Sunday, September 03, 2006

Oats for Celiacs and Gluten-Free persons

A lot has been said about this subject, and it just seems that every study contradicts every other study. I have watched the Oats / Gluten debate for a long time trying to decide whether or not to include them in my diet. The issue is all about contamination basically, since the oats themselves do not contain gluten. And, that gluten contamination varies not just between brands of oats, but between each container of oats even within the same brand.

I really love the taste of oats and miss them quite a bit, but with this kind of information I am just very very hesitant about introducing them back into my otherwise GF diet. had an article about gluten contamination in commercial oats that was interesting and informative. What I found amazing was the crazy variance between containers. I guess it makes sense: one piece of wheat gets ground up accidentally into one container and not another. From the article:

"2 containers of oats representing 4 different lots of 3 brands (Quaker, Country Choice, and McCannĂ‚’s) were tested for gluten contamination using the R5 ELISA developed by Mendez. Contamination levels ranged from below the limit of detection (3 ppm gluten) to 1807 ppm gluten. Three of the 12 oat samples contained gluten levels of less than 20 ppm, and the other nine had levels that ranged from 23 to 1,807 ppm. All brands of oats tested had at least 1 container of oats that tested above 200 ppm gluten"

This just goes to show what Celiacs are up against when it comes to obtaining "safe" foods. All it takes is a little contamination somewhere in the chain of processing to screw things up for us. At times I wonder if I was to plant a few oats of my own, hand pick them, hand roll them or whatever, if I could truly ensure they were GF. It'd sure be nice to have the taste available again, and the potential cholesterol-lowering effects they claim oats provide, but it also sounds like too much work. So, I will just wait until someone can guarantee their oats to be GF all of the time before I will try them again (unless I have a moment of weakness!)


Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

This is Al from

Here are some Certified Pure Oat producing companies: - These guys are in Wyoming - This is from Canada.

I have not tried them yet, but have been tempted. If you try them let us know!!


Mike Eberhart said...

I may very well give one of those a try. I so miss the taste of oats. If I could just have some in moderation for breakfast, how nice that would be.

Thanks Al!