Great talker today from the New York Times about our new collective penchant for gluten-free, lactose-free, vegetarian, vegan, local food, paleo diets, etc., and how that affects the (once simple) act of getting together to eat with friends.
In April, Coco Myers, a writer who avoids gluten and lactose, invited a fish-averse friend to a dinner party in East Hampton, N.Y., hosted by a couple who don’t eat red meat. A few days earlier, the hostess (Scott O’Neil, a painter and an amateur cook, who had been planning a seafood stew) e-mailed Ms. Myers to ask about problem foods.
Joanne Heyman, who owns a consulting firm in New York, thinks that stories like this illustrate just how much “the locus of responsibility has moved from the eater to the hostess.” Ms. Heyman, a former vegetarian, said that she recently organized an invitation-only business dinner for two dozen people. On the day of the event, she started getting last-minute notes from guests saying they were vegetarian, vegan or gluten free.
“The distinction is not that people have restricted diets,” she said. “It’s their attitude about whose responsibility it is to meet their dietary needs.”