Schnucks sponsors gluten-free food festival

Thursday event marks National Celiac Awareness Day

DES PERES, Mo. — A Schnuck Markets store in Missouri will sponsor a special sampling of gluten-free foods to mark a day of recognition for people who can't eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

Schnucks announced that its store in Des Peres, Mo., would have a "Gluten-Free Sample Fest" on Thursday afternoon to mark National Celiac Awareness Day. Celiac disease is a digestive disorder in which patients experience an autoimmune response when they ingest foods with gluten that can damage the small intestine and inhibit absorption of nutrients from foods.

"A growing number of our customers are being diagnosed with celiac disease, and others are curious to learn more about gluten-free products," Schnucks dietitian Kara Behlke said, saying she would be on hand to talk about the disease, discuss nutritional considerations and recommend products.

The event will include samples of gluten-free breads, crackers and other baked goods and beers, with chefs demonstrating gluten-free recipes and presentations for children that include sushi rolling, parfait mixing and pancakes.

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