Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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Today on Facebook, I saw a link to a story from the  TV program, The Doctors.

In full disclosure, I didn't see this show when it aired, but I watched the clip on the Internet.  You can see it here

As part of a series giving tips on how to achieve an ideal weight for summer, a plastic surgeon, a real doctor, suggested that people tell waiters that they have a butter allergy when visiting a restaurant to get less fat in their meals.  He goes on to say that the only way to be sure that the restaurant will take you seriously is to say that it's an allergy.

Wow!  Where to start?!

First of all -- what is a butter allergy?  I'm quite sure he is not implying that diners pretend that they have a dairy allergy.  Just the butter.  Hmmm.....

It's hard enough to get people to understand the severity of a REAL food allergy -- to take it seriously.  How much more difficult is that task when an expert is encouraging people to just go ahead and make up allergies?

So with it common knowledge that people are making up allergies to lose weight (if this advice is heeded), how seriously will restaurants take the safety precautions that are required for food allergies?  It's extra effort, which translates to extra expense, for a restaurant to ensure that cross-contamination doesn't occur to keep allergic diners healthy.  If they suspect the claim is bogus, will they take those extra steps?

Food allergies, a potentially life-threatening medical condition, is not a joke.  How can a medical professional go on national television and treat the healthcare needs of MILLIONS of people so cavalierly?

Shame on you, The Doctors.  I only hope that if the food-allergic community helps shine a spotlight on this issue that in the future they will be more responsible. 

What do you think?

Happy Cooking!

Find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes.



  1. I've seen fellow vegans make a similar suggestion and it is so upsetting! Why eat somewhere that won't take you seriously without a feigned allergy?! Most allergic families can't eat out often or at all as it is...

  2. I completely agree. As a vegan without allergies myself, I only eat at restaurants that care about making me happy. When I take my son out (only to a couple of places where we feel comfortable--Epipen in hand) it is a medical necessity that they take precautions for his meals.

  3. Agree with you, this is really upsetting!

  4. I completely agree! As someone with a life-threatening allergy (to bony fish), I feel nervous enough when dining out. To hear that an actual doctor is encouraging people to create a faux allergy just to save a few calories is beyond reckless. Thanks, Kim, for shining a light on this!

  5. Thank you, ladies, for contributing to the conversation. Even when it seems more and more people are "getting it" about food allergies, it seems like there are that many that still don't. Guess we all still have work to do! :)

  6. yes, why eat somewhere that doesn;t take you seriously? How about just asking them to use less butter? A place that balks at that is a place should should not be eating. Totally ludicrous!

  7. I'm with you, Tessa. Totally ludicrous!

  8. Oh wow. I bought a glass mixing bowl for my mixer because my stainless one got scratched and I was afraid it would trap oils from my peanut butter cookies- we have a friend with nut allergies so I only make things for them in the glass bowl. Luckily they can have things processed in the same facility, but I still worry (I am a pharmacist) so I feel more comfortable with the glass bowl method. The whole idea of this is very vain sounding.

  9. Allison,
    You are an amazing friend. I'm sure that your loved ones are so grateful for the extra care you provide. :)