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Like me, you’re probably trying to figure out whether or not you can get glutened by licking an envelope or stamp. That’s because a rumor has been going around the gluten-free community for a long time purporting that envelope adhesives may contain gluten.
I’m not sure how the rumor started, but I first learned about the potential gluten threat in Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s book, The G Free Diet. I haven’t licked an envelope ever since reading that the sticky adhesive found in envelopes and stamps may contain wheat starch – yuck!
Are Envelopes Gluten-Free?
Fast forward a few years… I’m convinced, after reading Dr. Alessio Fasano’s book, Gluten Freedom, that envelopes and stamp glue do NOT contain gluten after all. He details this in his book, and I will share some of this information below.
The bottom line is that envelopes are gluten-free. And while gluten is hidden in many seemingly safe places, like licorice and soy sauce, you cannot get glutened by licking an envelope, according to the Envelope Manufacturers Association (EMA).
Instead, I’ve learned that envelope and stamp adhesive is made from a cornstarch base. Here is a screenshot detailing this information from the EMA website:
For me, I hate licking envelopes anyway. I think it’s disgusting. The thought of spit traveling around the world just grosses me out. Oh, and that awful taste. No thanks. I just can’t bear the thought of licking envelopes anymore. (The good news is that most envelopes are self- adhesive.)
However, should you or I choose to lick an envelope, isn’t it good to know we won’t get glutened and that envelopes are indeed gluten-free?
If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you probably stopped licking envelopes long ago after George’s fiance died from licking cheap wedding envelopes. Here’s a short clip to brighten your day: