So I visited a very good friend this weekend and during a heated conversation she let slip that she finds it difficult to host certain friends of ours for dinner as there are now so many competing food requirements. While I can understand it is tough, I was a bit surprised by this as my friend is a very warm person who loves having people over. On further reflection I noticed that recently however she has been hosting less often.
It turns out she objects to two special dietary requirements that two of our friends' have come out with recently. One friend only eats halal meat (he is an observant muslim but only recently started eating halal) and another friend is avoiding wheat based products (ie. gluten) as she believes she is allergic. We have other friends who are vegetarian, celiac, and on weight loss diets and all these were ok with the host (let's call her X) but not the halal and wheat allergy.
As lovely as this person is I don't really get why some needs are ok and others aren't. If she was even firmer and said she didn't believe in accommodating dietary requests other than for the allergic then I would likely find this more logical, but in the end accommodating a vegetarian for me is no different than accommodating someone who chooses to eat Kosher. Both parties have special dietary needs based on an ethical/philosophical/religious belief, if one is ok the other is so as well.
The wheat "allergy" also gets to me a bit because we have a friend who is celiac and she really can't eat gluten, whereas I think the allergic individual read the book Wheat Belly and then discovered her allergy, but again if this person has made a choice not to eat wheat and I am having them over I'll accommodate.
To Ms. Xs credit she never said anything to anyone else or complained, she just stopped hosting, but for me I didn't get the line in the sand between what was ok to accommodate and what wasn't from her perspective. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?