Can You Get Glutened By Mowing Your (Ryegrass) Lawn?

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Question: Can you get glutened by mowing your lawn?

Lots of people have lawns made of ryegrass. Can you get glutened if you have a ryegrass lawn? What if you mow it?


Fortunately, this is one thing people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity don't need to worry about. As it turns out, the type of "ryegrass" used for lawns is a completely different plant than the "rye" that's a gluten grain.

Ryegrass is found extensively on lawns — in fact, most of us who have a lawn probably have at least some ryegrass in that mix of green. Ryegrass also works well as fodder for farm animals if it's planted in a pasture where those animals will graze.

Both rye and ryegrass are found in the grass family (family name Poaceae). However, despite their similarity in names, ryegrass is technically known as Lolium, while the gluten grain form of rye is called Secale in scientific terms — two different genuses, or subcategories, of grass plant.

Now, Lolium and Secale actually are fairly closely related when it comes to plant relationships. But other plants in that same grass family include those that produce corn, millet and rice, so obviously not all types of grasses are toxic to those who can't have gluten.

Therefore, you don't need to worry about mowing your lawn or simply relaxing on it — even if you've let the grasses there go to seed, they're the wrong kind of grasses to contain gluten, and therefore they shouldn't make you sick.

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