Is there a GLUTEN FREE FROM MAP online?

It would be so lovely to see a Google Map with all shops both large and small and a list of all items that are gluten free linked to the shop.

I have been advised that there are many ethnic shops on various high streets that sell some of the more unusual gluten free foods - things such as teff flour but for a fraction of the cost elsewhere ie 1Kgm for £1.24 ...

We could all save pounds if such information was online and available to us all so firstly, is such a map out there; secondly, if not I wonder whether we could somehow find a way of getting one - an open source where members could keep adding items and there whereabouts might be a solution,

Any thoughts??

7 Replies

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  • Hi Lynxcat, there's a coeliac map for places to eat: coeliacmap.com/

    Your point about a map with shops is very valid and I live in Bristol and rice flour is available from Asian shops for under £1 for 500g I buy it within walking distance from my house. I also buy tapioca starch for just over £1 from a vietnamese supermarket and they sell an amazing variety of noodles made with either rice or tapioca, they have far more than in any free from section they also sell rice papers for spring rolls. These rice papers are £1.50 for 50 which's amazing value. You can also buy 1Kg of flaked rice for around a £1 in some Asian shops where as the rice flakes in the free from sections are well over £3 for about 375g. So you are right there is a huge price discrepency.

    They list the ingredients but never put gluten free on the wrapper so it tends to go under the radar. But knowing that Chinese/oriental and Asian supermarkets sell these food all we have to do is google for them in our towns or towns that we are visiting.

    So I agree with you about there being a need for a data base like this.

  • Have you heard of Project Noah, Jerry? If you haven't it is where members of the public upload the whereabouts of any animal, bird, fish, flower, tree, moss, lichen, insect .. in fact any living thing and place its whereabouts on a map so that a mass world-wide record of life can be obtained. They have asked everyone to join in. It's a truly marvellous idea. projectnoah.org/

    I thought something similar for gluten free produce would be marvellous. Everyone who was either a coeliac or had gluten allergy, etc could place there whereabouts of items that they had seen or purchased - where from .. etc.

    I have tried Google to look for shops that may sell Asian/Ethnic food and Google has led me to ordinary corner/grocery shops that are run by members of the Asian community but that do not sell Asian produce.

    In my area there are some gluten free products at all the supermarkets - Aldi sell gluten free chocolate; Tesco sell gluten free DS high-fibre crackers, a sauce, the odd loaf of bread, rice and vegetable pasta, etc plus their own range; Sainsbury's do mainly their own range plus Dove's plain and SR flour; Morrison's do their own range plus DS rice cakes, DS corn and rice crisp breads, Warburton's brown and white bread, DS range of white bread, plus Mrs Crimbles, plain flour and SR flour and GF baking powder, quinoa and rice, GF porridge. None of the shops are near to each other. At one time I could get Millet from Tesco's but this is no longer on sale.

    I probably eat differently to many coeliacs, as I quite enjoy a porridge mix - I boil millet/quinoa/brown rice/sunflower seeds/sesame seeds/sliced prunes together until they are soft and stir in a spoon of honey for one breakfast; I make a breakfast cake which is rich in seeds and fruit but has no sugar - I enjoy a slice of that with a few spoons of thick, plain Greek yoghurt on another day - oat porridge on another day - a muselli mix of chopped nuts, ground almonds, ground flax seed, sesame, sunflower seeds and dried fruit with milk and yoghurt, that I make from items in my cupboard store. The only cereal I purchase is Kallo puffed rice.

    I enjoy foods that help me to feel full and content for a good four hours so try to eat whole foods as much as possible.

  • Hi Lynxcat, no I have never heard of the Noah project but what a good concept. I have just tried googling for Asian shops in a predominantly Asian area and it shows the Sweet mart:

    sweetmart.co.uk/

    If you check out the Sweetmart they sell puffed rice and you get 1Kg for just over £1.00. I go there sometimes as they are only a couple of miles from me.

    It's in Robertson rd Easton and is well worth a visit to anyone in the area.

    And there's this Chinese supermarket about a mile from me and here's a list of just their rice noodles with prices:

    shop.waiyeehong.com/food-in...

    I deffinately eat differently from many coeliac as I don't bother with prescription foods and I eat mostly fresh naturally gf foods and would describle my diet as a gluten free whole food diet. And your choices sound similar to mine as I eat flax seed and use quinoa and quinoa flour in baking.

    So I think that your idea of a map of these alternatives is an excellent idea and I support it. We will have to look at how to bring it to fuition so well done for having such a good idea.

  • Thanks for this useful stuff both of you. I looked at the map and added a review and a new venue near to my home that I have tried.

    I miss spring rolls Jerry, and like the idea of making some using rice paper, so I'm going to see if our chinese supermarket has any.

  • Thanks Jerry. It sounds as if Bristol is the place to be if you're a coeliac. I've not heard of quinoa flour so will be looking out for that. I didn't realise until I joined here that you could get prescription foods. I live quite a long way from both the doctor's surgery and a pharmacist so I won't be tempted to use prescription items and will manage on what I can buy or make myself.

    I am pleased that you like the idea of a map to find produce as this would be an asset to us all and might even make more shops begin to stock items that are gluten free to be added to a map. I noticed for instance that the Coeliac Society Food & Drink Directory which I received for the first time the other day, does not list Aldi as stocking quite a wide range of gluten free chocolates. I use chocolate to boost my iron and magnesium levels - they do several 85% strength cocoa bars - 125 grammes that are 99 pence.

    My daughter has many symptoms but has tested negative - she has been told to go back for a re-test if symptoms persist. She has noticed that if she goes gluten free she feels so much better and for the moment is going down that route rather than keep eating wheat and suffering the consequences. I wonder how many others would benefit from leaving wheat alone? I think perhaps they make light of both coeliac disease and gluten allergy because - imagine if the wheat industry collapsed? They really couldn't afford for too many people to stop eating it could they? I found this little article interesting on the DS site: dietaryspecials.co.uk/coeli...

    Christmas was unbelievable for me. I had a gluten free Christmas cake bought for me - it was expensive, beautifully iced and tasted lovely but after only one tiny slice I became so very, very ill - I am convinced that somehow it wasn't quite gluten free. I still haven't completely recovered from this as it's left me with large amounts of acidity which means the consumption of more things like nuts and seeds. I shall be the size of an elephant if I eat anything else containing gluten as combating acidity is quite tricky. Indigestion medicine often requires dosing and re-dosing so food is often the better option, I have found - especially fatty food!

    And to think when my doctor told me that I was coeliac, I truly didn't believe him!

  • Hi Lynxcat we'll have a play online and consult some of our digital guru colleagues. There are some great tools that google do that can be adapted for a coeliac map. There's also some groups that are closed groups - like alternatives to facebook that we could create by topic. In the meantime we use Coeliac map (available online & android's app store). Also try Qype + search gluten free guerrillas. We've added places that we've tried and like eating out in - yet the idea for delis/ indy supermarkets is a good one too.

  • Thanks for the advice Fiona. I'll check out the link suggestions.

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