Just about a year ago, “SMASHBURGER ANNOUNCES NEW NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP WITH UDI’S GLUTEN FREE
I was just made aware of this because as a #glutenfree health coach, I don’t eat their food. I must say that all parties involved in this transaction need to be wise. In a summary, this is how I see it. One situation is that those in the Celiac community are upset that #SMASHBURGER Founder, #TomRyan said that, “Practicing a gluten-free diet is an emerging consumer trend, and #Udi’s is the clear quality leader in the gluten-free category.” Really Tom, a trend? Allow me to educate you on a few things. For those that need a gluten free life, it is not a trend, but a necessity. The reason that it is talked about so is that it has only been in the last 10 years or so that medical doctors in this country have a protocol for diagnosing #CeliacDisease. For those that are not gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive, they are choosing to be gluten free because they realize that gluten is bad for everyone.
Then there is the statement, ““Smashburger and Udi’s share a passion for providing guests with great-tasting, high-quality food, so the partnership was a natural fit for us. We are excited for the opportunity to offer our guests a premium gluten-free bun option in all of our restaurants across the country.” Again, I have to wrinkle my face at this too. “High-quality” ? The inclusion of “junk carbs”, yeast, and gums in Udi's buns should make a Celiac run the other way. Strike 1!
Allow me to break down the nutritional value of a Smashburger meal or lack thereof. As per Smashburger’s website, I will start with the carbs. Since Celiacs deal with Multi-Autoimmune Syndrome issues, this is very important to prevent Type 2 diabetes. A regular burger on a gluten free Udi’s bun, has 43g. Adding condiments would add another 10-20g. Have a regular fry with 63g and a regular Coke at 46 g, for a grand total of 162-172 carb grams. According to the #AmericanDiabetesAssociation a person concerned about diabetes, should limit their carb intake to no more than 135 to 180 a day. So one Smashburger/Udi’s mashup could be a carb intake for a whole day. Strike 2.
There is also the issue of Smash Burger products and practices. The site says the protein is cooked with dairy butter or has a soy ingredient. This is a big strike 3. Most Celiac’s try to avoid the cross re-activity of these items. At this rate, I could not even recommend a lettuce wrap. The site says items such as the buns and the proteins are cooked on shared appliance as that of gluten items; strike 4 and their out! This is called cross contamination and if not careful, Smashburger could find them self with an insurance claim for “food poisoning” or a law suit for a civil right violation of a person with a disability. (ie: #JimnNicks).
Many wonder why Udi’s chose such bed fellows and that they should require better practices. Let’s get real. Udi’s is gluten free because it makes money not ethical consciousness. Past that, they can’t dictate what a food service account does with the items they sell them. If you think a fast food company is going to care about their practices as related to the gluten free community, it will be slim pickings. It happens at other establishments too. Take #RedRobin for instance they have the same offering for their burgers. They want you to pay a dollar more for the gluten free bun and then ask about their practices of preparing that burger. Chances are your wait person has no knowledge whatsoever about what happens in the kitchen nor are they even familiar with the details and the seriousness of Celiac disease they'll call an allergy. Then there is #OliveGarden. My 11 year old wanted to go there over spring break. He has a Celiac gene, but is not reactive now. I called corporate to inquire about the ingredients in the corm pasta. I was told that they do not maintain that information, that they would have to contact the supplier and that a reply could take up to TWO weeks. He decided he does not want to go there that bad.
I say to the gluten free community, be wise. You must be your own best advocate. The only way to eat gluten free is gluten free naturally. I know it is a pain, but plan ahead and take your own food with you when you are out and about. At the very least, ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS of the people in charge. The community needs to speak with our dollars. Stop buying these products! As MJ said, they don't really care about us!
So I ask you...do you ask enough questions when dining out? Do you call ahead and speak to someone in charge? Do you purchase from these businesses?
Having the stresses of caring for a child with health concerns and going through the termination of a failed marriage, I developed my own chronic health issues. and survived a stroke. My personal experience and research of stroke and autoimmune diseases, lead me to help myself and others.