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What's Mark eating? (213.0) - Mark's Journal
mhaithaca
mhaithaca
What's Mark eating? (213.0)
There's been lots of good food lately, including my "free trial" ($20 shipping for four meals, which wasn't bad) of Plated, an Internet service that sends you raw ingredients and a recipe and you cook it yourself. Want to try it yourself? This link will get you a special offer, and get me a freebie.

But this week has been much more interesting, because I'm participating in Cornell Dining's "5 Days" initiative, in which management and chefs and a bunch of staff are following one of six restricted diets for five days and blogging about it. I'm on the Gluten Free team.

Omission Pale AleNow, it happens that as a relatively strict Passover observer, I'm used to keeping an eye out for grain and avoiding it. The result is that just avoiding wheat is pretty easy. I'm eating daily on campus, and blogging about the experiences on the 5 Days blog, but also eating gluten-free outside of work. Ithaca's a pretty easy town to do that in; we have some restaurants with separate gluten-free menus, including one of my regular spots. They've even got Omission, a gluten-free (technically gluten-removed) beer.

I'm glad I don't have to follow this restriction as a highly sensitive gluten-intolerant eater. People who risk anaphylactic shock from a speck of gluten wouldn't be able to have the gluten-free flatbread I had, which was cooked in the same wood-fired oven that they cook regular flatbreads in. They wouldn't be able to eat the wheat-free corn tortilla chips, because they're fried in the same fryer that wheat-breaded items go in. The most sensitive folks even have reactions to Omission, which is rated at one part per million, lower than the level where substances can legally be called gluten-free.

Honestly, I know I'm lucky. I'm allergic to cats, which sucks, but there's really nothing I can't safely eat.
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Comments
aregulardyke From: aregulardyke Date: March 7th, 2014 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Livin' It

Aside from Celiac Disease, in which those folks diagnosed with that problem ( the super-sensitive are in this category usually ) there's so many levels and degrees of gluten sensitivity it's just plan confusing. I have a kid at work who is GF - in his case, sensitive - so he doesn't get to eat a bunch of stuff the other kids do. Fortunately his sensitivity level is not off the charts - otherwise my job would be a WHOLE lot harder ! The housemate is also GF ( again, sensitive ) and cooking meals at home is a major undertaking. Aside from having to read labels on EVERYthing, the main alternative is vegetables, meat that has no breading or sauce ( unless I make one of GF ingredients ) and do on.

The toughest part is that a LOT of GF stuff available in the stores tastes like CRAP. Especially baked good, which are dry and grainy due to all the rice flour. Flavor is added by adding sugar sometimes as well. AND the store stuff can be hyper-expensive so is prohibitive at times.

Wegmans has a huge GF section, the largest around - just for ha-ha's, you might want to check it out and buy something like a cookie or some bread and see how that compares with what you're getting from CU Dining.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 7th, 2014 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Livin' It

I'm sure it's not quite up to Wegmans, but the P&C also has a nice gluten-free display, and I bought some "cereal bars" for breakfast that turned out to be indistinguishable from rice krispies treats. So, not bad, but not breakfast.
aregulardyke From: aregulardyke Date: March 7th, 2014 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Livin' It

since rice is gluten free, rice cripie treats are allowed ... lol ... what is problematic is trying to imitate the texture and loft of anything bread-ish. Gluten is the stuff that expands and makes all the holes that rising yeast creates ( and the holes stay there upon baking ). That nice effect will not happen with rice flour ( or tapioca or sorghum or garbanzo flour ) so GF bread tends to be kinda' like sawdust-lead. And yup, lots of sugar in those treats. NOT good for breakfast !




Edited at 2014-03-07 10:35 pm (UTC)
aregulardyke From: aregulardyke Date: March 7th, 2014 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Livin' It

Yup, we E & I ) both try to shop several different stores to get GF stuff - tho I haven't been up P&C way in quite some time. I do appreciate the fact that even the local grocery in Newark Valley is now carrying things like GF pizza crusts and cookies, makes getting shopping done a little easier.
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