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    Deciphering Labels

    If you ask anyone who has a food allergy or sensitivity what the hardest part is and they will say that making sure what they eat doesn’t have the ingredient they are sensitive to in it. Thankfully, there are now labeling laws for the top 8 allergens (milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, soy, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts). Unfortunately for those who have Celiac or are sensitive to gluten, companies are not required to call out gluten on the label. Gluten can be hidden in natural flavors, spices, etc. There is a lot to be said for companies that won’t hide gluten in spices or natural flavors. I will gladly spend extra money to make sure that the product that I am eating is free of gluten and is easily verified over one that I have to call to verify or wonder about. Here is a list of companies that will clearly mark gluten on the labels:

    These are companies that say they will clearly list gluten in the
    ingredients. I have not included companies that are specifically GF or
    smaller specialty companies. I know this list is not complete. Some of
    these are actually subsidiaries of some of the others, but I have not tried
    to sort that out.

    When a company says it will clearly list gluten, you might still see things
    like “modified food starch” or “natural flavor.” In this case, the suspect
    ingredient does not have gluten if gluten is not plainly listed. I cannot
    tell you about any policies regarding cross contamination.

    Act II
    Alexia
    Aunt Nelly’s
    Balance Oasis (Balance bars)
    Ball Park
    Baskin Robbins
    Ben & Jerry
    Betty Crocker
    Blue Bunny
    Breyers
    Campbells
    Cascadian Farms
    Celestial Seasonings
    Con Agra
    Country Crock
    Crunch & Munch
    Edy’s
    Egg Beater’s
    Fiddle Faddle
    Fleichman’s
    General Mills
    Good Humor
    Green Giant
    Gulden’s
    Haagen Daz
    Healthy Choice
    Hebrew National
    Hellman’s
    Hershey~ Update (Just issued a new statement this year (2009); call per each item to verify GF status)
    Hillshire Farms
    Hormel
    Hunt’s
    Jiffy
    Jiffy Pop
    Jimmy Dean
    Knorr
    Kozy Shack
    Kraft
    La Choy
    Libby’s
    Lipton
    Manwich
    Marie Callender’s
    Martha White
    McCormick
    Nabisco
    Nestle
    Old El Paso
    Ortega
    Orville Redenbacher
    Pam
    Parkay
    Peter Pan
    Pillsbury
    Poppycock
    Popsicle
    Post
    Progresso
    Ranch Style
    Reddi Whip
    Ro*tel
    Rosarita
    Russell Stover
    Sara Lee
    Seneca Foods
    Slim Jim
    Stokely’s
    Sunny Delight
    Swiss Miss
    T Marzetti
    Tyson
    Unilever
    Van Camp’s
    Wesson
    Wishbone
    Yoplait
    Zatarain’s

    For the first 6 months or so after I was gluten-free, I carried this list around with me every time I went to the store. I also had a huge notebook full of lists of individual foods that I could safely purchase and eat. I no longer need the notebook or lists. For the most part I can either remember the brands or stick with what I know. We also tend to buy very few processed foods so there really isn’t the issue of what is in it if it is a natural, whole food.

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