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Are you intolerant, on a diet or just fussy?
July 11, 2009Posted by on
Are you on a diet, fussy or are you celiac (gluten intolerant – also spelt coeliac)? I just read an article in a popular magazine. The article was entitled “Society Food Fight, Are you intolerant or just plain fussy?”
Nowadays it is “cool” to eat a wheat free diet. People use sensitivity to wheat or celiac disease as an excuse to diet. Restaurants are frustrated, chefs angry. Should they be? I don’t think so.
Whether you are a diagnosed celiac or just happen to be cutting carbs out of your diet, restaurants, cafes, airlines, whomever is serving food should cater to your needs. You are the customer!
I am a celiac (diagnosed by a doctor). I don’t tend to make a big deal out of it. I used to be the kind of person that preferred not to tell people. I would just say, “I don’t eat bread” or whatever it was I was being offered. I would be invited to a dinner party and take the attitude that surely there would be something I can eat instead of just telling the host in advance that I am celiac.
Nowadays, I make it known. I question everything when ordering in a restaurant. If I do accidentally eat something with gluten (it would have to be an accident because I adhere to my diet religiously) I burp loudly, have terrible stomach pains and horrible bouts of diarrhea. It is not worth it to make a mistake. It makes me so sick that Al (my partner) is just as adamant about my diet as I am.
I don’t often run into people who don’t take me seriously, but there have been a few occasions where the waitperson is fighting the opportunity to “roll their eyes” in disgust as they answer my questions. One of my worst experiences in public was flying business class with Air Canada. I had pre-ordered a gluten free meal. I was served pasta! After explaining to the flight attendant why I would not be able to eat the meal, he informed me that it was all they had, but he would see what he could do. I was eventually served greens that had been scraped out of sandwiches (resplendent with butter scrapped off the bread). I was left embarrassed and hungry…in business class. Thanks Air Canada!
It doesn’t matter that I truly couldn’t eat the food and was not “just on a diet” or fussy, it is important for society to get back to serving their customers. It is (in my view) a lost art.