The prompt was to tell 3 truths and 1 lie, and see if people can pick out the lie. Instead, I’m going to tell you about THE most egregious lie about gluten that I have ever heard.
My mom is a diabetes educator, and they recently had a big conference. The person in charge of the food, who does not have Celiac or any gluten issues, ordered “gluten-free” eclairs from Kneaders.
I’m breaking from the story here to talk about bakeries — especially bakery chains. As a general rule, I don’t trust them. I would never order gluten-free anything from Kneaders, Paradise Bakery or any other place that:
1- Is primarily a bakery,
2- makes most (if not all) of their baked goods from scratch, and
3- doesn’t have at least half of a kitchen that’s dedicated gluten-free.
This may sound really harsh. However, when flour’s in the air, it hangs out for a while before it settles. Thinking about someone making regular bread out of scratch and then making gluten-free anything just makes me squidgy. All that glutenous dust will be settling into whatever you’re making, causing a cross-contamination nightmare. It wouldn’t matter HOW clean your kitchen/oven/dishes/tools/countertops were. Just…no. I feel uncomfortable just walking INTO these places because of how much flour dust must be flying around….crumbs everywhere….sandwiches being made…I just can’t do it.
Back to the story.
So, this person goes to Kneaders to pick up the eclairs, and asks, “These are gluten-free, right?” “Yep!” “You’re sure? We have people with Celiac who will get very sick if they eat gluten.” “Well, they’re mostly gluten-free.” “MOSTLY gluten-free?” “Yeah — well, the gluten bakes out.”
THE GLUTEN BAKES OUT?!?!
The diabetes conference person was smart and said, “No, that is not going to work for us,” and left.
When my mom told me this story, I about had a conniption fit. What an egregious lie to tell, putting all those people at risk, just to make a sale. I was LIVID.
I want to give Kneaders the benefit of the doubt, but I just can’t. Gluten-free information and products, especially in Utah, are getting more and more common. It isn’t hard to find information online about making gluten-free baked goods.
Dear world: This is not a fad diet for those of us who have Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, or other food allergies. This isn’t a joke. You’re going to land people in the hospital if you think “it’s not that big of a deal.” It IS a big deal to people like me.
I am all for businesses “figuring it out” and adjusting their business to the trouble of making more gluten-free products available, but should Kneaders decide to go that path, I will not be supporting them. I’ll stick to the wonderful Eleanor’s Bake Shop where I know I can eat delicious food safely. If you haven’t been there, GO. Support them. Buy their products. Let’s keep them in business and let the ignorant businesses be.