To a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free New Year | Rachel Begun, MS, RD

As we say goodbye to 2011 and usher in 2012, I want to take this post to reflect on all that has happened in the world of gluten free in 2011 and what we can look forward to in 2012.

2011 – Looking Back on a Great Year

2011 was a phenomenal year for the gluten free community:

  • The food industry has officially embraced the gluten free consumer
    • Gluten free food sales exceeded $6.2 billion. Click here for more information
    • Gluten free menu items at restaurants rose a whopping 61%. Click here for report
  • After four long years of silence and non-action, the FDA finally took steps to move forward with its proposed gluten free labeling rule
  • Dr. Alessio Fasano and his colleagues at The University of Maryland School of Medicine identified differences between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, showing that gluten sensitivity is in fact a unique condition with its own immune reaction response. Click here for report
  • Media stories about celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten free living were everywhere, raising knowledge and awareness.  The flip side is that much misinformation was shared about gluten free living, but my colleagues and I will use 2012 to iron out the facts and details for you

2012 – Looking Forward to an Even Better Year

While 2011 was a banner year for raising awareness, I believe 2012 will be a year of refining the public’s knowledge of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. I also believe that the food industry will start focusing on safe and healthy gluten free eating

  • FDA anticipates the gluten free labeling rule to be finalized in third quarter 2012 for implementation by third quarter 2013, making it easier for consumers to know whether gluten free products are truly safe to eat
  • The National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot 2012?” Chef Survey placed gluten free/food allergy conscious as their #7 top food trend for 2012, which means chefs will be more aware about catering to our needs
  • While this is my personal prediction, I do believe the gluten free fad diet trend will start to wane and the focus will be on those who have to eat gluten free for medical reasons
  • Now that gluten free research and development is advancing, I believe (or at least hope) we will start seeing healthier gluten free foods hitting supermarket shelves

On a personal note, it has been an honor to share my nutrition expertise and practical day-to-day experiences with you. I have enjoyed building my practice of counseling people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and other food allergies and intolerances, as well as consulting to gluten free/allergen friendly food companies.  In 2012, my plans are to:

  • do more public speaking and education. I will share my schedule with you on a monthly basis (click here for January schedule)
  • launch an online information portal (but I have to leave it at that for now–will share more information soon)
  • include more food-based information, including recipes and food demo videos

Please let me know what information/topics/resources you’d like to learn about so I can help make your 2012 a happy, healthy and gluten free year!

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2 Responses to To a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free New Year

  1. Pingback: To a Happy, Healthy, Gluten Free New Year | CookingPlanet

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