Monday, November 22, 2010

Food-Allergy-Related Things I’m Thankful For

by Kelley Lindberg

As Thanksgiving approaches, it seemed like a good time to recall all the things I’m especially grateful for. And while having food allergies may make a traditional Thanksgiving feast a little problematic, it shouldn’t keep us from remembering that in many ways, we still have so much to be thankful for. Here’s my Top Ten List for this year.
  1. Rice milk and egg replacers.
  2. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), which became effective January 1, 2006, and required manufacturers in the United States to label all foods containing the top 8 food allergens, and to declare the allergen in plain language. This single act has made living with food allergies so much easier.
  3. The Utah Food Allergy Network (UFAN), the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), Kids with Food Allergies, the Food Allergy Initiative, and other organizations that provide the information, resources, recipes, and support that make our lives a little bit easier.
  4. Manufacturers who are beginning to recognize that food-allergic customers are a sizeable force and are making an effort to produce allergy-friendly products.
  5. My son’s best friends, who have stuck by him all these years and make sure he always has someone safe to sit by at lunch.
  6. Restaurants and wait staff who actually care and make an effort to keep unsafe allergens out of our food.
  7. Teachers who are willing to modify their curricula to eliminate food projects or replace them with safe substitutions, who call me when they need food items for classroom projects, and who welcome me on field trips and at parties to “keep an eye on things.”
  8., who makes those great translation cards for food allergens, which make it possible for me to travel with my son more confidently.
  9. That we live now, when awareness is blossoming and making it more manageable to live with food allergies than it was even a decade ago.
  10. Good friends who go out of their way to make their homes and parties safe, who have helped me develop recipes over the years, who keep their eyes open for new allergy-friendly products, and who offer a shoulder to lean on whenever I need it.
And a bonus thank you to all of you who read my blog each week, share your experiences, and reach out to make this a better world for people with food allergies everywhere. Happy Thanksgiving!


Allergy Mum said...

Great list. My list also includes the family members who really make an effort to try to keep our son safe.
Allergy Mum -

Kelley J. P. Lindberg said...

You're absolutely right. My family bends over backwards to keep my son safe. Thanks for sharing!