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Seeking flavoursome gluten-free food

Sep 9th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

WELLINGTONIAN Russell Clark (below) used to feel lethargic to the point of almost falling asleep at work – until he stopped eating foods that contain gluten.

Gluten intolerant Russell Clark with the $7 loaf of bread

Within days his energy increased, he was more alert and his digestion improved.

He had suspected for some time gluten intolerance was the problem, but six months ago his doctor confirmed the diagnosis.

He is now careful to avoid bread, burgers and buns.

“I used to be a fan of KFC, but their entire menu contains or has traces of gluten and chomping down a Big Mac is now also a thing of the past,” he says.

Gluten is found mainly in wheat-based foods.

Russell shops for gluten-free products and his grocery bill has almost doubled.

A loaf of gluten-free bread can be up to seven dollars so his staples are now meat, fruit, vegetables and rice.

Russell says he’s always looking for ideas for flavoursome gluten-free foods and a wider range of products.

Healthy Life Media director Kim Mundell says in the past five years her company’s Healthy Food Guide has had a large increase in reader letters related to allergies and intolerances.

It was clear there was an increasing need for information in this area.

The company hosted the Gluten Free Food & Allergy Show recently at the TSB Bank Arena, attracting hundreds of consumers hoping to learn more about products available to them.

Among the many stall holders, Aria Farm – who provided free samples of their lamb and beef products – was the most popular.

Also popular were gftreets who spent six months perfecting their gluten free fish batter after their son was diagnosed with crohn’s disease meaning he was able to eat fish and chips.

They sell their range which includes hot dogs, fish, donuts and chicken strips throughout supermarkets.

They had planned to sell them through take-away stores but the risk of cross-contamination made this unfeasible.

Many of the companies now making gluten-free foods started from a family member being diagnosed.

Scotts Brewing Company from Auckland is New Zealand’s only gluten-free brewery, taking four years of experimentation to get the brew just right.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student. He started his life in the Wairarapa, moving to Wellington in 2009 to do his journalism training after many years of freelance writing.
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