How To Shop for Someone Who is Gluten Free

There are so many instances where someone is in need of shopping help.  An accident, an illness or old age can make someone reach out and ask for help, sometimes temporarily.  It's important that we all know how to do that if we have a loved one with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease.

A dietary restriction like gluten free or allergen free can be very taxing on a family.  It's expensive and very inconvenient.  Sometimes families leave the person in question to fend for themselves, buy their own food, prepare however they want, and keep their own utensils separate.  That's fine while you're young and not injured.  It's better if the whole family knows how to do this, so that people can support each other in times of crisis.  Just think of it as an interesting talent.  

In this presentation, I talk about how to shop at the grocery store for gluten free items.  It's not as simple as just looking for the words gluten free or a certification label.  There are pitfalls - it's a skill that will get better over time. 

Here are a few slides, and a link to the Dropbox location for the PDF file that contains my presentation.  I had hoped to add narration and I still might do that.  But the complexities of that overwhelmed me and it's better that it should be available.  I'm releasing the presentation as (CC)BY-SA, which is a form of copyright that allows others to use the material with only a few restrictions.  A few images of the individual slides follow and the link to the presentation is also found at the end of this post.

Please feel free to use this presentation when a relative begins the gluten free diet, when you begin it, or when someone you know needs help with shopping. Another use for the presentation can be if you're shopping for a food shelf or a food drive that has a category / need for gluten free foods.

Keep in mind that new threats to gluten free labeling occur every day, here's one example. Keep learning about this subject, it's very deep.

Spices can be a source of gluten.  Spicely is a good place to look if you can't find a safe spice locally. 

Another example is Purity Protocol Oats and Oatmeal.  Most people with Celiac Disease do not react to the oats, but to the contamination that naturally happens when GF crops enter the same system of harvest and delivery as gluten containing crops.  PP Oats are a farm to table strategy that eliminates the worry for people who need to remain gluten free. At the moment I can only find that on Amazon, but there's a list on that page and I plan to bring it to local stores and request they carry at least one of them. 

If you would like me to give this presentation to a group, I have timed it to be between 30 and 45 minutes in length.  Contact me at the email address in the sidebar on the left. In some cases, I'll do this for free, schedule permitting.

Update:  There is a new look to the National Celiac Association Certification label.  You may see either one in stores or products.  When in doubt, don't buy, and call or email the manufacturer or the certification provider to be sure.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you think!


  1. It's been brought to my attention that the link regarding quinoa is broken. Here it is: I'll update the file next time I am working on the presentation. Thanks for mentioning it! :)

  2. Celiac India seems to be reworking its website. For confirmation of oats status right now, you can see this link: However, they don't seem to have the content up about oats anymore. They just say it's controversial and look in the FAQ, but the FAQ is being reorganized by age group. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

  3. Update: Oats should probably not be consumed unless they are 'Purity Protocol' Oats. This protocol was developed in Canada because 'mechanical separation' methods are inadequate to prevent the mixing of oat and wheat berries at the time of harvest. Since Oat and Wheat are often grown on the same farmland, volunteer plants of wheat often appear during the growing of oats. After harvest, mechanical separators are supposed to 'kick out' any of this wheat, but they don't do a good enough job. For more on this, read

  4. Celiac India reference for oats reactivity in CD:

  5. Do you love Ramen? Me too. I finally found a kelp noodle that works in Ramen recipes. As an added bonus, it may have some sea minerals in it. Though it's kind of processed, in this case I don't mind.

  6. Finland Celiac Society seems to have fallen off the internet at the moment. However, there is a list of Celiac organizations from around the world here: There are several travel websites specifically for those who must remain gluten free.

  7. Another update: GMO Answers has contradicted itself. In the article linked to, (which foods are GMOs? on the slide "Misleading claims"), their list is embarrassingly short, and their later articles contradict it, for instance by discussing that the EU closed its borders to Canadian Flax after it was found to be GMO flax. The biggest hidden facts in that article is the extensive use of GMO grains of all sorts, with the business aim being to force farmers to use patented chemical inputs for good farming results.

    "In September 2009, GM flax was detected in Canadian flax exports to the EU. The EU immediately closed the border to all flax shipments from Canada. The border closure lasted 4 months, until an industry stewardship testing protocol could be developed, agreed upon, and implemented. This stewardship protocol ensures that every field of Canadian flax is tested for GM flax and this testing protocol continues all the way along the flax handling system, rail, interlake freighters, and transoceanic vessels" from:

    My opinion of GMO remains what it always was. It has potential, but that potential will never be realized until greed and arrogance are curtailed. We need a stronger moral core before we can wield God's tools.


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