Dear Gluten Free Food Companies,
I am touched by your desire to have me sample your products. Honestly I am. I think it’s totally cool you want to send me free food. I mean “free” and “food” are two of my favorite things.
And really…who doesn’t like getting packages in the mail? It’s like Christmas morning here when the mail comes.
The thing is, as my audience continues to grow, so does the amount of emails I receive from companies like yours asking me to try your gluten-free goodies. And I am more than able and willing. I’m sure your food is every bit good as you say it is. (Of course, I’ve never received an email that says “Hey Gluten Dude, our food sucks…wanna try some?”)
But let’s face it…we’re all busy people. You’re busy trying to manufacture and sell your product. And lord knows I’m busy trying to run my own business, run my own blog, be an advocate, be a husband, be a father, blah, blah, blah.
The last thing we all want to do is waste each other’s time. As Ray Davies said “Art takes time, time is money, money’s scarce and that ain’t funny”. Let’s be respectful of Mr. Davies.
So if you don’t mind, I’d like to present some Gluten Dude rules and guidelines. Please read these the next time you’d like to send me some samples. You won’t waste your time and I won’t feel bad about wasting your time. It’s a win-win.
And away we go…
Rule #1: I won’t eat processed crap. If it’s got 10 ingredients, half of which I can’t pronounce, I won’t eat it.
Rule #2: I don’t do reviews on my blog. Early on, I thought it would be cool to have a big review section. To be honest, I just don’t have the time. If I like your product, I promise I’ll share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. But I won’t do a full review. Besides, how many different ways can you say something tastes good??
Rule #3: On the other side of the coin, I will never bad mouth you if you send me something, even if I think your product is putrid. I may reach out to you directly and provide some honest feedback, but you never need to worry about me calling you out in public. Unless of course you’re a Kardashian.
Rule #4: Don’t ask me to do a giveaway. My blog is a lot of things. But it’s not a giveaway kind of blog. I’m not knocking it. I think it’s awesome that other bloggers do this. It’s just not my thing.
Rule #5: Don’t ask me to exchange links. Nuf said about that.
Rule #6: Don’t tell me you love my blog and then send me an email where it’s quite clear you have never read my blog. At least do your research and show me you’ve put a smidgen of effort into the process.
Rule #7: I like beer. Yes…that’s a hint. As long as it’s gluten-FREE and not gluten-REMOVED, I’m game.
Rule #8: I saved the biggie for the last one: do not send me any food that has been made in the same facility that processes wheat products. I won’t eat it…ever. You’ve got to know your audience.
I recently received an amazing package. The box could’ve fit a large screen TV inside of it. And it was filled with a variety of chips….all different flavors.
And every damn one of them were made in a shared facility.
So I emailed them and asked them how they can guarantee my safety if I eat them. Not that I was going to risk it, but I was curious what they would say.
Their response? “We clean the machines before making gluten-free items.”
That’s right, it wasn’t just a shared facility, it was a shared line. You can’t tell me that cleaning the line eliminates the risk. I’m not buying it. And I’m not trying it.
So that’s it…eight simple rules to make the world a better place. Well…at least my little corner of it.
And just to be clear, I’m not remotely ungrateful for your efforts.
It’s just that my health and my time are precious things, and I know yours are too.
Thanks for you consideration.