Friday, October 9, 2009

Useful Resources: Juno Nutrition

Allow me to introduce a brand new resource for those living Gluten Free - Juno Nutrition. Juno Nutrition is creating "the largest living database of gluten information." The concept is pretty simple, catalog EVERY food product out there and then use multiple methods to determine the Gluten status. Sounds great right? Let me just say there are already some great products out there which clearly let you know the Gluten status of many foods. For example, the Triumph Grocery Guide has 30,000 products in it that are GF. But what happens when you don't find something in that guide? Is it not GF or is it just not listed for some reason? Who knows. What about 3 months after you purchase the book - is the information still valid? Juno Nutrition takes this concept one step further by first cataloging ALL food, then classifying it's GF status. We are talking about up to date information on MILLIONS of products, not 30,000. We are also taking about products such as packaged food purchased from a grocer, meals purchased at a restaurant or personal care products including shampoos or pharmaceuticals - the Gluten Free Lifestyle.

Juno Nutrition is a searchable database Web site that can be utilized by the following folks.


  • People on a Gluten Free Diet due to Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance

  • People with children who are Gluten Free

  • Physicians

  • Nutritionists/Dietitians

  • Chefs or Kitchen workers

  • Restaurant Owners
Juno Nutrition offers a Google-like Search function, simply type in what you are looking for and you are instantly presented with what is GF and what is not GF - allowing you to make a safe choice. Additionally, Juno offers the unique ability to share your GF experiences with the rest of the community - a Gluten Free Wikipedia if you will. Standard users can basically vote on the food products provided by Juno as to whether an item is GF or not based on their experience. Additionally, they can provide their feedback for others to read. No more searching a message board thread that was last updated in 2007. The end result is a growing level of feedback directly from the GF community that changes as the food product changes - all in one place. There are also Editors on the site that can add products and locations and moderate user provided content.

In addition to all of this, restaurants are also present in the system. You'll be able to browse for a location and see the number of GF food items vs. non-GF food items vs. unknown (yet to be ranked by Juno and the community). Juno's goal is summed up in the following statement - "There are 1 million restaurants in the US, another 1 million packaged goods – if we are systematic as a community we can identify and label every product as safe, unsafe or unknown."

How Juno determines Gluten Free Status

The gluten status of a product determines how safe it is to consume at that time. There are three ways we can identify a product’s gluten status: a product manufacturer can make a statement, someone can ask a question about a product’s gluten status, or we can use a commercially available gluten test to determine the gluten status. We make gluten status observations over time, and aggregate their score at the product level. A product that is continuously safe over time, no matter the method of obtaining their gluten status, is safer than one where the gluten status fluctuates over time, or where the gluten status is consistently unsafe. Manufacturers or restaurants that are careless in their food production will show greater fluctuation over time.
Juno Nutrition - A Local Company
One of the best things about Juno Nutrition is that it is actually a Triangle based company which was started by brothers Fred and Will Lybrand. Fred developed the idea after living Gluten Free for many years due to a Celiac Disease/DH diagnosis. Their intent is to first focus on the state of North Carolina (lucky us!) and then spread throughout the US and the rest of the world. The name Juno comes from the Roman Goddess of the State whose epithet was, “Juno Warns” and in that same vein they want to be sure their customers are warned about what foods they should avoid. Click here to read more about the company along with their impressive board of advisers. I have had the opportunity to meet with Fred on numerous occasions and have learned a great deal about his dedication to solving this problem of successfully living GF. I look forward to working with Juno in the future in conjunction with what I do on this blog as well as becoming an Editor for Juno.

Interested in seeing more of what Juno Nutrition can do for you? You can check out the subscription based service for free for 30 days - the service normally runs $10 per month. Also, be sure to check out the Tour here. Juno Nutrition will also be a vendor at the upcoming Whole Foods Raleigh GF Vendor Fair on October 17th. Stop in for a demo of the product and a chance to ask questions directly to the company owners.

1 comments:

Fred said...

Zach!

Will and I can't tell you how much we appreciate the support from Gluten Free Raleigh (www.glutenfreeraleigh.blogspot.com). As a long time reader, your quantitative approach to the GFD ("Gluten Free Diet") was an inspiration into our efforts at Juno Nutrition (www.JunoNutrition.com).

As part of our commitment to you and your readers; any gluten free products or locations mentioned in your blog will be incorporated into our database.

If you life in NC and want a searchable database of all things GF, or if you're visiting and want an easy time eating during your trip; check us out! (http://www.junonutrition.com/signup)

Regards,
Fred Lybrand

PS My background is simple; Diagnosed with DH, the dermal version of CD, in 2006 I enlisted the support of my brother to bring a disciplined approach to knowing what is safe to eat. Our backgrounds are in statistics and software.

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