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Food in social situations can become an emotional issue. Years ago somebody told me that her mother told her never to trust someone who doesn't eat. In that sense I've become very untrustworthy in food-centered social events, and I ponder how prevalent that particular attitude is. I do tend to shy away from many social situations due to the inherent discomfort and my tendency to be careless about what I eat. My particular concerns are business dinners or dinners with those who primarily speak other languages. It is easier to eat out at restaurants in these situations, rather than having to turn down home-cooked specialties.
Then of course, family events have their own unique challenges, like when somebody thoughtfully prepared something just for you, but you actually can't eat it for reasons they weren't aware of. Eating at restaurants is no good either, with a large family event, as waiters tend to mess up the orders and I end up too embarrassed to make a scene during an event to honor somebody else.
Really the only way to survive these situations is to cover the whole menu and ingredients ahead of time. So far, my mother is the only one who volunteers this for me. That's partly because we love food, and we love to talk about it, and partly because I'm the youngest of 6 food-allergic children. My sister-in-law is good this way too, though I don't see her or eat together with her very often.