Gluten-Free Fair 2014

Imagine having to give up your favourite foods? Cakes, fresh bread and succulent sausages. For those with coeliac disease it’s a daily struggle to find good tasty food which is gluten-free. This years Gluten-Free Fair showed those with coeliac disease that not all gluten-free food is boring. 

2014 Gluten-Free Fair

2014 Gluten-Free Fair

For the second year running, The TASTECLUB brought The Great North Gluten-Free Fair to Newcastle. The event ran from 10am to 4pm on the 26th of April at The Castle Gate, Melbourne Street and brought with it the finest, tastiest, gluten free food.

Companies such as Coeliac UK, Warburton’s, Juice Plus +, Sooo Cakey, Northumberland Sausage Company, Tynemouth Coffee Company, Gluten Free Kitchen and Wheat Berry all attended the event and had stalls generouslygiving away samples of delicious gluten free food.

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Wheat Beat

The event aims to offer those who are coeliacs or who simply don’t eat wheat, a chance to try tasty food without asking ‘do you have anything gluten-free?’ and even pick up tips and advice on different gluten-free foods that are out there.

What is Coeliac Disease?

One in 100 people in the UK ate thought to have coeliac disease. The life-long condition affects the small intestine, occurring in twice as many women than men.

The lining of the small intestine is made up of tiny oval shapes called villi and when people with coeliac disease eat foods that contain gluten, the villi’s wall becomes inflamed and begins to flatten. This then stops the bowel from absorbing the nutrients that the body gets from food.

Even though many people think so, coeliac disease isn’t intolerance to gluten but actually the immune system mistaking the substances (wheat, rye and barley) that are found in gluten, tricking the body into thinking they’re a threat and attacks them.

For some people finding out that they might not be able to ingest gluten is difficult, as it means they might not be able to eat cakes, pasta, cereals, some sausages and ready meals,which can make it hard when eating out in restaurants and sometimes they may have to give up their favourite foods.

Warburton go Gluten-Free

At the Gluten-Free Fair’s Warburton stall, gluten-free bakery products were on display for customers to sample – at no charge.

Warburton stall was very popular at the fair

Warburton stall was very popular at the fair

“We have two types of bread, white rolls and brown rolls. As you can see they’re popular,” says stall worker Tony McMeiken. The gluten free division has been up and running for about three years now, he said, and visits gluten-free fairs throughout the country.

“There are more lines coming out all the time and they’re becoming more and more popular with people who are coeliac and people who are choosing to be gluten free.”

Gluten Free Food

As coeliac disease is being found in more and more people, different varieties of foods that don’t contain gluten are becoming readily available. But this wasn’t always the case.

“When I was diagnosed there wasn’t much clear information about what contained gluten so shopping for food was hard, eating out was impossible and I always managed to make myself ill,” said accountant, Julie Greenhow, 42, who was diagnosed with coeliac disease 8 years ago.

“It’s hidden in so many day-to-day things from sauces to cereals. Buying specially made gluten free products are usually overpriced, taste disgusting and contain so many unusual ingredients and fats they are possibly really bad for you.”

Here is one of our favourite gluten-free bread recipes from CookingWithCandra

The fair’s aim was to show people with coeliac disease that gluten-free food has been through a revolution and now it can be tasty and enjoyable. “Today is much better as gluten-free or wheat free is a crazy diet for some people and not necessarily a medical condition,” added Greenhow.

“So you usually find a lot of places offer gluten-free products and meals of some sort. Next time you’re in a Costa or Starbucks you will see there is a biscuit or cake that is at least wheat free.”

Symptoms of Coeliac Disease

Symptoms of coeliac disease aren’t always clear and sometimes get mixed up with irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease; they can also be very mild or extremely severe. Some of the symptoms may include:

–       Feeling bloated

–       Diarrhea or constipation

–       Flatulence

–       Pain in the tummy

–       Vomiting

–       Unexpected weight loss

There may also be symptoms that have nothing to do with the digestive system such as alopecia, tiredness, headaches, mouth ulcers and rashes on the skin.

If you want more information on coeliac disease visit: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Coeliac-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Check out the gluten-free-checklist brought to you by https://www.coeliac.org.uk

 

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