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Why So Much Talk About Gluten Free?


Until I started working in the Natural Foods department, I had never heard of Celiac disease, let alone know that so many gluten free products were available.  With the help of our Registered Dieticians, support groups, and our Festival Foods shoppers, I now know how much a gluten free diet can help.

What is Celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats. In the past several years, many people who have had digestive problems their whole life have been diagnosed and are now able to enjoy eating without discomfort by making some changes to their diet.

Making changes to your diet is never easy, and for the person who needs to go gluten free, it can be overwhelming.  Because of this, Festival Foods held a gluten free tasting in our De Pere store to help our shoppers

The tasting was held on Saturday, August 6, and was attended by hundreds of people from all over the Fox Valley and Green Bay.    There were gluten free products sampled from the Natural Foods, Deli and Wine & Spirits departments. Representatives from the Fox Valley Celiac Support group were present to answer questions about their organization and living a gluten free lifestyle.  They’re a great organization that does so much for those diagnosed with Celiac disease.  We’re truly blessed to have them right in our backyard.  We also had Festivals RD Stephanie Walker along with many of our local Natural Foods Department Managers.

There were many items sampled but the big hits were as followed:

  • GF pizza (Udis pizza crust w/Oganicville pizza sauce and Organic Valley Mexican mix cheese
  • Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta mixed with Pacific vegetarian both
  • Ancient Harvest Pagoda pasta with Organicville Tomato Garlic Dressing
  • Against the Grain Baquettes paired with Kettle Cuisine soups
  • Edward and Sons cones filed with Rice Dream frozen desert
  • S’mores made with Enjoy Life Honey Grahams and Chocolate Chunks

Festival Foods has many dry, refrigerated and frozen gluten free offering located in our Natural Foods department.   If we don’t stock what you are looking for we will do our best to get it for you.  We have many monthly in-store specials on Gluten free products.  Watch for the pink tag as you shop the department.  Also, check out our bi-weekly in-store Orange Sheet ad that has some super hot Gluten Free deals.   Stop by your local Festival Foods Natural Department and let us know how we can better serve your needs.

Are you wondering if you might have Celiac disease?

Some of the symptoms include: Abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting/nausea, irregular stools (float, smelly, bloody, fatty), fatigue, muscle cramps/joint pain.

In children (slowed growth and shorter than normal height, delayed puberty, poor weight gain)

Keep in mind that symptoms of Celiac disease can vary from person to person.  Please check with your doctor if you have concerns.

While Celiac disease cannot be cured, your symptoms will go away and the villi in the lining of your intestines will heal if you follow a lifelong gluten-free diet!

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