- 5 years ago
- Wedding: August 2016
I have a confession. I’m really bothered by people who have food allergies.
Let me rephrase.
I am bothered by people who have food allergies who make it everyone else’s problem — particularly the host of any such party or event.
And I feel like a horrid person for saying that – because one of my good friends is allergic to almost everything. Gluten, dairy, soy, red sauce, vinegar, spices — you name it, she can’t have it. We used to joke that the only thing she could “eat” was coffee (which she consumed about 5-6 cups of a day). Truly, I feel bad for her — it must be very difficult to go through life not being able to enjoy so many foods. I get that being allergic is out of people’s control.
When we have events at campus (I work at a college), I’m put in charge of ordering food for the group. I usually stick to what’s generally liked — sandwiches, pizza – sometimes we’ll splurge on hot pasta dishes. But a growing number of people with food allergies (or who say they have food allergies, when really they’re on self-implemented restrictive diets) make group food ordering very difficult. To adjust, I’ve made sure to order dairy-free or gluten-free options, even if that means ordering a special “one off” item reserved just for a specific person. Needless to say, this can get costly.
It also sets precedence.
It used to be I just had to worry about our vegetarians — making sure there was a meatless option. Then, it became vegans. Then, people who are allergic to dairy. Then soy. Then gluten. Then red sauce, then sugar… and the list goes on….
What’s frustrating is that I go through all of this, and inevitably I have someone come up to me and say (paraphrased, but it all sounds the same to me at this point): “I am on the whole foods, raw foods diet, and I only eat cauliflower that’s been slightly seasoned with flax seed! What am I supposed to eat?!”
What are you supposed to eat????
Let me tell you something.
If I was allergic to most foods — or if I decided to be on some diet — I wouldn’t make it anyone else’s problem but mine.
I would kindly ask if it would be okay to bring my own food so that my needs could be met without having to disrupt everyone else. You know, what a polite person would do.
I just had to special order food for a group of 30+ who claimed they were ALL (all 30 of them!) allergic to dairy and gluten. They said “We don’t know where to get food from, or where to order from.. but we need it to be dairy and gluten free.” Fine. I ended up finding one place that would do this, for some additional cost.
I brought it all in and I hear: “What?? Red sauce?? I can’t have that!!”
I am about to flip my lid. I am not taking any more special requests. I’m done with this garbage. Your allergies, your problem.
This makes me crazy in thinking about planning food for a wedding — how do you guys do it??? When I get married, I’m not catering to anyone’s special dietary needs (beyond offering a meatless option) – they’ll be welcome to bring their own food if they’re allergic to everything on the planet or decide they’re on some special diet!