Re: Question about common meals/ Celiac disease
From: Mariana Almeida (
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2009 11:44:34 -0700 (PDT)
In my experience, "Taco bar " is the best meal to make for many food 
sensitivities. It's a mix and match meal where people assemble their own tacos, 
so if you don't want something you don't take put it on your taco! 

From: R.N. Johnson <cohoranda [at]>
To: cohousing-l [at]
Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 12:20:47 PM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Question about common meals/ Celiac disease

We have a lot of different food issues within our group.  We decided as a group 
to accommodate everyone's needs. We strategized to make this easier by 
designating a few experienced cooks as the go-to people if you had questions 
about how to accommodate for particular needs, or if you just didn't know what 
to cook. We also  strongly encouraged every one with particular dietary needs 
to share recipes, cookbooks, and be available for questions.  During the first 
few months after move in, several of the cooks were at wits end, but within a 
short time, everyone developed at least a few recipes that worked well, taste 
good, and were easy to prepare. We have cookbooks on soy and gluten free 
cooking, as well as several vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in the common house for 
anyone to look at. 
Occasionally we slip up on one dish, but the vast majority of meals everyone 
can eat a full meal, and even when there is a mistake, everyone can eat most of 
the meal. 
We have a no money exchanged meal system, so paying for a partial meal has not 
been an issue.  Some groups allow people to pay less if they cannot eat the 
whole meal, and most allow people to bring their own food and eat with 
everyone.  We have one person with a severe flax seed allergy, and since flax 
seed is trendy and shows up in unlikely places, we have learned to read 
ingredient lists carefully, make most things from scratch, and to let her know 
if we are not sure of the ingredients so she can avoid the item.  
Given your level of sensitivity to gluten,  your group may need to be 
creative.  Maybe you could allow people to use your kitchen when they are 
cooking a gluten free meal or set up a gluten free-zone in a corner of the 
common kitchen away from the rest of the food prep area where contamination is 
less likely. 
Randa Johnson
New Brighton Cohousing
Aptos, CA


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