Celiac is real, folks who have it should be cut a break, and in my experience, folks who actually cannot eat gluten are just trying to make things work, rather than being a dick about it.
But deeply screw people like this lady who make a voluntary diet choice who use it as an excuse to bully others and make people cater to them. They trivialize people's actual medical needs, breed a culture of "Yeah, sure lady, there's no gluten", work against whatever cause they're in favor of, and largely, they're why we can't have nice things.
Stunned and wondering if I was being criticized, I said "allergy" only to learn that if you say that, they have to clean all possible traces of gluten off of their equipment before they make your burger.
"Allergy!" Then the action started. As I watched two employees vigorously wipe down all this stuff just to make one burger, I felt alternately shocked, amazed, well-served, and embarrassed. Others in the restaurant looked at me like I was from another planet.
Anyway, that was one of the best gluten-free buns I've ever tasted.
Imagine a busy restaurant, Saturday evening, 8:30 and you claim to be alergic to something. The kitchen must pull a five alarm drill in the middle of their busiest time. Make sure that all cutting boards are replaced, for example, everything must be cleaned thoroughly and they must be damn sure that there's no cross contamination whatsoever.
And all because an asshole lied and claimed to be allergic, while in reality she dislikes pineapple.
If you are really allergic to something please, please call ahead and talk with the restaurant, so that they can make appropriate preparations, without having to essentially lock down the kitchen for 15 minutes.
The worst is that people that claim allergies, or gluten intollerance without this being true hurt other people, who really cannot tollerate certain foods.
So your story makes total sense and the place really seems to care. But just imagine the same action in a full blown restaurant kitchen with a number of lines, which all need to be decontaminated during their busiest time.
I grew up allergic to chlorine (swimming pools). The allergic reaction was/is eczema. This was not life threatening. For the past 12 years I’ve suffered from pollen allergy annually. Also not life-threatening.
I saw a burger place do a full cleandown because someone was allergic to something in one of the sauces, it was the most coordinated thing I ever saw.
Celiac in the US shockingly misunderstood. The current gluten-free fad doesn't help.
Of the places I've visited since being diagnosed, Italy was BY FAR the best for eating out while celiac. Rome has some of the best gluten-free pizza. Florence was no slouch. And if a restaurant is not comfortable serving you (small kitchen, impossible to clean properly, not trained, whatever), they'll tell you up front so you can go elsewhere.
And that's exactly why this pisses me off so much. It massively hurts people like you, who really cannot tolerate certain food stuff.
I think this would lock out all the people who ruin it for the ones that need it most and lower the burden on the kitchen staff. Thoughts?
Maybe restaurants could contract out to a dedicated GF meal service? Or have some fancy frozen GF meals available?
I'd rather have it clear that people use the right terms, since some will probably complain about being given only vegetables when there was fish available, whilst happily claiming they are vegatarian.
it's almost like claiming that you are vegan when you are vegatarian.
Having that tradition, that every Friday you don't eat meat, but fish is acceptable, seems to colour your perspective when thinking about what is being a vegetarian.
My personal rule is to avoid factory farmed meat. 100% effective when buying for home, but I admittedly compromise when eating out, but by asking each time I plant the seed I hope. I do, as an omnivore, think everyone should see, and take some part in, raising, and slaughtering livestock before it becomes a staple of your diet. Meat comes from animals that died for you, not the store. Respecting that has more impact than blanket-avoidance in my eyes.
Not sure about insects, but I think they'd be called "meat" too in culinary terms.
(Native British-English user.)
I think the line is drawn at poultry and fish sometimes because the input costs are so much lower than mammalian meat. CO2 taxes would incentivize this sort of vegetarianism.
It can be, but it's exceedingly rare IME.
I'm trying to remember but can't quite, there are other non-flesh things someone referred to as meat too, after a similar line to your nut example. It's an analogy, you peel back the skin and underneath is the "flesh" (like a peach, or any fruit).
You could say, when carving a pumpkin, "get right in to the meat of it", but it's euphemistic in this case.
English language is crazy.
I think there's a huge difference between following a fad diet and following a diet that is based around your feelings of reducing animal cruelty and doing a small part to combat climate change. I would agree going to a steakhouse where you know the whole business is based around serving meat is creating issues, but especially nowadays I don't think vegetarians should have to consider themselves problems. If there was less peer pressure to eat meat and more meatless options people would find it easier to reduce meat consumption also.
Forcing is a strong word, but if businesses and friends are more aware there's a demand for meat free alternatives, more options slowly become available until a tipping point is reached. There was a recent study that was saying beef consumption has to reduce by 90% to help avoid dangerous climate change (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/10/huge-red...) so I think we're well beyond the point where people that want to eat less meat should feel they're the ones causing a problem by voicing their preference.
Also, this choice doesn't have to be binary. One could eat less meat - either smaller quantities or fewer meals with meat each week. The end goal is simple - reduce the number of animals who have to be raised and killed for meat each year. If one agrees on that (and one might not), then even reducing your intake by 10% helps a lot.
I see your point but would you advocate the same stance for other ethical issues - refusal of restaurants to serve African Americans before the civil rights movement?
Having said that, I agree that I don't like the sense of entitlement many people have in restaurants where they demand to be served something the restaurant clearly doesn't usually provide. But I do hope these "abstraction layers" of animal raising, slaughter, meat cleaning and packing and then buying a clean, small pack from a local store get "leaky". People need to see what other species go through for that meal on our tables.
You know, I can see where these people are coming from.
As a picky eater, you quickly get the message that your existence is offensive and if you have any wisdom at all, you'll never eat in the company of others. Refusing to eat what someone else serves you just because you happen to hate it is an insult, and people frequently take offense.
Is it easier to go through life with everyone constantly feeling that you're insulting them, or -- if you can pull it off -- that they're insulting you?
- Drink a glass of fresh-out-of-the-chicken blood.
- Alienate all your coworkers.
Is there some reason you wouldn't feel aggrieved at this?
When relatives complain, I eat cows and remind me how bad it is for the environment I usually point out that I don't drive, never buy anything wrapped in plastic, source my groceries from the local wet-market (which I can walk to) and never eat meat more than once a weak. And when I do I know where it comes from, and how it was raised. When I cook it it's almost like a celebration of the life the animal had. I often spend the whole evening before planning how to prepare it and don't plan much other activities that day because getting it perfect (and better than last time) is my own personal fetish.
This year I worked with a guy who was actually Celiac and at first didn't know what that was. I thought "oh my not another one of those" ... Getting to know him better I found out what that entails and omg - this is one horrid condition to live with. It must be insulting to anyone who actually suffers from this seeing all these wannabe gluten intolerant pretenders. It ridicules those really suffering from the condition and makes them a laughing stock at their expense. A bit like those parents who seem hellbent on proving their child is somewhere on the Autistic spectrum - just to get a special treatment for their (very normal) kids (who simply need to get off the screen, spend more time outside in nature to drain their energy).
something more lighthearted: (How to Become Gluten Intolerant) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oht9AEq1798
I got very sick some years ago when I moved from a vegetarian diet to a vegan one and discovered that most specifically-marked-for-vegan protein dishes contain gluten.
>I don't think people who chose not to eat gluten get sick from it, do they?
it may as well be that people chose not to eat gluten because they get sick/discomforted to some degree (not necessary full blown celiac) and may be still be searching for the cause (say by the exclusion method) or have already noticed the correlation of the sickness with gluten. We don't know, and i'm not sure that anybody has the right to know as it is her private personal life details. Yet we, at least part of the society, press her to disclose whether she really has a medical condition by de-facto threatening to brand her as a "lady who make a voluntary diet choice" as the GP did.
>No one has asked the crew if they have nut allergies, gluten sensitivity, hypertension, lactose intolerance, or any other kind of dietary restriction. Their culinary options are to stay home in Vladivostok earning nothing, or get on the ship and eat what they are given.
Russia is a bad place to have medical issues. I have no idea how people with digestive issues or any other issues requiring things like special diets survived through the end of 198x - beginning of 199x back then in USSR and those first years after the collapse. I don't remember such people around ... i definitely didn't pay attention.
I think it is a big blessing/achievement that in the West people have that option of following specific diets, be it a strict medical necessity, just a "fad" or something in-between. You never know when you may need that option yourself.
I was thinking about that too. People with (severe) food allergies die from them even in developed countries, where there are laws to protect them and the subject is close to the public's consciousness, e.g. deaths from food alergies make it to the popular press and even become front-page news (as the recent case of a teenager who died on a plane journey after eating a sandwich with sesame seeds from Pret-a-manger in the UK). I'm sure it's much easier for something to go seriously wrong if you live in a society that is completely oblivious to the fact that, for some people, everyday foodstuffs can be lethal.
So maybe the fact that the Russian crew in the article find the idea of food allergies so amusing is not their robust Slav character, but the fact that, well, perhaps because of that character, people with severe food allergies die very early on where they come from.
I know, that sounds a bit horrible to say. Apologies to Russian readers.
Telling those people that gluten isn't the problem doesn't help them, because it doesn't change the fact that they can't eat pizza, bread or pasta.
For the latter, avoiding gluten is pretty much a necessity. For the former, it's a choice, but one I can understand asking for some accommodation for.
There are also apparently gluten allergies other than celiac. I know someone who when exposed to gluten gets the sort of reaction that some people do when they eat peanuts - he keeps an epi-pen on hand because if he accidentally ingests some his throat will swell up, airways will shut down, etc.
This sounds like a contradiction to me. You recognize that meat eating should not happen, so it's a problem, but in the same sentence you're backtracking and calling vegetarianism a problem.
If you accept that eating meat is bad, then you're implicitly calling meat eaters a problem. Unless you consider that everyone, you should indemnify yourself. I would never call someone trying to do the right thing in a sea of those who don't a problem...
That's how I read it at least, and it sounds like a responsible way of handling personal values.
That said, if we do want more people to be vegetarian, then instead of simply making minimal hassle for others, we could also take the opportunity to proactively educate in a caring manner.
If we want a vegetarian world, then instead of scrounging for sides at a dinner party, we could redefine the party to be a collaborative cooking one, or we could try to do more potluck, or we could be more proactive about choosing the meal venue.
Those options take extra effort and aren't even possible a lot of the time, so I feel like OP's non-aggressive stance is a really respectable default.
People like this woman irritate me because I get automatically associated with her.
She herself was complaining about people who 'became' gluten free after getting on the ship, and that this meant she had less food available to her.
I think it is clear the lady mentioned is taking issue not because she has a medical limitation, in which case the Russians have amble food to provide. Rather she is, as the writer further points out, under the belief that her digestive system functions better without gluten.
I was a tourist in about 2002, at a Ukrainian station had been basically abandoned. We did indeed end up trading all manner of things for their station-made vodka which was...impressive stuff.
If there are any would-be impresarios or producers out there, I propose the following format for an adaptation of this that would permit a wider audience: Audio is a word-for-word recital of the existing text (narrated by Maciej if he wants the job). Video should be simply micro-vignettes of the scenes described: the perplexed Russians (regarding gluten), the threatening Chief Mate, the unstoppable eating of Rodney, the scalded hands of Bill. I think it's got the possibility to be a cult classic.
Interestingly DansDeals just recently organized a Kosher tour to Antarctica https://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/trip-notes/join-life... and https://www.kosherantarctica.com/
Was a fantastic read. I should figure out how to get notified of all your updates, it's some of the most fun I've had reading, and reminds me a lot of Douglas Adams' "Last Chance to See".
Get an RSS reader. http://idlewords.com/index.xml works terrific!
Goofy question, but how does Antarctica have an East region? What’s it East of?
Ah, at least for a moment I felt proud to be Italian :)
Also, if you're reading this Maciej, there's a typo: indedidble.
This is just a Russian thing. Sometimes if you're lucky you'll get a bit of eye crinkle.
Speaking of Russians and smiling, I got to go the McDonald's in Red Square shortly after it opened. The culture clash of the Russian staff being told that they must smile to their customers made for some great people watching.
So when I go back to the continent, I have to remind myself that, no, the fact that the lady that sold me that magazine or that sandwich etc. didn't beam back at me when I paid it doesn't mean she was being rude, or disapproving. She just didn't feel like smiling.
It takes me a couple of times every time, to acclimate myself.
The funny thing is that both Greeks and Italians will smile and laugh a lot... in the right circumstances (at the table, when you say a joke, when you actually strike a conversation, etc). They just don't see smiling as a necessary component of a service they are paid to provide.
That being said, putting forth even a moderate amount of visible effort into doing things the local way will earn you social capital that you will need when you inevitably make a mistake that is more severe than you'd expect. If you can get to the point where you can laugh at yourself to smooth over any misunderstandings, then carry on, you'll be fine most anywhere.
I guess we just smile when we really want to show our genuine feelings of joy / amusement.
Toughen up, right? That’s the message subtext here.
As someone who has been diagnosed with Celiac and who has a Celiac child I find this dismissive additude OFFENSIVE.
I don’t know anything about Russian or Asian Celiac rates of occurance, but I bet they aren’t that much different than the US. The only difference being awareness and diagnosis.
But unlike "locally sourced", food that has been mislabeled as "gluten-free" is dangerous for celiacs.
As another side effect, the fad people do a lot of work to train everyone to believe things like "people who claim to be gluten-sensitive are stupid". I don't imagine celiacs appreciate that either.
What's next? Advertising gluten-free toothbrushes and paper towels and smartphone cases?
It was illuminating! Certainly worth doing.