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Book Eases Celiac Suffering

Here to tell us more about gluten-free foods and the continued improvements in G-F eating, is the Plain Dealer's Ellen Jan Kleinerman.

The Northeast Ohio Celiac Support Group now counts more than 3,000 gluten-free products, about a 23-hundred percent increase in the past eight years. Restaurants, even some pizza joints now prepare gluten free foods... but Ellen wants to talk this time - about stuff people can do at home... basically because substitution of ingredients in conventional recipes; can lead to a kitchen disaster....

She's found a new source - a book called "The Cooking Light Gluten-Free Cookbook"

She says it explains:
Health issues related to gluten-free eating.
Different flours that can be consumed.
and contains a guide with recipes that alert cooks to watch for ingredients with hidden gluten.

A bigger issue though, is getting the government involved to create a standard for labeling items as "Gluten-free"?
The U-S Food and Drug Administration is actually seeking consumer help with this.

The government is proposing to allow manufacturers to label a food gluten-free if it does not contain:
An ingredient that is wheat, rye, barley or crossbreeds.
An ingredient derived from these grains and that has not been process to remove gluten.
An ingredient derived from these grains and that has been processed to remove gluten, if it results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million of gluten.

In Europe, gluten is NOT as large an issue. Certain foods don't have these ingredients.

Finally, being Jewish and a forced gluten-free diet is another issue as well, because gluten-free food does not fulfill the traditional requirement for Seder consumption. Now a new Motzah does allow Jeish people to celebrate holidays because it is made Kosher and gluten-free.

Rick Jackson is a senior host and producer at Ideastream Public Media. He hosts the "Sound of Ideas" on WKSU and "NewsDepth" on WVIZ.