Archive | January, 2013
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TGIF

25 Jan

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TGIF

18 Jan

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Mushrooms NOT ALWAYS Gluten Free

17 Jan

So, I came across this from About.com:

Question: Are mushrooms gluten-free?
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Papa Smurf?

Answer: Plain mushrooms ought to be gluten-free — after all, they’re a fresh vegetable, right? But unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story for mushrooms if you’re particularly sensitive to trace gluten.

You see, mushroom spores are grown on gluten grains — most commonly on rye, but also on wheat and occasionally on a combination of the two grains. And this cultivation method leads to some gluten cross-contamination on the finished fungi…

The author goes on and informs us that washing and treating the mushrooms would likely reduce the 20 PPM (Parts Per Million) threshold required by US Labeling Laws to be “gluten free.”

As a patient and sure as hell as a doctor, I don’t like the statement: “washing my veggies will LIKELY result in reducing the ppm below 20.” I deserve to know if it does or does not.  The nutritional facts of what goes into my body need to be Black or White. I don’t care if I’m buying that from my local farmer’s market or from a national chain. I demand this as a consumer, a patient, and a doctor.

It’s imperative that federal food labeling laws regarding Gluten Free Foods become uniform and strongly supported by the varied patient symptoms, science, and medicine. And not be muddied by being in the Gray Zone.

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TGIF

11 Jan

Happy Fridays.

Gluten Free Meals at College Campuses

11 Jan

Nothing too dramatic to add to this story from the Boston Globe:

The US Department of Justice has reached an agreement with Lesley University that ­requires the school to “continually provide” gluten-­free dining options to students, to ­ensure compliance with a federal law that protects people with disabilities, authorities said.

Among the settlement’s terms, Lesley has ­also agreed to provide a space in its main dining hall to prepare and store gluten- and allergen-free foods and to pay a combined $50,000 in damages to a group of students who have celiac disease or other conditions, the Justice Department said….

Though I welcome these directives, I think a couple of things need to be kept in mind:

  1. An institution may provide gluten free meals under threat of lawsuits–but this does not mitigate risk.
  2. Offering gluten free foods without experts on hand can lead to cross contamination.

Both of the problems above–will lead to MORE lawsuits! I think the problem can be tackled with unified and consistent Gluten Free labeling and more education.

 

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TGIF

4 Jan

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Puppies tend to be Gluten Free 🙂

Gluten free foods are tax deductible

3 Jan

money woman

TAX DEDUCTION GUIDE FOR GLUTEN FREE PRODUCTS

Gluten free foods are so Effing expensive! Yes. Santa was not able to drop the international price of gluten free foods for Christmas. And yes, the word Effing can be found in the Merriam Webster dictionary.

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Individuals diagnosed with celiac disease may be able to receive tax deductions for expenses associated with gluten-free foods and products.

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Here are a few tips you need to know before you file your taxes– or simply read on if you are in the need of something to spice up your office water cooler talks:

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Step 1: Get A Doctor’s Note
1. Get a written script with the diagnosis for Celiac Disease.

-The ICD 9 code, which will impress your doctor for Celiac Disease is: 579.0 and the ICD 10 code is K90.1.

-I do not know if this holds true for Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and Wheat allergy, both are diagnosis that are also managed by a strict gluten free diet. I am waiting to hear back from Uncle Sam.

-Give your doctor an apple, or a punch. Please don’t punch your doctor 😉

Step 2: Save Your Receipts
-Keep receipts of all gluten-free purchases: including grocery stores, restaurants, and the internet.

Step 3: Now it’s time to do some math
The difference between gluten free prices to those of “regular” food items is tax-deductible. For example, if a pound of wheat flour costs $0.89 and a pound of rice flour costs $3.25, which means you would be able to deduct $2.36 for each pound of rice flour.

-BUT, products like xanthan gum and sorghum flour are completely tax-deductible as they have no “regular” counterparts.

-Shipping costs for online purchases are also tax-deductible.

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Step 4: File Your Claim- Stuff to put into Turbo-Tax or to give your CPA

-Fill out a 1040 schedule A for medical deductions and list the references below:

-IRS Publication 502

-IRS Rulings 55-261,76-80,2002-19, 67 TC 481, Cohen 38 TC 387, TC MEMO 1978 366.

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Feel free to contact NCFA or me for more details. Source: NFCA.org
Just a note: I’m a physician not a CPA. Please consult with your tax advisor.

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Happy New Year

1 Jan

This should be every specialist’s new Year’s resolution. Courtesy of the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center.

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