Monday, February 4, 2008

Vote for a Martha Stewart Allergy Publication!

When I was a kid, no one I knew had a food allergy. No one talked about food allergies. No one knew anything about treating them, let alone accommodating them.

Times have changed.

I think we can safely say food allergies have become mainstream knowledge when Martha Stewart considers a publication dedicated to food allergies and sensitivities! You go, Martha!

Yes, it’s true. This week on her blog, Martha Stewart is asking people to vote for their favorite of seven potential “Big Idea” projects for her to think about adding to her considerable empire. One of these Big Ideas is a publication dedicated to recipes for people with food allergies and sensitivities.

This is incredible. Even five years ago, spreading news about food allergies felt a lot like trying to shove an elephant through a pinhole. FAAN was out there on the internet, but unless you had food allergies and actively looked for information, you weren’t going to just stumble upon it. Magazines wouldn’t publish stories about food allergies (I know, I tried pitching stories to all the big parenting magazines back then). Everyone I talked to about my son’s allergies looked at me like we’d just made up stories about flying pigs.

Now, the view is completely different. Everyone seems to know someone with food allergies. Schools are aware (and adjusting slowly). The media is filled with food allergy news. Blogs and support groups are cropping up everywhere. Menus display allergy information. Registration forms ask about allergies.

And now Martha is even considering an entire publication devoted to helping people cope with food allergies and sensitivities. Good news is so welcome these days!

With one in twenty kids allergic to some sort of food now, the timing of such a publication couldn’t be better. Our numbers are doubling every five years, but despite these growing numbers, we often still feel very alone in our daily food struggles. A publication like this could give us connections, show us new recipes, give us up-to-date information, grant us a more unified voice, and help us work together to find ways to make the world safer for our kids.

I already voted for this Big Idea on Martha Stewart’s blog. Take a second and vote, too, by clicking here. One out of every twenty kids needs your click.

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