So tomorrow is the big day, the day that I will embark on my roughly two months mission of gluten free dieting in Hong Kong. As part of my ethnographic anthropological study on Gluten Free and imported diets from the West into HK, I will take on an "embodied research" study, where I myself will encounter first hand the social, material, and economic barriers of being gluten-free in Hong Kong.
Though this blog goes hand in hand with a formal research study, it is my intention to keep this blog rather casual and as a sort of diary of my personal experiences from week to week. I would like to share social encounters, recommendations and useful resources to those interested.
Those of you already familiarized with gluten free dieting, are of course, well aware of the struggles that go into eating out gluten free, especially in Hong Kong, where the extent of many local restaurants food adaptations and request go only as far as making dishes vegetarian. The struggle becomes even more real when you can't speak Cantonese and have no reasonable means of communicating with local wait staff. Therefore, I will be doing more cooking, and look forward to posting recipes and the like. I would also like to highlight the good experiences I have eating out, so that gluten free eaters will have some options when searching for a place to eat.
I was of course greatly inspired by the work I have done with Urban Health, a local company which has done a great deal of work focusing in on gluten free foods, products, and services alongside other aspects of healthy living inside of this urban jungle. The work I have done with them so far, has helped to educate me greatly on the many aspects of gluten free living. I have gotten to meet many new friends along the way who are living gluten-free.
I have certainly stalled in beginning my gluten-free diet. Due to my previous work, and previous dieting as a pescatarian, I am well aware of the many challenges that go into taking a restricted diet in HK, especially as an expat. I will have to begin thinking each day of what it is I will eat, planning in advance and coming well armed with snacks so that I don't starve to death. I also likely, won't spend as much time out eating with friends, though hopefully maintain some healthy semblance of a social life.
Anyways, until next week guys! Look forward to relaying my progress..