American Gluten-Free is known as being a monthly subscription service, however, our goal is much bigger then simply providing delicious gluten & dairy free foods for your consumption. We want to help change the gluten free community so that those needing this diet can live life less restricted and start feeling like they can go out to dinner at a nice restaurant or to a friend or family members house and not worry about being ‘glutened’.
Sounds like a tall task but it’s possible and thanks to the amazing companies we work with and the eye opening experiences that have taken place, i.e. “Cheerios-Gate”, we can get there. Even if little by little or two steps forward, one step back.
So how do we do this?
First and foremost, in my opinion, it takes education. We need to have some sort of system for educating people in the food industry (first and foremost) and as crazy as it might sound, even in our school systems. However, I don’t think this sounds crazy at all because many of the kids coming through these systems are now being diagnosed with Celiac Disease or have other autoimmune issues requiring a gluten free diet. What are they feeding in a typical ‘hot lunch’? My guess is it’s not gluten free pasta or sandwiches. But it could be.
The next step is standing up. We need to collectively stand up to this cause so that these types of food can show up in those hot lunches, at your local restaurants and at the places you need them the most. I believe we do have a strong unit in this community and now we need to use our voices to make things happen. One thing I notice in this industry is that it is hard to find truly 100% gluten free foods. This is because many companies that make honest gluten free food are having to make their foods in shared kitchens. And let’s not even get into the costs these companies have to pay for their certifications. There has to be more manufacturers out there that provide dedicated facilities and that are actually accessible and feasible for these small businesses to be able to make and promote their products as they are intended.
That is why gluten free foods are so expensive. Especially those that are made in dedicated facilities. Sadly, these expenses are also passed on to the consumer. Not only do you suffer with the tedious work of figuring what and if you can eat something but you also have to figure out if you can pay for it.
We know we won’t be able to put much of a dent in things all by ourselves but we promise to do our part and that is guaranteeing to use foods that are made in wheat free facilities. We hope you find this guarantee to be comforting to what you eat and also as progress that things will change in our future if the same standards are held. Starting with the FDA! I didn’t want to make this too long of a read or to sound like I’m ranting but I wanted to point out a few obvious facts in the industry and to help raise more awareness that things need to change.
So, to end this, to say to all the non-believers, gluten free is a thing. A big thing. That will not go away. Ever.
-Erika Nita (Founder, American Gluten-Free)