Hopefully we can all agree on the fact that wheat, rye and barley are off limits on a gluten-free diet. Beyond that, and even exactly what that means, quickly becomes a grey area.
It has to be that way. Our lives are all different. I don’t have a completely gluten free house, but I totally respect those of you who do. I do have strong opinions on some things such as cross contamination, and I think it’s important to help educate other people about such things. But I know that everyone will not agree with me.
In recent weeks I have spoken to two people who mentioned Domino’s gluten-free pizza. Neither of them knew that no precautions are taken to avoid cross contamination. One of them was okay with that, the other was not. It’s their choice to make, but I explained the situation and what I thought of it.
Information is essential, but in the end we all make our own decisions. That’s important to remember when we communicate and interact with other gluten-free people.
When eating outside my home, sometimes the people who are the most insensitive are those who are actually gluten-free. Maybe insensitive is the wrong word, but they impose the decisions they have made about what’s okay and what’s not on me. They assume that I do gluten free the same way they do.
Someone who knows very little about it is less likely to assume anything. The problem is complicated these days, though, since the gluten-free diet has become so popular. More and more people who are not on the diet think that they understand it. Sometimes they do. Often they don’t.
I’m not here to complain. I’m here to get you thinking. How do you respond to other people you know who are gluten free? Do you assume that they handle the diet the same way you do?
When eating with another gluten-free person, whether in a home, at a restaurant, or at a social event, it shows respect to ask them questions about what and where they feel they can safely eat.
Do you agree? Let me know what you think.
If dealing with gluten-eating people is a challenge for you, Shirley has compiled lots of helpful information in They Just Don’t Understand—Dealing with Gluten Full Friends and Family Part 1 and Part 2 (strategies).