Enriched wheat flour, sem–
    Me: What was that?
    Mom: Enriched wheat flour. {crickets chirping} Oh. Well I didn’t know.

    We have the same conversation every single time I visit.

    But I appreciate her efforts in trying to feed me, as a good mom should.

      1. Not sure if anyone has seen this but the source of the photo appears to be the following link (I sleuthed a bit on the consumerist watermark).


        Whoever sent it to GD, they prob spotted it at this link or perhaps they were the ones who tipped off consumerist in the first place (the photo is credited to a flickr account belonging to someone with the handle yourprotagonist).

      2. I noted in a previous comment last year that this improper Wheat Chex pricing label from the OP was found at a Safeway.

        Oddly enough, earlier this evening I was at a nearby Safeway where they have a dedicated GF section. I checked it out since I don’t shop there very often and what did I see among all the GF wares but several bags of Bob’s Red Mill brand bulgur wheat grains. And not simply dumped there by a customer in haste, which admittedly could happen anywhere anytime; these were sitting together in the shipping box, with a pricing label on the edge of the shelf directly underneath (at least it didn’t say GF like the Wheat Chex one). Even worse, one of the bags had been cut open on the side and leaked a few grains out onto the shelf.

        I brought all this to the attention of an employee who happened to be nearby so hopefully it will be rectified the next time I go back there (which prob won’t be for a while).

        1. So today I finally made my way back to that Safeway where I noted above several months ago that they had wheat grains stocked in their GF section. Sad to say those same BRM bulgur wheat grains were still there after all these months. I again pointed it out to an employee but I don’t know if they’ll take any action. Doesn’t seem likely.

          I also went to their yelp page to discover, rather unsurprisingly by this point, that not only have they gotten quite a few bad reviews dating back a few years now, it also appears that nobody from the store seems to be monitoring what people are saying about them on there, even though there are very visible ways of doing so.

  30. I went to a restaurant yesterday (i walked out) that claimed to be very gluten free friendly online. The menu had in bold letters that their gluten free items were intended for people with sensitivities not celiac disease. I am torn. I love their honesty, but why can’t restaurants go the extra mile

    1. I’m okay with not every restaurant serving gluten-free food. I’m not okay with being lied to.

      It’s difficult to prevent cross contamination when a lot of restaurants only have one grill and use flour for everything (egg filler, cheese filler, etc.)

      I wish restaurants had a “gluten-free equipment” sticker like on food labels to save every time, money, and pain. πŸ™

    2. Alex,
      I felt this way too until I met the owners of a sweet little cafe who tried valiantly to include GF items in their repertoire. They “got it” –for the most part, but I learned they also used the same grill surface for GF and gluten pancakes. They made a delicious GF coffee cake, but they used the same baking equipment as the cakes and goodies they baked on premises. They had UDI’s bread for people like me (yaay!) but the shared toaster (booo!) rendered that useless to me.

      I took the time to tell them exactly what changes they would have to make for them to say “we have GF items” and really mean it, and I did it nicely and gave them suggestions for doing it without spending a fortune, but I never heard back from them. Needless to say, I do not eat there anymore.

      The truth is, some restaurants can’t go the extra mile simply because they cannot afford it, they do not have enough kitchen space and they can’t carefully assemble a GF sammy using separate containers of mayo, mustard, etc. because they are high volume and can’t take the time.

      Do I like this? Of course not, but it does not make me angry at the restaurants for not doing all of this just for people like me. Some of them simply can’t afford it. πŸ™

  31. Went to a restaurant tonight that we frequent and my daughter ordered gf pasta. We were told that they’ve never had gf pasta to which we reied, “then what have you served me in the past when I’ve ordered it?” At this point we got no more than blank stares. So, so frustrating! The situation is still a mystery-fortunately my daughter does not gett super I’ll after eating it as I do. I’m in bed for day on heavy doses of pain meds. Very unfortunate that we can be poisoned by a kitchen crew who is not on the ball enough to educate them on the most common food allergies!

  32. My former boss used to like taking the staff out to eat for celebratory occasions. Unfortunately, she liked to go to a different place each time. And this town does not have a lot of options for gluten-free. So it became more and more frustrating for me, (I eventually quit).

    I do like that there are more gluten-free options, some of which are gluten-free. I share the frustration with Whole Foods, they do the same thing in the freezer section…. gluten-free next to gluten, all nestled in together. I don’t WANT to have to stand in front of the freezer all day! (And now I want sushi)

  33. A huge problem are the “paleos.” Imagine if a portion of the population ran around pretending that they had muscular dystrophy as a lifestyle choice. It would not be taken seriously. People struggle to separate the irrational demonization of gluten from those who have a real problem with it

  34. ok, this is one of those rare moments when GD and IH have a different opinion and we agree to disagree and still remain friends. πŸ™‚

    I think if you can read the sign on the shelf that says “Gluten Free” and you know it is wrong, then why on earth would you even reach for the box labeled WHEAT chex?

    You wouldn’t.
    Should we laugh or cry? well, this is a laughable moment, in my opinion.
    Simply go to the manager’s office and tell them to take the sign down.
    (They probably printed up ones for the 7 GF Chex cereals and made that one in error. A grocery clerk who does not know what gluten is
    had no clue when putting up the sign that it was wrong. Did any of you know what gluten was before all this? nope.)

    To test the theory that someone less likely to pay attention to signs would make this mistake, I asked my 87- year- old GF Mom if she would accidentally purchase this box instead of her GF rice chex and she said: “Why would I do that? it says Wheat right on it in big letters! hello?! ….Wait… is this a trick question?” (love my mom)

    While it is a stupid error on the part of the grocery store, I think this is hardly worth getting our collective panties in a bunch. For the most part, they are doing everything they can to accommodate the growing number of GF items on their shelves. We should be grateful for the 99 times out of 100 when it’s done properly.

    Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot by getting upset about a simple mistake.

    And I agree completely with the thought that fresh food requires no labels, but sometimes kiddos( and grown ups too) just want a bowl of cereal and there’s nothing wrong with that. πŸ™‚

    Just my opinion, and as always, feel free to disregard.
    Cheers! it’s Friday. πŸ™‚

  35. I give the chef kudos for knowing that some cheese has gluten in it. Of course, chicken Parmesan isn’t chicken Parmesan without the Parmesan, so mute point in the end!

    1. Honestly, people!!!

      I have never seen a cheese with any gluten in it. Not once.

      Can any of you who keep saying this is true please give us some examples? I am interested.

      Just tell us the names of these companies, the particular cheese and show us what it says exactly on the labels.

      If there is any “dusting” on a grated cheese, it may be maltodextrin (which is GF) or CORNstarch. (also GF).

      Please, read the expert opinions on this topic:



      1. Hi. I totally agree with you (also with your comment above about the Wheat Chex sign). There is ONE kind of cheese, however, that may – I say, may – contain gluten traces: Rouquefort (the blue cheese from France). Some kinds of blue cheese are made from a mold that is wheat-based; it can give problems. But, as I say, not all blue cheeses are made this way and I think (but am not 100% sure) that domestic blue cheese is okay. I ran into a waiter in Denver who – spontaneously – told me that the blue cheese on the salad I’d just ordered was gluten free. I did make myself VERY sick one time after eating Roquefort (but I admit, I overindulged).

        1. Hi Margaret! Good to “see you” again. πŸ™‚

          I think it would be very rare (as in impossible) to find a blue cheese in the US that contained mold grown on bread. The process would never include the gluten protein anyway. I researched this one to death before indulging because I love gorgonzola and blue cheeses of all types.

          “Blue Cheese: This food has been a hot topic in the gluten-free community for many years. Recently, Health Canada and the Canadian Celiac Association investigated blue cheese, testing three different types of blue cheese including Roquefort, with three different types of ELISA tests. All of the tests on all the blue cheese samples found no detectable gluten, even in blue cheese that used gluten-containing starter cultures. Blue cheese is considered gluten-free, due to the manufacturing process and purification techniques used to make it.”


          Today, most cheese makers use commercially manufactured Penicillium Roqueforti cultures that are freeze-dried.

          I even learned that anyone can order powdered cultures in the mail.
          if they wish to make their own. But really, who has time for that? LOL

          Best wishes!

          1. Great! That’s more or less what I suspected. But – anyone being a purist (and/or buying upscale) should at least be aware that SOME – imported – French blue cheeses may (still) contain gluten. Better safe than sorry (as I was). Life without gluten is tough, but life without blue cheese??

  36. when i go to the supermarket and see “gluten free” tags on products i know are NOT gluten free, i tear off the tags. unashamedly.

    but i can have some sympathy for minimum wage supermarket employees. i have no sympathy for chefs who do not comprehend wheat/rye/barley gluten. i once went to a very nice, very expensive restaurant, and was thrilled to check out the “gluten free” menu. i was thrilled they even HAD one. and then i saw “beer braised pork shanks” on the gluten free menu. i checked their extensive beer list – hmmmm… no gluten freee beer on it – what in the world are they braising that pork in? i asked to speak with the chef, who said, “it’s only a little bit of beer.” i just stared at him. there were so many things wrong with that situation it wasn’t funny, and the conversation that followed was not pretty. the guy was a complete tool. and, after that conversation the guy spent a part of the rest of the night GLARING at us. needless to say i will never, ever eat at that restaurant again.

    (i made sure to review the restaurant on yelp. yelp can be a great resource for us.)

  37. Trader Joe’s seems to get it, so far. They appear to be adding more choices regularly and even had a paragraph on celiac/gluten-free in their flyer. Just tried the cupcakes. (Homer drooling sound…)

    As always, be careful and read the labels.

  38. With all the sad stories above, I just came back from my second cruise and had another perfect non gluten holiday. I just wanted to give you all a glimmer of light. The details are on my blog, but my husband and I travel a lot , and I maintain my stand that you can eat out and travel and not get sick. The one thing I never order out is pasta, too easy to mess up, but I had the most delicious pizza on my cruise, thick yummy crust to boost. The woman who took care of my dining orders said there were 116 people on board with a gluten problem and they see more all the time. Comforting to know the industry recognizes the need.

  39. I’m one of the co-founders of Elegantly, Gluten-Free. My wife, Pat, is a diagnosed (via biopsy) celiac and had celiac symptoms as long as she can remember… which means well into her early childhood.

    Anyway, Dude, I was roaming around the internet this morning trying to get inspired to create a headline for a sales page I’m putting together for the 2nd Edition of my wife’s latest book and I discovered your site… And, I absolutely love it! πŸ™‚

    I will definitely be back. I think you do a tremendous job.

    Take care,

  40. The worst case of product misinfomation I ever encountered was on the label of a container of Benefiber, which stated it was gluten-free, then listed wheat dextrose as an ingredient.

    Say whaaaat???

  41. Blame it on the LAW that needs some serious changing.

    BTW, I heard that the libertarian in the US vice presidential race, has CD. Wonder if he’s doing anything in that area?

  42. Hi , I had fun reading all your comments …truthfully its worse here in South Africa..2% of all population in RSA
    what Celiac disease is…

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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