Dealing with insensitive people

I've had an unusual experience this weekend whilst promoting my book  which prompts me to write this.  Have any of you out there experienced frustration in dealing with ignorant and insensitive people with regards to gluten free food?  My recent encounter involved a lady who stopped by my table, holding a huge tray of cakes purchased at the school bake sale.    As she was looking at me and my book with a beaming smile,  I asked her if she had an interest in gluten free cooking to which her response was, "No!  I'm really lucky none of us have to eat that sort of food".  I was rather incensed by her comment as it was made in front of my daughter. This followed hot off the heals of another lady who was rather pleased with herself as she stated " I don't like gluten free food!" in the same manner a 3 year old tells you she doesn't like vegetables.

It set me thinking on how one can change people's perception of gluten free food.  I know that the food we eat at home is in no way compromised by the lack of gluten. But the moment someone sees the label "gluten free" they assume it will be disgusting, weird and tasteless.  And admittedly most of the time commercial gluten free food is not that great. It is improving, but for the most part, it has a way to go.   I guess this ignorance then leads them to make same assumption about the person who has to eat this food too, "poor thing, they have to eat horrible, tasteless food"

One of the main reasons for writing the cookbook, was to show that good gluten free food is every bit as tasty as "normal" food.  But how do you get the "I can't believe it's  gluten free " message out there to all those normal people who can eat whatever they like?  And how do you get those smug,insensitive people like the lady in question,  to have a little consideration for those "unlucky ones" who have to follow a restricted diet.  And how do you get them to try or buy something that is gluten free?  Do you trick them by telling them after they've eaten it?  Do you write "gluten free" discreetly on the back of the pack, almost like an apology?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.



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joannewoodlice's picture
joannewoodlice wrote 14 years 25 weeks ago


Adriana My 15 month old daughter was diagnosed with Coealic disease 2 weeks ago, after a long time of immense worry and upset with her continued poorliness. I found your book, 'The Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids' and could very much relate to your Introduction. Your book has been invaluable and encouraging. I have joined the Coealic Society and am embracing my daughter's new diet, as a 'way of life' and trying to educate those around her, in a fun way. Thank you so much for being so inspiring and please keep up the good work! It's wonderful to hear your daughter, Ruthie, is very happy. Best wishes Joanne

adriana's picture
adriana wrote 14 years 25 weeks ago

Hi Joanne,  Thanks so much

Hi Joanne,  Thanks so much for your message.  It's great that your daughter has been diagnosed so young which means that she will heal very quickly and the benefits of her new diet will be very aparent.  It is also interesting to see that my experience has mirrored that of many other mothers with children who have a gluten intolerance which all goes to show that there is a lot to be gained from sharing your experiences with others.  That is really the true purpose of this site.  It also has to be said that the freedom of being able to share new recipes is a huge motivating factor and one which brings me immense pleasure!  Well done for embracing the new diet and wishing you a very happy gluten free Christmas.

gem3001's picture
gem3001 wrote 14 years 15 weeks ago

insensetive people

ive had loads of incendents of insensetive people once in marks and spencers i commented how nice a gf cake was in there to a lady who then proceeded to put back the cake say oh well i dont want it if its gluten free!!! but i think the worst case was my 3 year old coeliac daughters father telling everyone her birthday cake may taste funny as it was gf!!!!! i was furious especially as hes never bothered to try her food so doesnt know what it tastes like grrrrrrr !!!!!!!!