Dear Prue Leith, Albert Roux, Mark Hix et al,
We need to talk.
I write in reply to your recent letter to the Telegraph attacking EU regulations that force restaurants to detail which items contain allergens.
With the greatest respect, you are missing the point. Isn’t the very essence of food to nourish?
“All disease begins in the gut” Hippocrates understood this over 2,000 years ago. Whilst 1 in 100 people are diagnosed Coeliac, it is estimated the actual number of people with Coeliac disease is much higher as it is difficult to diagnose. The average person with Coeliac Disease waits 10 years before diagnosis.
A growing number of people are gluten sensitive, experiencing an astonishing change in health, outlook and energy levels when they stop eating gluten.
There are many, many more people with dairy, egg, and nut allergies some of which can be life threatening.
In your letter you state;
“The regulations will reduce the spontaneity, creativity and innovation that restaurants and others in the industry have enjoyed up to now.”
I couldn’t disagree with this more. The EU regulations are not enforcing food is cooked without certain ingredients rather that each dish clearly states what ingredients it includes. Real, fresh good food is naturally free of many allergens, you don’t need flour to make a reduction?
We live in age where it is very easy to sub ingredients with healthy alternatives such as almond milk, coconut oil and enjoy a renewed creativity with new ingredients.
I have transformed my life and health through understanding what my body can and can’t tolerate and am very thankful to understand the impact of food on my health.
It is a fantastic achievement to reclaim health through food and something as food lovers we should applaud and support.
It is a privilege that someone whose health is directly effected by food, is willing to put their trust in a chef, and show a mutual respect for their team and business.
Surely anything which helps to safeguard a diner’s health should surely be applauded not condemned?
These diners are invisible. Massively under provided for, yet represent a potential large segment of the market, but currently resist eating out for fear of cross contamination.
You are the bastions of our proud food heritage. Your cookbooks proudly stand on my kitchen shelves, please re-think your position.