The Fresh Loaf

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Gluten scandal, does it affect us?

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Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Gluten scandal, does it affect us?

It probably crossed your mind the minute you heard it.  Concern.  Those of you with connections, what have you found out?

gianfornaio's picture
gianfornaio

My ears perked up, but the gluten is imported-- presumably already isolated from grain-- from China... Wait, aren't you out that way somewhere? I haven't seen any info about where in China the gluten was processed, so I don't know if it affects you...

I can tell you I'm not concerned, since I don't usually use vital wheat gluten and what I do use is domestic. Even if I did and it wasn't, I'm not sure I'd be terribly concerned, since it only seems to be in pet food. I might skip Chinese seitan for a little while, if I ate that regularly. But as flour goes, I'm not worried.

John  

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Mini Oven,

I am concerned that we don't yet know the extent that the products from this shipper in China may have sold to human food producers. I don't know how filtered your Internet access is and there have only been a few stories about the company thus far. I honestly don't remember the name of the company or city where this occurred. I do know that there are some things that pass as OK in the culture that wouldn't be allowed here. Also I think maybe some things were added to the gluten that maybe the manufacturer wasn't aware of.

This was on CNN here today concerning Melamine that may have been found in the products.

Source of contamination

The melamine found in the contaminated products was traced to wheat gluten imported from a Chinese company, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Company Ltd. (Watch how the toxic food was traced to China Video)

The link above may not work for you but you could search for the company name.

For now, I have disposed of my sack of gluten additive. No amount of reassuring would be enough although I am sure it was perfectly fine. Just to be sure!

Eric

titus's picture
titus

For those of us not aware, could you please provide a link or briefly describe what you're discussing?

Thanks!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Titus,

Mini-Oven and I are discussing the implications of a producer of wheat gluten in China that has been selling contaminated product. It has been found to contain a chemical found in rat poison and also Melamine which is used in plastic I believe, also a poison. The samples are still being tested by various govt groups but the US side has named China and one particular company as the offender.

I see below that Bob's Red Mill is stating that they only purchase this product from manufacturer's in North America and not from China. The bag I had was from King Arthur who hasn't responded to my email yet.

There have been a large number of animals killed over quite a long time with out raising the notice of authorities. My brother is a vet and he tells me the industry is shaken by the size of this problem. Speculation is that this has been going on for many years and would explain a larger than expected death rate of young felines from liver failure.

Besides the fact that there is some part of the population that eats cat food because it is inexpensive and generally thought to be safe for humans, imagine the implications if some of this gluten has gotten into the human food chain. Take a look at the food ingredient panel of a few items at the supermarket. Whey and gluten are common fillers in many products. Where it comes from is a good and valid question.

Baking your own bread is the best way to be sure of what you are eating so long as you know the source of your raw materials. I don't use much gluten anyway so I decided to dump what I did have on hand until this gets sorted out a little better.

Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That is what I googled after hearing the CNN report. (I will now probably get censored... if I dissapear that will be the reason.)   I went to the Reuters report.  And I checked many of the advertisers and there is also one nearby but not the mentioned company.  I will see about getting a link.....Mini Oven


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9293454

http://news.google.com/news?q=Gluten+China&hl=en&newwindow=1&client=safari&rls=en&um=1&sa=X&oi=news&ct=title

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven



sphealey's picture
sphealey

I sent an e-mail to Bob's Red Mill customer service asking the same question, but so far they have not responded.

Here is a link from Slate Magazine that explains why the US imports vital wheat gluten.

Personally, I don't think we have heard the end of this as far as contamination of the human food supply is concerned. However, I have also read that one of the contaminants that is killing dogs is not toxic to humans in any ingestible amount.

sPh

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Received this today in response to my e-mail to Bob's Red Mill:

 

> Dear Friends,
>
> Please be advised that the wheat gluten used by Bob's Red Mill Natural
> Foods is produced exclusively in North America, i.e. United States and
> Canada. We do not use any wheat gluten made in China.
>
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Bob Moore
> Founder & President
> Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, Inc

mattie405's picture
mattie405

I also wrote to Bobs as that is the brand I use and just received the same reply, I have to admit I didn't bake any bread this week until I received their reply, now I have some rising and pizza dough mixing. Nice to know where their products come from tho............kind of eases ones mind. mattie

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I didn't know it was wheat gluten that was causing the problem with the animals until I read this thread. And my rye with w. gluten is in the oven. I quickly checked my bag and see it's from Bob's Red Mill. It's good to see they said it's fine. Whew! Thanks to all of you that are on top of this.                                      weavershouse

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

...for explaining it so well.  My concern for people who eat pet food is also mentioned.  I was looking up the Xuzhou (town name) company listed and have also seen a short report showing photos of the warehouse, if you could call it that.   Very very sloppy.  The company has lots of adds for rat poison and at the same time store and sell food stuffs and "natural" pharmaceuticals?  
The last video showed them covering up the whole open air/ open stalls/ court area with a pile of tarpins from snoopy cameras.  I cringe at the cross contamination that just that act has caused.  The habit of recycling transport bags, be it from rice, flour, or chemicals is widespread in asia. Nobody is thinking of cleaning trucks and shovels between products with anything more than a broom and the thought of cleaning anything or protection from chemical waste is a new concept.  

China is working hard at changing this image but there is much work to do. Those working hard on their images are easily tainted by those who are more interested in making fast money.  I think there is cause for concern, but we must trust the authorities in all countries to get to the bottom of this and set up a proper and intelligent control system.  Inspectors are rare and few here (or too quiet) and foreign companies would be best advised to strictly train and personally control their own resources.      Baking in China,  Mini Oven

audra36274's picture
audra36274

boy minioven, that cbsnews list, even on petfood is some big list. I couldn't find a "people food" list. But it sure makes you wonder what we're eating that were unaware of. No wonder people are getting cancer right and left around us. I have heard that the chemical malathion is used in most all wheat and grain after milling to prevent bug problems with the flours and such. Even that bothers me. I'm not 100% organtic or anything, but everything I hear makes me a little more aware of the choices I make. We should all be outraged at what our importers would let be imported and not even inspected, just to make a larger profit. And with the further expansion of the huge Walmart chains in the US and the like, no one should be surprized at what they will do for a buck at our expense. Hurray for the small mom and pop businesses that still want to produce a quality product and care about their customers.                                                                      Audra              

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

After submitting the above link, there are a lot of sites I can no longer pull in.  I can't even pull it.  Anyone having problems?   Almost all my bookmarks are blocked and e-mail as well.  At least I can catch up on my reading here.  Mini Oven 
Cleared up in two days.  ???

browndog's picture
browndog

I see you're on the move again and I wanted to echo the positive sentiments re your contributions, also agree that if you do keep a 'travelogue' anywhere, don't keep it a secret, please! Your posts always leave me wanting to know more. I was so relieved you weren't censored--score 1 for us and the Chinese government!

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

I just read you link minioven. I am in Australia but I am freaking out also.

 

I think its time to buy all organic all Asutralian (or for you guys all american etc) 

I am shocked.

Seriously shocked and disguited and scared. Very scared.

 

thegreenbaker 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I asked KA about the source of the wheat gluten they sell. They say they have never purchased from a China source for this product.

Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Funny, cracks me up that I went out for crawfish last night. I feel just fine, no salmonella.   Drank lots of red wine to counteract any germs.   Wine is very good here.   --Mini Oven

audra36274's picture
audra36274

It sure wasn't good news, especially the Canada story. I wonder how many company's that just want to make a large profit no matter what are using the product and we are completely unaware.

                                                                               audra

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I don't think we have a clue about what's in most of our food. We stay away from most all processed food but strange things are in simple things we don't even think about. Sugar in salt? And who knows what else to keep it running free. We use seasalt but now that it's getting popular who knows what will be done to it. I read the side of my baking powder tin and it says gluten free...does that mean there is baking powder out there with gluten? Why? And like one of the articles above mentioned...baby food with wheat gluten and on and on. The only thing we can do is learn, be aware and make our own when we can.                                                                  weavershouse

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I just can't keep up.  Those resposible should be hung up by their ying yangs.  But that might be too good for them.  I purchased the dog food mentioned in the South African article before I left Austria for my own dog.  Good I'll be home to check things out tomorrow and see if it's on the list of recalls.   Got my last load of laundry in the machine.  Baked my last loaf.  Froze my starters.   Mini Oven

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Mini Oven - does that mean you're on your way back to Austria? Safe travels if so, and as others have expresed here, I always enjoy reading all of your fascinating posts, you are knowledgeable on so many topics. I especially appreciate the info you have posted here, it is thought provoking and more impetus for buying local and fresh as much as you can, wherever you are. I grow all of our veggies all summer, but after all the food scares this year, I'd like to rig up a greenhouse or cold frame to grow as much of our food year-round as I can. I've always fed my dogs a home-made diet, but even there you need to know the source of the ingredients. Thanks again and I look forward to your continued posts when you get back home.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Ran across this in Yahoo.  More or less a generalization.  Makes me glad the China Job is done end of August.  Flying back for August.  Sending Hubby a large loaf of rye with a work colleague who has room for a few kilos.  

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070617/ap_on_re_as/asia_tainted_foods&printer=1;_ylt=AigJZNTspMuem20FvS761n39xg8F 

Mini Oven