Shares of Annie's closed up 89% Wednesday after it's IPO (initial public offering). Of course, anyone who eats gluten free is familiar with Annie's -- not only because they are an organic food company, but also because they have gluten free offerings. According to CNN Money, Annie's IPO was much-anticipated, and the IPO underwriters, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase, "pushed up the pricing of the public offering late Tuesday at $19 per share from what was already an upwardly revised target range of $16 to $18." See the CNN Money article, here; an article by the Courier-Post, here.
Let's hear it for healthier school lunches! Learn more at this panel discussion - complete with nibbles - featuring Sarah Wu, blogger, "Fed Up With Lunch;" Chef Eric Tanaka of Tom Douglas Restaurants; Stacey Sobell, Farm to School Manager for Ecotrust an
Creative Commons image credit, below.
Received notice of this au courant happening via cyberspace from Lisa, of a local public relations firm. I like to include any community happenings that would be of interest to Gluten Free Safari's readership, sophisticated as we are about anything related to cutting-edge food and health news. The evening sounds great! I'm reading an excellent book along the same lines: "Lunch Wars." Here is the press release:
The Consumer’s Conflict: A Revolution in the Lunch Line
Blogger, author and Chicago Public Schools employee Sarah Wu (a.k.a. Mrs. Q) joins a panel of noted changemakers to discuss the complexities involved with connecting kids with wholesome, healthy and fresh food at school. Hear from this provocative panel on how individuals and organizations are igniting change.
Monday, March 26th at 415 Westlake
6 – 8:30 p.m.
Panel discussion followed by Q&A session
$20 (price of ticket includes appetizers, two beverages and a charitable donation to Treeswing)
Tickets at: http://consumersconflict.eventbrite.com/
· Sarah Wu. Noted blogger, author and staff member at the Chicago School District who chronicled her experience eating school lunches every day for a year on her blog, Fed Up With Lunch.
· Chef Eric Tanaka. The James Beard award-winning executive chef at Tom Douglas Restaurants who has joined forces with Seattle Public Schools to develop nutritious meals that kids will like.
· Stacey Sobell, Farm to School Manager for Ecotrust and the Western Lead for the National Farm to School Network. The Farm to School program helps school districts in the Pacific Northwest source locally grown, processed and manufactured products for the lunch line.
· Nona Evans, Executive Director of Whole Kids Foundation. In this role, Nona is working to empower schools and inspire families to make good food choices for life.
The conversation for the evening will be moderated by Jill Lightner, Edible Seattle.
Harvester Restaurant in Tacoma, Washington, deserves some good karma for a late-night surprise: gluten free chips!
Photo courtesy of Mary's Gone Crackers!
We've all been there. I was out with some folks after a reading, and we crowded into a Tacoma restaurant, an institution in the Stadium District: The Harvester. A quick glance through the menu -- several sandwiches, and a clarification that the "soup of the day" was a flour-thickened clam chowder -- and I was temporarily at a loss.
Not to fear. As soon as I uttered the phrase "gluten free," the waitress offered to bring me some gluten free crackers from the back (one of the employees eats gluten free).
I recognized the seed-encrusted, dark-grained gluten free treats as "Mary's Gone Crackers" brand: a bit of a meal in themselves!
By the way, for those who can imbibe in gluten and all manner of allergens, I was impressed with the mountainous-looking portions of seemingly-delectable pie that others ordered. Yeah, Harvester!
In 2012, a reviewer vaulted to fame with her review of a new Olive Garden in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The review -- so earnest that some thought it was satire -- went viral.
Fast forward to 2018, and the Olive Garden website now provides a thorough explanation about its gluten free pasta (imported from Italy -- rah!) and the handling procedures in the kitchen designed to avoid cross contamination -- as well as its other "gluten-sensitive" options (dishes made without gluten-containing ingredients, but Olive Garden cannot ensure that the dishes meet FDA gluten free standards).
Please reference Olive Garden's full explanation of its gluten-sensitive menu options, preparation details, etc., here.
The Tuscan-designed Olive Garden that the diner described in her 2012 review mirrored others that I have visited; but, what really impressed me was her attention to people such as us, gluten free and allergenic diners, with the following lines: "An olive branch on menu items signified low-fat entrees. There is a Garden Fare Nutrition Guide available for customers seeking gluten-free food." The reviewer, it seems, was hip after all! See the original review, here.
Girl Scout cookies: I'm sure the gluten free community would give a boost to sales, were gluten free options available!
Update! March 29, 2018: The Girl Scouts must have heard from enough of us who love, love love their gluten free cookies! In our home, we consumed multiple boxes of the gluten free variety available!
(previous post) I've seen several hopeful Girl Scouts selling the goodies; but, with no gluten free offerings, and no sugar free offerings, they're off-limits for our household!
After passing yet another mother-daughter team shivering in our area's unseasonably cold weather last night, I asked them whether the Girl Scouts had ever offered a gluten free or sugar free cookie. To my surprise, they said "yes" -- about four or five years ago.
Wow! News to me!
Apparently the mint-like offering didn't sell very well. Hmm . . .
My next question, of course, was how the "experimental" cookie tasted; they didn't seem to have sampled one.
Of course, four or five years ago is a "mini-eternity" in gluten free time. So much has improved.
So, quick poll below; I'd like to find out how many of you would buy Girl Scout cookies if they offered just one gluten free or sugar free variety? Just shout out "yea" or "nay" in the comments, if you wish!
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