Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Panera: Are you kidding me?

Allow me to rant about Panera Bread for a few minutes.

I've eaten salads at Panera a number of times in the past few years. Now I know there is a risk of cross-contamination and some people will feel differently about this than I do, but I believe the risk in a salad is minimal if all the ingredients of the salad are gluten free -- by minimal, I mean below 20 ppm.

Anyway, I haven't been to Panera in quite a while so I was checking its website to see what salads are gluten free, and I found this on a page titled "Avoiding Gluten" which listed several menu items that don't have gluten in the ingredients:

It talked about the cross contamination risk but said you can eat these items "if you want to avoid or reduce gluten and do not have celiac disease, a heightened gluten sensitivity or a wheat allergy."

In other words, these items are for people who don't have any reason to avoid gluten but are under the ridiculous illusion that gluten-free food is a healthy option. The people I have been complaining about for five years.

Panera, you may recall, is test-marketing a gluten-free bread. What for? Fad dieters who think it's trendy to order gluten-free bread? Are they going to introduce this bread nationwide and then tell us we shouldn't eat it?

So basically, Panera's gluten-free program is absolutely useless. I guess that's one more place to cross off my list.

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