Thursday, January 28, 2010

GF On The Go

On the road again... I have been traveling a bit and it is always a jourrney to grocery shop and eat out in many difference cities. For the regular traveler it is paradise... eating local cuisine and trying new menu items. But for the GF consumer, unfortunately the GF education in most restaurants have only evolved slightly. It is still anything, but a day in the park. You still need to have the same conversation you would have with your local server/chef each time you eat out like, "Hello, I can't have any food that has gluten." They typically say unless it's a prestigious restaurant, "What is gluten" and you tell them, "Wheat flour, rye, barley, malts in the food itself or in contamination with it, can you help me find something?" and the trusting begins. Sometimes you can feel good about putting your health in these people's hands and other times you should not, so be sure you trust the server or chef and if you do not then do not eat the food, go somewhere else. Remember there is no cheating with a gluten free diet and you can always find something to eat elsewhere so call the restaurant ahead and help educate your servers and teach them. All in all I have seen some progress... often establishments have a GF menu, but still can't guarantee it is allergen free. Also, why are waiters not educating themselves or employers not teaching them more about allergens. When your job is to work with food, serve food, handle people who eat food, take the time to learn about some of the more common allergens: gluten, nuts, fish/shell fish, milk, soy, eggs ... and all of our dining experiences will be more social and more pleasurable. Think about it, if the world knew what was in the food we ate, we would all be healthier individuals and smarter servers. That'll earn you a big tip, people.

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