Questions About What’s In (and Not In) Your Bagels
1. What ingredients do you use in your products?
We use our proprietary flour blend in all of our bagels (which includes tapioca flour, sweet white rice, white rice, sorghum, and xanthan gum). Additionally, we use brown sugar, molasses, psyllium husk, salt, dry active yeast, olive oil and water. In addition to these ingredients, we use vanilla extract, cinnamon, raisins, dried onion, garlic, poppy seeds, dried herbs (basil, savory, sage, marjoram, oregano, thyme, & rosemary), tomato paste, carrots, pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, and ginger.
2. You say your products are non-gmo, but I don’t see that you are verified. Does that mean your products contain gmos?
GMOs are genetically modified organisms created through gene splicing techniques of biotechnology. The cay be plants or animals, and are present in more than 80 percent of packaged products (in the US or Canada). We are currently working on our certification, and we make sure to call every one of our suppliers to ensure they are gmo free (and keep their certification on file).
3. What are food additives? I’ve seen “natural flavors” on packages, so if they are natural why don’t you use them?
Food additives are substances added to food to enhance flavor and/or appearance, to preserve it, and also to thicken it. The term, “natural flavors” is an ambiguous term that can be used to describe an array of ingredients that isn’t limited to something that was made in a lab! There has not been enough studies done on food additives to deem them safe, since the FDA doesn’t require rigorous testing done by food companies. Over 50 years ago, the FDA imposed a rule that if an ingredient is deemed, “Generally Regarded As Safe or GRAS, it is no longer considered a food additive and doesn’t need to be approved by them. Food companies hire their own experts to do the testing, and sharing their findings to the FDA is completely voluntary.
Questions About Prepping Your Bagel
4. I just received my bagels (hooray)! What is the best way to prep them? Can I leave them out to thaw?
Our bagels cannot be thawed on the counter top. Since we do not use any preservatives in our products, our bagels will turn into rocks, and no one wants to eat a bagel rock (however our bagels do ROCK!). Make sure that they remain in the freezer until you are ready to use them. Once you are ready to eat them, you may prepare them one or two ways:
- Microwave 60 seconds, slice and toast to your liking.
- Bake in the oven/toaster oven at 375 for 12-15 minutes.
5. I thawed my bagels and they are as hard as rocks. Why?
In regular bagels, preservatives and gluten are the main reasons why wheat products can rebound from freezer to being thawed. Since we do not use preservatives, and our products don’t contain gluten (and we don’t replace the “gluten” with any additional proteins such as egg whites, modified tapioca starch, etc.), our bagels only need a burst of heat to rejuvenate.
Questions About Shipping
6. When will my bagels arrive?
All bagel orders are shipped out on the Tuesday following the day the order was placed. Orders must be submitted prior to 5pm Monday for orders to be guaranteed to go out on that same Tuesday. Currently we ship within a 2 day window of time, so bagels should either arrive Wednesday or Thursday. When submitting your order, be sure to include a valid email address, as the tracking information will be sent to that email address.
7. My bagels did not arrive frozen, are they still OK to eat?
Your gluten-free bagels are still perfectly fine to eat. They may feel as hard as a rock, but that is because they do not have preservatives in them. Return them to the freezer and to a frozen state before attempting to prep them.
8. Why is shipping so high?
Since our bagels are free from preservatives, our bagels need to remain frozen when shipped and they can only withstand a 2-day shipping window. In some cases, the only options to ship to your area is via UPS 2nd Day Air. We are however, actively working on our ability to get our direct shipping costs down to make it more affordable to purchase from our website.
9. Can we ship to other countries besides the United States?
At the moment we do not export. We don’t have any immediate plans for that either and unfortunately can’t direct ship since our bagels need to be kept frozen (and would just take too long to get there)!
Questions About Purchasing Bagels
10. Where can I find your bagels for purchase?
The best way to find our bagels is by using our ‘Store Finder’ option on the website, and clicking on the the map that says, “Find Us In Stores.” Simply plug in your zip code and how far you are willing to travel and all locations in that range will pop up! If there are no stores close enough to you, but you have some good ideas of where we’d be a good fit, print the ‘Product Request Form,’ also under ‘Find Us’ and hand it to the manager or frozen buyer for that store. Be sure to reach out to us at email@example.com so that we can follow up with them and do our part to get these bagels to you! Until then, you can order direct through our website for a shipment right to your door! Click the ‘Bagels’ option and find your way to our ‘Bagel Shop’ tab for step-by-step instructions on how to order.
11. I can’t get the website to work – can you place my order for me?
No problem! Give us a call at 267.522.8523 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to let us know that you are experiencing trouble with the website so we can fix it. Make sure that you cookies are cleared because sometimes they can clutter your website browsing (and too many cookies are never a good thing…or are they??).
12. Can I come buy bagels direct from you/Can I place my order online and bypass shipping by just picking them up?
As much as we hope to one day have a retail location, currently we are not open to the public. All bagel orders must either be shipped out, or purchased at an authorized Retailer or Food-Service location.
13. I noticed that when trying to buy your gluten-free bagels from your online store that I can’t buy 2 packs. Why do you have set box sizes for ordering?
Since a lot of our customers wanted to streamline the check out process, along with offering better shipping rates, we customized our online shopping platform to accommodate these requests. Ground shipping is now free to most people who are within a 1 to 2 day shipping window!!
14. I found a location on your website, but when I went there to purchase, (a) they never heard of you, (b) you weren’t in there, (c) I couldn’t find you, (d) they said they stopped carrying you.
Yikes we are so sorry for your inconvenience! Sometimes the store members do not know where certain products, “live” in the store, so make sure to check either the gluten-free FROZEN section, the freezer aisle or Nature’s Marketplace (for Wegmans locations). We can always ship direct to you to calm those bagel cravings ASAP J
Questions About Gluten-Free
15. Are your products gluten-free? What does that mean?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and all of their species or hybrids. Gluten is the “glue” that holds a certain product together. Gluten is not an allergen itself, but it is found in grains that can be potential allergens.
16. “I just had a reaction to gluten, and I am not sure if it was your bagel, or other products I had during the day. How do you test to make sure that it wasn’t your bagel?”
We save a portion of each lot (batch) so that if there was ever a question about our product, we can send out a sample to make sure that our product wasn’t compromised.
17. How do you make sure that your products are gluten-free? What testing method do you use?
We perform routine in-house testing using the ELIZA testing that test up to 10 ppm.
18. What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disease. It is triggered when you consume gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the finger-like villi of the small intestine. When the villi become damaged, the body is unable to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to malnourishment.
Left untreated, people with celiac disease are at-risk for serious health consequences, like other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and even certain cancers. Currently, there is no cure for celiac disease, except for strict adherence to a gluten-free diet.
19. What is gluten sensitivity? Is that the same thing as celiac disease?
People with gluten sensitivity can experience symptoms such as depression, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain, and chronic fatigue when they have gluten in their diet. While these are some of the similar symptoms of celiac disease, these individuals do not test positive for celiac disease or for a wheat allergy.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity do not experience the small intestine damage or develop the tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies found in celiac disease.
Since there is currently no blood test for gluten sensitivity, the only way to be diagnosed is to undergo the necessary diagnostic tests required to confirm celiac disease. Currently, there is no cure for gluten sensitivity, and the only treatment is to follow a gluten-free diet.
Questions About Food Allergens
20. I (my son, daughter, mom, friend) is allergic to ____. Can I (they) eat your bagels?
We are Top 8 allergen free – wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish, and shellfish – along with being free from gluten, sesame, corn, sulfite, celery, and mustard.
21. How do you make sure that your facility remains allergen free?
We send out for third party testing for all claimed allergens, quarterly. We do not test in-house because they are not present in our facility. If there are any specific testing questions about the company we use, please refer the question to Alison.
Questions About Other Certifications
22. Are you products Kosher?
Yes we are certified through KOFK Supervision, and our Rabbi visits us quite often to make sure we stay in compliance J
23. Are our products organic?
Although we are non-GMO, we unfortunately are not organic. One of the reasons that we’ve chosen not to go organic is because of the fact that we do currently scrutinize the sourcing of the ingredients and going organic would increase the overall cost substantially. Where we understand the appeal to an organic, gluten free bagel, we stand by our decision to solely manufacture a gluten free and allergen free bagels.
There may be opportunities in the future in which we introduce new products that are organic, however our bagels will most likely remain as is.