Local Company Bases Its success On Meeting Special Dietary Needs
Stemmler Meats, of Heidelberg, has always been geared towards meeting the needs of people with special dietary requirements.
According to Kevin Stemmler, it all began with a few people who wanted to know if the company could adjust the ingredients in their recipes to accommodate food allergies. The company did this, and its reputation grew as a place for people with special needs, allergies or just for the health-conscious.
Stemmler Meats and Cheese makes all of its products without monosodium glutamate (MSG), a suspected carcinogen that can accumulate in the body. It is used as a flavour-enhancer and preservative in the industry, but many people can get severe migraine headaches from it. The company uses other seasonings to increase flavour instead of MSG, explained Kevin Stemmler.
Most of Stemmler's products are made without gluten, that is, without wheat or flour and lactose products as well. This meets the needs of people with celiac disease, various intestinal problems, and conditions such as dermatitis herpetiformis, said Stemmler. Gluten can cause constipation, abdominal pain, vomiting or anemia.
If you have ever read the ingredient lists of processed meat in a grocery store, explained Stemmler, it will be very difficult to find anything without gluten, which is used to bind meat and prevent it from crumbling.
As well, Stemmler Meats offers its customers some no-nitrate products for people with allergies. Many people get severe headaches from nitrates; they can also trigger seizures in rare cases, said Stemmler. Nitrate is used as a preservative and colour-stablizer. Without it, meat must stay frozen until it is ready to use, or it will spoil quickly.
Stemmler's also makes fat and cholesterol-conscious watchwords by buying only lean meats and trimming them further.
Kevin Stemmler explained that the company has done the for 20 years, before it became the health concern it is today.
"You can take the fat out without sacrificing quality in your meat products if you age it properly," he said.
"Many people have come to rely on Stemmler Meats in their efforts to live a normal life. Most people do not need to think about such things. But when a child who has allergies can get a hot dog and enjoy this simple pleasure with friends rather than doing without, it becomes a very rewarding job for all of us," he added.
Meeting the needs of people with special dietary requirements has provided Stemmler Meats with a niche in the competitive meat industry, especially in this area.
"But, "said Stemmler, "it is the thank-you we get from these people that makes us a success!"