Immediate Issue: Monday 8th May 2017
CAN YOU GO WITHOUT CHINESE FOR A WEEK?
Coeliac UK, the national charity for people with coeliac disease, is asking the public to take part in the Gluten-free Challenge for one week from 9th May – 15th May 2017. The Challenge aims to raise awareness of the daily frustrations encountered by the 1 in 100 people in the UK who have coeliac disease.
The Charity is encouraging the nation to take up the Gluten-Free Chinese Challenge and to shop, cook or eat out completely gluten-free. Everyone who signs up will receive a FREE gluten-free Chinese recipe and information about the gluten-free online cookery school
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease caused by intolerence to gluten. There is no cure and no medication and the only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet for life. Left untreated it can lead to infertility, osteoporosis and bowel cancer. The average diagnosis is 13 years with many people being initially misdiagnosed with IBS.
Gluten is a protein found in many Chinese dishes which have wheat, barley and rye and is also found in bread, pasta, pizza, cakes and beer etc. However, it is also often used in a wide range of products including mayonnaise, soy sauce, sauces, sausages and many processed goods.
Sarah Sleet, Chief Executive of Coeliac UK said: “Many people may have struggled for years to get diagnosed with coeliac disease and are then faced with a complete change in diet and lifestyle. For them it is not a matter of choice or a faddy diet, it is essential. Many people have on average struggled to eat Chinese from their local takeaways or restaurants due to cross contamination issues and lack of awareness. Everyday foods in the shops, or dishes in restaurants, can be gluten-free with some simple recipe changes and so eating gluten-free could and should be easy. However, there is still a lack of provision in many catering establishments. Better choice for people with coeliac disease means making simple changes to recipes and letting consumers know that their products will help them maintain their gluten-free diet. This is a lucrative market and the catering industry needs to make more of it.”
Sarah Sleet adds: “I encourage you to experience the Chinese Gluten Free Cooking School for yourself. You may be surprised by how easy it is to make some good some gluten-free dishes using the Sweet Mandarin and gluten free products are and how many naturally gluten-free dishes are on the menu. But you may also be frustrated by the unnecessary limitations on the gluten-free diet. By taking the lessons you will be doing your bit to help get the change that is needed. Soon missing your favourite Chinese foods will be a thing of the past.”
There are a range of activities that people can get involved with including:
sign up to the Chineseglutenfree.com online cooking school and dive in to your first free recipe
invite friends to try your dishes you have made by following one of the lessons in the school.
go out for dinner with friends and all order gluten-free options to make sure that eating establishments know about the demand for gluten-free food
schools can hold a gluten-free cook off and cook a gluten-free recipe in food technology classes
talk to your local restaurant and ask them to take up the Chineseglutenfree.com by displaying information and providing gluten-free options on their menu
when you’re out shopping, check the back of packets to see how many items include gluten and choose the gluten-free options as well as visit www.sweetmandarin.net for the entire range of products.
get sharing to all the groups chineseglutenfree.com to spread the word.
Further information about the Online cooking school http://www.chineseglutenfree.com which is a subscription basis to include 8 recipes and cooking tips, information on gluten-free products and what to look out for when shopping each month.
Things the media can do to help:
ask a journalist to take up a place on the Chineseglutenfree.com for a whole week and keep a diary or blog of how they manage with shopping, cooking and the results of the dishes.
publish gluten-free Chinese recipes
interview a case study to find out what it is like having coeliac disease
run Top Ten Gluten-free Chinese Tips.
Notes to editors:
Coeliac disease is a serious illness where the body’s immune system reacts to gluten found in food, making
the body attack itself.
1 in 100 people in the UK has coeliac disease, however only 12.5% of these have been diagnosed and average length of diagnosis is 13 years.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including spelt), rye and barley. Some people are also sensitive to oats.
Obvious sources of gluten include breads, pastas, flours, cereals, cakes and biscuits. It is often used as an ingredient in many favourite foods such as fish fingers, sausages, gravies, sauces and soy sauce.
Coeliac UK is working closely with food industry to help the Free From market improve – look out for new product launches and ranges, which will increase the choice for people with coeliac disease.
The symptoms of coeliac disease range from mild to severe and can vary between individuals. Not everyone with coeliac disease experiences gut related symptoms; any area of the body can be affected.
Symptoms can include bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, wind, tiredness, anaemia, headaches, mouth ulcers, recurrent miscarriages, weight loss (but not in all cases), skin problems,
depression, joint or bone pain and nerve problems.
Around 1200 newly diagnosed people are joining Coeliac UK every month.