A week or so ago, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were filled with two major news stories:
- An individual is suing P.F. Chang’s for allegedly charging higher prices for gluten-free versions of their menu items.
- Mondelez International acquired Enjoy Life Foods.
Minutes later, the fallout began and it hasn’t yet stopped.
The blogsphere is buzzing and some people are drawing a line in the sand and telling you to choose a side. More than a few went so far as to question the intelligence and loyalty to the food allergy cause of those that support any of the above companies.
That’s when I decided.
The nay-sayers may kick and scream to be heard, but no matter how loud they are- they certainly don’t speak for me.
There is no better feeling that sitting down in a quaint establishment filled with deliciously rich smells that tease the senses and knowing that I can safely eat gluten-free. For me, P.F. Chang’s is one of those establishments.
I love that I can dine there and have a whole gluten-free menu to choose from. And it’s not just an item or two that is gluten-free, it’s the works. They offer gluten-free appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. Do I think that they charge higher prices for gluten-free versions of menu items? No.
To be honest, even if they did charge a tiny bit more it wouldn’t offend me. I pay more everywhere I go for gluten-free food, why should a restaurant be any different? I’m so grateful for P.F. Chang’s genuine efforts to create a gluten-free menu…to lovingly include those of us with gluten dietary restrictions so that we are able to eat out with friends and loved ones. Thank you, P.F. Chang’s.
Let’s switch gears to the Enjoy Life Foods…
Before I continue (and in full disclosure), if you look to the right of my blog you will see an Enjoy Life Preferred Blogger badge. It is a badge that I put on my blog months ago to show my appreciation for the company for all that they do to accommodate those individuals and families with food allergies. I am not paid or compensated in any way for displaying my badge on my blog.
Now that we have that out of the way…let’s get one more thing out in the open. I STILL support Enjoy Life Foods with my business and my trust. I’m appreciative for all that they do.
As an individual who is gluten-free with a child who has multiple food allergies, I am forever grateful to Enjoy Life foods for creating so many delicious products that my son and I can safely share together and that are free of the top 8 allergens. Many of their products are also highly portable which makes them a Godsend during trips and vacations. (To read my uncompensated reviews of their products type in Enjoy Life in the Search box to the right.) Thank you, Enjoy Life Foods.
I’m blessed to have met both Joel Warady and Katie Brunk of Enjoy Life Foods in person, and am so impressed by their dedication and commitment to their company and products. Personally, I think that with the increased cash flow and reach that Mondelez provides, Enjoy Life will be able to both expand their existing product line and make it more accessible to the public. In fact, just this weekend Enjoy Life tweeted they will be releasing a new baked goods line in the coming months. I have no reason to believe the company’s commitment has changed. And I know their heart for the food allergy community hasn’t.
You know that line in the sand I mentioned in the beginning of my post? I just crossed it. Well, let’s be honest…I backflipped over it.
Am I telling you to support P.F. Chang’s? No. But, yes, it is definitely my personal choice to do so.
Am I going to tell you that you have to support Enjoy Life Foods? No. It is absolutely my personal choice to support this company with my business, but it doesn’t have to be your’s.
The food allergy community is blessed to have access to a wide variety of allergy-friendly products online and in supermarkets near and far. We are so blessed that we have individuals who work tirelessly day after day to give their best in medical research and product innovations that serve the food allergy community.
What I will tell you is that if we demand perfection (of which there is no such thing) from someone and they know they can’t provide it…they won’t even try. This concept applies to medical research, dining establishments, and even allergy friendly products. Imagine how differently our world would look if no one tried.
So to all the naysayers, I don’t want to be the reason people and companies quit trying to help us, the gluten-free and food allergy community. Do you?