Travelling Australia as a Coeliac
Calling all people with food issues! I had pizza and beer the other day for the first time in years. For most of you that is no big deal. But for those with Coeliac Disease, or those people who have a gluten intolerance (almost 1% of the population) This is HUGE! Coeliacs and others with food intolerance’s make up a pretty substantial sector of the population. This sector is generally tentative to travel due to their dietary needs. Take heart and fear not if you are coming Australia!
The Aussies are doing a fantastic job of catering for all kinds of dietary needs. Their labelling laws are quite strict with Allergy information required to say thing like “contains soy and wheat” as opposed to having to sift through an ingredient list. Every major grocery store has a Health Food aisle. Gluten free breads, yeast free breads, Lactose free, etc…. pretty much every group can find something in just your local Coles or Wollies. How good is that! I was in the States a couple of weeks ago and STUGGLED to find anything even at the Whole Foods type stores.
Most cafes have gluten free options. Most places to eat, if you just mention it to your server- they will go ask the chef. In the major cities- more and more frequently- restaurants are having a separate special Gluten Free or Food intolerance menu that makes it very obvious which items can be eaten safely. Even several of the fast food places have allergy information readily available.
There is a very active Coeliac Society in OZ. To help travellers, “the Society has put together information and tips for members travelling overseas. This includes translations of our ID card (these cards advise that we require a gluten free diet and give basic information on the diet), (you can apply for them if you have your medical diagnosis) where you may be able to purchase gluten free products overseas and warns about the differing foods standards in other countries. Each state society has information for those travelling to their respective states.”
Do go ahead and stock up on your favorite things if you are going bush for a bit. The selection and availability in the small country towns is not as good as in the major cities.
Australia is probably the most “food issue” friendly place I have ever encountered. In fact-As I mentioned earlier, I went to a restaurant the other day and had beer and pizza!!!!! The big news on that front, there are now 3 gluten free beers available in Australia. Go on-have that muffin! No Worries Mate!