Food Allergies – It is a new journey that started almost 16 years ago now. A journey that I am still on and will be on for the rest of my days. After being diagnosed, it’s not like they hand you a packet and told me how to handle my way through these obstacles, although here is the door, be on your way now. Being allergic to 40 both environmental and food and especially the food allergies can be overwhelming but I had to realize I had more than some and less than others in order to move forward. With having wheat, soy, potatoes, black pepper, peanuts and egg whites as my foes and still finding out about others.
I was fortunate at that time to have a friend at the time of diagnosis that cooked in ‘other’ spices than salt and black pepper. So I had to learn to explore and read up on spices, but most of all I had to learn to read labels. Plus, his bringing in of those other spices in his great cooking didn’t hurt at all in the tastes tests and being willing to explore spices.
So, to move down the road in the journey, I had to develop a habit walking through the store to pick up and read labels. Even with products that I knew were good at one month I had to keep reading because they might change their formula. Boy, is it frustrating when you find something that you eat and they go and change that formula. Reading became so ingrained even to this day that I feel that I cheated myself if I walk out of the store not having read a label. Sometimes through that cheating I later discovered that I should have read the labels. Don’t worry about the looks that you may get about reading the labels for in the many years of reading I have never been challenged on it although I will admit to some stares. I have the ready statement for them if they ever did “I have allergies and I need to make sure that works for me!”
Now there is a trick though in reading labels. First you have to read ALL the labels! Most of my allergies showed up in cosmetics which was a total shocker for me. Like why would potatoes be something I would put on my face? Then you have to learn the ‘other’ words that are used to describe your allergy it was like a never ending saga. But once you learn, research and get into the habit of doing so it will become second nature.
Btw, my one really good pet peeve on labels in the “MAY CONTAIN”, if these companies would only learn that if they stuck to an ingredient the cost would perhaps be offset by the buyers who could and would by it if they settled on an ingredient list.
So read, and read and then read some more for it is YOU that will experience the food!