Are paper straws gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease?
The switch away from plastic straws has opened up a straw wonderland of sorts, with many eco-friendly options, including reusable, or biodegradable, and compostable.
Many celiacs are concerned that some of the new biodegradable straws, especially paper straws, may contain gluten. For people with celiac disease, a little gluten can be a big deal, so naturally, many people are concerned and eager to get the facts.
Are paper straws gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease? What drinking straws are gluten-free-free and safe for people with celiac disease?
Paper Straws: Compostable. Unlikely to contain gluten, but it’s still possible.
The National Celiac Association website points out that paper straws are unlikely to contain gluten. We also checked the website for one of the largest straw makers, Aardvark straws, which makes straws for Disneyland and Disney World, among others. Aardvark straws contain no known allergens and are used in numerous hospitals. Aardvark straws do not have any gluten in or around them when being made. It is possible that wheat starch could be used to make them, and if so, they would not be safe. To be on the safe side, those with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis may want to avoid using paper straws.
Good for hot and cold drinks, sustainable material, reusable and compostable. Good for short-term use.
Biodegradable Plastic Straws
These straws hold up well and feel like their non-eco-friendly cousins. Compostable plastic straws are made from plant starches (typically corn) and oil and decompose naturally in 2-3 months at a recycling facility. If they are made using corn starch or other non-gluten-containing starches they are gluten-free. It is possible that wheat starch could be used to make them, and if so, they would not be safe. To be on the safe side, those with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis may want to avoid using biodegradable plastic straws.
Hard to clean, break easily. Gluten-free.
Heat and cold resistance. Soft, and pliable. Boilable and microwaveable. Gluten-free.
Stainless Steel Straws
Retain heat and cold, can poke teeth and mouth; many come with protective rubber tips. Hard to clean. Reusable and eco-friendly. Gluten-free.
Surprisingly unlikely to contain gluten, and often marketed as gluten-free. So how can wheat straw be safe for celiacs? Wheat straw is made from the stalk and stems of the wheat plant after the gluten-containing top part has been harvested to make flour. This wheat straw comes from a part of the wheat plant that does NOT contain gluten. Wheat straws are one-time use, and compostable. The straws are marketed as gluten-free, however strange that may seem, based on the name. Even so, to be on the safe side, those with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis may want to avoid using wheat stem straws.
STRAWS BELOW ARE NOT GLUTEN-FREE
Made from wheat pasta tubes. Compostable. One-time use. Not gluten-free.