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Gluten Intolerance Versus Gluten Ignorance

, , , | Working | December 2, 2015

(The vast majority of my family is going out to eat together. My brother-in-law has Celiac disease but is actually not a proponent of gluten-free for anyone that does not have a medically-diagnosed gluten intolerance. We go to a restaurant that publishes that they have gluten-free options. Because of his gluten intolerance, we call the store to make sure that their gluten-free options are cooked on cookware that has never touched gluten, and not merely “gluten-free,” as many places are gluten-free to cater to the granola crowd but not actually gluten-free for Celiac purposes. When we get to the restaurant, we remind them that we are the group that called ahead with a gluten-intolerant person. The waitress is really professional and understanding about this for most of the time.)

Waitress: *to my sister* “Wait. Aren’t you the gluten-free one? You ordered something with a wheat bun.”

Sister: “No, that is my husband. I can eat gluten.”

Waitress: *pointing to her three-year-old son who is eating a roll* “I don’t think you’re really gluten-free. He’s eating bread.”

Sister: “My son can eat gluten. I can eat gluten. My husband can’t.”

Waitress: *points to my sister’s baby* “Are you breastfeeding her? If you are, you probably shouldn’t eat gluten.”

Sister: *getting exasperated* “My son can eat gluten. My daughter can eat gluten. I can eat gluten. Everybody else at this table can eat gluten. My husband can’t.”

Waitress: “Kind of crazy that he would think that gluten is of the devil, and then allow his children to eat it.”

Brother-In-Law: “I don’t think gluten is of the devil. Just my intestines.”

Waitress: “It’s just a fad.”

Brother-In-Law: “I agree. Most people are eliminating a lot of nutrients from their diet and being ridiculous and jumping on a band-wagon. Unfortunately for me, if you take my cells and put them in a petri dish with gluten, they get very angry.”

Waitress: *walking away* “I’ve never heard of a half-gluten family.”

This story is part of our Celiac Awareness Day roundup!

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