*This post/ list stems from many personal experiences. The title of this post comes from my latest encounter. Seriously, I was so offended that I just couldn’t let this one slip between my fingers. I guess you could say that this was the last straw that FINALLY broke the camel’s back.*
If you know someone with food allergies and you are having a dinner party/ get together/ whatever it is you kids are doing these days, please, Please, PLEASE follow these simple guidelines.
- Ask said person what his/ her allergies are and plan at least one dish that they can eat (and take precautions to avoid cross contamination with said allergens).
- Ask said person what his/ her allergies are and go through your menu and ask if they would feel comfortable eating anything you prepared. If not, offer them the option to bring something themselves.
- As you invite said person to your soiree and you already have a menu full of items that they can’t eat, and if they offer to bring something, LET THEM. TELL THEM IT’S OKAY!!!
- Invite someone with allergies and when they offer to bring something to guarantee that they’d have something to eat, say, “No. I’m sure we’ll have something for you.” and then proceed to NOT have something for them.
- Invite someone with allergies and when they offer to bring something to guarantee that they’d have something to eat, offer them various food items you prepared that contains their allergens that they just described to you over the phone when you called to invite them to your celebratory bash.
- Invite someone with allergies and when they offer to bring something to guarantee that they’d have something to eat, tell them, “No, there will be plenty of food.” and when they show up, prepare and serve the foods that they could eat in a way that allows their possible meal to be cross contaminated with their said allergens.
Now, following these guidelines does one, if not ALL, of five things. It:
- Comforts and welcomes your intended guest.
- Gives your possible guest the option to set their own menu, without feeling like a burden to you, the host.
- May possibly lighten your work load because you don’t have to cook anything extra.
- Allows you to be worry free when it comes to possibly killing your guest or sending them to the ER if they accidentally ingest one of their allergens (Like if you accidentally forget to tell them an ingredient or two in a dish,… An ingredient or two that could be a possible allergen. This is especially true for those who have severe allergens outside of the Top 8).
- Makes you come off as a caring and considerate host; which is the BEST HOST to be.
~*~ IT ELIMINATES ANY AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS! YAY!~*~
Now I know this list may make me sound angry, bitter, annoyed, and overall, ungrateful to be invited to a party, and I am. I hate being that person who sits there while everyone else is eating and side-eyeing me with nothing but pity. I hate being that person that everyone offers food to and I have to constantly turn everything down, NOT because I don’t want to eat it, BECAUSE I CAN’T! I literally can’t. I hate being that person that goes to an event and every other sentence out of someone’s mouth to me is some variation of, “You can’t even try a little bit of this?” “Then what do you eat?” “How do you live?” “How are you not dead yet?” I hate it.
I HATE IT.
And I hate being put in those situations because it automatically makes me the giant elephant in the room and it’s not a good feeling. Why would I want to go somewhere and hang out with people who are only going to make me feel awkward and bad for leaving my house to spend time with them? Why would I go out of my comfort zone, into a potentially deadly situation, to be around people who are going to do nothing to help me adjust?
Especially AFTER I offered and made the attempt to help myself, without putting any extra stress on the host.
Like, I know how hard it is to cook for myself. I have to do it almost every day! It isn’t fun. It isn’t great. And most of the time, it’s downright aggravating as hell. Everything has to either have more ingredients, or higher quality ingredients, or if I want a certain flavor of something, I have to use something else to achieve it (I’m looking at you, soy sauce). Trust me, people with allergies know how NOT fun it is to cook and prepare foods on a daily basis.
This is why we ask to bring stuff when we go out.
This is why we hoard snacks in our bags (I am currently squirreling away popcorn, plantain chips, and gummy cherries as I speak).
This is why we ask what’s on the menu.
This is why we lookup ingredients on every food label, and then re-read the label again just to make sure we didn’t miss anything.
This is why we email/ contact food processing facilities to make sure none of their ingredients were cross-contaminated with any of our allergens. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ask a company if their products include any rice/ rice-derived ingredients because rice isn’t considered a Top 8 allergen, so it doesn’t have to really be listed.)
Still looking at you soy sauce companies. <.<
Yes, it’s a crappy hassle to have to deal with.
So, when you invite someone with allergies over to have a meal, remember, we already know the struggle. This is why 99.999% of the time, we offer to bring something, or (without you knowing) keep snacks in our bags, or store possible food items in the car so that we’ll have something to eat later on the car ride home because we’re starving from spending 3-4+ hours with a bunch of people who don’t know/ care.
So, please, don’t downplay our struggle, offer us a meal, and basically serve us poison.
That’s rude, inconsiderate, and completely disregards our way of living.
That’s not cool, and if that’s the attitude you’re going to have about it, don’t even bother inviting me. Or if you do,…
I won’t show.