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Gluten-free in the Alberni Valley

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Gluten-free in the Alberni Valley

Post by The Invisible Man on Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:28 am

About ten percent of the population is intolerant to gluten. Some people have Celiac Disease and can not eat anything that contains gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats, etc), while others are allergic or intolerant to wheat only. People that need gluten-free food have a hard time eating out in local restaurants. It is particularly hard because not all cooks take gluten-free seriously. Some cooks think a gluten-free diet is more of a fad diet than something that is necessary for good health. So far, I have found most places in the Alberni Valley do not offer gluten-free choices on their menu. However, there are a couple of exceptions.

Bare Bones Fish & Chips offers gluten-free grilled salmon dinner. It's delicious. While the fries are made from whole potatoes (no additives) they are cooked in the same oil as the battered fish therefore may not be a wise choice for someone with Celiac Disease. In place of the fries, one could order a salad with balsamic dressing.

Not all fish & chip joints are created equal. The other fish & chip place in town does not offer a gluten-free choice and their fries contain gluten in the coating.

The little Mexican Restaurant at the Harbour Quay (open during the summer months) offers delicious gluten-free food. Most of their food is made from whole foods grown in the Alberni Valley.



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Re: Gluten-free in the Alberni Valley

Post by Possum on Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:46 pm

I think you will find that a business cannot plan to make a living off the 10% and will most likely try to accommodate the 90% no matter what the 90 10 ratio is based on. How many Kosher places are there here in Port?

I wonder if it would be advantageous to the sufferer to call ahead to arrange for whatever it is they can consume. It must be hard to live that way.

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Re: Gluten-free in the Alberni Valley

Post by The Invisible Man on Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:11 pm

Most Celiacs don't eat out and are healthier than most other people because their diet is lean and filled with whole foods. But those with wheat or gluten intolerance are often looking for gluten-free alternatives.

Ten percent of the population is significant. In this town it would amount to 2,000 potential customers.

If restaurant cooks knew that a simple change in some of their recipes could make a meal gluten free they would probably do it. For instance, if they used red wine vinegar instead of regular white vinegar in a recipe or corn starch as a thickener rather than flour.

Whole food is naturally gluten-free (except wheat, rye, barley, and oats). It's processed food that is the problem. Gluten can be hidden in modified food ingredients. Often barley is the culprit.

Gluten-free living is a healthy lifestyle. It would be in a restaurant's best interests to offer healthy choices for everyone.
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Re: Gluten-free in the Alberni Valley

Post by Possum on Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:02 pm

The Invisible Man wrote:Most Celiacs don't eat out
I think you've killed your own argument about local restaurants. The 90% are normally the 100% of the customers.


Last edited by Possum on Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Gluten-free in the Alberni Valley

Post by The Invisible Man on Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:18 pm

Possum wrote:
The Invisible Man wrote:Most Celiacs don't eat out
I think you've killed you own argument about local restaurants. The 90% are normally the 100% of the customers.
Celiacs only amount to less than 1% of the population (1 in 133 people have the disease). The other 9% of people that have problems with gluten are either "intolerant" or "allergic." Celiac Disease is a whole other ball game. It is an "autoimmune disorder." With Celiac Disease, your body attacks itself if you ingest gluten. It still holds true that 2,000 potential customers in the Alberni Valley are affected with gluten problems.





Last edited by The Invisible Man on Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar)
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Re: Gluten-free in the Alberni Valley

Post by Possum on Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:40 pm

The Invisible Man wrote:
Possum wrote:
The Invisible Man wrote:Most Celiacs don't eat out
I think you've killed you own argument about local restaurants. The 90% are normally the 100% of the customers.
Celiacs only amount to less than 1% of the population (1 in 133 people have the disease). The other 9% of people that have problems with gluten are either "intolerant" or "allergic." Celiac Disease is a whole other ball game. It is an "autoimmune disorder." With Celiac Disease, your body attacks itself if you ingest gluten. It still holds true that 2,000 potential customers in the Alberni Valley are affected with gluten problems.
True, a family member is being checked out for some sort of disorder that affects his digestive tract. At present the doctor is leaning toward Crones disease as both his maternal grandparents have that affliction. His problem is an on again / off again malady that is giving the doctor fits.

For this reason the doctor has not ruled out Celiac disease.

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Re: Gluten-free in the Alberni Valley

Post by The Invisible Man on Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:55 pm

Celiac Disease is often not thought about until all other digestive problems are ruled out. It's too bad because a simple blood test is all that is needed. When testing for the disease, it's important to not stop eating food that contains gluten. The level of resistance to gluten is measured. If there isn't any gluten in the person's system, the test will come back negative.

I found another local restaurant that offers gluten-free food. The new Sushi Alberni has California rolls with real crab (fake crab has gluten in it). They also have an avocado and vegetable roll that is gluten-free. If you let them know you have a problem they'll set you up with Tamarai Sauce (gluten-free soya sauce). The food is fresh and taste great! Very Happy
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Re: Gluten-free in the Alberni Valley

Post by WetCoastKid on Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:59 pm

It's amazing just how sensitive the human body can be. My wife has her own toaster and refuses to use any margarine or other spreads that might have any traces of crumbs in them.

Going to the grocery store is more of a scavenger hunt in search of products that don't use a wheat as a filler or binding agent. There are some really good replacement foods and some really not-so-edible ones.

If I wasn't so lazy I would list off the better of the brands, but taste and particular food allergies mean that good for one gluten-intolerant person, may not be so good for another with a stronger reaction or taste and texture opinions.

Knowledge of this allergy is becoming more common and it's getting easier to order a bun-less burger at McDonalds, deli staff are becoming more familiar with the concept of GF meats and now there are little pockets of gluten-free sections in almost every grocery store.

Good luck to anyone going GF! I feel for your spouse... jk, jk (Iv'e even lost some weight thanks to her diet change)

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