Why I’m ok with naturally gluten-free foods being labeled “gluten-free”

Lately I’ve heard quite a bit of scoffing when it comes to gluten-free labeling.  This usually takes place around foods that are inherently gluten-free like dried beans, nuts and coffee.

Usually the comment is something like, “Why is there a gluten-free label on here?  Coffee has always been gluten-free!  They’re just trying to cash in on the fad.”


But as someone who suffers from celiac disease and is incredibly sensitive to the tiniest contamination of gluten, I have to inspect every label carefully.

You would be shocked at how hard it is for me to find a safe bag of pecans or cashews.  But nuts are gluten-free, right?  Right!  But take a look for yourself.  The next time you buy a bag of nuts, search for the fine print and you are likely to find the words, “Made in a facility with wheat.”

Those six little words haunt my every grocery shopping experience.  

The other day I went to Sprouts to look for dried currants.  The only ones they had were packaged from their bulk bin section, so the label had that six-word warning on it.

I couldn’t eat the gluten-free food because it may be contaminated with gluten.


I learned my lesson the hard way in 2012 after eating a “no gluten ingredients” product from Trader Joe’s without bothering to look at the fine print.

So yes I search for the magic words “gluten-free” on every product, however silly it may seem.  I seek out the gluten-free certification.  I stand awkwardly in the aisle of the grocery store looking up the manufacturer information (probably annoying people who think I’m standing there tweeting or texting).


Why I'm ok with naturally gluten-free foods being labeled "gluten-free"


Gluten-free garbanzo beans?  Great!

Gluten-free coffee?  I’ll take a cup!

Gluten-free water?  Well, maybe you’ve gone too far with this one…

How about you?  Do you have a problem with the gluten-free label popping up everywhere?  Are you an awkward aisle person like me?  Do those six little words make you bristle?

  • Robin January 14, 2014 at 9:22 am

    At first, I scoffed, but then I realized not everyone knows which foods are naturally gluten free. I find it especially helpful for family and friends who have no idea where to start with gluten-free foods for my daughter. She feels ‘special’ when she goes to someone’s house and they show her that they found some gluten free snacks for her to enjoy at their house.

  • Jazz January 14, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I could not agree
    more. Before being diagnosed I would comment on the labels “why would
    there be gluten in my almond milk” Post diagnosis I appreciate anything
    that makes eating a little easier. The gluten free label saves me the time of carefully
    reading the label and then trying to remember this particular manufacturers
    labeling policy or trying to look it up while in the store. I am sure some
    companies are doing it to jump on the bandwagon but that is why companies are
    in business, to make a profit. I dont mind that they profit in fact if they
    make certified gf products I want them to make a profit so I can continue to
    purchase things without all the hassle and stress,

  • Debbie Bajenaru January 15, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Keep educating us

  • Michelle Parker February 3, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Folger’s coffee is no longer gluten free. I think it’s because it shares equipment. I wish everything gluten free was labeled. Shopping is a nightmare. I won’t even buy produce, unless it’s self-contained (think multiple hands, handling flour, and free cookies).