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General Mills Gluten Free Desert Mixes Win Award

May 4th, 2010
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Via General Mills

Last night General Mills Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes won gold at the 2010 Edison Best New Product Awards gala in New York. The product took first place in the consumer packaged goods food segment.

“We are thrilled that Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes won gold and are honored to have one of the strongest brand icons in the food industry associated with one of America’s greatest inventors,” said Jodi Benson, Baking R&D and transformational business development director for General Mills. “It has been extremely rewarding to welcome gluten free consumers back to Betty Crocker through this innovative line of products.”

Betty Crocker was the first nationally recognized brand to launch gluten free brownie, cookie and cake mixes in traditional grocery stores. The products satisfy gluten free consumers’ previously unmet desire to find great-tasting, affordable and easy-to-prepare desserts that they can enjoy with their families and friends.

Since the gluten in wheat flour provides the structure for traditional brownies, cookies and cakes, creating dessert mixes without gluten is a significant and remarkable technical achievement. Once the company successfully created a winning product, an insightful marketing campaign centered on social media drove both awareness and support for the launch.

Benson notes the critical role General Mills suppliers played in the development of the product: “General Mills embraces a connected innovation model in product development. This model results in us looking inside and outside of the company to share ideas and technologies. We are grateful to our partners who helped us on this journey.”

The 2010 Edison Awards honor a variety of innovative products – from baking mixes to wind turbines – with gold, silver and bronze winners in each of its 11 product categories.

“The Edison Award winners are the moving parts in the engine of economic growth,” said Sarah Miller Caldicott, great grandniece of Thomas Edison and chairperson of the Edison Awards steering committee. “They inspire people to think outside the box, and their results improve the lives of people around the world.”

The Edison Best New Product Awards are given annually. The awards are a peer-review honor similar to the Oscars and are voted on by roughly 2,000 members of the not-for-profit Marketing Executives Networking Group, which includes America’s top executives and academics. The awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Alva Edison, inspiring America’s drive to remain in the forefront of innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy.

About Betty Crocker
Since her creation in 1921, Betty Crocker has been one of the strongest brand icons in the food industry. A brand associated with quality and trust, Betty Crocker and the red spoon symbol appear on more than 300 General Mills products including ready-to-spread frostings and mixes that make some of the country’s best cakes, brownies, cookies, muffins and other baked goods. As a pioneer in the dessert mix category, General Mills was one of the first companies to introduce layer cake mix in 1947; it did so under the Betty Crocker name. This started a revolution in baking, providing homemakers with a convenient, reliable way to replicate the quality and taste of “homemade” without the hassle.

About General Mills
One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2009 global net sales of US$15.9 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.

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Guessing Game

March 22nd, 2010

Here we are at the emergency room at 11:00 at night, and once again we get to play the guessing game. What’s made my wife sick this time? Was it the rice w/cheddar cheese, exposure to the flour Saturday while making a cake, was it the weather change, is it the fact that she’s reduced her Lyrica dosage or just a  simple flu virus.

She’s been sick for the last three years, been on numerous medications, with just as many unwanted side effects. Though the gluten-free diet has been helping, every time she has a set-back, we have to play the guessing game.

Before she realized she was gluten intolerant, she was afraid she had developed an allergy to fish and seafood. Looking back it was probably the breading on the fish sticks, and the gel cap on the fish oil pills.

So, I guess the truth is, no mater what we guess, we may never know for sure, but we have to keep trying.

UPDATE: 3-26-2005

Given that I (no problems with gluten)  ended up sick with the same symptoms 24 hours later.  So, I guess we’ll chalk this one up to a flu bug. Thank you all for your support.

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Gluten free lip balm roundup

March 22nd, 2010

I contacted each of these companies about their products being gluten free. There seemed to be two categories of answers, the safe “We can’t guarantee our products are safe since we don’t inspect suppliers” and the “Yes our products are gluten free, in the sense that we do not add any “known” wheat, etc. to our products” I think this list is a good start, but please be cautious with any product. Of course, you can safely use Vaseline or petroleum jelly instead.

Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner

Customer Service reports (3-19-2010):

Thank you for contacting, makers of Aveeno® It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.

The following products have been tested and do not contain detectable levels of gluten:

Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner SPF 15

For the remainder of Aveeno products:

Glutens are naturally-occurring proteins found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and oats, but are not found in corn. The primary source of starch in our formulations is corn. Relatively small amounts of other materials used in our formulations may contain starch from other sources (e.g. potato, rice).

We are not aware of published reports associating the use of our products with a worsening of symptoms in patients with celiac disease.

Carmex Original Lip Balm Carmex (available on Amazon)

The Carmex website reports (3-17-2010):

Does Carmex contain gluten?
Nope, not even a speck. There is no gluten in any of our ingredients. We do not use flour in our manufacturing process, so there’s no chance of any trace of it on our conveyor belts.

Chapstick Classic Lip Balm
(available on Amazon)Customer Service reports (3-17-2010):

No gluten is added to their products, but none of their products are certified gluten-free.

Blistex Lip Balm Medicated Blistex (available on Amazon)

Customer Service reports (3-16-2010):

Thank you for your interest in Blistex products and wanting to know if they are gluten free. We are pleased to inform you that all of our Blistex lip care products are gluten free meaning that they are free from wheat, rye, barley, and oats.

Lip Smackers Jello Lip Balm Bonne Bell / Lip Smackers (available on Amazon)
Customer Service provided a full list of gluten free and products that contain gluten (3-15-2010):2009 Gluten free products and products containing gluten (.pdf file)
Burt's Bees Lip Balm Burt’s Bees (available on Amazon)
Customer Service reports (3-15-2010):

While we can identify products in which we do not use raw materials containing gluten, we cannot certify that our vendors did not process these ingredients on equipment where contamination could occur. For the most accurate source of information, please refer to the list of ingredients on our website or on the product.

Doing a brief search online, I could not find any reports of problems with their products, and it actually seems to be a favorite of some people with celiac disease

Eco Lips Lip Balm

EcoLips (available on Amazon)

Customer Service reports (3-15-2010):

Absolutely…all of our products are Gluten free!

Merry Hempsters Organic Lip Balm The Merry Hempsters (available on Amazon)

Customer Service reports (3-15-2010):

I am happy to tell you that all of our products are Gluten free.

Nivea Lip Care Nivea (available on Amazon)

Customer Service reports (3-16-2010):

Thank you for contacting us as to whether or not our products have gluten derived ingredients. We understand how important this information is for you.

At Beiersdorf, we strive to offer our consumers the best products possible, and therefore we may reformulate them when improvement is possible. The information we give you today regarding our ingredients may not be true if we reformulate a product next year.

If you have concerns about Gluten and its derivatives, we recommend avoiding all products with ingredients derived from wheat, rye, barley and oats. The ingredient names are:

SECALE CEREALE (rye seed extract)
AVENA SATIVA (oat bran)

Although our products may not contain the above ingredients, it is always possible that one of our raw materials may contain traces of gluten because its presence is not excluded by our raw material specifications.

Other alternatives I found while searching

Gluten Free Savonnerie Lip Balm Gluten-Free Savonnerie (available on their website)

Besides gluten free soap also sells lip balm.

Badger Balm Sunscreen Lip Balm Badger Balm (available on Amazon)

Their website reports (3-17-2010):

Badger products contain no peanuts, peanut oils, wheat or gluten, and should be safe for people with allergies…

Please note I have not tested, nor do I endorse any of these products.

If you have any others to add please let me know in the comments.

UPDATE: 3-26-2010


Customer service reports (3-26-2010)

Our line of products is quite extensive, and we do not have a specific list of gluten free products.  If you would like to contact us again with the name of a specific product for which you need ingredient information, we would be happy to assist you. You may contact us through our website, or by calling our Information Center toll-free at 1-800-582-4048 Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM EST.

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Gluten free Peeps!

March 12th, 2010
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Yellow Marshmallow PeepsI just found the 2010 gluten-free Easter candy list (Via Gluten Free Faces) and was excited to see that Marshmallow Peeps are gluten-free! Though neither myself nor my son are glute-free, I have to be careful not to bring things into the house that would either contaminate my wife’s food or just tempt her. She’s found it hard enough with the new diet, without added complications.

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