I’m lactose intolerant. I also can’t eat green stuff (I’m surviving somehow). Allow me to go cry about it, while I make a meme about how intolerant you are with your ice cream socials and salad bars.
Actually, no. As a sufferer of lactose intolerance and what is probably diverticulitis I have a simple strategy…don’t eat that stuff, don’t complain about it, and quit whining.
Bam. Solved the problem.
My church once had someone come ‘in view of a call’ to help us plant a church in a nearby state. He claimed to have a gluten allergy. He talked a lot about his gluten allergy. It was the topic of every conversation. He brought it up more than a vegan talks about veganism; it was insufferable. He said he couldn’t work a part-time bi-vocational job because of his gluten allergy.
Gluten. Gluten. Gluten. Gluten.
I’ve never heard so much about gluten in my life. I was thankful when we decided to pass on his employment, because – praise God – I wouldn’t have to hear about gluten allergies again (there were other reasons, but that was the icing on the cake).
I’m sure food allergies are an annoyance. And in some cases, like with shellfish, they might be deadly. But for crying out loud, stop being babies about it.
We live in a nation where the average supermarket has 47 thousand products. That’s 47 thousand. As in, you are not going to starve to death if you have to avoid eggs, soybeans, peanuts, fish or certain fruits.
And yet, our kids can’t take peanut butter sandwiches to school because little Johnny can’t hack it, and Dairy Queen has to give more warnings about nuts on a sundae than Walgreens has to give about dispensing opiates. Folks at potlucks feel the need to give five-point-bulletins about mango intolerance.
Some suspect that something is changing in the global food supply (many suspect it’s genetically modified crops, the science of which is sketchy), and indeed it seems that food allergies are getting worse. But what’s annoying is how millennial snowflakes are turning their food sensitivities into screaming, prophetic laments as though they were Isaiah, crying, “Woe unto me, for I am undone.”
If you suffer a food allergy, here’s what you do:
Step 1: Tell people who prepare your food that you’re allergic.
Step 2: Don’t eat or touch that to which you’re allergic.
There. That’s it. There’s no third step.
Quit demanding that church potlucks engineer the menu according to your food allergy. Quit demanding that everybody else, from schoolmates to coworkers, change their eating patterns. Quit wearing your allergy on your t-shirt. You are not the center of the universe, and your food allergy is not nearly as important to anyone else as it is to you.
I thought it asinine that The Gospel Coalition would turn food allergies into a “gospel issue” (although not surprising) in a recent article. By my count, pretty much everything is a “gospel issue” to TGC except spaying and neutering cats, but I’m sure Rebecca MacLaughlin or Karen Swallow Prior has a TGC article extolling the virtues of pet population control as a gospel issue planned for some time next week (seriously, just wait).
But what did surprise me were the comments on that article. In rode the cavalry of soft-handed First World kids who view food allergies as some kind of entrance into a victim identity group.
“We may be white. We may be upper-class. We may have had first-rate preschools and went to space camp. But by golly, we’re allergic to gluten. Look at my oppression!”
You’re not disabled, sweet pea. You just can’t eat everything on the menu. You’ll survive.
Being unable to eat everything you want, does not make you disabled. You don’t need a handicap plate. You don’t need a union, a support group, or a prayer huddle.
If I hear one more fat person on the Internet complain about food allergy sensitivities and how they must be left out of church potlucks I’m going to lose my mind. Maybe you could skip a few potlucks there Husky. Or better yet, just enjoy the fellowship and bring your own lunch. But whatever you do, please don’t ask Sister Margaret to change the recipe of her famous pistachio jello dessert, because it’s a gift to humankind. I mean, avoid the gluten, but don’t ask Brother Jethro not to Kentucky fry his chicken, you soulless sourpuss.
In other words, it’s really sad you have a food allergy. But I’m convinced that when it becomes such a big deal in people’s brains, we have a problem with narcissism. The world does not revolve around you.
If your church has 10 people in it, it’s probably not asking too much that they avoid your allergy-inducing ingredients. When there’s a hundred, you’re a jerk for asking. And if you demand that entire nationwide restaurant chains go nut-free for a tiny portion of the population, you’re basically a kill-joy. Why should we forgo a peanut parfait because 1 in 13 kids can’t have one?
Whatever is causing the increase in food allergies in America, I’m convinced the weeping and gnashing of teeth corresponds to the ever-increasing number of over-privileged millennial brats who think the sun rises and sets on them. It’s the same generation of kids whose moms didn’t let them play in the dirt and showered them every twenty minutes in hand sanitizer.
To be clear, my assertion is not that entitledness and narcissism correspond with food allergies. I’m asserting that the wailing and moaning and writhing about while crying about food allergies corresponds to entitlement narcissism.
You have a problem. But your problem is not everybody else’s problem.
There are people in this world who are born literally without legs. There are Third World kids who would love to have some tummy aches from wheat bread. There are babies who only get to see the light of day when forceps pluck them from the womb. There are eight-year-olds in the back of African warlords’ Toyota pickups, slinging AK-47s over their shoulders, eating dog food to survive. There are kids whose parents drag them to drag queen story hour, and your kid only has to suffer the horror of forgoing Goldfish crackers.
You’ll survive on your own bagged lunch, Mr. White Privilege. Quit complaining.