I have been feeling off for about two weeks. Sinuses, headaches, anxiety problems... I couldn't figure out why. I have celiac disease so I have to worry about gluten far more than most paleo people. I traced what changed in my diet and figured I started buying my grass fed meats from the Whole Foods meat counter around the time problems started arising.
I asked the meat counter guy if there is any risk of cross contamination with gluten. He said yes, there is risk. I asked if the staff took any precautions to prevent it, and he said yes they change gloves and clean stations but there is no guarantee. He added there are bread crumbs used in some of the ground meat entrees but that was pretty much it.
I concluded I need to avoid the meat counter for awhile and see how that goes. I'm so damn frustrated. I liked that meat counter and now I can't have it because of some silly cross contamination. Trader Joe's won't be opening up here in Dallas for another two months, so I'm stuck with Whole Foods. What am I supposed to do? I need meat but I can never find it prepackaged and sealed from gluten contaminants.
Hm, can you think of something else you started eating when symptoms began? For example sauces often contain wheat. This evil is pervasive.
If it is definitely meat that is causing problems I can think of the following alternative sources to get it (from easiest to hardest):
I have celiac disease, and if I were you I would only buy steaks and other whole cuts, not ground meat. That way you can rinse them off and pat them dry when you prepare them to cook. I've been ok with the Whole Foods in Boston so far, but ours doesn't have a meat counter in the store. Our Whole Foods has a lot of meat from Applegate Farms, which is gluten free, but most of that is processed. Applegate Farms does have some frozen ground beef patties, but it's not very good/fresh/tasty.
Maybe you can find a local(ish) cattle rancher that processes his own meat and will sell you half a cow or a quarter cow? If you find one but they won't sell less than a whole cow maybe you could find someone to split it with you?
At my Whole Foods in Florida they get their grass fed meat from a cattle rancher in Waycoss, GA, about an hour away. They have signs in the meat department with the name of his ranch. I looked him up and he does his own processing and consumers can buy directly from him. So maybe your local Whole Foods has similar signs?
If all else fails, check out US Wellness Meats (http://www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok) which you can order online.
I'm celiac and pretty dang careful and honestly, I can't imagine how much your meat is being handled on those breadcrumbed surfaces. Skip the ground meat or any meat that's marinated. Where is the risk - before it is put in the case? Because case to butcher paper, they don't need to put it down anywhere. You may be able to improve your odds. I've found that an endearing and self-effacing smile while asking questions in the grocery/restaurant context gets me pretty far.
In the meantime, yep, find yourself a local producer or old fashioned butcher shop. You're looking at a first world problem here. Just go solve it.
I can think of more likely cross-contact issues, too, if you eat out.
You don't have buy a whole cow, just "cow-pool" (you will also find that you save a TON by buying in bulk-- or even buying by the individual cut directly from a farmer vs Whole Foods)
Find a few like minded friends and split a cow 8 or more ways. Even a 1/4 cow takes up far less freezer space that you think-- roughly a cubic foot per 30 lbs.
You can find farms local to you that sell quarter, half and full cows here: www.eatwild.com (it might even make sense to buy from a farm that will ship to you).
What about smaller meat markets or buy direct from farmers? We buy direct from a local farmer so the processing is exactly how I want it. You live near Dallas so there's gotta be somebody raisin' some beef around there somewhere lol!
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