Are food allergies on the rise?  Or maybe it's just awareness.  Whether it be a dairy or peanut allergy or a newly discovered gluten reaction, it seems that everyone I know is allergic to something.

I was at a party the other night that had a respectable spread.  I could tell that the host went through some trouble whipping up a sizable number of finger foods.  I was dishing out my third helping of "Lil' Smokies" when I heard someone ask, "I'm allergic to wheat.  Don't you have anything that's gluten free?"

My frank about fell out of my mouth.  I don't think the person who was asking meant to be rude but it sure came off that way.  I wondered if the host had even thought to take into account all the possible food allergies and how you would even go about accommodating everyone with food issues.

I came to this conclusion:  You can't.  If you have a food allergy, it's not reasonable to expect your host to accommodate.  How can they?  If one person is allergic to dairy, another to peanuts and another is a vegetarian, what can you do?  If a host were to try to account for everything, we'd be left with bean curds... and I didn't look it up but I bet there's an allergy to that as well. 

If you have a special diet and you're attending a function, bring your own snacks.  Or don't eat.  I know plenty of diabetics who bring their own foods to parties and never complain about a lack of sugar free choices.  I don't see how this is any different.  I sympathise with you if you're allergic to certain foods but if you have special dietary needs at a social gathering, it's on you, not the host to make sure you are taken care of.

What do you think?