Lets start this off right. Your gluten allergy is fake. A server will never tell this to your face but this is what they think. You are not allergic to gluten. You saw a big diet trend going on and wanted attention. Now that I have said that I would like to also point out that yes there are some people that are truly allergic, sensitive or intolerant to gluten. Unfortunately, you are not one of them. I am tired of all of the negative stigma that comes with having celiac disease and guess who the problem is?! YOU! If you have ever gone on social media saying how you feel so much better on your gluten-free diet and you knew all along that it must of been an allergy. You are the problem. While the servers do not condemn you for going on a gluten-free diet we do condemn you for throwing around the word allergy. When you go to a restaurant and use the term ‘allergy‘ you are forcing the entire restaurant to do extra work and take extra special care of your food to make sure you do not get sick. That being said if your so called ‘allergy’ is just a diet that makes you feel better with no medical basis, you are being a SELFISH ASS. It has come to a point where a person who actually has the medical allergy feels awkward to even ask because there are so many people who ‘say’ they have the allergy.
Do you discuss your allergy at parties? Does your gluten allergy come and go? Did you go to the Italian restaurant and were fine because you ordered the gluten-free pasta? Even though after reminding the server 10 times of your allergy you still complained to the manager that you did not receive a basket of bread. Your gluten allergy is fake because you did not spend months or even years dealing with crippling pain and constant digestive stress before removing gluten from your diet. If you only realized that you have the allergy because one day you were home sick watching The View and suddenly they mention that gluten allergies are a massive threat to the American public then you are a FAKE!
In your head if you are thinking right now, “Well I cut out gluten and I feel great!” congratulations, you are on a diet. Being on a diet a lot of times give you exactly these results. If you’re the type to watch all of the talk shows and believe everything Dr.Oz or Oprah is telling you then you may want to do a little research on top of that. Yes if you cut out bread, pasta and desserts you are going to be rewarded by feeling refreshed and renewed. In fact there are plenty of diets that are pretty well gluten-free. For instance Atkins and the Paleo diet. Both are great options, so why not try them and stop giving people with a medical condition a bad name and frustrating the people around you.
A real gluten allergy or Celiac disease causes vomiting, migraines, Fibromyalgia, vertigo and more. not a vague malaise otherwise known as being a daytime TV couch potato with nothing to live for besides keeping up with the Kardashians and complaining about the woman next door who is clearly an unfit mother, just look at what her kids are wearing to school these days. When you say ‘I removed gluten from my diet and feel so much better. It must of been because I am allergic to gluten’, it’s like saying “I stopped watching tv for 10 hours a day and I don’t get headaches anymore! I must of been allergic to tv!” It’s a light way of skirting the actual issues of those who physically can’t watch tv due to chronic migraines or brain tumors. It is perfectly alright to cut tv from your life or even gluten. However it is very important to realize where ‘lifestyle change’ and ‘medical condition’ begins.
If you did have a real gluten allergy you would not just ‘feel better‘ after removing gluten from your diet. You will be in consistent discomfort until you figure out what’s wrong. In the United States gluten allergies affect approximately 5% of people and can range from moderate to severe. Both can be controlled by either limiting or completely removing gluten intake depending on severity. Some may have the allergy but it is so moderate that it may go unnoticed, but sometimes a few crumbs could cause a person discomfort for weeks. The most severe gluten allergy is Celiac disease. 1% of Americans are affected by this and while there is no cure it can be controlled by a strict diet and sanitation protocols in order to prevent cross contamination.
Celiac disease is a lot of work and very time consuming. Whether it be when they are out shopping, preparing a family meal at home or at a restaurant, it is rough. No one suffering this medical condition would be happy to hear a person is faking the same symptoms. There is absolutely nothing funny or trendy about it. It is straight up, miserable at times. Most would trade out in a heartbeat. Do you see anyone claiming they have a peanut allergy? Yet you or one of your friends sit there claiming to have a medical condition even though about 1 in 100 people actually have it.
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. If someone has a severe allergy, ordering the salad without croutons won’t always solve the problem. 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. Those with severe medical issues are acutely aware of how difficult it is to keep food sterile, and won’t take the chance. Those with sensitivities or tolerances might have no issue ordering a gluten-free version of a dish, because cutting out 95% of the gluten puts it within their realms of comfort. Even so, unless specifically advertised as gluten-, peanut-, or shellfish-free, no restaurant is capable of maintaining a cross-contamination-free kitchen. 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. All restaurants have some basic cross-contamination, but this doesn’t mean restaurant kitchens are dirty. Restaurant kitchens are cleaner than residential kitchens. Restaurant kitchens follow a lot of strict guidelines and constantly seek to maintain an ‘A’ health code rating. Even the cleanest residential kitchen might merit a C at best. However, even at the height of hygiene in any restaurant, knives get used for more than one task, cutting boards get washed periodically, not constantly, and cookware isn’t scoured and deep cleaned every few minutes. Commercial kitchens crank out hundreds of meals in a few hours, and it is impossible to devote an entire freshly cleaned facility to one meal. So while a restaurant kitchen can certainly guarantee that they will not put any egg in a salad, they can’t guarantee that every single ingredient and prep surface never touched an egg for any period of time. 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.
However, in the age of the helicopter mom and worldwide safety zone, entire grade schools are now peanut-free to protect the one child on campus with a moderate peanut allergy, teaching him that the entire world revolves around his little need, and he has no personal obligation to educate himself on and avoid one of the world’s most popular agricultural products, being produced in excess of 30 million tons per year. And when that boy’s mother orders in a restaurant, she doesn’t take a moment to consider the menu, the venue, or any degree of reason when selecting her entree. She orders whatever she likes, and if it doesn’t fit within her dietary restrictions, she just asks for it to be modified. ‘Biscuits and gravy MOD: GLUTEN FREE’ printing out of the ticket printer can send the most seasoned chef into conniptions. Every ingredient in biscuits and gravy contains gluten, and unless specifically advertised as available, should not be considered within the realm of reasonable gluten modifications. 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.
Allergies are taken very seriously to ensure the safety of customers, and the protocols involved in creating an allergen-free dish are not to be taken lightly, or bandied about by fools merely seeking special attention. 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. Dealing with an allergy throws an entire kitchen out of its rhythm, requiring fresh gloves, fresh knives, fresh dishes, fresh prep bins, fresh cutting boards, and fresh cookware, all to meet the needs of one self-entitled attention whore whose dietary needs are dictated to her by a panel of vapid, aging, moronic twats whose optimistically described “talk show” contains a smaller proportion of genuine content than each hosts’ facial structure.
Anonymous Angry Server