Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Get Tips for Traveling More Safely With the Gluten Free Passport

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 7:18 AM

My memory may be fogged by years of abuse, but I sure don't remember food allergies being such a huge issue when I was growing up. Sure, there was the occasional kid with a peanut allergy in my elementary school classrooms, but it never meant isolating the poor guy or banning snack time or birthday cakes. While I don't doubt that times have changed and that some folks have serious issues with gluten, nuts and other sensitivities, it's just not something I ever paid much attention to.

Now it seems like every week I get some info across the email transom that aims to assist diners with food sensitivities, and I guess it's important to take more notice. I recently encountered a particularly impressive resource for people suffering from these sorts of problems, the Gluten Free Passport from the Let's Eat Out! series.

This is more than just a guidebook to how to manage celiac and allergy issues; it's a full program of books, pamphlets, ebooks and apps to help travelers eat safely wherever they go. The 326-page passport is written by Kim Koeller and Robert La France as a reference for special diets in cuisines all over the world. The authors share their stories of discovering their sensitivities and their experiences dealing with these issues over literally millions of miles of travel in their careers as travel writers.

They suggest which foods are safe and which to look out for in various countries, how to snack safely in foreign lands and even how to manage your diet on airplanes and cruise ships. They have also produced smaller pamphlet-sized guide books that are specific to particular cuisines like "American Steak & Seafood" or "French and Italian Cuisine." Additionally, they have produced a "Multi-Lingual Phrase Passport" that will help you make your way around the country armed with translations that might help you make your issues understood.

In Germany, you might need to say "Ich bin anaphylaktischen schock" (I'm in anaphylactic shock), or in Italy you might ask "Prima della cottura questo cibo viene infarinato con farina di frumento?"

(Is this food dusted with wheat flour prior to cooking?) The phrase book also offers non-emergency food phrases and dish names to help you navigate any menu.

While this topic isn't of personal interest to me, I can see how useful this would be to someone who travels a lot and wants to avoid allergy issues. In fact, if this describes you, I would be happy to send this whole package of books to a Bites reader who could really use it. First come, first served, so email me at cchamberlain (at) nashvillescene (dot) com and we can arrange for how to get you these books.

Otherwise, you can buy these books at Amazon or the apps at the normal sites where these sort of things are sold for Apple and Android products. Eat safe!

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