Kickstarter for an Upcoming Strict Celiac App
I've mentioned Gluten Dude before, he's one of the bright lights in our community who isn't afraid to tell the truth about how Celiac really affects people. He doesn't tell the fairy tale of an easy gluten free diet conversion, followed by a quick healing and back to an uneventful normal life. Nor does he support risky behaviors like eating in mixed restaurants even though there are 100% gluten free restaurants in nearly every location in the US.
Update: The app is now simply called Gluten Dude, not Bluesponge anymore.
In short, he tells the real story, and he has talked of blood clots and organ damage when others were still saying that was "very rare" or impossible altogether. Seven years ago, GD asked for comments about the link from Celiac to other Diseases. He was ahead of his time. GD doesn't placate, he liberates.
Now Gluten Dude, Scott Hayes is offering a Kickstarter campaign to make an app for your phone that you can trust to guide your Celiac journey with far fewer stumbles. I hope that you will support him in doing this. It looks like he will make the app I wish I had when I started out.
What stumbles? Why another app?
As I've shown in my search engine test article, all search engines, even rarely used ones, think that we can eat cross contaminated food. It's no wonder our social life is fraught with risks. Now imagine if you were a teenager or at college, not only do you run the normal risks (date rape, STDs, and all the other stuff that you tried hard not to think about back then) but now you're going to be "weird" if you go to a restaurant with your friends. And let's face it, my recollection is that I spent a lot of time in diners when I was young. Before or after every social event, I recall going to a diner or cafe.
So then, after a few stumbles, a person of any age, reaches out to their local community and finds some Facebook group or other to help them navigate this strange world of gluten free. And the first thing they notice is that some people in the community are strict about gluten and others are not. Who to believe? There are scary articles being written about the social costs of "hypervigilance" about gluten.
Over time, the drive to accept quasi-gluten free options becomes stronger int he community. There are various drivers for that, for example, knowing the owner of a restaurant seems to confer trust in some people. Even if the owner has little actual focus on strict gluten free, the trust remains. Then group think takes over and suddenly you're all sticking up for a local pizza joint that isn't really gluten free. Because the owner is a "good guy" and has a family member with Celiac. (But do you know how they treat that family member? How does your family treat your Celiac?)
While I could give you a local example of this, I'll just point out that this is not at all a unique situation or story. Reddit and other social media sites are full of stories like this, and that's why you have probably come across some warnings about "gluten free" Facebook groups not being appropriate for people with Celiac Disease.
Now I hope I've made it clear why we need a new community and a new app that can really be trusted. There's already a "Find me gluten free" app, but it's polluted with useless and false reviews because it lacks a medical focus. the Bluesponge app will include only 100% gluten free restaurants, curated by actual staff who call the restaurant and screen it for you.
That doesn't mean you don't have to ask questions, but it means that you don't have to wonder if they're being honest about their 100% gluten free claim. It means they passed a screening that was done by a strict gluten free interviewer and at that time, they were found to be safe. I expect it will be the go-to app for strict gluten free dieters who eat anything outside the house. And that means all of us.
Kickstarter basics: Kickstarter has an all or nothing approach, if you pledge but the funding goal is not reached in a short time, usually around a month, then your pledge is never actually charged on your credit card.
Please support the app according to your means. It looks like Bluesponge will be helpful.