1) What is your personal experience with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?
Around 2008 – 2009 I was suffering from a variety of ailments including upper and lower GI issues, seasonal allergies, back pain, headaches/migraines, occasional foggy brain feeling, and a general lack of energy. I underwent a managed cleanse during which I first cut out a wide variety of foods and then reintroduced various elements, with the intent of discovering sensitivities. I found that gluten was a major pain point, so I eliminated it from my diet henceforth. Since then I’ve lost about 20 pounds, and many of the other symptoms decreased dramatically or even vanished entirely. I don’t suffer from headaches anymore, my back pain has been reduced, and my seasonal allergy symptoms are all but gone.
2) As someone who has never been tested for celiac disease but is gluten-free, what is your reaction to those who say that going gluten-free is just a fad?
Honestly, I think the notion that it’s just a fad is incorrect. A growing body of research is indicating that non-celiac gluten intolerance is real, including a recent study (results released in February) by the National Institutes of Health. Beyond that, in practice GI doctors routinely diagnose non-celiac gluten intolerance, further solidifying that it is very real.
There may be growing numbers of people who are adopting a gluten-free diet without a diagnosis, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are many real sufferers out there. Like me.
3) Are your products naturally gluten-free? Are they appropriate for any other types of dietary restrictions (e.g. nut free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, etc.)?
Because all of our products are made with the ancient grains sorghum, amaranth, and teff—which naturally do not contain gluten—our products are then naturally gluten-free. Our products are certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group, the premier certifying entity.
With regards to corn, we do use corn starch, non-gmo canola oil and baking soda, which are likely unsuitable for those that suffer corn allergies. We do not use any nut products or soy in our food, and our pizza crusts are dairy free as well. Finally, all of our products are rice free, which we feel contributes to their exceptional taste and texture.
4) What makes your products different is the use of sorghum, amaranth, and teff instead of rice flour, the more common substitution for wheat flour. What else sets apart Smart Flour Foods?
Consumers always tell us that our products mimic the taste and texture of non-gluten whole grain products, which is a major differentiator. Further, we strive for high quality ingredients, and not using artificial ingredients including preservatives is a cornerstone of our product development philosophy. Our natural and specialty line also features cheese that was made from milk that came from cows that were not treated with the hormones rBGH or rBST. Finally, our pepperoni and salami are uncured and don’t contain nitrates or nitrites.
5) What is your take on the possibility of pharmaceutical companies benefitting from producing a pill that could minimize the effects that ingesting gluten has on a celiac, which could decrease your sales?
That’s a great question. First of all, we support any medical advances that could ease the lives of the millions of people suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance. With regards to the sales, our perspective is much broader than simply offering a great gluten-free product. We have created a great set of products based on ancient grains that are appealing to all consumers, and not limited to those who suffer from gluten-related issues. Our customers routinely tell us that our pizzas and other products are just as good, if not better, than their conventional counterparts.
Learn more about Smart Flour Foods at smartflourfoods.com.