Can we blast this off the face of the internet?
Let’s talk about this for a minute.
A server will never say this to your face but we all know your gluten allergy is fake. You are not allergic to gluten. You are just on a gluten-free diet and want attention. There are plenty of people who are truly allergic to gluten, or sensitive, or intolerant, and you are not one of them. We can tell.
Do servers typically have backgrounds in pathology? Cause it took my doctor and I a few years to figure out what was up, and apparently you can tell just by looking. Can you also tell who’s a virgin and who has their period?
You’re on nothing more than a high-powered Atkins diet, and while it’s great that you’re feeling healthier, it’s not great that you blame the discrepancy between your previous and current state of health on a fictional allergy. Feel free to adopt a gluten free diet, but don’t throw the word ‘allergy’ around like you have a medical problem.
I know this is confusing. An allergy IS a real medical problem. Symptoms caused by food sensitivities are REAL medical problems.
Especially in a restaurant, the word ‘allergy’ means that the whole restaurant is going to need to do extra work and take special care to keep you safe, healthy, and happy. If your ‘allergy’ is really just a diet with no medical basis, you are being a selfish ass. The world does not revolve around you, the restaurant does not revolve around you, and we all know your allergy is fake.
Well, name-calling isn’t nice. It sounds to me like you’re really upset that you have to do extra work. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but you treat allergies and intolerances to foods by removing them from your diet. In fact, sometimes the only way to figure out what your intolerances and sensitivities are is by adopting a special diet for awhile to see how you feel. Some restaurants can accommodate allergies, some can’t. Patrons don’t get a say in how things work behind the scenes, so if you have an issue with that, maybe forward this nice section to your manager. Or quit. Maybe just quit.
Your gluten allergy is fake because you discuss it at parties. Your gluten allergy is fake because it ‘comes and goes.’ Your gluten allergy is fake because you will eat at an Italian restaurant but walk away fine because you ordered the gluten free pasta. Your gluten allergy is fake because after reminding your server ten times that you’re highly allergic, you complain to a manager that you were never brought a basket of bread.
Now here is where it gets real. This is where you demonstrate completely that you have no idea what you’re talking about. I have Celiac disease. Cross contamination is ALWAYS going to be an issue for me, and I usually have to talk a lot about it at parties, because people try to bring me food, and I have to explain why I can’t eat it. The symptoms totally come and go. It’s maddening. Additionally, people with allergies and food sensitivities have something called a ‘tolerance.’ Each one is different, and occasionally indulging in a bread stick doesn’t mean that they won’t get sick if they eat an entire plate of pasta. It’s not your business. Take off your curly white wig and put down the gavel.
If you’re sure your gluten allergy is real because you cut out gluten and suddenly felt better, congratulations, you’re on a diet. However, a change in health doesn’t mean there was an allergy involved. It’s fine to cut television from your life, just like it’s fine to cut gluten from your diet, but it’s very important to know where ‘lifestyle change’ ends and ‘medical condition’ begins.
How nice, that when I sit down in your section you are able to suss out my life story and judge all the details of my lifestyle. Does your crystal ball also tell me when I’ll meet my true love and how many kids I’m going to have?
There’s nothing fun or trendy about having a medical condition that severely limits your diet. While people with real gluten-related conditions exist, they number perhaps one in a hundred people, yet up to one in ten will claim to have the condition to some extent.
That crystal ball spits out statistics, too, apparently. Here are the real statistics: Less than 1% of the population has Celiac disease and only about half of them are actually diagnosed. One out of every seven people has some kind of gluten intolerance. So…statistically the people who seriously have allergies outnumber the people you think are faking it, and a good portion of those people are probably really sick and don’t even know it. Go you. Way to change the world.
People with true gluten allergies or Celiac disease don’t go to an Italian restaurant and order the fettuccine alfredo with gluten free pasta, because those with real allergies can’t take such a risk of cross-contamination. Every knife, every plate, every surface their food comes in contact with will need to be sanitized, and in a gluten-heavy environment, it’s impossible to guarantee such sterilization on a moment’s notice. It would take an hour to make a single burger if that were so, and there would have to be ten dishwashers working around the clock just to keep up.
You are right about one thing; people with Celiac disease must maintain a lifestyle that is 100% gluten-free, which means dealing with cross-contamination. Everyone else (the ones you say are faking it) has to figure out what the hell they have to say to say to get you to take them seriously. Allergy is really the magic word, and colloquially appropriate. I have to spell it out every time I go out to eat and actually say the words “it’s like a peanut allergy’ for anyone to get it.
You’ll never see someone with a severe peanut allergy in a Thai restaurant. It’s not worth the risk. Those with severe peanut allergies take care to personally steer clear of risky situations.
You probably won’t see anyone with a severe peanut allergy in a Thai restaurant because the stakes are pretty freaking high.
Feel free to order a burger without a bun, or replace the garlic bread with a cup of soup, but remember that if you’re not in a gluten free restaurant, gluten-related requests shouldn’t compromise every ingredient of a dish to the point of being utterly unrecognizable. If you want something that isn’t on the menu, eat somewhere else.
All you have to do is take the order and let the kitchen know. It’s not like you have to do the cooking. And last I checked, plenty of restaurants refuse to do substitutions. Try applying to one of those.
Having an allergy means that you must constantly guard yourself, all day every day, and one slip-up might cause discomfort, severe pain, or hospitalization. In the case of a genuine allergy, most kitchens are willing to work very hard to ensure your safety. Wasting that much time and effort of an entire restaurant’s staff might seem unthinkable, but some customers think nothing of it as they announce their allergy to their server within the first thirty seconds of being seated.
Actually, I’m thinking of a lot of things when I announce my allergy within the first 30 seconds of being seated. My first and most prominent concern is that I will end up with a server like you, who thinks they understand allergies and food safety, but doesn’t; Who is delusional enough to consider herself a diagnostician and medical marvel, able to diagnose people with ‘real’ allergies just by looking at them, and self-important enough to publish it on the internet.