Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Food Fadists & Fascists



First off a disclaimer. Food allergies, sensitivities and intolerance are real and for those who suffer from them they are an ever-present threat to health and sometimes their lives. I will not be addressing those people. I have a sister who goes into anaphylactic shock if she eats anything that has come into contact with egg, even an egg-shell. Also, she knows how prevalent eggs as an ingredient are in the food service industry so she has researched what she can and cannot eat as well as where she can and cannot eat it. Did you know egg shells clarify some broths for soups and some coffees? She does. I say this to communicate that I am aware food allergies are real and can have possibly fatal consequences and I am sympathetic to this but also that any person with this type of allergy knows better than to leave their health in the hands of someone without an invested interest in keeping them healthy and they don't take a chance on someone else making important dietary choices for them.

Silence! I kill you!!

I had someone tell me that if they eat lettuce they will die and that their bagel had lettuce on it and if they died it was my fault. Fatal allergy to lettuce? Sure... If that is the case, then they have no business assigning me responsibility if they choose to eat in a restaurant that has lettuce. Period. Your health. Your choice. We are not going to stop offering lettuce in the restaurant so if you have that kind of an allergy it's probably best you not eat here. We're perfectly fine with losing your business. Have a nice day. :)

You're asking yourself if I've really said that to a customer. Yes I have said it. Too many times. 

People who choose to follow severely restricted diets for non-health related reasons (heart disease or diabetes) are on their own too. It doesn't matter to me what you eat but, like evangelical Christianity, do not involve me in your little food games.

Read on an old board yesterday:
I am just so tired of hearing about people sensitive to gluten, dairy, black pepper, onions, cinnamon, vegetables in the nightshade family, sugar, and on and on. Yesterday was the topper though, I heard someone ask "Was this dehydrated at a temperature of less than 118 degrees? I get violently ill if I eat anything that was heated beyond that". Listen you fucking drama queen, if you want to jump on the raw food bandwagon go ahead, but don't expect us to believe that you get "violently ill" if you eat things that were heated.
I know there are some people who really do have celiac disease, or are truly allergic to certain foods, but the majority of these whiners are just looking for ways to feel special. Here's a news flash though, joining the herd of people following the allergy d'jour does not make you special, it makes you a fucking moron.
And seriously, does anyone ever go to a Naturopath/Witch Doctor and not be told they are "sensitive" to wheat and dairy?
As Mitchel Ruhlman where I got the term "food fascist" said in response to an email he got here;
We have reached such a pitch of food idiocy it makes me want to scream. Much of the idiocy is sparked by the media that seems to report on every study and trend that comes around the bend. That and an American population that simply cannot think for itself. People, you have six senses! The last one is common! Use it!

I'm not talking about people who choose to eat only foods harvested from sustainable sources or non-genetically modified foods or people who are committed to being informed about how we sow, reap, harvest, legislate and base our economic systems on food and how it ultimately reflects on how we treat each other and the Earth, they're in a group all by themselves with a fringe element of fascists like any other group.

I'm talking about the idiots who can't or won't sit down and figure out a balanced diet of fruit, veggies, carbs, protein, fat and exercise in order to be healthy. The need or want someone to think for them and they're willing to accept a way of eating suggested to them by fanatics.

In conclusion, food fascists, fanatics and extremists need to shut up. It's food. If you knew how stupid we think you are, you would have the good sense to keep your latest food fad to yourself. I haven't known a food fascist who chugs apple cider vinegar and embarks on week long body cleanses to be any healthier than someone who gives not one damn about food choices.

If you can't eat anything heated beyond 118 degrees, you need to find out for yourself where to get the foods you can eat and no I'm not changing anything I do to accommodate that choice because you choose not to be balanced. Like anything in life, balance is the key. Why do we have so little of it?

9 comments:

Tonya said...

Amen, Sister!

I'm the food allergy NAZI! I mean, I've told younger servers to let me take over their tables because I only trust ME to make sure that your food is safe. If you have a food allergy, I will write it on the ticket. I will go back and talk to the cook. I will also inform a manager. I know where the food allergy menu is and I will print you out a copy. People with food allergies are amazed at how good I am. And I am, because I care. But I can tell someone with a food allergy from someone who's faking and I have ZERO patience for the fakers. I always gave them a little shrug and told them "We'll do our best, but..."

I get so mad at the Food Fakers, because they take something SO serious and try to ride it. You wouldn't steal a handicapped person's parking space, so don't try to take their illness. These fucks are the reason why people think Asperger's is a fake disease. Because of these assholes.

Frimmy said...

People in the industry don't usually give a shit. I've seen my sister turn red and start having breathing issues immediately after eating a breaded chicken breast she had been assure was eggless. That was in the beginning. An epi pen shot in the kitchen, a trip to emerg and she doesn't leave it to chance anymore.

People with genuine allergies would be so grateful to you for taking it seriously and CARING.

Tonya said...

They were. Unfortunately, there were too few of them and too many assholes and so the industry lost me. I have ZERO problems with those who have a genuine allergy. I do not mind taking the time. I absolutely have no problem harranguing cooks, managers and other servers (DONT TOUCH THAT FOOD! THATS MINE!!!). I could have done it all day long because those with genuine allergies were so grateful for my care and concern. And shocked? Always they were shocked.

The assholes who snapped their fingers at me while I was trying to give extra care to someone with a life-threatening illness. The managers who shrugged their shoulders when I asked for our food allergy menu. THOSE are the people that ran me out of the industry.

And I feel sorry for those with the allergies. Because not one of them was ungrateful.

Frimmy said...

My sister never felt entitled to extra care. She just wanted to know what she could order on the menu. That's it. She was shocked and grateful if someone went beyond that and asked the chef or checked ingredient lists.

The food industry lost a good server when you left. You can't buy that kind of care and clearly nobody wants to nurture someone who shows it.

Tonya said...

I blame the chains. They caused the problem. I think the pendulum will swing back the other way in a few years. However, it won't be soon enough for me. By the time I'm old enough to feel entitled and bitchy, no one will let me act that way. Same as raising kids. My parents had all the power and then when I had kids they had all the power. I was born in the wrong time, dammit.

Frimmy said...

Why is the pendulum always swinging. Why can't there just be balance?

Tonya said...

Because then we'd have more time to think and see what's really important? Or maybe because humans just like a good fight? Maybe that's why war brings people together? Or maybe I'm just overthinking?

Frimmy said...

I would have accepted: because the world in the hands of Satan

Tonya said...

I see your hands of Satan and raise you a "We're in the end times."