Okay, so I’m on a roll this morning. That Subway stuff struck a nerve. It reminded me that I would like to have more consumer-driven responses to food allergy issues, and less government mandates. Food Allergy Awareness Week is not for a few months (May 8-14, 2011), but it doesn’t mean that you can’t start getting ready now.
I’m a big fan of all the Food Network shows. I’d love to see an Iron Chef battle where they can’t use any of the “top 8” allergens. I am allergic to shellfish, and always recoil slightly when it’s a lobster or crab battle… or when the inevitable prawn works its way into a dish. There is a Food Allergy Awareness week every May. It would be great timing for such an event… and really help the allergy awareness and cross-contamination cause. There are MANY food-allergic foodies out there!
I’m sure you’re aware that the top 8 allergens are Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Soy, & Wheat. TO have an Iron Chef battle where they ahd to prepare meals without any of the top 8 allergens would be truly epic, and help show others out there that there ARE indeed alternatives & work-arounds when dealing with a life-threatening allergy. Food allergy awareness week this year will be May 8-14, 2011.
Thank you for your time, I hope to hear your thoughts on this matter!
I’d like to ask that you also write your own letter or email. And, why stop at one? Please, share with me other places where you think we ought to write, and I’ll write to them too!
I’ll definitely be writing more, perhaps armed with statistics like the following (from Top8Free.com):
Prevalence of food allergies in the United States
Ninety percent of food allergies in the United States are caused by eight foods: Milk, egg, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish, and shellfish. This website is dedicated to a diet free of these allergens. Of course, it is possible to be allergic to just about any protein. In Japan, rice allergy is one of the offenders.
Just to give you a sense of how many kids are suffering from food allergies today, here is a table of the most common food allergies. This does not count children with milk-soy protien intollerance or Celiac disease, only children with Ig-E mediated food allergies.
Percentage of young children with allergy to:
- Milk 2.5%
- Egg 1.3%
- Soy 1.1% (There is little agreement on this number. Estimates range from 1 to 5%)
- Wheat 1.0%
- Peanut 0.8%
- Tree nuts 0.2%
- Fish 0.1%
- Shellfish 0.1%
- Overall 6 to 8% of population
Percentage of adults with allergy to:
- Shellfish 2.0%
- Peanut 0.6%
- Tree nuts 0.5%
- Fish 0.4%
- Milk 0.3%
- Egg 0.2%
- Soy 0.2%
- Overall 3.7%
Source: Hugh A. Sampson, MD. “Update on food allergy“, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, May 2004
While writing to politicians does gain some inroads, there are other productive avenues to explore.