Friday, March 1, 2013

The Gluten Free Customer

This is for all of my readers who are trying to live GLUTEN FREE. You may be celiac, or gluten intolerant, or just have chosen to utilize a gluten free lifestyle in order to enhance your health and wellness.
I want to get your feedback on what you are experiencing as a "Gluten Free Consumer". It is my prayer that
the companies that are developing the next wave of fast foods, will discover the great need for gluten free convenience foods that are certified gluten free and also reasonable in cost.

It has been often an unpleasant experience to meet a salesclerk or fast food worker who displayed a confused or irritated expression when I have requested their foods "without the bun" or asked them simply if they had any food on their menu that was gluten free. It can be quite embarrassing to deal with staff who don't even know what gluten is and don't have a clue that ordinary bread and pasta contains loads of it.

It is difficult enough, just to have the self discipline to conduct a gluten free lifestyle....let alone having to deal with very exclusively high priced gluten free foods sold at specialty health food stores or health departments in grocery stores. I don't appreciate being charged more than double to buy one loaf of gluten free bread compared to a regular loaf of wheat bread.

I am curious as to how you all are doing in this regard? Are you finding low cost and efficient ways to manoever your way through your week while avoiding gluten? Do you find that people are helpful and understanding to your quest, or are you facing insensitive workers who make you feel embarrassed about
your food choices?

I complained once to a popular fast food chain, about their lack of gluten free foods, and they wrote me back saying that it is impossible for them to prevent "cross contamination" with gluten containing foods, so therefore they don't even bother to try. I beg to differ. It is called the miracle of plastic packaging. A gluten free food can be prepared in a certified gluten free factory and shipped to shops and restaurants around the globe in presealed plastic wrap/small sealed plastic bags. It isn't that complicated..

Fast food outlets have been most accommodating to those who are seeking "low fat" or "sugar free" menu items. Why is it that "gluten free" seems to be such a difficult hurdle? If you agree, I would encourage you, as a powerful gluten free consumer, to start to make a little noise. Write an email or make a phone call to the head office of your favourite coffee shop or restaurant chain, and tell them that you, as a valued customer would really appreciate it if they would carry more gluten free items on their menu. As is often the case, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Corporations are looking for ways to attract and hold on to loyal customers, and they would be well advised to listen to your request.

God bless you my friends and readers. Peace.