Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nile Spice: a rant.

Dear Readers, I am royally, celiacly miffed right now. I'll back up: in a little over a week, I'm going to the beach for a few days with my boyfriend. This will be my first gluten-free vacation, so naturally I am very anxious about what to eat and getting sick away from home. We rented a condo that has a mini-kitchen so I could bring my own food and do some light cooking. But I don't know exactly what accoutrements will be there and of course I can't pack up my entire kitchen, so I've been trying to come up with easy and portable things to bring with me. (Suggestions welcome!)

One idea I had was to order a case of my beloved Nile Spice Potato Leek soup, which comes in instant cups - just add boiling water and voilà. This has been one of my favorite snacks for ages. Well, reading the ingredient list more closely, not only does it contain dairy but it also contains those horribly pesky "natural flavors," which could mean almost anything. They could be derived from wheat or barley. I had a vague recollection of being given the runaround via email several months ago regarding this same matter, so I called the customer service line. I was told they do not test their products or ingredients for gluten and can't tell me where these "natural flavors" came from. My comments would be passed along, which is just the corporate way of saying... well, you know.

It boggles the mind that a purportedly all-natural food company would be so uncooperative when it comes to food allergies and dietary restrictions. They're basically sticking their head in the sand and saying, "No, I don't want your celiac money." Nile Spice is a part of the Hain Celestial Group, maker of many well-respected gluten-free brands and products, but I am blown away by their refusal to provide this crucial information to consumers. Mostly I'm just mad that I can't eat my favorite soup! Even if I did take the gamble, I hate supporting this kind of business practice. Well, back to the drawing board.

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