Are Your Dietary Restrictions Making Life Difficult For Your Dining Partners?

With everyone now so fully aware of the restrictions many people face when they leave the safety and confines of their own personal kitchens, one might begin to wonder just how having food restrictions can impinge on one’s hosts when dining in their homes. Is it difficult or relatively simple to maintain the diet of your choice/requirements? Can it be handled with panache and grace? Or is it going to set up another “hurdle” in your social life? Will you become an outsider as a result of your predilictions to various foods?

laundry lists of eating restrictions are growing more commonplace in our rapidly diversifying world. Where once religion seemed the major reason to limit one’s intake of certain foods, what we eat has increasingly become governed by medical issues, as well as political and personal choices.

While a single menu used to suffice, some folks say they’re now stretching their culinary skills to make their gatherings as food-friendly as as possible, or just throwing in the dish towel in favor of going out to dinner to let someone else figure it out.

Just the list of possible eating restrictions can be overwhelming.

“Between the lactose intolerant and meat intolerant and the different kinds of vegetarians it’s gotten to be a very stratified system,” said Mary Mitchell, a Seattle-based etiquette consultant who avoids cheese, butter and dairy to keep her cholesterol in check.”Overall, I think it’s a good thing that people are conscious about what people are putting into their bodies. Really, the challenge becomes one of communication.” The key to a successful gathering, said Mitchell, is to discuss dietary restrictions ahead of time.

Be sure to read over the section called Diet diplomacy which gives one a wide variety of ideas …

Non appetit: Dietary restrictions can complicate social dining (Seattle Times)

Melissa Goodman reporting…

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