Dozens of vendors to present gluten-free options at Monroeville event
Naomi Poe knows living a gluten-free lifestyle can be a challenge, especially to those newly diagnosed with an allergy to the protein.
As someone who cannot tolerate gluten and is a mother to two boys with the same condition, Poe, 34, of Altoona, spent years seeking satisfying gluten-free products with little success. In 2006, the frustration led Poe to develop her own flour mix, and her company, Better Batter, was born.
"Desperation breeds creativity," Poe said. "So many people in the gluten-free community have experienced that."
Poe is just one of the 40 local and national vendors participating in the 2012 Celiac Awareness Tour making a stop in the Monroeville Doubletree Hotel on Saturday. The event will include demonstrations by chefs, presentations from celiac experts and samples of products.
People such as Poe, who have celiac disease, cannot tolerate gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley. Symptoms can include abdominal bloating and pain, chronic diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss.
More than 2 million people in the United States have the disease, or about 1 in 133, according to the National Institutes of Health.
A decade ago, finding gluten-free food often required a trip to a specialty store, and eating out was a gamble. Today, mass-market food producers, including General Mills, sell gluten-free products, such as Betty Crocker cake mix and Chex cereal, at local grocery stores. Some restaurants, such as Eat'n Park and Uno Chicago Grill, offer designated celiac menus or gluten-free versions of their meals.
Dr. Paul Lebovitz, medical director of West Penn Allegheny Health System's Allegheny Center for Digestive Health, said while progress has been made, "We have such a long way to go still.
"Even today in 2012, it's still a big lifestyle change. It would be nice for it to be a little less dramatic for the patients," he said.
Poe said her sons Zion, 10, and Caedon, 8, enjoy everything from pizza to soft tacos now that they've found a mix of flour that works for them.
"They like to eat everything," she said. "They went from being very self-limiting to having anything allowable."
Lebovitz said living with celiac disease is "all about education."
"You need to talk to someone who really understands the substitutes and alternatives," he said. "I really believe the most important thing you can do is self-educate."
If you go
What : The 2012 Celiac Awareness Tour, sponsored by Giant Eagle
When : 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Where : Doubletree Hotel, 101 Mall Blvd., Monroeville.
Admission : $10. Children under 12 are admitted free. Tickets are available at the door or at online .
Donate : Those attending can bring gluten-free products for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Family of Children’s Hospital transplant baby urges feds to change cochlear implants policy
- Polamalu made 1st-time captain; Roethlisberger named for offense
- Steelers receiver Heyward-Bey looks to make most of chance
- Carnegie Mellon grad’s tweak to tweets turns 7
- Upper Tyrone supervisor hopes to mitigate trash dumping problem
- Steelers formalize practice squad
- Steelers know fast start could be key to upcoming season
- Pirates notebook: Sanchez returns to Bucs in offensive slump
- States clear way for startups to use crowdfunding
- On border of Westmoreland, Fayette, Jacobs Creek section is sacred spot
- Democratic gubernatorial nominee in spotlight at Labor Day Parade