As I've written in the past, I had a really tough time when I first tried to grocery shop after learning that my son had multiple food allergies. Trying to decipher food labels and figure out what might be safe, and what wasn't, was a challenge that left me frightened and, frankly, exhausted. The federal food allergy labeling law made a huge difference in our lives. Though not fool-proof, it definitely has made it easier to be an informed shopper.
Our friends and family in the gluten-free community have had no such peace of mind. The law does not include gluten-containing grains (rye and barley). With a growing marketplace of "gluten-free" options, how can a consumer have confidence that their food is truly gluten-free? It is time for that to change.
On May 4, the beginning of the globally recognized Celiac Awareness Month, there will be an event in Washington, D.C. to bring attention to the need for a federally mandated gluten-free standard. Gluten-free community leaders, Jules Shepard and John Forberger, have created an advocacy effort that includes a petition, letter-writing campaign and the event to bring change to the food-labeling laws. The name of their effort is 1 in 133 to bring attention to the prevalence of gluten-intolerance. (1 in 133 people in the United States lives with celiac or another gluten-intolerance.)
Please help 1 in 133 bring about important change in our food labeling laws.
Kim and Megan