Last month I completed a gluten-free series covering a variety of products and resources for those who suffer from Celiac disease or are looking for more information on the topic. A new resource recently launched called Gling, a social website for members to share in all things gluten-free and we wanted to take a closer look.
Gling originally launched providing information on food, recipes and a directory of gluten-free shops and restaurants by location. Additionally, there was an article section which includes original content from Gling writers as well as from popular gluten-free bloggers.
More recently, Gling announced a partnership with the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, which is the largest Celiac research center in the world. The research from this center has helped in making progress to diagnose, treat and improve the lives of people with Celiac, and should be a great resource for the Gling community.
I loved the concept of the site, so I signed myself up for a free membership and started checking out all the site had to offer. The main sections are recipes, food and locations. I review each below.
The first area I checked out was the recipes. For the most part these all look like they are user submitted and all have a rating of certified gluten-free, gluten-free, or unknown. These ratings are reviewed by Gling staff, as was confirmed to me by the founder for the site. Feel free to follow the labeling provided on the site but do your own due diligence when reviewing the ingredients as well.
Next up was the food section. While I like the concept of this area, it does need some additional functions to make it more useful. Though helpful, the categories you can sort by are rather limiting. It would definitely help with sorting through the products listed if the categories were sorted by use, such as flours for baking or sweeteners. I would also love to see more product reviews in the food section.
Last was the locations feature. There is great potential here to populate all the great resources of restaurants and shops across the country. You can’t currently input your location and must simply scan through their listings for your city or state. I have been told though that the search function, as well as other features, will be available soon.
A favorite portion of the site for me is the community element. There is an area called Tribes where you can create a common interest group on the site for other members to be a part of, which is similar to a message board. This is a fun way to find friends with common likes and interests and have a dialogue with other members to share information.
April 28th, 2010