The other day I planned poorly,
needed wanted something to eat, and had time only to go to Wendy’s (a U.S. hamburger fast food restaurant of slightly higher quality than the ubiquitous McDonald’s). I ordered a hamburger, no bun, no condiments, and a side salad, no dressing, no croutons. Communicating this order to the counter person took a long time, because she could not really believe that anyone would want food that way.
If you follow a paleo/primal lifestyle, you’ll have experiences like this from time to time, and it’s sometimes a shock to realize how weird this all is to “normal” folk. “You don’t eat bread? Bread?”
Primal Girl recently posted (here and here) about some time she spent in a hospital. She describes the difficulty getting the staff to understand what her food limitations are. Having worked in medical settings and dealt with a few nurses and dietitians who could not imagine reassessing their way of looking at the world, I can just picture some of the conversations she describes. She’s basically talking gibberish as far as they are concerned. The progress notes in her medical record would be a hoot to read, I’d bet.
It shouldn’t be this hard. All we do is eat real whole food and avoid some things that many people are allergic to anyway. Over time, as paleo becomes more mainstream (and it is clear that it will be much bigger than it is now) it will be easier to communicate some of these concepts. Until then, it seems that there will be many “lost in translation” moments.