Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just because it’s gluten-free…

I was on an airplane last Friday and ordered a cup of tea when the stewardess came down the aisle.  I like tea in the afternoon and I like it with milk.

She handed me the cup of tea and two little plastic packages of non-dairy creamer.  Due to sixteen years of living with celiac disease, out of sheer habit I read the label.   It seemed gluten-free and it also seemed like a whole lot of “yuck.”  The “contains” label said that soy and milk ingredients were present and my inner voice asked, “Where?”
Here is what was in my little plastic container of non-dairy creamer.  My apologies for any misspellings, mouse print labels are very tough to read even with glasses.

Partially hydrogenated soybean oil
Corn syrup solids
Sodium caseinate
Dipotassium Phosphate
Mono and diglycerides
Sodium Stearoyl
Soy Lecithin
Artificial colors
Artificial flavors

All I really wanted was a splash of milk to cool off my tea and lighten it a little bit.  I asked her if I could have milk and she didn’t have any on her cart.  So the choice was to dump the two plastic packets of chemicals into my tea for a milk-like flavor or drink it black.

The non-dairy creamer was safe to consume from a gluten perspective, but totally gross from every other perspective.  I drank half the cup black and switched back to my water bottle.  The moral of the story for me is that sometimes reading labels can turn you off a product completely even if it is gluten-free!

Kendall Egan


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Jen B. said...

I totally agree. Just because it's gluten-free doesn't mean it's clean, nourishing food. I hope this message becomes clearer to the public and a bit of self-responsibility for our health care crisis in America is recognized. I support a clean, healthy lifestyle at my blog

Lauren Greene said...

Thank you for highlighting this point. People with allergies should not be the only ones reading what is being put into their bodies. Case and point-today I grabbed a yogurt from a friend's house, seemed like a pretty straight forward simple food until I read the ingredients -corn starch ( to produce Greek-like yogurt), high fructose corn syrup, and a list of ingredients I couldn't even pronounce. Why am I the only one reading a label before eating something, have we become that lazy. Food producers are allowed to add in cheaper ingredients because we, the consumer, let them.