Monday, August 24, 2015

Gluten-Free Pizza but not Domino’s


May 14, 2012 by Jean Layton

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This post sat on the back burner for a while, I don’t eat Dominos pizza.

I’ve NEVER eaten a Domino’s pizza. I’ve always managed to be happy whipping up a gluten-free pizza recipe of my own.

The fact that they have created a gluten-free crust isn’t going to change my opinion that they serve a highly processed, lacking in nutrition, food-like substance but not real food.

What changed my mind about writing was a bit of private conversation in the virtual world with some of my Healthy Gluten-Free Kids Support Group members.

Why? Because they were Thrilled! that there was another available option in the fast food world. Thrilled that there was something else familiar and comforting but now gluten-free.

After all, the holy trinity of foods mourned when we go gluten-free are bread, pie crust and pizza.

I know that a crust made from gluten-free ingredients but prepared in a kitchen without any controls over gluten-full ingredients cannot possibly be truly gluten-free. And my support group members know that too, or at least I think they do, since we talk about cross contamination frequently.

My support group members are looking at this food from a different point of view, one of a parent who just wants to feed their child something that looks like everyone else’s food.

That of a teacher thinking that they have found the perfect reward for the winning reading team.

That of a doting grandparent, looking forward to a long conversation with a gluten-free teenager over a pizza pan.

So let me be as clear as Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research:

While the development of safe gluten-free products and safe dining establishments is always a welcome advance, we do not have the confidence that this product meets the safety standards we recommend for our patients. The introduction of cross contamination from a large chain like Domino’s represents a threat to our patients affected by gluten-related disorders, including celiac disease, sensitivity,dermatitis herpetiformis (a skin condition), wheat allergy and ataxia. As an international celiac research center with expertise in gluten-related disorders, we believe that individuals who have been diagnosed with a gluten-related disorder should NOT consume this product.
More than anything else, I’m writing because the more I researched about this situation, the more I realized we have come to one of those tipping points in awareness.

Ever since I came back from the National Products Expo West. in March, I knew we would be seeing more gluten-free products in the market.

There were so many wonderful new ways to stay gluten-free and healthy strutting their new products there, and a powerful presentation to a packed room about how this segment of the market is a growing one, with dedicated consumers.

It was obvious that the sheer amount of dollars devoted to gluten-free foods by consumers would be attractive to more companies in the market.

I used to work in food marketing. I get that the demand and the devoted dollars will increase the number of products.

Since the FDA STILL hasn’t put out guidelines, we are stuck with a situation that has all the earmarks of a buyer beware market.

Only YOU can make certain that a product is ok for your family, by asking questions and demanding answers.

But why did the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness feel that it was their role to sanction this pizza?

I’m confused, and a bit alarmed that one of the most devoted groups for information about Celiac Disease is diluting their message by giving Domino’s an Amber Designation.

When I was a young driver, my Mom told me that Amber meant, “Stop for your own safety”.

Perhaps this is the message that NFCA truly wants to get across?

When Alice Bast, founder and president of NFCA was a guest on Jules Shephard’s Blog Talk Radio show, that didn’t seem to be the message.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/-/2012/05/10/alice-bast-from-nfca-on-dominos-gf-pizza—voice

Instead Ms. Bast defended the NFCA, stating that they were providing a service to the Celiac community, since educating the front of house staff would prevent Celiac patients from being served food that is poison to them.

And then it hit me.

She seems to be advocating for the vendor.

Keeping a food that is poison to myself and my family available in the restaurant for those folks who are only gluten-sensitive is like trying to tell someone that you are a little bit pregnant.

Either you are, or you are not.

Amber Designation = Don’t eat this if you are sensitive
If you think that no one should have to figure out another useless designation, please read this letter and sign the petition.

And ask Ms. Bast why she isn’t advocating for a truly gluten-free pizza experience? There is another, Chuck E. Cheese is piloting right now? Didn’t she learn the lesson of California Kitchen?

I stand with Dr. Fasano, Cynthia Kupper, and these writers in raising my voice to demand that the Amber Designation be discontinued, for the sake of all the folks who just don’t have a great advocate in their corner.

Alta Mantsch Tasty Eats at Home

Ken Scheer from Rock A Healthy Lifestyle

Gluten-Free Mike Shades of Amber

North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease Announcement

But just to balance the reporting,Here are the pro folks

Huffington Post Domino’s Pizza Crust

Domino’s Facebook site.

Keep in mind, these conversations are happening everywhere, Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In

And if you want to make your own at home, here is an adaptation from my book Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies.

After the book went to press, I developed this variation that I far prefer simply because the flax adds a bit more fiber.

Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Pizza but not Domino’s


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Author: Dr. Jean Layton
Ingredients
300 grams 2¼ cups Whole Grain Flour Mix
200 grams 1⅓ cup White Flour Mix
30 grams 3 tablespoons ground golden flax seed
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1¼ cups of water
Instructions
In a mixing bowl. combine the whole grain flour mix, white flour mix, flax, yeast, salt and sugar.
Mix till well blended and a uniform color
Add the olive oil and water.
Beat for at least one minute.
Press and smooth the dough into individual sized pizzas or one large pizza.
Allow to rise for 45 minutes
Preheat the oven to 450.
Place the dough in the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove and top with sauce, cheese, pesto- Whatever you like
Return to oven and bake 15-20 minutes till the cheese melts and the toppings are well browned.
Wordpress Recipe Plugin by EasyRecipe


Update: The NFCA issued this statement on 5/18/12.
“…Given the public response and recent developments in this field, NFCA is suspending the use of “Amber” designation to describe a restaurant or foodservices establishment. We will conduct a review to determine the most effective and clearest way to warn the community of the risk of cross-contamination and the use of the phrase “Gluten Free.”…

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