Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Kraft and Nabisco Label for Special Diets

For those of you on special diets, you know the value of great ingredient labeling! I did hear on the radio that all food companies will be required to list things like gluten, but those regulations will not be totally in effect until 2008!!! Now, how could it possibly take three years to change a label? I don't know, but in the meantime, I've been making a lot of phone calls to manufacturers.

Anyway, I can't have yeast, so I've been using Baking Powder. And, when I was reviewing my list of no-no's, I read that baking powder can have wheat in it! Yikes. I can't have wheat or gluten either.

So, I placed a call to Kraft to make sure there was no gluten.

I must say, they were very helpful.

All Kraft and Nabisco products have accurate labeling. If there is a questionable ingredient, they break it down in parenthesis afterward so that you don't have to worry about "hidden ingredients". And, they informed me that all ingredients listed as natural flavors, food starch, and modified food starch are only from corn, rice, or tapioca.

So, maybe you "seasoned" - pardon the pun :-) - gluten-free individuals already know this, but hopefully it will be helpful to those newbies like myself.

And, hey, even if you don't have special dietary requirements, it's nice to know that Kraft and Nabisco products are so accurate in labeling. And, if you don't normally check ingredient lists, I encourage you to do so. I've been amazed at how the "same" products have different lists!

For example, I was buying some baking chocolate squares to use; and I just assumed they were all the same and picked a box and took it home. Then, when I went to use it, I read the ingredients and found it had milk in it! And, it wasn't even titled milk chocolate like the others that contained milk. So, back to the store. The other baking chocolate was indeed pure, dark chocolate.

Anyway, label checking can be very enlightening as to what you're putting in your body. I can't describe how much my health has improved since going "natural" and "organic" and "soy". It definitely costs more at the grocery store; but hey, who can add up the cost of a Mom fatiqued, irritable, and constantly catching every illness within a two mile radius? I think everyone will agree that a higher grocery bill is well worth it.

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

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