Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Thin Bins, collapsible food containers that fit in a pocket

Compact storage is important when you a) travel by bicycle or on-foot and b) want to bring your own take-out containers to combat wasteful restaurant practices of too-large, disposable boxes.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Too much box for these left-overs

Cynthia Parkhill holds open pizza box tilted toward viewer. Inside, occupying less than half of surface space, are three small slices of pizza

Among wasteful and ridiculous practices associated with dining out: was it really necessary for three tiny slices of pizza to be packed in such an enormous box? This is why we’ve placed an order for reusable, collapsible, easy-to-carry containers. No more depending-in-vain upon restaurant wait-staff to responsibly select our containers (which are still, ultimately, disposable).

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Can’t we just enjoy water?

Full glass of water with lemon and mint, with whole lemon, lemon slices, and sprig of mint next to it
Source of image: Pexels, under Creative Commons Zero Universal (CC0 1.0) license

On Friday afternoon, walking around Medford, Ore., we stopped in at a local eatery. From experience, we knew that if we didn’t speak up immediately, water glasses would be deposited on our table, and those glasses would be clogged with ice. So we quickly told our server, “We’d like water with no ice.”

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Eating can be one of toughest challenges

Eating is easily the most difficult sensory task for this woman on the autism spectrum. Risking unfamiliar tastes and textures, trying new food takes time and fortitude.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Unwanted chocolate carries burden of punishment

Public domain image by George Hodan
At Personal Branding Blog, Maria Elena Duron cautions against gifts that hurt the giver’s personal brand, by “shouting” to the recipient that the giver doesn’t know him or her.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Diagnostic ‘labels’: Don’t be so quick to discard

Book cover: 'Back to Normal, Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder' by Enrico Gnaulati. Image depicts a row of four plastic spoons, each holding a pill
From blogger Gail Forsyth-Vail writing at Beacon Broadside, I learned about an argument by Enrico Gnaulati, for removing children’s diagnostic “labels.” By briefly sharing my background, I hope to explain why this idea makes me uncomfortable.

When I grew up, I was painfully aware that I was not like other people. It was continually made evident by classmates who taunted and rejected me.

From kindergarten onward, I was a school-wide outcast.

​Adults condemned me as a picky eater, because I could not tolerate certain foods. On one occasion, a babysitter tried to force-feed me chocolate cake. My mother actually had to tell this person that I didn’t have to eat cake if I didn’t want it (because a clamped-shut mouth and pulling away in revulsion were not accepted as communication). My mother found me, face smeared with the cake that the sitter tried to force on me.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

‘Food Chaining’ by Cheryl Fraker, et al.

Book cover: 'Food Chaining' by Cheryl Fraker, et. al. Cover image combines a cartoon-like illustration of an apple, carrot, a meat, tomato, lettuce and cheese sandwich and a child gazing at a beverage in a cup with straw, with the photo of a child holding a slice of bread so that it obscures his or her face.
As validated as I felt learning that a book like this exists, I felt even more validated when reading Food Chaining by Cheryl Fraker, Mark Fishbein, Sibyl Cox and Laura Walbert.

Eating is easily the most difficult sensory task I face. In childhood, I easily fit the profile of a “problem eater,” as described in this book. I accepted few foods, had strong adverse reactions that included gagging and was reluctant to even touch new foods.

My difficulties didn’t have the benefit of a book like this, however. Instead, adults labeled me “picky,” “spoiled” and “bad” because I could not eat what was served to me.

Even today, it takes time for me to get used to an unfamiliar food, and it requires considerable fortitude to be willing to try new things. If I go to an event when I know that I will get hungry, I have to bring my own snacks because I can’t rely on the selection including foods that I am able to eat.