Do You Know Someone Who Uses Their Food “Allergy” As A Power Play?

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Picky eaters have discovered a trump card.

It used to be that people who were picky eaters were simply annoying, high-maintenance individuals whose friends rolled their eyes whenever they spent five minutes explaining to a server exactly how they wanted their entree prepared.

Those were also the days before Yelp, so the chef would respond to the server by telling them how they didn’t spend years at culinary school and working their way up through the kitchen to get where they were just to have someone tell them that they want the meal the chef spent years perfecting completely wiped of any interesting flavor because that person was a single child with boring parents (using a lot more colorful language).

At some point, picky eaters discovered people who had food allergies. More importantly, they discovered that being allergic to something is the perfect excuse to not have to eat something they don’t like and grants them the power to force everyone involved in the preparation of their food to bend to their will. Today, somewhere between 20-30% of Americans claim a food allergy, while 3-4% actually have one.

Crying Wolf

All these claims of food allergies have created an odd dichotomy for people with actual allergies. For example, people with gluten-intolerance have never had such a wide variety of food choices available with such convenience…but it comes at the cost of increased skepticism about their actual medical condition…possibly because the girl at the table next to them claims she can’t eat the french fries because she’s gluten-free.

A Backlash?

At some point, gluten-free is going to go out of style for people who people whose intestines won’t actually go into self-destruct mode when they ingest the stuff, probably right around the point where everyone starts ignoring abnormal dietary demands…or people with normal appetites start making a few demands of their own. We expect it to go a bit like this…

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Food Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?