In which OSC gets some link-love, I get grossed out by xanthan gum, and I love Bob Moore
- The Crispy Cook recently included my blog in her top 100 gluten-free blogs. I’m honored! The list is well-worth a visit. All the blogs on Rachel’s list are current and active. She includes a sentence or two of description which I find VERY helpful.
- Xanthan gum: I am officially grossed out by it. I have used it faithfully for 7+ years in my gluten-free baking, and find its counterpart, guar gum, difficult to work with. I had been having second thoughts about xanthan gum lately anyway, because it’s not really a whole food; it’s very derivative, though, in a sense, it is “natural.” I find myself WANTING to prefer guar gum, as it is a ground-up seed: very simple, no manufacturing involved, other than to grind it up. Also, corn sugar is almost always used in its commercial production, and Fiala still cannot handle corn. The nail on my xanthan gum coffin came when I read this very short article from on the Celiac Central.org’s online newsletter, and I about gagged. I think I will start phasing out xanthan gum. Maybe I’ll try chia (which, among it’s other appealing properties, is native to Arizona).
- “Let’s start with xanthan gum; it is made from a type of bacteria (Xanthomonas campestris). It also is seen as the black rot that attacks various vegetables. In a controlled environment, it is introduced to, most often, corn sugar. This solution is kept at 30 degrees for several days until fermentation has taken place. The solution is then heated to stop the fermentation process. It is dried, ground and sieved into the fine powder that we purchase at the store.” (from the article “Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum in Gluten-Free Baking” by Regina Petruzziello Mason, emphasis mine)
- I read another article recently, and it made my heart swell with love for a man I’ve never met, but from whom I’ve frequently benefited: Bob Moore. You, likely, have too. “Who??” you may ask. Bob Moore is the “Bob” of Bob’s Red Mill. I have a soft spot in my heart for privately-held companies, but recently, Mr. Moore took his one step further: giving his company to its employees. (BRM also recently opened a dedicated g.f. facility.) From the article, originally published in a local newspaper:
- “It’s not that the offers aren’t there. Hardly a day goes by that Nancy Garner, Moore’s executive assistant, doesn’t field a call or letter from someone wanting to buy the privately held company or take it public.
“I had four messages waiting when I returned from a recent vacation,” she said. “Three of them were buy-out offers.”
Garner said she and other employees are floored by Moore’s plan, under which any worker with at least three years tenure is now fully vested. “We’re still learning all of the details,” Garner said, “but it’s very humbling to be part of a company that cares this much about its employees.”
An employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, is a retirement plan in which the company contributes its stock to the plan to be held in trust for the benefit of its employees. The stock is never bought or held directly.
Vested employees are sent annual reports detailing their respective stakes in the company. When those employees quit or retire, they receive in cash whatever amount they — and the company, through increased revenues, new sales and controlled costs — are due.
“Eventual payouts could be substantial,” said John Wagner, the company’s chief financial officer and, along with Moore, one of four partners.”