Each of us has our own comfort levels in regards to food and how it’s prepared.
Sometimes our comfort levels vary, depending on who is doing the cooking, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
A Redditor who has since deleted their account felt much less comfortable when their sister was cooking, for example.
But when they received criticism, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were looking at the situation in the wrong way.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to eat food cooked by my older sister because she is on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), using estrogen gel?”
The OP’s sister recently started hormone replacement therapy.
“My sister (who is going through menopause) has recently gone on HRT prescribed by her doctor.”
“One of the things she using is an estrogen gel that she rubs onto her body.”
“My sister has never been a very hygienic person and can be very forgetful.”
“She’s also not the brightest bulb in the shed and does not fully realize how seriously she should be taking her medication, as she has often told me some days she will not even bother to take her estrogen pills.”
“HRT is not something that should be taken lightly.”
The OP was concerned about eating the food she had prepared.
“I refused to eat any food made by her recently at a family gathering because knowing how she is as a person, I do not trust her to have not contaminated the food with residue from her estrogen gel.”
“I got in a massive argument with my family, with my father basically telling me I’m was just being an a**hole to her for no reason and it ruined the whole day.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some weren’t convinced by the OP’s concerns.
“YTA. You’d have to absorb quite a lot of that estrogen gel and on a pretty regular basis to notice any effect.”
“Even if she happened to apply the gel and not wash her hands right before preparing a meal, the amount that could hypothetically transfer into the food would be negligible.”
“So ‘being an a**hole to her for no reason’ sounds about right.” – WebbieVanderquack
“If she was washing your hands it’s fine. It’s not like she’s exhibiting estrogen. Man people really have to get a better grasp of basic science and medicine. The fear people have over other peoples medication is ridiculous. YTA.” – jugheadwithaporpoise
“I think that was simply knowledge that OP didn’t know.”
“So while I agree that he’s TA, I do want to add we consider the fact he has no idea about the harmlessness of the assumed amount estrogen gel in food from her touch.” – NoLifeStranger
“HRT gel commonly goes on your thighs or calves (not your hands), and it absorbs CRAZY fast. The trace amounts that could POSSIBLY get in your food even if she didn’t wash her hands isn’t gonna mess with anything.”
“YTA, OP. Apologize to your sister.” – eorzeanangel
Others were more concerned about handwashing and other hygienic steps.
“To be honest, if I knew she wasn’t washing her hands right before preparing a meal, I wouldn’t be eating it regardless of the estrogen or not. Wash your damn hands before cooking, that’s just basic hygiene.” – deanrmj
“I’m the same way. I’m constantly washing my hands before during and after cooking. I can’t imagine not doing so. How is anyone in that family ok with dirty hands preparing their food?” – PaganCHICK720
“I disagree. If someone rubbed medication on themselves, then prepared food for me without washing their hands, why would I be an AH for refusing to eat it?”
“We’re critical of people who don’t wash their hands before or during preparing food for others, so why would this suddenly be thrown out the window just because it’s estrogen?”
“OP is NTA. I sincerely hope OP’s sister doesn’t work in a kitchen, because that’d be a health inspector’s field day waiting to happen.” – RedditKentiar
“NTA. I won’t eat some food after some people I know. They lick their fingers then grab the serving spoon or double dippers. I worked in food service a long time and I lose my appetite just watching some people eat or serve themselves.” – lordy_nordy
Some pointedly agreed with the OP.
“If anyone’s medication entered the food they prepared I wouldn’t eat it. I don’t get this argument that it’s just a small amount and no worries either.”
“Every person is different. For some people, even a slight change in hormones can cause adverse health effects, mental and/or physical. OP is not AH.”
“Not only is she unhygienic, but her medicine might also be entering the food. Yea no that’s a hard nope.” – FlaskHomunculus
“I’m saying NTA. I wouldn’t eat food from someone who I know is cooking without washing her hands. I probably wouldn’t say it out loud to everyone but that’s a valid reason to not eat someone’s food.” – siempreashley
“I am a trans man and I don’t think people in these comments realize that trans people who use gel are literally told not to touch anyone or their pets until it is completely dry and they wash their hands.”
“It could possibly have effects if he ingests a ‘small’ amount, especially if they regularly have meals together.”
“Don’t f**k around with hormones. especially since OP has a history of a condition related to hormone levels.” – jarxsob
Though the OP was certain they were right in their decision to decline the food their sister made, the subReddit was not convinced. Since the OP ate her cooking before, despite her habits, it would seem the OP was only declining now because of the estrogen, which reeks of the likelihood of a limited way of thinking.
The subReddit encouraged the OP to do their due diligence and research what their sister was going through, and likely apologize, before accepting or declining food at a family event again.