An observation at Politics in the Pub on Monday night that a speaker's grandson was not allowed to take a peanut butter sandwich to school for fear of causing an allergic reaction drew a murmur of shocked disbelief from the audience of just on 40 who attended the function at the Central Hotel.
Glen McAtear, a manager at Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council, was one of four speakers addressing the topic "What now, Australia?".
"I don't want to trivialise it - this is a serious issue for some people, but when I went to school I didn't know what lactose or gluten were," Mr McAtear said.
"What we tend do do now is sterilise everything for our kids. It seems to me we're disinfecting the whole world and we're going to suffer from it."
Introducing the four speakers on the night, coordnator Richard White said it didn't matter whether people agreed or disagreed with opinions being expressed, the important thing was to be able to hear different points of view in a respectful way and enjoy the privilege of public debate in a democratic country.
Speakers were given ten minutes each, focusing on four subject headings, before the session was thrown open for discussion and, after 7pm, informal discussion around the dinner table.
Julie Cowell, a partner in Conundrum Horse Handling, chose environment, refugees, social economics and health and education as her topics, maintaining that while she would like to be optimistic, we do behave environmentally as if there is a "Planet B", which we can move to after we kill this one.
Gwen Norman, an administrator at The Arts Centre Cootamundra, spoke to the subject areas of planning, creativity, personal debt and belief in the future. On rapid changes in technology she recalled that during a work stint in Sydney when email came into the office and the opinion of everyone there was "oh this won't last!"
"Drones may have seemed like a waste of time but now you can be sitting in your armchair and check your cattle or tell if the trough's empty - it takes creativity to develop these technologies and we need to face the fact that we're moving into a very different world."
Simon Thompson, owner of Thompson Rural Supplies, emphasised leadership, especially leading by example with ethical and moral business behaviour.
""Unfortunately most people are guided by what they can get away with.
"It's a sad to think that that's the way things are.
"Our democracy depends on good leadership but our leaders have utterly failed us - too often they seem preoccupied with their own status or income, unable to inspire or unite us and not imaginative enough to deal with the intricate problems we face."