If Someone Ever Tells You They Have A Gluten Allergy, Show Them This
Gluten rant from a waitress:
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.