Why so early? Well, after much agonizing debate (see what I did there), two things hit me: 1) Why wait an extra two weeks when I can begin helping people now and 2) I’ll be taking weekends off from blogging so the 30 days will actually be 30 posts over six weeks, concluding at the end of May.
So Lord knows, I’ve got a backlog of emails that I need to respond to but if you’ve got a question you would like answered and you’re in need of some help, contact me and hopefully I can squeeze you in.
In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be agonizingly debating who I should pick in my PGA Masters Pool.
Today’s blog post is a good one. Well…I’d like to think they’re all good, but you know what I mean.
Competition is a good thing. Nobody should be handed anything on a silver platter. But what if, like our political system (thank you Supreme Court…aaarrrggghhh), the competition is a bit slanted?
Let’s face it, if you walk into any supermarket and head to the gluten-free frozen section, there are one or two brands that absolutely dominate the shelf space. Does that mean they are the best products out there? I’ll leave that up to you to decide but I think you know how I feel.
But where it gets really interesting is when companies who do gluten-free right need to compete with companies who take short-cuts and who have decided profits are more important than people. All of the sudden, the playing field is skewed.
Read on from the email I received yesterday…
I own a local GF bakery. Dedicated facility and all that jazz. I am also a nutrition coach that specializes in celiac disease and gluten intolerance. ( I have two celiacs in the house, who also happen to have duhrings disease ). So for me eating gf is of up most importance and I know the cross contamination factor is a HUGE issue too.
So here is my “problem”. There is a bakery here in town that offers gluten free food. GREAT! right? Well they say they are “certified” and safe for celiacs but we’ve gotten sick there. I’ve looked everywhere for their “certification” which they say came from CSA (they are NOT listed on their site anywhere).
I genuinely don’t mind competition; in fact I work closely with the other completely gluten free bakery in town. Where I have the problem is these people lying to folks and telling them they are safe for celiacs. How can that even be if they share square footage and ventilation with their “regular” bakery? To make issues worse they say they have a dedicated “kitchen” or space for their GF items which last checked was a partitioned wall with in the regular bakery itself.
So I guess where I am reaching out here is to ask a fellow celiac…What can I do? I don’t want to make myself look like an ass by calling them out but I’ve been checking into this and researching as much as I can and have always come to the same conclusion…they’re lying. That makes me so frustrated as a mom, a wife, aunt and friend of folks with celiac, most who are severe in symptoms. Of course it makes me frustrated as a consumer too. People deserve the truth.
Thanks GD! Always such a great help.
So I have a few quick thoughts.
1) A certification from CSA, if they have it, is not worth the paper is printed on. This is the same company who gave the celiac seal of approval to Omission Beer, even though it’s made with Barley and goes against everything CSA is supposed to stand for. Nuff said about that.
2) Though I am not doubting you at all, simply because you got sick eating there…to me…does not absolutely mean you got glutened. Yes, it’s very possible, but making the direct correlation is not fool-proof.
3) I absolutely hate what they’re doing. Either do gluten-free right or DON’T DO IT AT ALL. There is no middle ground for the safety of celiacs. I can only assume they see dollar signs dancing in their heads and decided offer gluten-free kinda half-ass.
4) As for what you can do…that’s a toughie. If you do a campaign against them, there may be a backlash against you. If you can get proof, and I mean absolute proof, that they are taking shortcuts, perhaps writing an article for your local paper comparing the two bakeries. But again, you may get backlash from the pseudo gluten-free people, if you know what I mean.
My suggestion…keep the focus on making your bakery the best gluten-free bakery it can be. Promote how you are doing it right without calling out the other company. As the awareness of celiac disease continues to rise, companies like yours will be where the people want to go to feel safe. Good luck!