Does Dedicated Gluten Free Matter

Why is ‘dedicated’ gluten free important:

I’ve been asked two questions a lot lately, “Does it really matter if it’s a dedicated kitchen?” and “Why does it matter?”. I’d like to answer these questions, as it took my family over a year of having problems before we realized we really did need our home dedicated GF, maybe I can save someone else the heartache.

First question, does it matter?:

Yes, unequivocally, yes, if you have Celiac disease or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, or a wheat allergy, or are highly intolerant of any of the gluten grains (Wheat, Barley, Rye, Tricticale, and some oats {side note, all the oats and other ingredients I use are certified GF, and processed on dedicated equipment}). If you are doing GF because you want to avoid grains, or any other non-health reason, than no, dedicated won’t matter. You may now ask, well, what my family does if we go somewhere to eat, restaurants are not dedicated facilities, well, we risk it, and pray the kitchen staff and waiters take us seriously, we cannot live our lives in a bubble, never leaving home, that is not living. We clean our own table, we place napkins everywhere, we explain in detail what we need, and why, sometimes we are ok, sometimes we suffer. But, that is for the minimal occasions we go out, we need to be safer with our everyday foods, and certainly don’t want special occasions like birthdays turning into nightmare weeks of pain.

Second question, Why does it matter?: I’ll explain this one in parts

Part 1: For someone with Celiac, even one tiny particle of gluten, that crumb you don’t even see, that one piece of flour, can set off an auto-immune reaction, depending on where that little piece goes and depending on how your body reacts, the problems can range from severe diarrhea to severe constipation, joint and muscle pain, brain fog, seizures and more; regular ingesting of gluten can lead to malnutrition, several forms of cancer, other auto-immune disorders (diabetes, Hashimotos, Lupus, M.S. and more), and a weakened immune system for fighting off germs. There are people who react so severely to 'just a crumb' they wind up in the hospital getting IV fluids.


Part 2: Gluten is sticky, very sticky, it is also very lightweight. Lab tests have shown that flour particles can stay in the air for more than 24 hours. Have you ever walked by or into a bakery and noticed the air is kind of foggy, that’s the flour in the air. Gluten can also attach itself to equipment, especially porous equipment, like stoneware, plastics, or scratches in other surfaces, and you never know when it’s going to come free and get into whatever you’re making. No amount of cleaning can guarantee these things are free of gluten. This stickiness is what makes it so wonderful for baking, that’s why ‘regular’ breads and cakes do not fall apart.

I will admit, it took me personally 6 months before I quit ‘cheating’ and having a roll at a restaurant or a cookie or piece of cake, I finally quit cheating when after going about 6 weeks without cheating, I had a few bites of a dinner roll at a restaurant, and the next day, I paid for it. You see, we start healing very slowly, so sometimes; it doesn’t even dawn on us how much better we are feeling. I had gotten where I was no longer attached to the toilet for hours and hours a day, screaming because it hurt so bad. Those few bites had me stuck and screaming again. That was my last straw; I haven’t craved nor wanted to cheat since. It was almost a year later when we turned our kitchen into a dedicated kitchen. My kids and I have Celiac, but my husband does not. He didn’t want to eat GF, and I will admit the things we ate at first were not very good. It took a lot of learning and a lot of practice to get good at GF cooking, and to understand what tasted good and what did not. However, the kids and I kept getting sick again, and we never healed as much as we could have. We were careful, we used different pots/pans for my husband’s food, cleaned everything carefully, but it just wasn’t working. My husband decided to go completely GF at home, and within weeks we noticed a big difference.

Our kitchen has been completely GF for a year and a half, and I am healthier than I have been since I was a kid, if even then, and both my kids are healthier than they have ever been.

{Side note for those interested in ordering from Silly-Yaks Bake Shop}
As for other ingredients, I use dairy rarely, but we have very strict rules, because my daughter is allergic to dairy. Everything on my bakeries menu is dairy free, excepting the two buttercream frosting recipes, and I feel confident guaranteeing no dairy will come near your food unless you request it. We use peanut butter, often, and we use several tree-nut flours in almost everything, although I do have substitutions available. If you have an allergy to these, I cannot guarantee it safe for you, all my equipment is shared equipment. If you are intolerant, please let me know, and I will follow very strict cross-contamination procedures for you. This includes making your items first thing, before any other foods, after a full kitchen scrub down, and all equipment will be run through dishwasher, or thoroughly scrubbed by hand before use.

Thank you for reading; I hope this info is helpful for you. If you have any other questions regarding Celiac, NCGS, gluten, or my bakery, feel free to ask, I will do my best to answer or to point you in the right direction. Let my years of researching how to keep my family safe, benefit yours!

Sources

airborne gluten particles:
https://www.gluten.net/wp-content/pdf/gf-in-nondedicated-kit-04-2012.pdf

Other conditions caused by eating gluten with Celiac Disease:
http://celiac.org/celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/


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