Celiac Digest

A publication of the Southern Arizona Celiac Support Group (SACS)
online at WWW.SouthernArizonaCeliacSupport.org
Volume 7, Issue 4
January 2009

DISCLAIMER: This publication is intended as a general information resource for gluten-intolerant individuals. It is NOT intended for use in diagnosis, treatment, or any other medical application. Please consult your physician for professional medical advice and treatment.

In this Issue

January general meeting canceled

The general membership meeting scheduled for January 24th at Pima College has been cancelled. It was a difficult decision, but, due to a number of factors, it really seems like the right choice for this year.

Our January 2008 meeting had a very small turn out, and it seemed like we may be heading the same way this year. There are only so many of us on the board, and, as we are the ones doing the majority of the work, we really need to make our efforts count. So many of us, including myself as the President, are experiencing burn-out. We all have busy lives, but because we believe our support group provides a very important service, some of us often put our personal lives on hold to help SACS fulfill its mission statement.

SACS is very successful—from everything we hear to the comments we receive on our website—but that takes time and effort. As a board, we started realizing a year ago that we should focus our time and energy on what we know produces results.

We know that our Roundtable and GF Lunch Bunch meetings are very popular and consistently bring in new members. We also know that our GF Food Faire in May is an outstanding event that impacts our community, but it takes months to put just the Food Faire together.

We also believe that our booth at the Pima County Fair has impacted southern Arizona, but it takes at least 30 volunteers to run that! We are asking ourselves if we should do it again this year. In 2008, we were able to convince many of you to volunteer to help with both the Food Faire and the Pima County Fair outreach. If we want to continue to reach all of southern Arizona with our important health message, then we will need that same kind of support, perhaps even more, in 2009.

We are at a crossroads; we have become a large (over 200 members) active support group, but we need more volunteers on every level. We need more people for our Executive Board (many of whom have been waiting for over a year for a ‘replacement’) and more short-term volunteers, for one event a year perhaps. We understand that not everyone could serve on the board, but most of you could devote a half-day a year, or perhaps a couple of hours here or there. We would like someone to maintain a SACS volunteer list and be willing to mobilize them when necessary.

Until we get the help we need, we will continue to cancel meetings or events, we simply cannot continue at the pace we have for the last three years without more help.

In the past, I know there have been several attempts to query our general membership as to what they want to see in their support group. What type of meetings, what type of topics or speakers as we have tried many times to bring what we think you will be interested in. Sometimes it’s been successful and sometimes not. So, we are going to concentrate on what we know works. We hope to have a March meeting, but if the help and commitment we need are not there, we will not. At this time, we are planning our annual Food Faire in May and hope you can be thinking of how you can help on that busy day.

This may not have been the “Happy New Year” message you were hoping to read; it’s a happier new year for me, personally, knowing that I can devote more time and effort into planning the upcoming events I am sure will have a meaningful impact.

I am proud of our group and how we reach out. I am also very gratified when I receive an Email or a phone call letting me know how our website or newsletter assisted someone. We are making a difference here in Southern Arizona. So—here’s to a happy and successful 2009 for you, your family and the best celiac support group in Arizona!

Cheryl Wilson, SACS President

Fewer colonoscopies?

The colonoscopy is perhaps the most universally despised medical procedure devised by modern science. However, there is a ray of hope in what is usually a pretty dark tunnel.

The November issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology reports that there is a new, improved colorectal cancer screening test that detects tumor DNA in stools. It is also cheaper than previous tests.

"This new version of the stool DNA test offers rather high sensitivity for colorectal cancer using a much simpler assay," said lead investigator Dr. Steven Itzkowitz.

"Now that stool DNA testing has been included in the latest colorectal cancer screening recommendations of the American Cancer Society and the leading (gastroenterological) organizations, it offers a viable option for people who prefer to use a noninvasive, stool-based screening test," added Itzkowitz, from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.

The improved test identified 88% of cancers and had a false positive rate of 18%. Of course, if the test is positive, the dreaded colonoscopy would have to be performed for tissue samples and tumor location. However, for the 95% of us who will not develop colon cancer in our lifetimes, this new DNA test might mean the end of periodic screening by visual examination.

The full text of this article can be read online at http://www.nature.com/ajg/journal/v103/n11/full/ajg2008571a.html.

New IBS guidelines

Participants in the American College of Gastroenterology meeting in October of 2008 came to the conclusion that the standard, recommended treatment for Irritable Bowel Disease (IBS) – increased fiber and anti-spasmodic agents - is not effective at all.

IBS finally taken seriously

New standards of care will be issued in publications in 2009. Drugs, of course, will be the first items mentioned. There is one positive note in their findings, though. According to Dr. Chey: “Clinicians often order extensive blood tests and imaging studies to rule out other potential diagnoses, he said. But according to systematic studies, he said, "you are no more likely to find these diseases in patients with IBS symptoms."

One exception is testing for celiac disease, Dr. Chey said, as studies have shown that this condition is common in patients with symptoms of diarrheal and mixed IBS. He said the evidence suggests that blood tests for celiac disease are costeffective

This means that new doctors may now routinely test for CD before telling patients their IBS suffering is ‘all in their heads’.

Roundtable every 4th Wednesday

Chapter 15 Notes

  • CSA/USA: 877-272-4272, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time. Their URL is: www.csaCeliacs.org.
  • Membership changes? Notify us via the website or call 742-4813.

Mark your calendar


  • Jan 23 : 1 p.m., Board meeting, Ward Six City Hall at 3202 E. 1st
  • Jan 28: 1:00 p.m. Roundtable, Ward Six City Hall at 3202 E. 1st
  • Feb 25: 1:00 p.m. Roundtable, Ward Six City Hall at 3202 E. 1st

Picazzo's Casa Grande Welcomes SACS

About 25 SACS members made the trek to the new Picazzo's in Casa Grande on November 15 to enjoy all the wonderful GF pizzas and the best company. New members and the newly-diagnosed were there in force to sample each other’s pizzas.

Photos from the SACS Potluck

It became evident quite quickly that, even though they were expecting us, they were not really expecting that we would have such an appetite! Manager, Jason Daniel, was apologetic for the wait, but we assured him that it was worth it. He and his staff were even more astonished to learn that we ALL wanted pizzas to take home. “They will be ready next time,” he said. They did a great job of taking care of such a large crowd while learning more about CD and just how ‘protective’ we can become about our food!

It was fun to car pool which gave us the chance to extend our visiting time, or even enjoy a quick visit to the Outlet shops in Casa Grande on the way home.

We need to keep our eyes open for a Tucson venue appropriate for a Picazzo’s franchise so we can enjoy real pizza more often without the drive.

A Picazzo’s location in Tucson would need a centrally located building around 2,000 square feet in size with restaurant zoning, parking and equipment.

November potluck tasty and fun

Photos from the SACS Potluck

Our annual potluck on November 8, held at a new venue (First Evangelical Church on north Swan) was successful on many levels. Not only did we get to taste some awesome new recipes (along with some old favs), but we had several visitors who chose to become new members. We even had a “drop in” when a former SACS board member was driving by, saw the sign at the church and turned in. She was not aware of the meeting (since she was no longer a paid member) but she stayed, enjoyed and even renewed her membership!

Photos from the SACS Potluck

Everyone enjoyed making their turkey cookies per Pat’s instructions and we heard a report about the CSA Conference that took place in October 2008 in Omaha.

One of the best features of this venue was how close the parking was to the building entrance— a real plus for some of our members.

We also had several of our members (who live northwest and west) express their appreciation of the closer drive!

Although the attendance at the potluck is not always huge—it is always fun!

Whole Foods pulls "gluten-free" items

Whole Foods Market recently announced that it has pulled three popular "gluten-free" products because the items contain the substance.

The grocery chain also said it will devise a strict definition of "glutenfree" for products sold in its stores and begin monitoring the items so such problems do not recur.

The Chicago Tribune reported last month that its testing showed three Wellshire Kids brand "gluten-free" products sold exclusively at Whole Foods — Dinosaur Shapes Chicken Bites, Chicken Corn Dogs and Beef Corn Dogs — contained 116 to 2,200 parts per million (PPM) of gluten.

While the federal legal definition of "gluten-free" is imprecise, most experts view "gluten-free" as containing less than 20 ppm.

Whole Foods initially balked, saying it was the supplier's responsibility, not Whole Foods', to ensure the items were safe and legal.

But after about 20 consumer complaints or inquiries, including from those who thought "gluten-free" meant zero gluten, Whole Foods spokeswoman Libba Letton said the chain pulled the products nationwide. She could not say how many items or how many of its 279 stores were affected.

Peggy Pridemore, whose 4-year-old son with a known wheat allergy had a severe reaction after eating the chicken bites last December, said she welcomed Whole Foods' action but wished the chain had pulled the products weeks ago. "It's shameful that it wasn't done sooner because they were knowingly putting customers in jeopardy," said Pridemore, of Hebron, Ky.

The gluten-free market has boomed in recent years as stores have sought to attract customers allergic to wheat; those with celiac disease; and parents of autistic children who believe a gluten- free diet can reduce symptoms. Whole Foods, for instance, offers store tours of its gluten-free products and operates a dedicated "Gluten-Free Bakehouse" in North Carolina.

The Lotus Garden  Fine Cantonese & Szechuan Cuisine  Gluten-Free by request  5975 E Speedway  Ph: 520.298.3351

The chain said it began pulling the three products about a month after the Tribune's Nov. 21 report. They were made by New Jersey-based Wellshire Farms, whose founder, Louis Colameco, said the family-owned company stopped making the items in June after discovering the batter coating the food contained gluten.

Still, Wellshire Farms continued to ship the products already in stock to Whole Foods, and the retailer continued to sell them.

He said his firm has found a new supplier that can guarantee less than 20 ppm of gluten. The newly formulated products should be back on shelves in a couple of months, he said.

Asked why he did not formally issue a recall, Colameco said the items do not violate any law and a recall might suggest an admission of guilt, opening him and the company to lawsuits.

The Wellshire Kids products aren't the only Wellshire items with gluten problems. Colameco acknowledged that his firm manufactures products identical to the three Wellshire Kids items but sells them under a different brand name: Garrett County Farms. This brand, he said, is not sold at Whole Foods but mostly at healthfood stores nationwide.

Painless fundraising

Last year H and R Block offered SACS $25 dollars for each new client coming in with the certificate. Our group earned a total of $250 through this program, and we’re hoping the same deal will be available this year.

Furthermore, every time we go to our web site and click on Amazon. com through our site to buy something, a portion of the sales goes back to our group. The items we get credit for are not restricted to gluten-free items either. Everything counts! For the first 11 months of 2008 we received $218.15. Let's try to buy more in the coming year through our SACS’s website Amazon.com link.

Roundtable resumes Jan. 28th

Gluten-Free & Casein-Free Flavorful Pizza

Member-tested recipe by VIRGINIA MORGAN

Mix up your favorite GF pizza dough and use your fingers to spread into a greased 10" to 12" pizza pan or onto a cookie sheet.

Dice one medium yellow onion Add 2-3 cloves of garlic and sauté with the onion in 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil until the onion is translucent.

Add an 8 oz can of tomato sauce or, if using prepared pizza sauce, use 1/2 the amount of onion and garlic.

Add 1 Tbsp of Italian spice mixture Simmer this tomato sauce mixture on low for about 10-15 minutes to blend flavors. Blend or process if a smooth sauce is desired.

Spread the warm tomato sauce on your prepared pizza crust. Cut Galaxy casein-free cheddar cheese (from Whole Foods) into about 6 strips and distribute them on top of the tomato sauce. (I used 4 slices. You can use other types of Italian cheese if your diet allows.)

Add other toppings of choice:
Meats: pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, ham, anchovies, etc.
Vegetables: various colors of bell peppers, red onions, mushrooms, etc.
Fruits: sliced olives, pineapple, etc

Cook the pizza in a 450 F degree preheated oven on an upper shelf for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy.

Gluten Free Creations  Bakery Mixes Mail Order  2840 E Thomas, Phoenix AZ (behind the barber shop)  Ph 602.522.0659 Fax 602.955.2034 glutenfreenews@cox.net

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