Coconut Water and Tomato Paste with Gluten? Yes! A reminder to read labels.

June 29, 2012


"Remember to read labels. Remember to read labels. Remember to read labels." This is a refrain we should all be familiar with. 

It's so simple, right? And, yet, reading food labels can easily slip your mind. Here's why it shouldn't:

  1. Ingredients change. Frequently. A product that was gluten-free the last time you bought it, may no longer be gluten-free. This one always gets me. It's SO easy to put a product in your cart that you've bought countless times without reading the label.


  2. Products are sometimes shelved in the wrong spot. Without sounding corny, I'm always impressed by how well organized most supermarkets are today. Can you imagine trying to keep all that stuff in the right place? But sometimes mistakes happen. Either someone who works at the store puts a product in the wrong spot or another customer sets it back it the wrong place.



    One time I bought several cans of tomato paste. Nestled in the four cans was a can of Contadina's Tomato Paste with Italian Herbs. It had been shelved in the wrong spot and I grabbed it by mistake. At home, I noticed my error and read the label---thank goodness! Here's what it said:

    Wheat is clearly labeled! But if I hadn't read the label, I would have used the product, gotten sick and then wondered what the heck I ate!

    So even after buying products, try to get in the habit of reading the label before you use it at home.


  3. Products you think "should be" gluten-free, might not be. The other day I noticed a new probiotic drink at the market called, "Good Belly."  Intrigued I picked up a carton of their "coconut Water." Now, pure coconut water is gluten-free. If I hadn't read the label, I would not have noticed this:

    See the barley and oat in the ingredient list? Yup. This coconut water isn't gluten-free. Nor does Good Belly claim it's gluten-free. If I bought the product, assuming it was gluten-free, I would have been 100% responsible for "gluten-ing" myself.


These are just a few reasons why we all need to remember to read labels. And, like I said, neither product listed above did anything wrong. The gluten-containing ingredients are clearly marked on the label. We just always have to remember to read the label--especially on products we "think" are gluten-free.

Now "hidden gluten"? That's another topic for another day...

How about you? Have you caught gluten in any products by reading the label? Share in the comments!

Talk to you soon! 



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