Gluten in animal feed, mushrooms grown in wheat

Mariah Kay Jackson
Do I need to look for eggs and meat from animals that were not fed gluten? Does it matter if mushrooms were grown in wheat-based dirt?

Answer


Animals that are fed gluten-containing grains, like wheat or barley, still produce gluten-free meat or eggs! We know that through the biology of animal digestion and growth, gluten is not stored in muscle or passed into eggs. In fact, a 2017 study verified that beef from cattle who were fed grains tested below the detection level of 5 parts per million (ppm) and are thus gluten-free (1).

While these foods are naturally gluten free, always be aware of possible cross-contact in preparation methods, such as cooking surfaces shared with gluten-containing foods. Some restaurants may also add flour or other gluten-containing ingredients to eggs to make them fluffier. Be curious about how your food is prepared!

Mushrooms may be grown in a variety of materials, such as hay, crushed corn, or sometimes wheat or rye straw (2). This can vary by the grower and type of mushroom being grown. While the risk of cross-contact and having gluten levels above 20 ppm after mushrooms are harvested, processed, and washed is low – if you have persistent symptoms with eating mushrooms, you may consider eliminating them from your diet and calling the manufacturer to verify how they are grown.

  1. McNeill SH, Cifelli AM, Roseland JM, Belk KE, Woerner DR, Gehring KB, Savell JW, Brooks JC, Thompson LD. A Research Communication Brief: Gluten Analysis in Beef Samples Collected Using a Rigorous, Nationally Representative Sampling Protocol Confirms That Grain-Finished Beef Is Naturally Gluten-Free. Nutrients. 2017; 9(9):936. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9090936

American Mushroom Institute. How Mushrooms are Grown. Accessed October 2023. https://www.americanmushroom.org/mfpa/how-mushrooms-are-grown/

Published November 7, 2023

Note: This information is provided by NCA and Mariah Kay Jackson, MMN, RDN, LMNT. This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA or Mariah Kay Jackson, MMN, RDN, LMNT by providing this information.

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