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18/02/2021

A few words on oats and in particular – oat milk:

As you may know, here at The Good Place we offer a completely 100% gluten-free menu. This core value of our business has never, and will never, be compromised.

For people with coeliac disease, gluten intolerance or those wishing to avoid glutens, finding a sanctuary where you don’t have to quiz the waitress on allergens and ingredients or choose your meal from less than a quarter of the menu… we get you.

It’s not that we have a vendetta against oats, (we get it, they’re tasty and comforting). And naturally, they don’t even contain gluten! But more often than not, oats are processed in facilities alongside gluten-containing cereals and thus get cross-contaminated along the way. Even though this contamination may only be minuscule, for our severely coeliac customers, this hinders the safety of their newfound sanctuary (us).

We know many of you love oat milk as a dairy-free alternative in your coffee. However, to find gluten-free variations you have to be careful. Oats contain a protein that can trigger a similar response as gluten, which is capable of impacting anyone with coeliac disease. So again, offering this product in our venues becomes tricky for us and the maintenance of our sanctuary.

In terms of overall health, there are some variables to also consider. We’re not laying down the iron ore and declaring that oat milk be avoided at all costs, but it is reasonable to compare it to some of the many other alternative milk options. Health food author and well-known Australian nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque, outlined some of her own oat milk concerns in an Instagram Post, stating;

“It’s definitely sustainable, but in my opinion, a potentially gluten-contaminated, pesticide-covered grain milk with very little nutrition is not a very good option when you have milks like coconut milk that offer MCT for brain health, almond milk that offer potassium for muscle health and hemp milk that offers a little bit of protein if you’re plant-based. Worse, the second ingredient in most oat milks is rapeseed oil (aka CANOLA OIL); it’s highly inflammatory and known to polymerize when heated.”

Like most things, the quality of these milks differs from brand to brand (they’re not all bad!) While that is only one expert’s opinion, in terms of macros, oat milk has less calories, fat and sugar than cow’s milk but also contains more carbohydrates and calories than almond, coconut and soy milk varieties. 

But the main reason we avoid oat products at our venues is to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination. If we were to offer oat milk, particles can bind to our milk steamer (even with regular cleans) and cause complications for the next person who orders (regardless of what milk they choose). Same goes in our kitchen, if our chefs are prepping food with utensils that have previously had contact with gluten (even in minuscule amounts) we unknowingly break our gluten-free promise. Which we will never do!

However, it’s not all bad news. For all you oat lovers, our venues offer a wide and tasty range of alternative options. In our milks you can enjoy; full cream dairy, skim, almond, coconut, lactose-free or macadamia. At breakfast time, you can still find comfort in chia puddings, buckwheat waffles, smoothie bowls, gluten-free granolas and more.

Remember, it’s always important to listen to your body and make your food choices accordingly. We are all blessed with unique bodies that react in different ways. We choose to be gluten free but that isn’t to say you need to too. But to see how delicious the switch can be, come and give us a visit.

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