Wheat Allergies: Sources for Alternative Grains

One of the best things about having this blog is the vast amount of information we learn from all of our great readers. We have recently been helping a reader “Andrea” try out some millet. Her family has a variety of allergies and she’s had problems finding a source that would work for her. In our communication back and forth, she gave us a great list of alternative grains and where she has been able to purchase them in bulk. We thought we’d share her info with you because we know that quite a few of our readers have expressed an interest in learning more about food storage and allergies. She has specific concerns with contamination due to other allergies as well, but this info is great!

Buckwheat:
We buy our buckwheat from the Birkett Mills, specifically Wolff’s Kasha,- a sister company whose supplies can be accessed from the same phone number. Wolff’s is the company that has #50 bags of grain and cereal. As of this morning the groats were $87.70 and the cream of buckwheat cereal was $97.40. Shipping is UPS and pricey, but you can make arrangements to pick up the grain in Penn Yan, NY if you are out there. Birkett Mills rotates their crop with peas so there is no risk of grain cross-contamination. Their phone number is 315-536-3311.

Sorghum: www.twinvalleymills.com Twin Valley only does sorghum, both flour and grain. They are very nice people and have been willing to work with us according to our needs- like splitting a case into half grain and half flour so we did not need to buy a case of each. They have product that ranges in size from 2.5# to 30#.

Teff: If you type in “The Teff Company” in a search engine you may find that you end up with a website advertising teff as grass feed for horses. That said, The Teff Company is where we buy our teff, but the website is www.teffco.com. This is where Bob’s Red Mill gets their teff, but if you buy it directly from the Teff Company there is no risk of cross-contamination as all they do is teff.

Rice: We are having difficulty finding this product near us right now, but we have luck with Lundberg Rice. They are an excellent company and they like to send out surveys and coupons if you register on their website.

Wild Rice: We have had success with Trader Joe’s Wild rice, though it is pricey- about $5/#. It works for us. Often people with a rice allergy can eat wild rice because botanically speaking it is an aquatic grain, but not rice (horray for botanical loopholes!).

Millet: I have had the most difficulty finding millet, but there is a company called Great River Organic Milling that offers gluten free millet flour. I just recieved a sample package from them to try. I do not know if it will be safe for us to use as it goes down the chute with corn starch. I have gone so far as to contact individual millet growers and extension offices in the dakotas and have gotten millet directly, but it is so often grown with corn and oats it gets contaminated at the combine, and besides, it is very often hulled in facilities that openly process corn, and hulling one’s own millet without getting the bits of hull in the grain is very nearly impossible. (The hull has a strong goiterogen, and though I don’t know if I spelled that right, I do know that it is bad for those with thyroid difficulties). I am fairly certain that I could get a 2000# tote of gluten free millet, but with all of the problems that would present it is hardly worth it.

We need your help!

We have asked Andrea if she would be willing to help us out with a few more articles on allergies and food storage and she is going to take a crack at it. We are so excited for her to help us out since we are definitely not experts on this subject.

Please let us know if there are any specific things you’d like to know more about and we will work with Andrea on covering these topics!

Food Storage and Allergies (including gluten free)

This isn’t the first time we’ve confessed we’re clueless about a specific topic. If you’ve been around long enough, you’ll remember our big Small Spaces Storage Solutions confession. Well we’re here to confess again. When it comes to food storage and allergies, especially gluten free (which we get tons of emails about) we just don’t know our stuff!

Introducing….

Well, we’ve had one of our readers (who we’ll formally introduce soon) offer to do some guest posting on these difficult topics. She already has a great list of ideas to help those with allergies adapt their food storage plans. We also wanted to let you guys ask questions now so that we can have her tailor the posts to fit the most common concerns and questions. So everyone -if you know someone with a food allergy, or have one yourself, what have you ALWAYS wanted to know? Feel free to leave a comment on this post, on our facebook page, or email us at info@foodstoragemadeeasy.net. Be sure to share this post with anyone you know who might have questions of their own.

We look forward to hearing from you, and introducing you to our gluten-free and allergy expert :). We’ll start the first post in the New Year, and create a special page to index all the future posts. We’re happy to help coordinate getting this information out to people, even though it’s something we don’t know much about ourselves yet!

Alternatives to Wheat for Food Storage

In our series featuring Why People Do Food Storage we touched briefly on allergies as one of the “health benefits” of doing food storage. (Please note: Our final article in that series will be posted later this week!) We wanted to go into a little more detail about that since we get quite a few readers asking us what to do if they have wheat allergies since wheat is one of the items we are supposed to store the most of according to traditional food storage calculators. We have two basic recommendations or suggestions for you:

1. Store extra of the other grains

According to food storage calculators, one adult should store 300 lbs of grains for a one year supply of food. Of this 300, half of it is supposed to be wheat. If you have a wheat allergy, obviously this is not going to apply to you. You may choose to store a lot more alternative grains which include oats, gluten-free quinoa, millet, amaranth, rice, or cornmeal. You can start to collect food storage recipes that use these grains instead of focusing on the traditional items like breads, etc.

2. Learn how to make substitutions

A lot of recipes that call for wheat flour can be modified for wheat allergies. For example, cream of chicken soup or any white sauce base recipe can be made using bean flour. You can make gluten-free bread using other flours such as rice flour, millet flour, oat flour, etc. If you own a wheat grinder then these types of substitutions are SO easy to make and you can store the bulk grains in your food storage, just like you would store wheat! For a great summary of different types of gluten-free flours check out this post on the Gluten Free Mommy blog.

We need your help!

We would love to compile some even more in depth resources for people who suffer from Celiac Disease or others who need to follow a gluten-free diet. If you have good food storage recipes or other tips on how to do gluten-free food storage please email them to info@foodstoragemadeeasy.net. We will be incorporating all of your feedback into a helpful handout that will hopefully benefit a lot of people who are trying to live gluten-free AND work on food storage!