To further re-iterate: I am going to double-check how much the NFCA "supports" this effort. There is no such thing as "mild sensitivity" that would be "ok" with eating this pizza. That's like saying "enriched wheat flour" is worse or that the "tiny tablespoon" my father-in-law used won't hurt me because he only added a "tiny" amount of wheat.
Should the NCFA support advertising a product in a way that draws attention on Gluten Free diets for the SOLE purpose of making money and not spreading awareness or offering a product that can safely be consumed by those who are MEANT to consume it, this product only further strengthens the argument that "Gluten Free" is synonymous with "fad" and causes many people (who don't know better) to discount Celiac Disease as a "Real Thing."
The whole point of adding a Gluten Free Crust to the menu is to make money and jump on the fad diet opportunity.
If you haven't yet heard the news, as of 45 minutes before this post was written, Domino's announced they will now be selling Gluten Free pizza.
Before you go online and indulge in what sounds like a mass produced, nationally available fast food miracle, it's important to know the following facts:
- Domino's is selling pizza made of "certified gluten free crust," not certifying their pizza is, in fact, Gluten Free.
- Domino's CMO Russell Weiner has verified that Domino's is NOT installing Gluten Free Ovens or segregating cooking equipment and that persons with "serious gluten sensitivity" should not consume these products.
Gluten can't be "killed" by heat. In order to have a truly gluten free product, it needs to be produced in a gluten free facility and prepared in a gluten free fashion. Tools, utensils, ovens and ingredients need to be separated from those used on products not safe to consume by those with any gluten sensitivity. Cutting boards are often cut into by knives and gluten can become entrapped in the cuts. Pizza cutters going from gluten free pie to regular pie or hands (or even gloved hands) touching gluten can cross contaminate. Staff isn't trained in gluten free food handling and that lack of knowledge is what makes those sensitive to gluten distrust major brands, such as Subway and Domino's jumping on the Gluten Free Bandwagon.
So, if the food isn't safe for Celiacs or those with sensitivity, why bother coming out with a product available in a fast food capacity?
Because it sells.
Gluten free foods have become the biggest trend around in recent years. In fact, it's estimated that up to 8% of of the U.S. population is now on a gluten free diet and spending over $6.2 billion on said foods annually. With celebrities like Miley Cyrus tweeting about how they now have a "gluten allergy" and how "gluten is crappppp," the world is taking notice. Yes, Cyrus does speak the truth when she says that she has experienced clearer skin and feels better overall, but it's not necessarily every single person's reaction to removing gluten from their diet.
Even if you don't think you have Gluten Intolerance because you were told you "just have a sensitivity," that tiny amount of gluten that you ingest is doing serious damage to your insides. Your villi, internal organs and over health are being compromised. This is in addition to risks for cancer shooting up drastically. Some people experience serious stomach pain while others don't have pain. Both have higher risks for serious health complications and shorter lifespan. The bottom line? If you are "sensitive" to gluten in any way, it's more than just an allergy. It's an autoimmune condition where your body attacks itself. ANY food that isn't really gluten free, but simply being marketed as such to make a buck isn't trying to open doors and accommodate an undeserved demographic. If that were the case, Domino's and other chains would hire a qualified expert to ensure the products are safe to consume by those who NEED to eat gluten free.
This isn't paving the way for more restaurants to follow suit and "make more options available" to those who need it. The intentions are to make increased profits, not advocate a cause cause or awareness for conditions growing at an alarming rate.
If you're a restaurant or business interested in offering Gluten Free choices to your customers and want to get in on the industry expected to double in sales within the next few years have your staff certified by a fully qualified Gluten Free Wellness & Restaurant consultant, please email us at email@example.com.
For more on this story, check out USA Today.