A question I often hear is: "Are your breads (or baked goods) certified gluten-free?" Or, "Is your bread safe for celiacs?"
I always answer, "No."
That doesn't mean Knead Love uses gluten in any of our products. In fact, we don't bake with any grains that inherently contain gluten.
But there a few reasons why we're not certified gluten-free. The first is related to how we source our grains. We believe in, and rely on, regional growers for grains that don't contain gluten like oats, buckwheat, and sorghum. These grains are regional, fresh, nutrient-dense and support sustainable agriculture. The providers we work with sometimes grow, process, or ship their grains alongside gluten-containing grains (like barley, wheat, einkorn, etc...). For that reason, the grains they provide us aren't certified gluten-free and, as a result, the baked goods we make cannot be certified gluten-free. We are also members of the GrowNYC Greenmarket, which has clear criteria for baked goods. All bakeries must use 25% minimum regional grains and/or ingredients in their baked goods. We value supporting the regional grain economy, as well as supporting our community, which is another reason why we choose these ingredients over certified gluten-free alternatives. We understand how important an issue this is, and always tell our customers with gluten-sensitivities or celiac disease that they should make the choice that is best for their health needs.
Which brings us to the second reason why we're not certified gluten-free. I started Knead Love after removing gluten and refined sugar from my diet because of health issues. The bread and baked goods I've developed came through a long process of exploring alternatives that worked with my personal health needs. I found that many baked goods that are certified gluten-free contain over-processed and nutrient-deficient ingredients which didn't make me feel well and nourished. I made a deliberate effort to seek out ingredients that align with my personal health and my values of community and sustainability.
The baked goods that we make reflect this approach to gluten-free baking and do not use gluten-containing ingredients. We also rely on regionally-sourced grains that may come into contact with gluten. I recognize that this approach isn't right for every diet. Every day we bake our hearts out to create fresh, regionally-sourced, gluten-free breads and treats.