Sunday, November 09, 2008

Food Allergies

There's a post at Serious Eats today about picky eaters faking allergies to be able to order specially prepared food. I don't know why it surprises me that people would do this, knowing the world is filled with all manner of awful people. Still, this seems a bit extreme, given the precautions a kitchen must take to ensure your food is safe.

Having lived my entire life with severe allergy to tree nuts, I've learned to never order anything where the possibility of nut contamination exists. Many times, this means not ordering, or having a cup of coffee. I'm cool with that, and I don't expect the kitchen to prepare a special dish for me. Most of the time, I eat at home. We go out to dine maybe three times a year, not counting Danny's one in a while noodles and broccoli lunch at Hy-Vee. I get a soda and keep him company just in case a stray cashew from the chicken finds it's way into other food. I know they can't really control it in that environment and it would be insane to ask-so I don't. I've never felt that my nut allergy is anyone's problem but mine. I do not consider this discrimination because honestly, I don't see dining away from home as a "right" in the same way that oh say, being permitted to vote is.

Sure, it is nice when places do go out of their way to accommodate people with food allergies, and it is something I have appreciated over the years-but again, I wouldn't show up at a restaurant expecting the kitchen to be able to serve a special meal without advance notice.

I do carry an eppi-pen, and it is amazing how many people will shrug and suggest I just order because I have "a shot" in my purse. You know, I'm sure pecan pie is tasty and all, but it isn't worth shooting myself full of Epinephrine to find out. How did people get to become such complete and utter morons? Was it television? Public school? Artificial food colouring? Really, I just don't understand people anymore.

So please, if you hate onions that much-stay home and prepare your own meal. Lying about an allergy makes it all that much more life threatening for people with legitimate problems. Really, I shouldn't need to point that out.

I know people will argue that allergies are a disability that should be accommodated. I agree to a point-if your workstation is being smeared daily with peanut butter, you may have a legitimate complaint...unless you've gone to work in a peanut butter factory. Understand?

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