When I first started blogging, I had this brilliant idea. I was going to do an exposé on how expensive gluten-free food was. I was gonna go to my local grocery store and take pictures of the prices of regular chocolate chip cookies compared to gluten-free chocolate chip cookies; regular bread and gluten-free bread; regular bottled water and gluten-free bottled water (just seeing if you’re paying attention.)
My goal was to show the world (or the 25 daily visitors I had at that time) what a rip off these companies were and how crappy it was that they were taking advantage of those who need to be gluten-free.
Wow…what an arrogant ass I was (am??). Thank god I didn’t do the post.
Here’s the deal folks. It costs more money to make gluten-free food. Period. End of story. The ingredients…the preparation…the facility. And as celiacs, we need to bear the brunt of those extra costs. That’s life.
Now are some companies totally ripping us off? Absolutely. That’s the American way. But it’s our choice to support those companies or not.
But you better believe I’m willing to pay a little more in order not to get my ass kicked by gluten. And that is why the ridiculous lawsuit against PF Changs pisses me off to no end.
If you are not familiar with the case, here’s a quick recap.
A woman by the name of Anna Marie Phillips is suing P.F. Chang’s over the prices of their gluten-free options. She believes that the surcharge on the restaurant’s gluten-free menu “violates the Americans with Disabilities Act” by forcing those who cannot eat gluten to pay more. Currently, P.F. Chang’s charges gluten-free diners an additional dollar per item, compared to the regular versions of the dishes. The lawsuit argues that the pricing discriminates against consumers with celiac disease. Phillips hopes to bring a class-action lawsuit “on behalf of diners with celiac disease or gluten intolerance who ordered items from P.F. Chang’s gluten-free menu.” The lawsuit also asks for an injunction against the chain to stop them from continuing to enforce the surcharge, restitution for all surcharges paid, and compensatory damages. The hearing is set for May 2015. (source: eater.com)
I don’t know about you, but the petty Miss Phillips does NOT speak on my behalf and I think this lawsuit is absolutely f*cking ridiculous and makes the celiac community look like a bunch of whiners.
PF Changs was the very first restaurant I went to after my diagnosis. I cannot tell you how anxious I was that night. Eating out, something I had done for so many years without thinking, now was an exercise in fear. And PF Changs took all of that fear away.
And while I do not eat there any more (for reasons not gluten-related), I am still appreciative of what they do and how serious they take our infliction.
As I said…it costs money to do it right. They need to train their staff, have their kitchen set up properly to avoid cross-contamination, buy the gluten free ingredients. And this woman thinks paying $1 extra…one friggin’ dollar…is unfair and worth litigation?
All this is going to do is make other restaurants think long and hard about whether offering gluten-free food is worth the hassle.
The good news is that it seems the majority of the celiac community hates the lawsuit.
The bad news is that it’s still going to trial.
And if PF Chang’s loses…we all lose.