The Nima Sensor has been in the news a lot lately. There was the recent hubbub about the high percentage of restaurants with gluten-free food testing positive for gluten. But, what many of these reports failed to mention is it's actually ok to eat some gluten. In fact, no gluten-free product is entirely gluten-free.
A certified GF label means a product measures to the FDA standard of safety. Less than 20ppm. That means there IS, in fact, SOME gluten in that product. It's just less than what can cause a reaction.
And how much gluten does it take to cause a reaction? Researchers have determined that an individual can actually consume up to an 1/8 teaspoon of gluten before causing damage or for most individuals to have a reaction. Now, I again stress MOST here, because as we know each gluten-free individual is unique, as is their level of sensitivity. And I'm also not advocating for you to go out and start shoveling measured out 1/8 teaspoons here. But, what this information is meant to provide is, peace of mind.
Cross-contamination IS going to happen. It is impossible to get through life without coming into contact with gluten somewhere. And what reports of those NIMA findings failed to publicize was the downfall in the device. The device cannot measure the amount of gluten present. It just says gluten is present. So, the meal could be perfectly safe to eat with a presence of gluten far below the 20ppm threshold, however you now can't be sure.
What do you do now? Do you trust the questions you've asked and the restaurant's assurance of safe practices? Can you go against this knowledge of gluten present? Many feel they can't and are now boycotting restaurants they've felt perfectly safe eating at in the past. So, I ask, is that reading worth it?
Is the device really offering you peace of mind if it's further limiting your gluten-free world? Yes, you will feel safer dining where you get that zero reading. But, what about those places where you've never had a reaction in the past, but you're now getting a positive reading?
I don't know about you, but I find my world small enough. Yes, I want to be safe in my gluten-free lifestyle. But, I also want to enjoy life. I'll continue to ask my questions and read reviews in trusted places. And I probably will experience a bad reaction a time or two as a result. (Hopefully, far and few between!) But, I think I'd still prefer that to sitting there anxiously second-guessing myself over a plate of beautiful food I'd never have questioned before.
What about you? What are your thoughts on these devices? I'd love to hear others' thoughts on the matter.
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