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Gluten-free in the United States

For this blog I talked to two American bloggers about how gluten-free is regulated in the United States. Erin and Haley talk about gluten-free food in their country and give practical tips to make your holiday go safely! They introduce themselves below.


Introduction

The first person I spoke to was Erin Smith, aka “Gluten-Free Globetrotter”. In 1981, she was diagnosed with celiac disease at the age of two. Erin has a unique perspective on growing up in the gluten-free community. She is passionate about sharing her experiences and gluten-free expertise with others. Erin grew up in New York and still lives here with her husband and son. Erin has been to 24 countries, 3 continents and always 100% gluten free!

Her website and socials can be found at the bottom of the blog.

The second person I spoke to was Haley from “Fernweh Foreigner”. As a mother-daughter team, Haley and Michele write (on their healthy travel blog) about travelling with an allergy, sports, outdoor activities and sightseeing. They have lived in multiple places in the United States over the past 20 years and even spent a short time abroad. On their site, you'll find lists of allergy-friendly locations around the world so people with allergies can travel without fear. Their website and socials can be found at the bottom of the blog.

The first things you need to know

➡ Gluten-free food is quite popular in this country, which makes it easier to find gluten-free food (especially in the big cities). Something to watch out for is that in the US a lot of people eat gluten free because they think it's healthy and not for medical reasons. It's very important to talk to chefs and restaurant managers to explain why you have to eat gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination in the kitchen.

➡ Various terms are used to indicate gluten-free food. A term you hear a lot is “gluten friendly”. This means that the food is probably gluten-free but they cannot guarantee this, for example due to cross-contamination. If you have celiac disease, you should go for food labeled “celiac friendly”. In all cases, the advice remains to always talk to the cook or the person who sells the product, because there is sometimes confusion about these terms.


Supermarkets

National supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Sprouts carry quite a large gluten-free range. You can also go to smaller supermarkets such as Natural Grocers and Nutrition Smart. Major general stores such as Walmart and Target also carry a number of gluten-free products.


Haley's Tip: Our favorite is usually Whole Foods because they have the largest and most varied range of gluten-free and other allergy-free products. However, we also like the smaller stores, such as Nutrition Smart and greengrocers, because they are usually a lot cheaper and have different things than the larger chains. Sprouts products are also quite tasty, but not everything is always natural and healthy. Trader Joes is a lot cheaper, but they only have their own products, so there are fewer options.


Eating out

In general, you can eat out well gluten-free in the United States. In the larger cities it is easier than in the small villages.

Many menus indicate what is gluten-free. Make sure that (especially if you have celiac disease) you always discuss your dietary requirements with, preferably the manager. Ask questions about how the food is prepared and what is done to avoid cross-contamination. Unfortunately, it does not come naturally that your gluten-free food is also prepared gluten-free, see the first heading of this article. So make sure you always double check! Do you want to play it safe? Then go to a completely gluten-free restaurant, especially in New York there are quite a few!


Tips for finding gluten-free restaurants: ➡ Erin has compiled a list of reliable addresses where you can eat gluten-free in New York, click here to go to the list. ➡ Haley and Michele have collected reliable addresses per region where they have been where you can eat well with an allergy. Click here to go to their website. ➡The FindMeGlutenFree app can be a useful tool for finding restaurants. The Gluten Dude app has a list of restaurants. The first 7 days are free. ➡ Gluten-free & Sexy has a database with many completely gluten-free addresses in the United States, among others. Click here. ➡ For Philadelphia you can look here for a list of gluten-free addresses. For Baltimore you can look here for a list of gluten-free addresses. ➡ Search social media for #glutenfree with the city name behind it where you are at that moment.


Other tips

What is a gluten-free, local delicacy you should try while in the United States?

Erin: Bagels are very popular in New York, Modern Bread and Bagel has the best gluten-free bagels!

Haley: When we lived in Texas and Arizona, Mexican was the most popular local food. Fortunately, a lot of Mexican food is naturally gluten-free and really delicious. Here in Florida, Caribbean food is very popular and our new favorite dish is a Puerto Rican/Dominican dish called Mofongo. It does not contain gluten, but it is a fried ball of plantain, among other things, so be very careful about cross-contamination in the deep-fat fryer!

➡ A hotel where you can eat well gluten-free can be a good start, look at the gluten-free accommodations page of this website.

➡ Do your research on time! It is better to head out well prepared with a list of restaurants than hungry on the spec.

➡ Do you want more help planning your vacation? Then you can approach Erin, she will be happy to help you plan your gluten-free vacation in New York.

Contact details

➡ Haley en Michele, Fernweh Foreigner: Website: https://fernwehforeigner.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fernwehforeigner


1 comment

1 Comment


William Malcolm
William Malcolm
Apr 13

Can you got in gluten-free in USA

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