DEAR ABBY: I was recently diagnosed as gluten intolerant. My question is, when dining at a restaurant, while everyone else is eating the bread that is served, is it acceptable to discreetly take a few gluten-free crackers from my purse and snack on them so I'm not starving while waiting for dinner?
My husband thought it was inappropriate, so I didn't take them. I did ask the waiter if he had gluten-free bread or crackers, but he didn't. I have many medical issues. I try to eat only what is healthy for me and thought providing my own crackers was a minor deal. What do you think, Abby? -- GLUTEN INTOLERANT IN FLORIDA
DEAR G.I.: It's good that you were diagnosed, because gluten intolerance can cause serious digestive issues. Your husband may have had a bad day when he criticized you, because I see nothing wrong with someone on a restricted diet taking emergency rations in case a restaurant can't accommodate his or her special needs.
Gluten intolerance has gone undiagnosed in many people, but in recent years food manufacturers have created many products that are safe for them to eat. Accommodating a customer who is gluten intolerant shouldn't be an insurmountable problem if the restaurant is asked in advance.