Monday, April 26, 2010

You Can't Trust Restaurants

"You can’t trust everything you read, especially if it is a nutrition label! In a disheartening study from the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers found that many dietetic frozen food entrees had many more calories than their nutrition labels claimed; on average, the frozen foods, including items from Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, and South Beach, contained 8% more calories than their boxes suggested. They also found many discrepancies between the number of calories in food items at many popular chain restaurants and the number of calories these restaurants claim their food contains. On average, restaurant foods contained 18% more calories than listed."

If you can't trust restaurants about the calories that are in their foods, how can we who eat Paleo/Primal trust them when they say their food is gluten-free or sugar-free?

I've decided to use a Medical Alert Necklace for myself to show at restaurants to help bring to their attention how serious I feel it is that I do not consume such things. I may not have a typical allergic reaction, nor are they deadly (well, Tilapia is), but I do get sick. Sometimes seriously.

However, there is still the problem of busy kitchens and cooks forgetting what your waiter told them. I went searching online to see other ways people have tried to make sure their food is prepared how they desire and I found the following:

Gluten Free Restaurant Cards for Celiacs / Coeliacs:
"These Celiac gluten free restaurant cards are for you to print out and take with you when you dine out at a restaurant, either at home or abroad. The great thing about being able to print your own is you can give them to the waiter or waitress to take to the kitchen. The most common problem with getting gluten free food when dining in restaurants is that your message gets lost or corrupted on its way to the kitchen."

I seriously like the idea of giving a card to your waiter so that he/she can just give them to the cook and there is no need to have to shout over and through a busy kitchen. Now I just need some cardstock and edit the text a little and I'm all set! No more getting huge headaches after consuming crap oil or sugar. No more having intestinal cramps due to gluten. At least, in theory. I am sure mishaps will happen, but a card like this should alleviate most of the problems.

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