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Gluten-Free Certification Program Helps ID Products

It might be easier for people with Celiac Disease to get the food they need.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Eating gluten free has become less of a challenge over the years.

"There's just a lot out there and I think it's getting more and more prevalent that you can find it in different grocery stores," said Suzanne Nelson, the owner of Suzanne's Natural Foods in Joplin.

A new effort means it might be easier for gluten-free eaters to get their hands on tasty treats.

"Just giving them more of a variety to choose from, more choices so that they don't feel like they're missing out," said Nelson.

An American foundation is teaming up with a Canadian partner on the Gluten Free Certification Program. They're working to make it easier to identify gluten free products.

"Especially a Celiac, has to have the gluten free version of specific types of foods or they get very sick. It can put them in the hospital," said Nelson.

The auto-immune disorder can only be treated by eating a strict gluten free diet.

"They're relating the consumption of gluten to a variety of health concerns," said Nelson.

An increase in awareness is making this food more and more accessible for those who need it.

"Each year we have to keep adding more and more products. Before we had to read each label to find out if it was gluten free and know what that meant. Now the packages say gluten free really plain on it," said Nelson.

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness says 1 in 136 people are diagnosed with the disease.

(story contributed by KODE, Joplin, MO)

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