Monday, October 8, 2007

All Rice Dream is gluten free???

*ugh* Another frustrating day on the GFCF diet. Although I looked at plenty of websites and blogs when researching what kind of drinks were GF, I was still confused when I went to the store and saw that Rice Dream regular milk was made with barley. Originally, I wanted to try rice milk instead of soy but after I saw the ingredient barley, I was confused as to which varieties of Rice Dream were actually gluten free. So I wrote an email to the company asking them for more information. They wrote me back and told me that even the barley they use is gluten free and probably has always been although their testing methods did not allow them to say so. From what I read during my research, barley is a form of gluten so I am still confused. Any insight would be helpful. As for what I buy next time, I am not sure. If I am correct, I think the Rice Dream organic variety actually says GF on the label. Below is the email that I received back:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding our Rice Dream Beverage. We apologize for the delay in our reply and appreciate your patience. We strive to maintain the highest quality products and we appreciate your patronage.
Analytical testing methods and detection limits have improved over the years. Recent testing shows that the Rice Dream Beverages (as well as the barley protein used to make the product) meet gluten free requirements. This has probably been true historically, however analytical testing methods did not permit us to make this claim. We have always maintained a conservative stance regarding gluten in the beverages. The same rigorous standards now allow us to declare them gluten free. The formula and processing methods for Rice Dream beverages have not changed. Each batch will be tested appropriately.
Thank you for your continued support. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-434-4246, Monday through Friday from 7AM - 5PM Mountain Time.

Sincerely,
Consumer Relations Representative

12 comments:

Mommy said...

I commend you for contacting the company. I was confused by this as well. We did get a GF rice dream that said GF on the back.

The funny thing is, I have also become a letter writier recently . I have to two grocery stores requesting them to reorganize their organic section, or stock specific products.

Thomas Dzomba said...

J,

If you go to gfcfdiet.com they will tell you that Rice Dream is not gluten free. But there are other brands, like Pacific Rice Milk, that are.

We primarily use soy milk now, but we used to use almond milk a lot. We never give milk to our children to drink (except an occasional chocolae milk), but we use it in cooking and with their cereal.

N said...

I think I read that only the organic ones are GF. There are other brands that are GF though. Do your supermarkets carry other brands?

Them saying its acceptable is like those creamers that say non-dairy yet they are all dairy. That always made me mad. I guess if its just a tiny amount it doesn't count to them!

GFCF Mommy said...

Wow! I too assumed that since they now said "gluten-free" on the label that they had removed the barley. From their response, it sounds like they haven't changed the ingredients at all, instead there are new testing guidelines that allow the claim. This actually makes me a tad angry!

Like Thomas said, there are other gluten-free rice milks. Almond milks are sweet and little kids may like them. You can get soy milks that are enriched too, if your son is ok with soy.

Thank you so much for writing the company. Mind if I link you on my site? I really think people should know about this.

Let me know.

Katherine

J said...

I am not sure if I saw any other brands of rice milk at our store. For now, we have Austin on Silk Vanilla enriched for kids.

Katherine - I have no problem with you linking this to your page! The more info out there, the better!!!

Anonymous said...

I heard that soy contains peptides very similar to regular milk and that they shouldn't be used on a GFCF diet. My 8yo son is being veered towards a GFCF diet by his pediatrician. Any one heard differently about the soy? Thanks!

J said...

I have read that many people going GFCF use rice milk or almond milk or even potato milk as their main milk. And I think there was one website that I read that said don't start out CF by using soy milk b/c it is too similar to regular milk. Whether or not that has to do with the peptides, I have no idea. I also think that some pedi. who are supportive of the GFCF diet also think it is beneficial to go soy free as well. You should talk more to your pediatrician and get his opinion on the soy.

gfcfmom said...

I am SOOOO grateful for your post. My son has been GFCF for a year because of an autistic regression at 18 months--it turns out he has celiac and is so intolerant to gluten that he can't have gluten, casein or soy. The neurologist says that the molecules are so similar that you can have an allergy or intolerance to one but react to all three. He has gotten sick twice since we went GFCF--once with RICE DREAMS labelled "contains barley." And a year later with RICE DREAMS WHICH DIDN'T LIST BARLEY on the label. I thought that they must have taken the Barley out. My son is so sensitive to gluten he is a very good indicator of whether a product contains traces of gluten. Thank you for writing the company. I am going to link to your blog too as I think this is crucial info for anyone pursuing a GF diet to have.
RICE DREAMS CONTAINS BARLEY!!! We use WESTSOY RICE MILK.

http://whattofeedyourkids.blogspot.com/

J said...

Thanks for the comments! Yeah, it was a struggle with us for a while with the milk. I'm glad you found this helpful and feel free to link to me :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I contacted Rice Dreams today. They told me that they use barley to make the product, but the barely is not in the acutal product and when they test the product it comes up as Gluten free. Very confusing I know. Many GF parents do use Rice Dreams, but I do and my son responds great to it

Tori said...

Hello. I have just done a very detailed post on my blog about this. Please consider updating your post so that others can find this information -- it's so important, and your site shows up near the top of a Google search for "Is Rice Dream Gluten-Free."

http://gfcfblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/is-rice-dream-gluten-free.html

Thanks!!
Tori
http://gfcfblog.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

They are NOT gluten free. I found this out the hard way. Even the 0.002% barley used in the product is enough to trigger a reaction in some gluten-sensitive individuals.

Note that the email you received didn't claim they were gluten free, but rather stated that it meets gluten free requirements, which anybody who eats a GF diet realizes do not always mean it's completely free.