Saturday, February 13, 2010

We Are - gluten free ............................. snowstorms, meeting places, and just plain celiac kindness

In the mid-Atlantic states we recently went through countless snow storms and extreme cold - everywhere.

In our town we had 30"+ inches of snow over a period of 5 days and some places received 52"+ inches,  and thousands of people were without electric.

Roads were closed and states of emergency were called. Tractor trailer trucks hauling supplies were stopped dead along the highways.

On Feb 12, 2010 each of the lower 48 states in the US had snow - yes, even Florida!

Most grocery stores took a hard hit with people stocking up and then needing to restock up again on basics; milk, bread, eggs, tp, fruits, veggies, etc... bare shelves everywhere.... nothing coming in to the stores, but everything going OUT!.

Other than shoveling snow, yesterday was the first time I had gone out in over a week. Shopping for the first time in seven days, and wondering what I would find at the stores since I didn't have any fresh or frozen food in the house, and gf snacks were long gone too.

Has anyone thought how this impacts those with celiac disease? We have three grocery stores and a Wal-Mart in our college town. Each store has a very, very small area of a  limited  "gluten free section" - the largest section of any of the stores is 3 feet wide about 4 feet high with several sugar-free items thrown into it and some organic cookies made with WHEAT.

Arriving to the store, I didn't know what to expect.... there were NO carts to shop with, what was I getting myself into.

I saw there was romaine, carrots, and bananas, grapes, family and I were going to be fine - no worries!

What I found amazing was there were four celiac/gluten intolerant people shopping in the same very small and limited gluten free section with extremely minimal gf items that remained. Instead of people grabbing one of the 3 bags of tinkyada pasta, or the last bag of gluten free pretzels, or the one and only bread mix left, there was great compassion among strangers. Questions, answers, what kind of gluten free pasta do you like best.... and others just adding information where to go, what to get, just to be able to help one another. I even shared an email address, and a recipe I made the night before with a newbie. I got the recipe from a blog I read, tweaked out the flours and simply made with potatoes, canned tomatoes, frozen corn, onions, and cooked hamburger.... easy and simple, and those things were still available, combined, all delicious comfort foods in cold weather!

This is one illness that you know you can count on each other for help... you will share anything you know, pick-up the phone, there are celiac groups, blogs, twitter, facebook, or find help in the gluten free section of the grocery store, someone is always willing to share!!!
So I guess I want to say to all gluten free people, thank-you for being so special,  sharing your ideas, and thoughts, especially among strangers. I am grateful for your sincerity and kindness, and proud of the very unique type of people we are.  
     We Are  gluten free           We Are  gluten free

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