“It’s what we’re FOR, not what we’re against.” This was part of a speech I witnessed at a recent fundraising event and the words have rolled around in my head constantly ever since.
Think of all the ways the world would be a happier and more peaceful place if we thought about what we’re FOR instead of concentrating on all the things we’re against. No, really…think about it.
The food allergy community has been positively abuzz with news about celiac disease since Domino’s Pizza’s announcement that they would begin offering gluten-free pizza. Of the reviews I read, three-quarters argued against Domino’s for offering a gluten-free pizza that the pizza giant self-proclaimed to be possibly cross-contaminated. The other fourth of the reviews expressed pleasure at the general effort on Domino’s part.
What I’m about to say, you won’t find on many other blogs or websites…in fact, many will jump to criticize…but I’m going to practice this whole “it’s what we’re for” thing and run with it.
I have celiac disease. My son has life-threatening food allergies. Our family knows what it is like to life the food allergy life. While I may or may not choose to sample the gluten-free pizza at Domino’s, I am proud that they stepped up to the plate (before any of their major competitors I might add) to offer a gluten-free pizza AND a truthful “contamination” warning. They are trying…and that’s not something everyone does.
Do you know how many food items you and your family consume every day that don’t have a “contamination” warning? If that warning isn’t listed, does that mean it’s safe? Or does it mean the company didn’t list anything because it didn’t want to go there and give full disclosure?
As a member of the food allergy community, I am FOR full disclosure (we should all be)…as hard as it may be to hear. I need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt if something is safe for me and my family.
If we as the food allergy community rail against a giant in the pizza industry for being honest about its imperfections what message will that send to other companies in other industries that sit silently watching this scene play out before making their own decisions about introducing an allergy-friendly option?
Should you eat a product with a known contamination warning? My personal point of view is no. It’s never a good idea to try anything deemed possibly unsafe when you have life-threatening food allergies. Should you condemn those who are taking responsibility and being honest when it comes to food allergies (even if it means you can’t have that food)? Again, my personal point of view here is no.
The food allergy community has a strong voice that is being heard and highlighted in the media. Think about what kind of message you want that voice to say and more importantly…what those words say about you.
Think about what you’re FOR, not what you’re against.