Non-organic farm raised meat

Melinda Dennis MS, RDN, LDN
Q: If I eat meat/poultry/fish (non-organic/farm raised), would this trigger celiac disease?


To date, we understand that three components are needed for someone to present with celiac disease – a genetic predisposition (having one or both of the HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8 genes), being exposed to gluten (which happens when we are fed wheat cereal as infants) and some kind of physiological trigger to the body (such as acute or chronic stress, a virus or bacteria, difficult pregnancy or surgery, and many others). I am not aware of any data that directly links eating non-organic, farm raised animal products to the development of celiac disease

That being said, we are exposed daily to both potential and probable carcinogens in our environment1 and in our diets. Minimizing exposure to herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, toxins, etc., can lower the human health risks and is a worthwhile goal. I believe that from a health standpoint for the person, the animal and to promote sustainability for the environment, if budget allows, a reasonable choice for those who choose to eat animals/seafood is to select those who have “lived a good life.” Examples of compassionate and sustainable farming practices include healthy conditions with adequate room to roam, high quality forage, an antibiotic/hormone-free policy, certified organic (or using organic principles) and humane “harvesting.”

John Peterson Myers, et al. Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures: a consensus statement. Environ Health. 2016; 15: 19.

Reviewed October 3, 2022.

Note: This information is provided by NCA and Melinda Dennis, NCA's Senior Consulting Dietitian. This information is meant for educational purposes and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. This information can be printed and used in consultation with your physician or dietitian. No liability is assumed by NCA, Ms. Dennis or her nutrition consulting service Delete the Wheat, LLC. by providing this information..

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About Melinda Dennis MS, RDN, LDN

Melinda Dennis, Senior Nutrition Consultant for NCA, is an expert celiac dietitian and and Nutrition Coordinator for the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. Diagnosed with celiac disease in 1990, she specializes in the nutritional treatment of patients with celiac disease and gluten-related disorders.

Melinda lectures internationally and has written extensively on the nutritional management of celiac disease including the award-winning book Real Life with Celiac Disease. Melinda was the original founder of NCA in 1993 and so it is only fitting that she comes back to us in this capacity. We are truly honored to have her on our team.