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Gluten Free Land Blog

Gluten Flour

I recently heard of someone I know, who newly diagnosed with coeliac disease, was baked a gluten free cake by a kind friend. Having only been gluten free a short time, he was missing a lot of his usual foods & gladly accepted, only to become very ill indeed. What went wrong?

The friend used a product called "Gluten Flour". Gluten flour is more or less wheat flour with much of the starch removed, leaving MOSTLY gluten!! While there are legitimate uses for gluten flour, for a coeliac, there is not much you'd want to avoid more than this! If you yourself have coeliac disease, you're unlikely to fall into this trap as you probably are (and should!) check labels carefully, but as you saw in this case, it was an ignorant friend, so make sure you are extra careful when teaching friends how to not poison you!

What really got me annoyed at this was that I have found that a local Countdown supermarket has decided to locate this "Gluten Flour" bang in the middle of their gluten free section.

Gluten Flour located in the middle of the gluten free section

What adds insult to injury as that Healtheries, the manufacturer of "Gluten Flour" also produce a gluten free rice flour, which the same Countdown decided was best located at the opposite end of the same aisle as the gluten free section -right above the wheat flour. I don't try to make sense of these decisions, but it's a good reminder to be extra careful when friends cook for you!

Posted by Rory on Jun 6th, 2010 under Awareness of Gluten Allergy | Permalink | Comments(0) | tweetTweet | facebookFacebook

Allergy Awareness Week

It is currently allergy awareness week 16-22 May 2010 and this year's theme is Allergies -no walk in the park

allergy week poster

Allergy New Zealandexternal link icon, organisers of the event, are primarily focusing on promoting awareness in the wider community this year. Allergy New Zealand broadly cover all allergies, however food allergies such as wheat allergy and coeliac disease are a major component of this and it's fantastic to have organisations such as this championing awareness for us.

You can find out more about the events on the Allergy NZ websiteexternal link icon. A particularly interesting initiative is the launch of a new allergy research fund. They are currently seeking donations towards this both in monetary and salable goods forms.

I also urge those of you in Auckland to attend the Gluten Free Food & Allergy Show 2010external link icon on the 29th and 30th of May. Note:I will only be emailing a reminder about this to those site members who have set their city as Auckland, as I have already recently mentioned this event in an all member email.

Posted by Rory on May 19th, 2010 under New Zealand Gluten Free | Permalink | Comments(0) | tweetTweet | facebookFacebook

Christchurch Gluten Free Expo

This weekend there is a gluten free expo in Christchurch on Saturday the 8th of May.

The expo is an annual event put on by a local supermarket with the small entry fee going towards coeliac disease research. The show hosts literally dozens of local gluten free producers who bring along loads of free samples to try -you won't be requiring lunch if you go!

If you're in Christchurch and have never been, I thoroughly recommend going along. In addition to the free samples, most of the exhibitors offer massive discounts on the day. I know a number of people who go along to stock up their pantries with gluten free goodies!

The event is at the Addington Raceway Metropollitan Lounge from 10am - 4pm. For more info, see the FreshChoice Gluten Free expo websiteexternal link.

[Update:]A different event, the Gluten Free Food and allergy show is being held in Auckland on the 29th and 30th of May at the ASB Showgrounds. Information on this event is available hereexternal link

This second event will also be coming to Wellington and Christchurch later in the year but we will remind you closer to the time.

Posted by Rory on May 4th, 2010 under New Zealand Gluten Free | Permalink | Comments(0) | tweetTweet | facebookFacebook

New Zealand: Gluten Free capital of the world?

Could it be that New Zealand is the most clued up country in the world when it comes to gluten? Or do we just turn to the web for anything we don't understand?

I have discovered that Google trends, a tool which gauges what people are searching for on Google is showing New Zealand as the top country per capita when it comes to searching for either the terms "Gluten"external hyperlink or "Gluten Free"external hyperlink!

image of New Zealand

This is very interesting indeed, however I am unsure what it really means. On the one hand, New Zealand exhibits a fantastic and rapidly growing ability to accommodate those of us on strict gluten free diets, but on the other hand, so is most of the world compared to a decade ago. I tried looking at other search engines, however Bing did not have any data for these terms and I could not find Yahoo!'s tool (if they have one). Perhaps you can weigh in with some more data or ideas in the comments?

Nevertheless, it's pretty cool and makes me want to delve further. Drilling down to New Zealand, it seems that Christchurch leads the way for Google searches of "gluten free", followed by Dunedin and Hamilton. For "gluten" alone, Christchurch and Dunedin swap places.

So what exactly is making everybody search for these terms? I live in Christchurch so perhaps could entertain some speculation. Perhaps the big green "gluten free" signs on our many branches of KB's bakeriesexternal hyperlink around Christchurch have got people wondering what gluten is, or perhaps it is a result of the amazing work being done around here by Dr Rodney Ford aka "Dr Gluten".

Whatever the reason, I thought it was a pretty cool achievement. What do you think? Feel free to post a comment.

Posted by Rory on Apr 25th, 2010 under New Zealand Gluten Free | Permalink | Comments(0) | tweetTweet | facebookFacebook

Hot Cross Buns

It seems like Christmas was just the other day, yet here were about to embark on easter already, but who here is going to be eating hot cross buns? I'm a firm believer that being gluten free shouldn't mean missing out on anything and hot cross buns are no exception! As such, I'd like to point out a few options for gluten free hot cross buns.

I've yet to see a Gluten Free Bakery that doesn't jump at the chance to make us hot cross buns, see our gluten free bakeries section to find one near you. You can write and view reviews for hot cross buns under breads.

I myself have been organized this year and have spent some time refining a hot cross buns recipe as shown in the photo below. It's pretty good, though I'm sure someone out there can do better, so feel free to rate it and provide feedback or if you have one of your own, do share!

image my hot cross buns

I have also found a recipe on the Healtheries website which I have yet to try. You can view that recipe hereexternal link icon.

Wishing you a very safe and enjoyable easter.

Posted by Rory on Mar 30th, 2010 under Baking | Permalink | Comments(0) | tweetTweet | facebookFacebook