Don’t Be Like a Prairie Dog

June 13, 2015                         Matt Salis - Owner, Great Harvest Bread Co. of Denver


On a drive to the airport this morning, my wife and I noticed dozens of dead prairie dogs on the side of Pena Boulevard.  For those unfamiliar with the drive to the Denver International Airport, Pena Boulevard is a ten-ish mile highway that brings you from I-70 to the terminal.  Besides a couple of hotels and a gas station, Pena Boulevard is, well, prairie for miles in all directions.  This explains the prairie dogs.  The ridiculous number of them squished next to the highway can only be explained by their lack of knowledge about looking both ways before crossing the street.  It really is an eye catching and head scratching sight.  I bet we saw a hundred of them.  On the drive back home after this trip I am going to count.  If you are a buzzard and you are reading this, head to DIA immediately…your breakfast, lunch and dinner are waiting.


This morbid scene reminded my wife and me of the population of our beautiful mile high city.  An inordinately large percentage of our neighbors are not looking both ways before crossing the road to health and good nutrition.  The trend of people blindly following the advice of the person on the yoga mat next to them continues.  Hype and buzz remains more powerful and far, far easier than common sense or nutritional research.  The food eaters of Denver still avoid gluten for no medical or logical reason at an alarming rate.


Research shows that the gluten free fad diet trend has hit Colorado harder than any other state in the union.  I cannot site the research as I am typing this on an airplane without access to the interweb.  You can trust me on this one.  I own a whole grain bread bakery.  This is the kind of stuff I research and know.  I also know that something less than 1% of our population is celiac and cannot eat gluten.  I think I understand that another roughly 6% of our population has a true, medical, gluten intolerance.  That is 7% of us.  That does not explain why nearly half of us when interviewed on the subject answer that they believe gluten to be bad for them.  These are the partakers and abstainers alike.  Somebody…lots of somebodies…are not looking both ways before crossing Nutrition Avenue.


I know, it sounds like I’m complaining.  It also sounds like my complaint is self-serving.  Keep in mind, however, that my self interest is your self interest.  It is good for me to keep you alive and buying bread.  That is why we grind the world’s best high plains wheat and bake it into the world’s best 100% whole grain bread.  We want you alive.  We want you eating. We also want you to share the truth about gluten…our gluten…with anyone who will listen.


Gluten is a protein found in wheat and some other grains.  It is not fattening.  What are fattening are the chemical and filler laden processed foods that are the source of gluten for most Americans.  Gluten is not good or bad for you.  White bread and even grocery store wheat bread is fattening, contains carbs on the wrong end of the glycemic index and is thus bad for you.  Our bread is 100% whole grain, contains carbs that provide fuel for our bodies, and helps prevent the big three killers – cancer, heart disease and diabetes.  That is a fact.  A fact that is very good for you.


Over 93% of the population is not allergic, sensitive or intolerant to gluten.  Many of us just make bad choices and eat foods full of chemicals, sugars and fillers that also happen to coincidentally contain gluten.  Most processed foods do.  So when we go gluten free, we go largely processed foods free and we feel better.  This should come as no surprise.  If we look both ways before crossing Nutrition Street, the good choices like our 100% whole grain bread are there for the eating.  Our bodies want to, even need to, thrive on healthy whole foods including whole grains.  Our bodies do not want to be deprived of nourishment because some dude selling books claims that he has the answer.  The real answer is simple.  It is not, “everything in moderation.”  The answer is to eat foods with ingredients you know and understand.  Eat foods as close to the form they were grown in as possible.  Eat whole foods including lots of gluten containing whole grains.  They will make you strong, help prevent lethal diseases and prove to the food educated world how smart you are.


Don’t follow the pack.  Break away and do your body good.  Avoid the hype and thrive like a prairie dog that stays away from the highway.  There is nothing cute, cuddly and loveable about a squished prairie dog.  We want you to be cute, cuddly and loveable, too.  Long live whole grains, and long live you!

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Great Harvest Bread Co.

of Denver

765 South Colorado Boulevard

Denver, Colorado 80246


Open Mon. - Fri.  6am - 3pm

Sat. 8am - 3pm, Closed Sun.