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Kylie

Potluck Supper

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Not a cooking question per say, more a vent about cooking!

One of the associations I am in at school is having a Thanksgiving/Christmas potluck in two weeks. Different grades will be responsible for different types of items with a general turkey being cooked by one person. When I found out about the potluck I went to speak with a member of the executive board and the faculty sponsor to discuss accommodations. They are both aware that I have food allergies, but probably not aware of the significance of them. I asked if it would be alright if I helped to cook the turkey and the gravy to make sure I could eat it and asked if everyone would please label their food dishes with ingredients so that it would be safe. The exec and faculty member both told me that this would be too difficult. They said that the turkey would be fine and it was too much to ask people to label their food dishes. Really?! I was blown away. I explained that often times gravy is thickened with wheat and that chicken stock can have wheat in it and they just blew off my concerns. I still want to go to the potluck, and will of course bring a dish that I can eat and share, but am a little offended. Is it really that hard to ask people to label their food dishes for the safety of another person? I wasn

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Kylie, I can relate. Folks that don't have to worry about food intolerance for themselves (or family) may not have the same motivation to to be concerned the same way we are.

Honestly, even if I were able to get folks to label their potluck items with identifiable "gluten" ingredients, I wouldn't trust most folks to be able to eliminate cross contamination, as there is quite a learning curve involved. ;)

Our large extended family is getting together for TG (potluck style), and everyone is very sympathetic to my celiac issues. However, I'll be prepping my own food, and will share with others. It will be separate from other food, to avoid cc.

There are a few family members who deal with food intolerances and extreme allergies (their kids), so I would be comfortable eating their food, but no one else. It isn't worth it to me.

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I do not expect people to label their foods. It's hard enough for me to figure out what has gluten or not. I would not trust a whole group of people who are uneducated in celiac disease. Sounds like celiac Russian roulette.

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:unsure: I think your best bet is to stick with the food you prepare. I once had someone tell me incorrectly that their prepared dish was gluten free because it wasn't made with whole wheat flour. They didn't understand that white flour was simply processed wheat flour. Good luck.

This will be my first gluten-free Thanksgiving and I'm not looking forward to it.

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Well, it is definitely frustrating. For our peace of mind at potlucks, we always bring our own gluten-free food with enough to share. We have had dinner with friends who are aware of our gluten-free eating and PERSIST in bringing desserts that have gluten. Go figure.

There are too many hidden sources of gluten that could cause issues so I wouldn't even trust food that's labeled. People are not empathetic unless they've had issues themselves.

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I once had someone tell me incorrectly that their prepared dish was gluten free because it wasn't made with whole wheat flour. They didn't understand that white flour was simply processed wheat flour.

:rolleyes: Yeah, it is quite common for this to happen. Quite a few people have no idea white flour is "wheat". I miss potlucks...but it's not worth getting sick.

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Sorry to hear that!

We have a store near here that sells prepared food, both self serve and behind the case where they serve you. They are good to label the ingredients, but all it takes is one person to use the tongs or spoon from one thing on another and then whatever it is, is cross contaminated. I've seen it happen. Asked for roasted potatoes and the woman behind the counter put mashed in there. When I pointed out the error, she removed the mashed and proceeded to put the roasted in there with the dairy filled residue of the mashed still there. I am allergic to dairy. Gah!

For sure bring a dish you can eat but to be safe you should also bring additional food so you'll get enough to eat.

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Hey loopy1, if you have a gluten free kitchen it is not much harder to cook gluten-free for Thanksgiving. The receipes are not much different just have to change some of the ingredients. Good luck and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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Honestly, it's so far out of the norm for many people, that yeah, it's surprisingly inconvenient. Not to mention it's not particularly trustworthy since you don't know about contamination, nor would you know "ingredient ingredients" if someone, for instance, put "broth, rice, ..." on a label.

At any event like this, I assume there will be nothing I can eat, go for the socializing, look at bringing a dish myself as optional, and both eat before and bring my own food.

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I agree - even if stuff is labelled, it probably wouldn't be safe anyway. And honestly, it's a lot of work for a lot of people to do so you can *maybe* have some safe food. Someone brought gluten-free cupcakes (home made) to work the other day and I didn't even try them. They would definitely be made in glutened pans so it wasn't worth it. I get sick when I go visit relatives - sooner or later - because of this very issue (and they try so hard to keep things gluten-free).

I used to feel sorry for myself at these potluck type things but I don't any more - I just bring my own food or even don't eat. People hardly notice - well, until it comes to dessert time and then I just say I can't have any gluten.

Having said that I really don't eat at other people's houses - I have them over instead (not hugely social anyway - 3 kids and many activities so no time).

I have gone to restaurants with my own food (cereal - and asked for a bowl & milk or tinned tuna & muffins, etc.) or just had coffee while others eat. Hey, there are other paying customers so I don't get any flack. One meal here & there won't kill me.

But yeah - it reallky does suck !!! <_<

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There are 3 gluten free people at our church including me (I'm the worst because of the dairy and soy problems). I put our potluck food in a seperate area...too many chances someone could make it contaminated by accident. This way we all have food, can eat with our families, and not starve & feel left out. Yeah it would be nice to grab a bit of everything and sit down to eat. But I have come to peace with the fact that I love to play with food ( i think its called cooking, some days I just feed the dogs) God put me in my situation that has drastically improved my health... and I can cook for others that are in similar situations. I'm blessed that at my church several ladies have dived into gluten free cooking.

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Just a suggestion to maybe fix this for the next time: Suggest that everyone attach their recipe to their dish or set it nearby, so others can share recipes. It would allow you to see the ingredients and decide what is worth the risk, and make the idea sound fun and social instead of like a special interest. You'd be surprised how changing the wording can change the attitude.

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