My Free-From Revolution - My 2015 Resolution

Happy Holidays everyone!

Everyone has been asking me lately: 
What is your 2015 Resolution
So I started thinking of something which would really matter, something which could really make a change. 
What came to mind almost immediately was a conversation I had with a friend yesterday, who told me about the struggles of his girlfriend who is a newly-discovered celiac. I listen carefully drawn in to his story told with a time of support and understanding but also of pain as it seems she is in a very difficult state and will need to be operated in hospital soon to remove some of her stomach. I couldn't help but emphasise with her through him and ended up offering him some advice which was happily and gratefully received; almost like a lost tourist usually shows their gratitude through their re-established hope of finding their way after I confidently give them directions.

This got me thinking. I thought of how many more people there are out there who are potentially in the same still undiagnosed condition, and this led to thinking of what services we have which offer solutions to ease our eating and cooking struggles. Places which have what I offer to you through this blog: Free-From, Home-Made, Full of Taste, Balanced, Fresh, Beautifully Presented, Imaginative and 'Normal' recipes. Not many - and why not??

I suffer personally from gluten, wheat, dairy, red meat, acidic fruits, sparkling drinks, onion, garlic and many more food & drink intolerances and it is an everyday struggle to find something I can safely eat whilst away from home. 
When I do find something I can eat that is entirely free-from, most of the times it might as well be hospital food: tasteless, boring, badly presented, a complete appetite-killer. And I am not alone! There are more than 55%  of the UK population (25 million people!!), and millions more in the world like me. 

So I got to thinking of how we survive everyday and I concentrated my thinking exactly on those 'dreaded' social events which are a nightmare for both parties: 
Party 1: The people around you, who need to cater for you are surrounded with limited catering possibilities and free-from recipes without imagination, and end up frustrated and possibly uninviting you from their next event or outing. 

Party 2: You, the free-from freak, who ends up missing on all the catch-up chat due to being too busy frantically scanning the menu for any free-from options you will inevitably not find. You will probably end up in the corner of the table, whispering in the ear of the waiter suggestions of strange mixes made from ingredients you hope they will find in their kitchen, whilst he casts an impatient eye on the rest of the party who no-doubt have by now realised that the restaurant they have chosen is not getting your seal of approval. Meanwhile for your part, you have made no such conclusion and instead you try to look as apologetic as possible mumbling something about the total unimportance of food to you, and concluding that seeing everyone is the real reason you joined them to the restaurant this evening. Ofcourse, in your own head, your thoughts are still where you left them as you consciously follow, with the corner of your eye, the waiter who by now is already in the kitchen and you find yourself mutely praying that he has taken you seriously and is delivering your clear instructions to the Chef who for his part will not oversee the inclusion of any ingredient which will most certainly lead to your night being prematurely concluded due to stomach cramps and bathroom visits.

Now, for those of you who are reading this and smiling, it will either be because you personally suffer from food intolerances or allergies in which case, I salute you for your bravery everyday - or you will be someone who has a friend, a colleague or a loved one, whom they watch go through this every time they eat out. Again, I salute you too, because if reading this makes you smile, it means that you have entered a part of their lives and understood it, and we need people like you, who support and stand by us.

If, instead, you are reading this and it all seems new, I ask: where have you been living? Look around you, it may be that you have not noticed it yet but I guarantee that you will find more than one person in your network circle who goes through this everyday (unless have decided to take a vow of solitude, in which case, be prepared for society when you come out of it).

And then there is me, writing this out of frustration but also inspiration. I am inspired by the huge potential this presents me with and I am ready to make a change. This, is my 2015 Resolution. 
Eating out is a luxury for anyone, but it is also supposed to be one of life's enjoyments and a treat for everyone. 
But it isn't. 
It's a struggle and a blind-bet-fingers-crossed-surrender-to-the-consequences-and-symptons-just-act-normal-whilst-out-and-suffer-back-home, for most. It shouldn't have to be this way.

We are but the beginning, of a world-wide revolution, in the food and drink industry.

No comments:

Post a Comment