Kate Schade, Company Founder and Innovator weighs in this week on the topic of gluten free.
Not only do folks have sensitivities to gluten, but going “gluten free” has become a healthy life decision for many. Personally, I avoid it when and if I can. Am I sensitive to gluten? I think so (?), but with the foods we eat these days, who knows what it is you might be sensitive to.
Could it be the peanut butter I love so much, too much sugar or pasteurized dairy products? Gee, I hope not but it may be next to impossible to identify and eliminate all the culprits in our food system. While the general American habit remains, we turn our heads the other way instead of researching the truth. For the most part, we don’t want to change our eating habits and often times it is easier to fix a health problem with pills or temporary placebos instead of looking at the root of the problem.
And, it’s not easy to eat healthy these days! There are so many definitions of “healthy” that we often choose the definition that works best for us. One of my favorites is that coffee does not adversely affect my health in any way at all, unless of course I go without any!
In any case, let’s get back to gluten free and our bars. It’s all about the oats for us. Most of our bars (minus the Tiki Bar) are made with oats. Oats are naturally gluten free. However, most oats are processed in facilities that also process wheat products. Because of the possibility of contamination, there may be minuscule amounts of gluten in our oats. Whether a “gluten free” person will eat our bars or not depends only on their level of sensitivity. How sensitive are you? If you eat regular oats, then you can eat our bars!
We often get the question, why don’t we use gluten free oats? To be honest we would love to use gluten free oats! Yet, if you have ever priced gluten free oats yourself, you will find that they’re about six times the price of regular oats. Ouch. As a business, the cost difference between the two would still significantly increase the cost of production and our bars.
As a company we try to be price conscious and increasing the cost of our bars is not a road we want to go down. As we strive to make the best product available, at this time gluten free oats do not fall into the “manageable costs” plan . In addition, procuring gluten free oats would also incur more costs for certification and the need to buy a whole new round of packaging. Sorry folks , we are small. We do not have the capitalization to make those changes although someday we hope to. Understand that it’s our goal to make a superior handmade and healthy product to the best of our ability, that everyone can still afford (and want) to buy. So there it is, our gluten free status in a nutshell.
Questions, anyone? Remember, I am not a scientist, but I like to think I have educated beliefs. We welcome your questions on any topic that involves food and business, whether we can answer them or not . . .