Is it safe to go on hay rides if you have celiac disease or NCGS?
The first thing to know is that hay rides most likely use straw and not hay.
“Hay” is dried grass used for animal feed and can come from various plants. The hay is usually harvested when a plant begins to bloom but before it has gone to seed. Since immature seeds can be present, hay from a gluten-containing grain could contain gluten.
“Straw” is a by-product of cereal grains including wheat and barley. Straw consists of the stems or stalks of the plant after the seeds (where gluten would be found) have been harvested. Even with straw, there is still a chance that some seed, and therefore gluten, could remain.
Bumping around on a rough “hay” or” straw” ride could cause particles to be propelled into the air. If the straw/hay from a gluten-containing grain did happen to contain some seed with gluten, it is possible that some air-borne gluten might be present.
Gluten-free individuals and families should take these factors into consideration when evaluating potential exposure to gluten.