[personal profile] literally
 Quote Cheeseslave: My daughter is not celiac. She just gets a little rash on her face when she eats wheat.

 But she gives her kid wheat anyway. I'm under the impression she doesn't vaccinate either. 

 The rest of the thread is full of the same bull about how they're really not recommending that Celiacs or other gluten sensitive people eat gluten, when they really are.

 And what's sad is that I'll still probably continue to find sites like this useful for the non-gluten recipes. 
delladea: (Default)
[personal profile] delladea
Gluten Free Goddess: Delicious Gluten-Free Bread Recipe

I've tried many bread recipes in the last few years since my husband and I discovered we were sensitive to gluten. This is by far the BEST one we've tried. It can be sliced thinly, holds up amazingly well in the toaster, and doesn't taste gummy or dense.

This one went in our hand-written family recipe book!
[personal profile] literally
 First it was the Weston A. Price Foundation, now it's the Body Ecology site, Celiacs (or anyone else with gluten sensitivities), please eat your wholesome gluten grains even without a review board, adequate research, and evidence. 

 Even if the grain industry isn't involved with this bullshit, I think it's perfectly clear that this is a symptom of something greater, namely how food sensitivities still aren't taken seriously.

 Pre-ETA: The Body Ecology site makes bullshit up that people with gluten issues can't drink coffee either. Look at their site, it's clear they want to sell people things.

ETA: That thread in PaNu that I linked to has some excellent discussions about fructose. I'm now convinced the main appeal of most fruits in general is the fact that like gluten grains, they are addictive. I never got satiated, much less felt nourished by those things, but they're easy to over eat and feel sick later, at least when it comes to the fresh kind. It's not too good for your teeth either, I've noticed.

ETA 2: Did I ever mention these WAPF people are also anti-vaccine? But that's another bitching for later. Anyway, I can't help but wonder how many Celiacs may get cancer because bullshit like this continues to spread online. It's incredible, Celiac has nothing to do with the gut, it's an inherited auto immune disorder, but they're promoting gluten grains to Celiacs as though that's the only problem. People need to stop giving them money.

Quote Cheeseslave:

Gluten intolerance was not an issue 100 years ago.

Yes dear, and I'm sure all those weak and osteoporosis damaged skeletons of the Egyptians where just a matter of archaeologist's imagination too. They ate their lactic fermented whole wheat grains, and nothing bad ever happened, right.

It's reasoning from people like this that makes me more sympathetic to the paleo crowd.
[personal profile] literally
 Their so-called gluten-free products really aren't. Their facilities that make the gluten-free mixes are only not gluten-free, but they use the same utensils, not even bothering to avoid cross contamination!

...Those of us who eat gluten free did not indulge in the baked goods offered in the closing baking event. The rolling pins, wooden spoons, and spatulas had previously been used to make gluten-full items. One General Mills spokesperson told us that the products had been cleaned and heated to 200 degrees. When she was told that heating didn’t remove gluten, she looked at us like were looney tunes. That was yet another educational piece of the gluten-free pie for General Mills. It was an unsettling moment for sure because if that information is not known or understood, to me it raises doubts about the status of their gluten-free products.

...A General Mills spokesperson addressed their gluten-free processing and talked about the order of processing gluten-full and gluten-free items and cleaning lines. Whoa! Furtive and surprised glances were exchanged among attendees. We were all under the impression that all of the gluten-free products were manufactured in a gluten-free facility. It turns out that some products are manufactured in a gluten-free section of General Mills (with “walls”), but not a dedicated facility. A subsequent check of the wording on the Chex boxes shows that they read, “Manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free environment.” Other gluten-free products are not manufactured in this section/”dedicated environment,” but in a part of the facility with gluten-containing products, hence, the mentionof cleaning lines and processing items in a certain order. I inquired and commented more on the testing of the products and the less than 20 ppm standard, urging the use of the GFCO testing and inspection to ensure I could eat the products safely. My questions were met with quotes on Codex standards and a statement that the GFCO is fine for small organizations. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
[personal profile] literally
 Or, why it's good to have more gluten-free products available for everyone.

 I'm not vegetarian, much less vegan. But there are are some cosmetics out there that are naturally vegetarian or vegan, because the owner of the company either has that lifestyle or wants to appeal to at least try to broaden their market. Now I never heard of anyone  asking, hey this liptstick is vegan and you're not, why are you buying it and/or how this isn't socially responsible. But I do see this kind of bullshit about the existence gluten-free items. I can't even begin to get in to how hypocritical this this mindset is, especially when it comes to food allergies and intolerances. One does not, after all, choose to have something such as Celiac, but one can choose to be vegan. Where are the complaints of people about the plethora of vegan products on the market, which are much more abundant than gluten free? I have yet to see any. But some people do some extra things in order to appeal to the vegan/vegetarian part of the market in order to expand market share, but I don't see anyone complaining about that even though there is a lack of evidence that we evolved to live on such a diet.

 Anyway, when many people in the supermarket or drugstore or cosmetics counter or just shopping online purchasing stuff, they are often, just like people with vegetarian friends or family, not just purchasing products for themselves, but for other people. A parent isn't only buying bread for themselves, and if they have a kid with Celiac, gluten-free bread or bread mix may be bought instead of the loaf of usual bread. Same with potato chips, and you have no idea how I love the fact that Kettle Chips are now gluten-free. There is nothing quacky about a company having a product that is naturally gluten-free in the first place taking extra precautions to avoid cross contamination and advertising their product is, but this is to some people. But things like this do help broaden the market, not just for individual buyers.

 And the reason you don't just want people on gluten-free or other specialized diets buying your product is because the market only for specific people isn't going to make you much money. Sure, it's wrong to promote the stuff as a cure all for everything, but most gluten-free products aren't-though I have seen a lot of interesting claims about soy as a miracle food escape without notice in far too much of the skeptic community. Anyway. You have to have broader appeal, because market research is so important, because you want a good business plan, because you want that business loan, because you want to actually do a lot more than break even. 

 Most people who buy vegetarian or vegan products aren't even vegetarian, hell I still used to still buy things like soy and gluten-based burger substitutes for years after I stopped being vegetarian. But I never seen any complaints about people allegedly being ripped off by vegetarian products. Vegetarian products appeal to a larger market than just vegetarians, coconut oil with absolutely no contact with gluten or animal particles expands the market appeal. This isn't about hype, but business and market reality. Those complaining about the plethora of gluten-free products out there are ignorant hypocrites.

Pre-ETA: I can't help but be reminded of the time in which I saw an inane thread in Marion Nestle's Food Politics site in which a commenter didn't understand why gluten-free pet food is on the market now. As though cats and dogs evolved to eat that in the first place, and as though no one with problems with gluten would ever have a problem with touching it.
[personal profile] literally
 This podcast is full of fail, but despite this, I will agree with him on something, claiming a gluten free diet will cure autism or obesity is full of bull, this is not a miracle diet. However...

 This is a case in which a skeptic has obviously not been aware of that many people with people with gluten allergies or food intolerance (or is aware of the allergy and food intolerance community in general), and despite his claim to be knowledgeable about the subject, sensitivities to gluten do exist outside of wheat allergies, ataxia, and Celiac disease. In fact he ignores the fact even despite problems with access to healthcare in the US health care system, diagnosises of Celiac, wheat and gluten allergies have been on the rise, and that the prevalence of these problems have been long underdiagnosed and under estimated, in fact issues with wheat and gluten are now being linked to IBS.

 I'm also puzzled by his inability to understand that meat eaters aren't the only ones avoiding gluten, it's not like being vegetarian protects you from Celiac, wheat or gluten allergies or gluten intolerance. But to him, if you're in to vegetarianism, gluten protein is a great choice, and he also sounds like one of those people who believes nearly all protein molecules are like when metabolized and digested. I may not be an expert in biology, but I do know that even very small biochemical differences can lead to very different effects in outcome (the omega 3's verses 6's are a great example), and this is especially true when comparing plant protein to animal protein.

 And then there is the historic argument, he shows his ignorance there too, there is nothing healthy about gluten grains at all, despite my annoyances with some of the quacks who promote the gluten-free diet, because unlike the anti-dairy people (many if not most of them in the animal rights and vegan community, I've noticed) there is meat in the anti-grain arguments. The ancient Egyptians are an extreme example but a noteworthy one, their diet was very high in wheat and gluten products, and look at the state of their skeletons and lifespan. The fact that this was the ancient world, and even to an extent, bronze age isn't enough of an explanation here, I have read about the examination of ancient skeletons in Eastern Europe in (albeit a flawed book on some of the mythological front) The Early Slavs by PM Barford, where in surprisingly good shape, some people living up to their 60's. Their diet? Certainly not nearly as grain based, with a lot more meat, fats, and dairy products. I'd go in to more detail, but I don't have the time.

 He is right in some ways, this is not an easy diet. But it is getting easier thanks to the growth and plethora of gluten free options out there, and I'm annoyed when people complain about how people who don't have allergies or food sensitivities buy things that aren't marketed to them, as though none of them share things with friends or family, or if it just happens to taste good. I'm also annoyed that this growth in gluten-free products is implied to be solely a health food thing, since even people with allergies and food intolerances need to be able to eat, shouldn't this be a good thing? Does he really not understand that people with medical conditions such as this really need and benefit from nutritional accommodation in order to live and enjoy life?

 More when I have the stomach to listen to again. And unlike him, I'll try to get more references.

Edited to add: I am also bothered by how the host Brian Dunning insinuates that if you just take the right medications, you don't have to worry too much about your allergies. Well I've known people with severe allergies where even meds can't help them from getting extremely sick, if not outright insane or even worse, dead, by exposure to the wrong protein particles. This is very dangerous misinformation, but sadly not surprising, considering how misinformation on allergies and food intolerance is out there, and labeling yourself as a skeptic doesn't make you an expert on anything.

 To make it clear-meds for allergies are not a cure, they're to lesson damage after contact, not a guarantee that you can live worry-free. God I hope he doesn't think it's also acceptable to put anyone with allergies to bee stings in a garden full of bees simply because he or she has access to meds for it.

ETA 2: How could I forget? The occurrence of Celiac in the general population that we know is currently 1:133, Dunning's estimates are misleadingly conservative, to put it mildly.

ETA 3: A good rebuttal that helps me Do The Research.

ETA 4: The hypocrisy is unbelievable, Brian Dunning isn't without products to sell either. I also find it funny how he's intimidated by genuine scientific studies and big words.
[personal profile] literally
 I am currently working on a linkspam and reference round up about the problems with soy that would be of sobering contrast with Amanda Marcotte's unquestioning enthusiasm for that particular food that she doesn't mind see being put in our food without our knowledge or consent. If anyone has any good links or references to contribute, feel free to add links here.

 Even though this community's subject is mainly about living on a gluten-free diet, I do believe common allergies should be discussed here.
[personal profile] literally
There Is No Such Thing As A Macronutrient Part I (Fats) & Part 2 (Carbohydrates). 
[personal profile] literally
 The more I read this dismissive post on Pandagon.net by Amanda Marcotte over and over again ('Consumer discovers Taco Bell not as bad for you as expected; sues'), the angrier I get. Because she such a huge online presence. Because a fair amount of people in that thread agree that the lack of transparency and honesty about ingredients in any product is okay in the name of an extremist dietary ideology that Marcotte has, that we do not deserve to know and that we should have ingredients like soy shoved down our throats without our knowledge. That Marcotte didn't even bother to say she was sorry, much less recognized that sneaking in ingredients without a person's prior knowledge because ALLERGIES CAN KILL. So can food intolerances, if consumed over a period of time, because medical conditions like Celiac, a form of food intolerance (at least last I checked, correct me if I am wrong), can lead to diseases like cancer. But in not apologizing, admitting she did anything wrong, and thereby giving a terrible message to her fellow vegetarians, she is putting the lives of those with with food allergies and intolerances in danger. If, after all, Marcotte believes it's okay to sneak in ingredients in the name of her cause, vegetarianism, and is more than happy to state it without apology, think of the impact this will have. It's already bad enough so many people don't take allergies and food intolerances seriously as it is already. Marcotte is making this worse by not only not acknowledging the criticisms, but influence. Think of how many will be medically injured, or even worse, die, because of her? What is worth more to Amanda Marcotte, the lives of those with allergies and food intolerances, or a dietary ideology in which choice is completely absent, even on behalf of multinational corporations (how progressive of her!)? I believe it's pretty damn clear right now.

 Thus I believe a call to end any donations and advertising to her site is in order. ie, a boycott.

ETA: Well of course I should of expected stupidity from Marcotte, look what I found via Google, Marcotte's insinuation that vegetarians are oppressed like women are. Fits in the Hipsters Are An Oppressed Group bullshit I saw on Pandagon awhile back.
[personal profile] literally
Panadgon sees the bright side of Taco Bell misleading consumers about the ingredients in their products. Marcotte is one of those vegetarian lifestyle ideologists that just love looking down on people who eat meat, and while I never thought she would go so far to be that oblivious to those with medical conditions... well I guess this kind of crap shouldn't surprise me. Don't get me wrong, she isn't without good political insights before, but she has the lifestyle related self-righteousness that some left wingers and progressive types (not unlike Mickey Z) that I can honestly understand why the right wing in this country may look attractive to some people.

 Amanda Marcotte, if you have a consience and a sense of shame, you should be apologizing to Celiac, allergy, and food intolerance sufferers. But I'm not holding my breath, because you've already written three posts whining about how the hipsters are oppressed already, so why should you care about people with legitimate problems?

[personal profile] literally
 A little while back in a 2010 issue about Holiday cooking, one of the food writers for Living Without made a very misleading statement about cake flour. Now it is one thing to say that when a baker using wheat flour uses a mix of all-purpose and cornstarch if they don't have cake flour on hand, it's another to say that that is exactly what it is made out of. It isn't, and it annoys me, even though I know you don't need to know a damn thing about food in order to have a job as a food writer.

 My complaint might not seem important, but when it comes to using alternatives to wheat flour or flours for the results you want, I believe it's a very good thing to know. Baking is chemistry.
[personal profile] literally
 First let me be clear, not warning your guests that there is beef broth in the vegetable soup if you know they're vegetarian is a dick move. However, I am incredibly bothered by this trend in the blogosphere in which people who choose to avoid animal products lump their issues with those with Celiac, allergies, and food intolerances. It's a false equivalency because vegetarianism is about lifestyle choice, not whether the animal protein will kill them. Yes, there are people out there with allergies and intolerances to some kinds of animal products, but you have to remember this, those health problems aren't a choice either.

 Thus it sickens me that anyone would imply that somehow I as a person who gets sick by even touching a gluten product is somehow having the same problems as vegetarians are having. Hell no. It's an inappropriate (to put it mildly) appropriation of real medical problems, and if anything, plays down the real medical problems that can occur if someone with something like an allergy comes in to contact with the wrong proteins. I believe it's dangerous, because the last thing people like us need are more people lumping allergies, food intolerances, and Celiac with lifestyle choices, I have heard too many horror stories of kids with severe nut allergies dying because their condition wasn't taken seriously by others (including relatives), so I can't help but feel a certain chill when yet another vegetarian acts like they're in the same boat as we are, because they sure hell are not.

Pre-ETA: Just in case anyone wonder, I was vegetarian for years before I quit. 
[personal profile] literally
However, I think a lot of this great rant can be applied to anyone with food sensitivities,  and that it should be shared all over. 

When Getting Healthy Means Knowing You Are Sick.
[personal profile] literally
  So I looked at the reviews for Elana Amsterdam's Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook on Amazon.com, and I can't help but assume that most of them are payed for sockpuppets, because from what I know about baking, only most of the negatives can be right. And I don't mean the complaints about higher than usually priced ingredients, that comes with the gluten-free baking territory, so you either buy them or don't, or at least, you know of some good companies online or off that sell them in bulk.

  No, it's the complaints about oily results, and this is what you get when you use an oil in place of a solid fat regardless of what you are baking, and using a liquid sweetener, especially for cookies, really doesn't help either. It's basic baking chemistry, using ingredients that are liquid at room temperature will not give the results solid fats and granulated and/or dry sweeteners can, thus I question how much knowledge she has about wheat based baking in the first place, and believe me, at least having some grounding in that tradition helps you out even if you don't eat those products, because knowledge of baking chemistry is so important for better results. At the very least, buy a copy of Professional Baking (it doesn't even have to be the latest edition),and read it, it discuss the basic but very important things in there-even though it might not be perfectly edited.

On a side note about the agave nectar, I am surprised by the lack of complaints about how sweet the end results are, because I have had it in coffee before. Too easy to make a drink too sugary, especially if its flavored, not something I'd ever want to bother again, much less bake with. Especially drop cookies-and not I'm saying drop cooking because there are some varieties of cookies of out there that can do well with using liquid sweeteners and fats, just not ones like chocolate chip. Does Amsterdand understand these differences between varieties? I really doubt it. (In fact I was floored by one of the cake recipes, how one put a cup and 1/2 in there without hurting someone's teeth?).

 I plan on eventually writing a more long winded piece about baking and substitutions someday, either here or in a different blog, but to keep things short in simple for now-

 Solid items need solid substitutes. If you can't use butter, use something like coconut oil, Spectrum Organics palm oil (it's the only mass sold ethically harvested one I know of), lard, and other animal fats.

 Powdery items like sugar-for the love of God, please avoid substituting it for liquid unless you know what you are doing. I have yet to try out palm and coconut sugar, but they certainly look like better options than agava and honey. If you want a honey (or other kind of cake traditionally made with liquid sugars) cake, please look for other honey cake recipes beforehand.
[personal profile] literally
Yeah,  I'm still at the bookstore. :P

 So this doesn't look like a bad book, but it's clear the author doesn't understand why yeast would be used in yeast breads, there are thousands of years of tradition in this affecting the texture and flavor of these baked goods, so bragging that almond flour recipes don't need it displays a lot of ignorance on her part, if not outright disrespect for culinary traditions.

[ETA: Claiming that any particular type of flour (unless it's made to be self rising) doesn't need leavening ingredients for baking is just bullshit in general. How do books like this become popular?]

 Secondly, agave nectar has been shown to be very bad on the liver, why promote it as a healthy sweetener? It's also usually not too good for the texture of many kinds of baked goods either.

  I am also skeptical about her claims about how almond flour doesn't need binders like gelatine or guar gum at all, it would of been nice if she discussed her history of baking in far more detail in order to help explain why she came to this conclusion. I am reminded more of raw vegan recipe collections that claim to be just like the real thing, and in my experience, it really does not.

 Still, almond flour does seem to have potential, but sorghum flour has been highly underrated in the gluten-free baking community in my opinion, and I have doubts about the texture of the goods should I choose to use almond flour alone.

 I might buy this used. It might be useful for inspiration, but I would certainly change the recipes, and use butter instead of oil (why must so many people who write these gluten free books assume they're all a bunch of semi-vegetarians?).
[personal profile] literally
 While I am sure their gluten-free mixes suck just like most brands of it out there (natural and indy companies included), I have to hand it to them, they really understand what the average gluten-free eater wants. No sanctimonious healthfood recipes. Teaspoons of salt, not a half a gram of it. Sausage cheese balls made out of gluten-free Bisquick mix. Cheesy Steak and Potato Skillet. Banana Bread made with actual sugar and butter. Peanut Butter Cookie Candy Bars. Mexican Chocolate Brownies. They're not even bothering to pretend, and I salute them for it. I want to see more recipe collections like this, not just ones catering to anorexic carrot eaters.
[personal profile] literally
Gluten Free Gourmet Desserts & Baked Goods by Valerie Cupillard.

 I'm leafing through it right now, and while some of the ideas don't look bad, I really don't care for the gratuitous use of rice flour in these recipes, and even worse, where are binders like xantham and guar gum? Not all of these recipes contain eggs, so how do the end products stay together? And what the hell is with the essential oils (and essential oils sure as hell are not the same as nut and seed oils!)? Last time I checked you use those things for cosmetics, not ingestion. And then there is this crap about some detox diet, which I am sure is discredited somewhere-which the author decides, for God knows what reason, to base most of this book on.

 I'm only half tempted to buy it used, if only to rip off ideas in order to make much better products, but I'm not sure if it's even worth it.

[personal profile] literally
 First off, I'll admit I changed some of the recipe a bit, instead of using oil I used a mixture of melted unsalted butter and Spectrum's Palm Oil (also known as Vegetable Shortening). The texture is pretty damn good despite the fact it uses rice flour, so I couldn't help but wonder, why couldn't the texture be just as awesome in their All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix?

 Problems-like I complained about Glutino's, and thank God/s I played with the mix while mixing before popping it in the oven-use extra salt, trust me. At least half a teaspoon. I would also use a few extra tablespoons of unsweetened cocao powder or about an ounce and a half of melted unsweetened chocolate (for the love that all that is holy, ignore what the know-nothing food writers at Cook's Illustrated say and avoid brands like Baker's like the plague). A shot or two of dark espresso or dark coffee instead of water probably would of improved the flavor my cake too.

 But if you buy the mix anyway despite these problems, follow the mixing instructions as indicated on the label, the cake will be surprisingly good.

Pre-ETA: The mixing technique was inspirational, I might copy it next time I try to make a mix-free butter cake using mostly sorghum flour as the base substitute for wheat flour.
[personal profile] literally
 I tried the chocolate variety, wondering yet again, why do I bother? Really, what the hell is it with these kinds of companies that use little if any salt, much less much chocolate? Do they really think once you've found out you have a food sensitivity or allergy you automatically have no sense of taste whatsoever, willing to buy anything regardless of lack of quality? I guess they really do. I ignored the fact it has soy flour because I really miss Oreos. Trust me, it's not worth it, it's too sugary for its own good, and almost flavorless.

 If anyone has any recipes for a version of this thing that doesn't suck, then by all means, let me know.
[personal profile] literally
 I modified the tag thing in this community's account to make it a bit more usable for its members.


Very Gluten Free

November 2013

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