I spend a lot of time at Starbucks. When I have to wait in line, I ogle the display cases with coffee cakes, bagels, scones and pastries, all beautiful and glowing. And, of course, full of gluten.
About six months ago, Starbucks -- which, according to its website, supports healthy eating -- introduced a gluten-free pastry, a lemony-berry-cake-thing. It came carefully wrapped in plastic to avoid cross contamination. It wasn't cooked fresh at the store, but it was moist and gooey and very good. And safe. It wasn't quite the chocolate old-fashioned JFG adores at Starbucks but certainly a good replacement.
And then it was gone. Poof. Experiment over and apparently failed.
Starbucks continues to feature a few fruit/nut bars and chocolate bars that are gluten-free, but nothing replaces gluten-free baked goods. And when you google "gluten" on the Starbucks website, a list of coffees comes up. Duh.
The other day, however, I went into Starbucks and was standing in line for my coffee (I firmly believe, by the way, that there should be a "plain coffee" line and a "crazy, not really ordering coffee but actually ordering a coffee-flavored milkshake" line for those of us willing to drink caffeinated beverages like grown-ups). I noticed a small brochure sitting next to a basket of interesting-looking chips. I picked it up.
As it turns out, Starbucks has started to prominently carry a line of gluten-free chips from a company called Food Should Taste Good. The chips come in a range of flavors, from olive to lime to potato & chive to chocolate, and are clearly marked "gluten-free." Excellent, especially since -- if you start with the yellow corn tortilla chips, move to the buffalo chips with a side of 'the works' chips and finish with the chocolate chips -- you have a complete meal.
A friend whose family has gluten issues correctly commented that, "chips are easy. Anyone can do gluten-free chips. Baked goods are the problem," and she's right. I choose, however, to see the chips as a peace offering as well as a good business decision for Starbucks.
After all, the number of celiacs in our population continues to increase, at least theoretically because we're stuffing ourselves with food made from highly-processed flour. Staring glassily at the squishy, crumbly, chocolaty pastries in the Starbucks display case, I realize that Starbucks itself is poisoning the American population with sugar and flour disguised as breakfast. They just want to make sure they don't lose the demographic they create.
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