Dietary solitude 

Column By J1 Reporter Ruthie Barrett

Rants with Ruthie

“You have more 2s and 3s, than most adults I have seen,” This was the first thing I remember hearing from the doctor when I got my food sensitivities test back when I was 11. 

 The food sensitivity test ranks the most common food and spices and ranks it out of 3, with 0 being not sensitive at all and 3 being the most sensitive. So from then on I became gluten free, egg free and dairy free.

At first it was hard finding things to eat and I’ll admit I turned my nose up a few of the first dishes my mom made me. As the months and years went by, I adjusted to the food and soon they began to taste just as I remembered normal food tasting. 

But adjusting was not always easy because I felt a judgment about how I ate and how it tasted compared to the food I used to know. My first year of this diet, I brought turkey and apples every day for lunch and used the apple as a cracker. My friends at the lunch table would constantly make fun of me for it and I felt like I had to defend how it really wasn’t that odd. 

My defensiveness led to lunches filled with lighthearted arguments about the combo, but I didn’t feel they were lighthearted as an 11 year old, I felt like it was a personal attack when all I wanted was a sense of normalcy and to fit in. 

Soon I got used to the judgment and started using gluten free crackers instead of apples, but to this day I still feel like I have to defend the food I eat. 

When any product is labeled as gluten free or vegan, many people automatically assume that it is going to taste bad. They have no desire to even try to enjoy the food, but instead point out all the ways it isn’t like the “normal” kind.

I believe this is all a placebo effect and on some items you would have no idea that it was different than normal if no one told you. For instance, dairy free yogurt and regular yogurt taste exactly the same and no one would know the difference if you didn’t say anything.

 I think people’s perceptions of people that are gluten free or dairy free lead them to judge the foods. The media rips on people who are gluten free and vegan and depicts them as stuck up California girls. 

But a lot of people aren’t on this diet as a health fad, but instead to enjoy their life without facing pain every day from the food they eat. I think everyone should give this food a shot and not stick their nose up at it before even giving it a shot.

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