**MORE** regular cereals that are gluten-free (and my thoughts on cross-contamination)
05/06/09 Edited to add, because this post from two years ago is still getting a lot of hits: General Mills is now making Rice Chex entirely gluten-free; they’re produced in a dedicated facility, and labeled as gluten-free. I have read reports that most of the rest of Chex products (excluding, of course, Wheat Chex) will soon be gluten-free, but I have yet to see the products myself.
General Mills is making an effort to produce gluten-free cereals, though they’re not promoting them as such.
This is from Jenny Path, General Mills Consumer Services:
It is our goal to help our consumers determine whether or not they can include our products in their diet. To accurately accomplish this, we believe it is best to refer to the specific ingredients listed on each product package.
However, we do understand that ingredients can be confusing, so we want to assure you if the ingredient label does not list wheat, barley, rye, oats or gluten containing ingredients sourced from these grains, then the product would be gluten-free. Sources of gluten are listed on the label even if the source of gluten is part of another ingredient (such as flavoring or spice). Because ingredients may vary from one package to another due to product reformulation, you should use the product’s ingredient label to provide you with current and accurate information.
Basically, she’s saying just be careful to read the label.
And, obviously, there’s always a risk of cross-contamination… but in general, I take that risk. I mean, most of the things I eat are totally from scratch — virtually no risk. I knowingly eat *nothing* that has gluten in it, not even if it’s way-down on the ingredient list. So, eating something that may have cross-contamination is something that I can weather. Others might make different choices, but, IMO, in the grand scheme of things, I think that the threat of possible cross-contamination is small. And, I kind of read between the lines in the ingredient list: For instance, just tonight, I purchased a pack of macaroons house-branded from Whole Foods, which is a very gluten-aware natural foods market (they even have a dedicated gluten-free bakery that ships to its stores, nation-wide). The macaroon ingredients list unsulfited coconut, sugar, cage-free egg whites, potato starch, water, glucose, salt. They also list the fact that that there might be “traces” of wheat, soybeans and tree nuts. BUT, I’m buying a product from a store that’s aware of gluten issues, and have gone so far as to list that the food starch is from potato… IOW, I’ve assessed that it’s a fairly small risk.
ANYways. Back to the cereal. GM has come out with the Dora Stars cereal, which I already joyously blogged about. It is a very low-sugar sweetened corn & cinnamon cereal, which both Wesley & I enjoy. They also have two more cereals, with gluten-free ingredients, which I haven’t tried yet. They’re both “kid” oriented.
The first is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Berry Crunch:
(Thanks to Ed for the pic.)
The ingredients list, basically, corn, sugar, color, flavors and vitamins. Each serving has 9g of sugar, which makes it on the lower-sugar end of sugary cereals. I generally avoid foods with artificial colors in them, but I’ll probably buy this if it’s on sale.
The other cereal is Little Einsteins Fruity Stars. They have an ingredient list that is virtually identical to the Berry Crunch cereal, has the same shape as the Dora Stars, and also has 9 g of sugar. However, since Wes has historically fared poorly with “fruity” flavored foods, we’ll probably not buy this one.
I had also heard that Cocoa Puffs and Trix now have all g.f. ingredients. I checked them out on the General Mills website, and that appears to be true, too. But they both have too much sugar, so I won’t be buying them, either. (05/06/09: Cocoa Puffs does contain a small amount of wheat flour, but Trix is gluten-free, and we do buy it occasionally.)
Even with the risks associated with cross-contamination, as GM is not committing to gluten-free facilities, nor, to my knowledge, are they getting their products tested for gluten, it’s still nice to know we celiacs can pull regular cereals off of the shelves and be relatively sure that they’re safe to eat.
Go, General Mills!