Free-from friends can ruin pub meals if you're not careful

Nicholas Robinson delves into the pitfalls of eating out with friends who are on a free-from phase. 

Eating with friends is supposed to be fun: you go to the pub, have a few drinks and order some food – simple.

But No, it’s not simple. Conversations have to be had about how well any eatery caters for people’s various dietary needs before anyone sets foot out of the door.

Gluten bloats Stacie, so she’s not eating it this month and can’t go to the ‘Bun Time’ because they don’t do gluten-free. Meanwhile, Jenny has decided she doesn’t want to eat dairy anymore – it brings her out in hives – so she can’t go to the ‘Mucky Udder’, as they cook everything in butter.

Adam has gone off red meat since he read that it’s bad for the environment and pumped full of antibiotics . He also thinks cows are more intelligent than they let on, so ‘The Lucky Cow’ is out of the question as its vegetarian range consists of chips or a cheese sandwich.

Once we make it to the pub, the drama continues. Stacie has heard about Jenny’s hives and thinks she should stay clear of dairy too, while Jennie thinks Adam’s point about cows being intelligent is spot-on.

In the midst of it all, I try to work out if I feel guilty about ordering a burger in a brioche bun with blue cheese and bacon? Do I hell.Why? Because bread contains wholegrains, fibre and many essential nutrients. Milk is packed with calcium, and meat is full of essential vitamins and minerals. Denying your body the nutrition of so many different food groups can only be bad.

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