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Green news from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Hills
Comments:
by Charles A Raguse
on November 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM
Author Rachael Freeman Long has assembled a thorough and well-illustrated (I actually began to salivate when I saw those scrumptious, still warm dinner rolls),and readership-directed essay on the importance of one of the world's most important foods. Amen.  
But wheat is currently experiencing a serious counterattack.  
One might paraphrase the article's historically relevant title (I recall the teacher of my 8-graded country school in rural Wisconsin leading all in singing "America, The Beautiful"), and make it instead "Amber Waves of Gluten".  
Suffice to say here that this is increasingly evident in on-line publications, daily newspapers, and, more importantly, on labels on food containers in grocery stores.  
Case in point for the latter: Even my favorite popping corn declares stoutly that it is "100% Gluten Free". Now corn, although genetically modified, does NOT contain gluten. But the folks in Orville Reddenbacher's marketing group can't afford to take a chance of being tarred with the same brush.  
 
Bottom Line: It behooves the University to carefully formulate and then mount a "counter-counter attack". If not, the general public is likely to think "Hmm, seems like UC isn't responding, so, it must be true."
by Rachael Long
on November 24, 2014 at 4:21 PM
I appreciate your comments, as this is one of the reasons that I chose to write about wheat on behalf of UC. We want people to know about the healthy benefits of wheat in our diet and also that this crop is sustainable and important in California and should be valued by consumers. Outreach is occurring at many levels, including UC and UC ANR. Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you open up the recipe and enjoy those dinner rolls.
by Charles A Raguse
on December 1, 2014 at 4:33 PM
Rachael Freeman Long gift-shops at the "Gifted Penguin" in Woodland. Good Choice!!  
 
Returning to the wheat gluten issue, I shopped in Davis earlier today at Trader Joe's. When I checked out I enquired whether they were aware of this issue. Absolutely. And the checker quickly offered to print out a copy for me, not of their products with gluten, but of those free of it. This compendium is a full seven (7) pages in length, printed in a small font size. (It required time and money better spent elsewhere to put this together, so we may assume they are taking this seriously.) Perhaps Trader Joe's is following the principle of caveat emptor. Doubtless, most of their clientele are unaware of this issue, so why call attention to the products that do contain gluten. Just let the customer carry the 7-page list around the store and see whether the desired item(s) are on it.  
 
Ms Long, your reply of November 24 (above) does not address whether UC and ANR's "Outreach" only emphasizes "...the healthy benefits of wheat in our diet...", and avoids why this concerted outreach campaign is being conducted in the first place.  
 
PS: When I went to Papa Murphy's to get my usual Saturday pizza (Family-size Combination), there was a new sign up on the counter. It proclaimed "Our crusts do not contain gluten"  
 
Bottom Line: It would be helpful if UC and ANR were a bit more open about this very important matter.
 
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