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Domino’s Doesn’t Owe Me A Thing

Domino’s Doesn’t Owe Me A Thing

Does it seem ridiculous that Domino’s Pizza started offering “gluten-free pizza crust” that isn’t safe for anyone with a real problem with gluten?

Yeah. It does.

Does Domino’s owe me safe gluten-free pizza made in a safely gluten-free environment?

Nope. It doesn’t. Domino’s doesn’t owe me a thing.

Am I going to vote with my feet, and stay away? I sure am. No way I’d take a chance with my son’s health.

Am I mad at Domino’s because they cheated me out of some sort of constitutional right to safe gluten-free pizza?

Nope. I’m really really not mad at Domino’s. It’s a business. They make business decisions.

Some are mad that the it’s-not-really-gluten-free-disclaimer isn’t prominent enough. But if we’re serious about staying gluten-free, we don’t take anything at face value. We read labels. We read fine print. We ask questions before you place an order, just to be sure. That’s our responsibility.

There’s a restaurant that my family and I go to sometimes. It’s mostly gluten-free, but they also have a regular menu. And I trust them, and feel comfortable there. Yet every single time we go there, I double and triple check with the waitress that all of our meals will, in fact, be gluten-free, since they also serve gluten-containing food.

I know how easy it is to mix things up in a busy kitchen. Staying safe is my responsibility.

Like we talked about last week, I’m not mad at people in my life who don’t know how to cook and bake food that is safe for my son in a safely gluten-free environment. And I’m not mad at Domino’s. I’m not offended, or hurt. I’m just sort of scratching my head that they would be so foolish as to think that they’d be celebrated for this attempt to exploit the gluten-free market.

But their business decisions are none of my business. I’d rather just make my own gluten-free pizza at home anyway. If memory serves, Domino’s makes some nasty pizza.

Love,
Me

P.S. If you’re looking for recipes for gluten-free pizza, bread and everything in between, My Cookbook is a great place to start.

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  • Patty

    I completely understand your view on the new Domino’s “gluten free” crust, but our family was actually very happy. My daughter doesn’t have celiac, but is highly gluten sensitive. She can tolerate occasional exposures and hates to be “abnormal.” She feels really good that we can, once in a blue moon, order out pizza that she can partake in. I have a feeling I’m not the only one who feels this way. But for all the other regular pizza nights at our house, I sure appreciate recipes like yours to get me through!

    • Hi, Patty. I’m the same way as your daughter–not a ‘celiac’, but my body is sensitive to high amounts of gluten. Doesn’t stop me from having Panera Bread once in a while, but I was also excited about the g-free pizza from Dominos. I figured I would still try to check out how well they did with the crust. I guess I can understand the frustration however from true celiacs when one minute you can now easily run out and grab a pizza…and now you can’t.
      Nicole’s pizza sure looks yummy…

    • Sounds like you have a good balance, Patty. Cheers to that!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Amy W

    I think it is silly too that they are making a big deal out of something that isn’t what it is supposed to be. ( Does that make sense?)
    I love Domino’s, it is my fave, so I might try this and see how it effects me since i do not have celiac.

    I, however, am very excited by a new gluten-free pizza put out by a Cincinnati chain called LaRosa’s.
    They have a dedicated, separate kitchen and storage area that is just for the GF pizzas. They are only prepared by the manager or someone else who has taken a company designated training course.
    They do not reuse pans, they are baked in their own foil pan. ( I am assuming the crust comes already in the foil and isnt prepared there, but I didnt ask.)
    My son is also gluten free for ADHD symptoms.
    We both had the LaRosa’s last week and the week before!
    The first one was so incredibly good, I couldn’t stop. LOL
    The second one was just okay.

    If you have a LaRosa’s in your area, check it out!

  • Jennifer Tilton

    I was mildly excited about the Domino’s thing since we live in a rural area and being gluten-free is hard work for us. But, yeah, Domino’s pizza is actually pretty gross pizza to begin with and my kid likes my Chebe homemade better.

  • Vanessa :P

    Yes it just seems like a pointless marketing scam trying to capitalize on the gluten-free “trend”.
    In theory, offering gluten-free would be an attempt to reach out to the people who HAVE versus people who choose to eat that way. Some people do choose to eat gluten-free as a health fad but let’s face it, you aren’t into health fads if you’re ordering Domino’s.
    Yet they have to make a point to say that it is not safe for Celiacs or even those with wheat/gluten intolerance or sensitivities. Well that immediately excludes the people who HAVE to eat that way and just includes the people who CHOOSE to eat that way, which is redundant because they can eat whatever pizza they want anyway! And if people can eat what they want but CHOOSE to eat gluten-free and they’re going to order out pizza, how many of them are really going to order the more-expensive-but-smaller-portioned gluten-free one over the regular-sized-and-cheaper pizza? Because I can bet their special deals and coupons do not include the more expensive gluten-free pizza.
    So offering a gluten-free pizza that people who actually have to eat gluten-free cannot eat is moot, its just redundant. And people who really have to eat gluten-free will already know better than to eat anything from Domino’s anyway.
    Okay hopping off my soap box now :)

    • Very interesting perspective, Vanessa. And good point about how it’s hard to imagine someone who’s on a health kick ordering Domino’s pizza in the first place! I think the whole Domino’s thing is a lightning rod for a lot of mixed emotions and expectations on the subject of readily available gluten-free food. If nothing else, it’s sparking more conversation. And more conversation should eventually lead to more education and activism, which ultimately are what leads to real change. I say bring it on!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Well, some folks can handle cross-contamination OK. I’ve just learned that when some of us come off gluten that our bodies may later react to smaller amounts than they did before. I think that is what happened to me. Just a few days ago, I discovered that I can no longer risk being glutened in a restaurant that has gluten breads and gluten-free breads in the same prep area. I’m still waiting for the effects to wear off.

    Needless to say, I won’t be eating Domino’s pizza. Thank you, Nicole, for your humor in this article. It’s nice to be able to laugh right now. :>}

    • Jennifer Tilton

      My daughter was like that. She was asymptomatic until she was diagnosed; then, once we went to a gluten-free diet, she became completely unable to eat even the most microscopic amounts of gluten without being doubled over in agony.

    • Gluten-free laughter is always on the menu, Diane. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • I’m not sure how I feel about Domino’s new gluten free pizza. Originally, I was rather excited until I read their statement about contamination. I think that it’s selfish for a company to offer gluten free food but is not able to commit to eliminating cross contamination. We’ll see!

    • Jennifer Tilton

      Exactly, why do it if you can’t commit all the way? It hurts those with genuine medical issues by making gluten-free look trendy and faddish instead of a life altering medical necessity.

  • a lot of the fast casual chain resturants that I have seen have gluten free items are not really gluten free bc of cross contamination but I think that they overall want to appear to be understandign to allergies. This only works for people like me who like to eat gluten free, but are not required too.

    Your pizza looks incredible!!

  • Victoria

    It annoyed me… but I get particularly irked whenever any company fairly blatently abuses the “gluten-free” labeling or status when they’re really not doing anything to make sure their products are, in fact, gluten-free. It’s one reason I’ve stopped shopping at Trader Joes… been glutened too many times by things they label as “gluten free” or “no gluten ingredients” – if you have handling/packaging/preparation practices that might introduce cross contamination, you’d better be sure you get that labeling right.

    I’m also just waiting for the day where I go to a party and someone says “Look, we know you’re gluten-free so we bought you this Domino’s pizza!” and I have to explain that no, the pizza really is NOT gluten free, but thank you for trying. But it will still make me look like a Mrs. PrissyPants to someone who doesn’t know, because some people won’t look into it enough to ensure it really is gluten-free.

    • Oh, that day is definitely coming, Victoria! Good point. I hadn’t even thought about that scenario. I’d simply politely decline (and then whine about it my husband, probably). If you haven’t yet, take a look at my post from last Thursday about well-intentioned, but ill-informed, people.
      xoxo Nicole

    • Daisy

      See, that’s the part that makes me mad-that a well-meaning person will buy Domino’s gluten free pizza for me, thinking they are doing something nice, and I won’t be able to eat it! My sweet co-worker who orders pizza for the monthly pizza lunch (to which I bring my own) was excited about this, I had to tell her not to order it for me. It is confusing for those who are trying to be helpful but don’t understand that gluten free doesn’t always mean gluten free.

  • Shelley

    Domino’s doesn’t owe you or me a personal apology, just the Celiac community for putting our hopes us for a gluten free pizza in a mainstream restaurant. Just my personal opinion.

    • Inez

      Without a doubt, we are in a GF transitional period and businesses that blindly jump onto the GF wagon are in learning mode, but just because they’re learning does not mean we cannot hold their feet to the fire.

      My down time after eating gluten is horrendous. Pain, followed by exhaustion and dehydration literally stop me from normal routine activities for hours. This level of suffering and interruption to my life is such that I do indeed feel I deserve a personal apology (even damages!) from irresponsible businesses and I have no trouble with the words, ‘false advertising,’ if that term can be applied in this situation.

      I’ve just completed my first GF year and have had only two gluten events; one was the result of not reading the label for chicken sausage, the other was eating chocolate cake I made from a “so-called” GF mix.

      Unsuspecting celiac and deeply gluten sensitive consumers suffer real consequences from eating falsely advertised GF foods; conversely, their creators should suffer some sort of consequences (fines ?), as well. Consequences would definitely expedite the progress along the learning curve.

  • Anonymous

    About 4 years ago Starbucks tried to introduce some GF items & they did have one product that was good but they dropped the whole idea of doing their own baking because of the cost of separate baking areas & cost of ingredients. My son discovered a place in the Sacramento, CA area that serves GF pizza & has an area just for preparing GF. My son ordered one for me for my birthday & it was nice to have pizza with family without having to bring my own.

    • Jennifer Tilton

      There’s a place in Salt Lake City, UT at 400 South and 700 East called Hires that has gluten free pizza. My daughter loves to eat there whenever we’re in Salt Lake City (fairly frequently as she is also diabetic and her specialist is there). It makes her feel mainstream to be able to sit and eat with me and her best friend in a restaurant instead of hidden away at home because it hurts to eat anywhere. We also discovered that The Old Spaghetti Factory has gluten free noodles that are actually good and not slimy muck. PF Chang’s restaurants offer a gluten free menu; they have a to-die-for, death-by-chocolate gluten free cake. Don’t dispair; just beware of the wannabe’s like Domino’s.

      • Peggy

        I have also eaten from the GF menu at PF Chang’s restaurant in Denver 3 years ago & was impressed as to how good it was. We have Old Spaghetti Factory in Sacramento but I haven’t given them a try yet. I need to do that one day soon.

  • Anonymous

    Bad pizza is bad pizza. I only had Domino’s once. Never went back.

  • HRH

    Sooooo true shoestring! Their pizza is nasty at its best. Why would I serve my family something sub par when I can serve them something deliciously homemade?
    I think ppl are angry bc it might feel like Dominos & other companies like them are trying to pull a fast one. I too learned (the hard way) when first going gf…. u read everything, u call companies, u research ingredients of ingredients! Now, its just a way of life! :)

    • That’s just it, though. I don’t think Domino’s is hiding the ball at all, Dee Dee. And it didn’t seem like they were pretending anything. Hopefully, when “gluten-free” is defined by the FDA, we will be better able to trust that designation without double and triple checking, but when there is a strong human element (like in a restaurant), I can’t imagine ever not feeling the need to be vigilant.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Autumn

    Long time reader, first time commentor. We too do not eat Gluten Free because of celiac and are thrilled about the Dominoe’s pizza. My son has Aspergers and was hitting himself in the head, having fits on the floor, etc. We heard about people having luck going GF with their Autistic children. So we tried it and it changed our lives. Within a week of going GF he was 180, will maybe 170-150. It was enough to feel miraculous, his teacher called it a miracle. His Aspergers is now barely noticible. But the rest of us don’t eat GF. We use the same mixing bowls, toaster, cutting board, and bread knife, and he’s fine. So this offering has TONS of value for folks like us. He too hates being singled out, shoot being Aspergers he feels weird enough, he gets picked on and bullyed enough for acting “different” from everyone else, let alone having to pass up every cookie and cupcake that comes his way at every school party he’s in. Which he does in obedience to us, not because it makes him feel sick, because he does not get “sick” from eating gluten. Trying to explain the “behavioral” side effects is a little too abstract for him. Getting to eat a pizza out of the same box as everyone else is priceless to him. Love your Blog BTW. You are a great writer.

  • Erin

    I just made this pizza dough from your cookbook tonight for dinner!! It brought back memories of eating a “real” pizza like I used to. I of course have to use goats milk cheese… but that with your crust was just divine! Thank you so much!!

    • Hooray, Erin! That’s so great. I’m really happy for you. Thanks for letting me know. Pizza success!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Anonymous

    bahaha, dominoes does, indeed, make some nasty pizza!

  • As a girl who has recently had to take the gluten-free path (just highly sensitive to gluten…I don’t have celiac disease), I now understand how frustrating it is to find foods that are gluten-free, safe for those w/ celiac disease and completely, amazingly delish from restaurants and bakers. I am in the process of opening a cupcake bakery in Westminster, CO and have made a part of my bakery kitchen reserved for GF only…separate mixers, pans, pastry bags, etc. A good friend of mine suffers from celiac disease and has been testing everything I have been creating in the GF corner….excellent results! I really have come to understand the importantance of TRULY making things safe for those who cannot tolerate gluten :) Your blog has REALLY been a Godsend for me !!! Thanks so much!!

  • I can handle a small amount of cross contamination. I don’t purposely eat anything made with gluten but I eat fast food french fries with pretty much no negative response. (But you eat one normal cookie and you feel that immediately).

    I’ve already had the pizza. They are very very very upfront about cross contamination. They made sure to inform my dad when he called to ask the local place about it and then when he actually got it. I didn’t really have any issues, maybe a little burping that sometimes comes with gluten for me, but less than when I accidentally had salad toppings put on my salad 2 days before.

    I’ve gotten frustrated because I’ve heard people in the gluten free community saying people like me don’t exist and that we’re just trend dieting. There have been some things said that are quite insulting and I just want to scream “Yes I exist! I am not choosing this to be hip or cool!” I’ve been GF for a year after about 8 months of having some fairly-minor medical issues that I wanted to get under control before they escalated. It’s under control at my current level why can’t everyone just respect everyone else’s eating decisions?

    • Michelle O

      I find that people can be very judgmental, especially those that should not be. People seem to be most passionate about this particular topic. I can understand passionate, I can’t understand disrespectful to others though. I love Nicoles response though~ great!

      My children and I are not gluten free for celiacs. I have been tested multiple times. However, I feel better being gluten free and a number of medical issues have disappeared in the process. Recently I discovered I had life threatening food allergies. The dominos “gluten free” pizza is the one item I have found in a restaurant that contains NONE of my allergens and is gluten friendly (not necessarily gluten free). For me it is a possibility because I am less concerned about CC for me with gluten than I am with CC for an allergen. When I posted something to that effect I was given a hell storm criticizing me for my decisions or opinion on the subject. I DO NOT believe this pizza is safe for the celiac community and I do not believe it is good for people that are very gluten intolerant. I think it fits for some people and I think that the company has been pretty open and honest about the cross contamination risk. I prefer that over companies that publish no information on their ingredients and cross contamination risks. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish for safer options out there for celiacs, because I do.

      With that said, I will eat my homemade gluten free pizza the majority of the time. But maybe just maybe on a hell day that I need a night off cooking, Dominos might get my business. Don’t judge me until you are me.

      • Michelle and Cassi,
        I’m so sorry that others have been so disrespectful to you about the way you choose to take care of yourselves and your families. It is a never-ending source of confusion for me, this tendency toward one upmanship. It’s certainly not just limited to being gluten-free, either. “I’m busier than you are.” “My allergies are worse than yours.” “My life is harder.” I’m not sure why anyone would want to participate in those sorts of competitions—much less win! What’s the prize, anyway? It may not be a big tent, but it should be. I say come on in! You’re welcome here. :)
        xoxo xo Nicole

        • Michelle O

          :) You are so right! Thank you

        • I’ve always found your blog (and cookbook) a welcoming and un-intimidating place. That’s part of why I felt comfortable jumping into the conversation here rather than elsewhere. Thanks for that!

          • I’m really happy to hear that, Cassi. :)
            xoxo Nicole

  • Alicia

    Extreme pizza has good gluten free options, and the one near me really knows what they are doing!! Too bad for Dominos, I doubt they will keep the “gluten free” around for long.

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