What if you're allergic to food?
Welcome back to Elle's Kitchen.
There are a lot of things that we take for granted...until something goes wrong. How do you cope when you're allergic to something that is vital to your existence? Allergic to air? Allergic to water? Or allergic to food?
While there are people allergic to oxygen and water, these are far more rare. An allergy to food is more common than you might think. Thankfully an allergy is usually to one type of food.
The most common food allergies are to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, shellfish, soy and wheat. Additionally, there are food intolerances which are different medically to allergies, but still a big issue if you're the sufferer! Lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance (also known as celiac or coeliac disease) are the most common food intolerances.
Do you need to consider these allergies when you're writing about food? Is there a market for writing that caters specifically to those with food allergies?
Whether you cater to these allergies in your writing is entirely your decision. However, 18 million Americans and 17 million Europeans currently suffer from food allergies, and the numbers are on the rise. In addition, you must consider that when there is one person in a household that is allergic, the rest of the household must consider that allergy whenever they are cooking or eating at that house or with that person. So a reasonable percentage of your reading audience is affected by a food allergy in one way or another.
There are many foods that one can be allergic to, but luckily 90% of all food allergies relate to those eight foods I mentioned before - milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, shellfish, soy and wheat. The easiest way to cater for these allergies is to be very clear on whether a food you are discussing contains any of those foods. If it is a recipe, it can be very helpful to say 'This food contains wheat' or 'This food does not contain eggs or soy.' These are easy ways for your reader to see if they need to be wary or not. For the benefit your audience will derive from it, how much time and effort will it cost you? Weigh it up and see if it is worth your time.
Is there a market for writing that caters specifically to people who are allergic to foods? Yes, absolutely. Let me give you an example. A colleague of mine has been diagnosed with celiac disease, and as such she needs to avoid eating all gluten, on her doctor's orders. The first thing she did was buy books on what exactly celiac disease is, how it affects her and how she can manage it. The second thing she did was buy gluten free cookbooks, so she had a range of dishes at her fingertips that she knew without checking were suitable for her. This is not uncommon. My mother-in-law did exactly the same thing. Recipe books, and informative books on allergies, what they are, how they work and how to manage them, are big sellers. There is definitely a market, and that market is only going to grow.
very thankful is compiling a book of gluten free recipes. She also has an info sheet to go with it - "Living a Wheat/Gluten Free Life" .
This recipe for Mushrooms & Spinach on Quinoa by Mia - in Autumn Rains is gluten free and suitable for vegans.
It can be tricky when you have never catered for a food allergy and suddenly you need to. Read these two items to find out how S.giaimo and Mia - in Autumn Rains coped when suddenly faced with feeding someone with an allergy.
And I adore this little story of a lactose intolerant mouse, written by celticsea . Sometimes an allergy isn't as bad as it first sounds!
That's all for this week! I hope you've enjoyed this edition on food allergies. Next week I'll be looking at people who avoid certain foods or groups of foods for non-health reasons, such as vegeterians. If you have any items that might fit the theme, please share it. If it's featured in next week's newsletter, I'll award a food / cooking merit badge.
Don't forget, if you have a question for Steve, an item for inclusion in a future newsletter, a topic for me to investigate and discuss, or if you'd like to be a guest editor for an edition, please let me know here: "Elle's Kitchen Newsletter Suggestions" .
Do let me know what you thought of this week's newsletter by leaving a review.
If you haven't already subscribed and you'd like to receive Elle's Kitchen Newsletter straight to your inbox each week, you can sign up here: "Sign up for Elle's Kitchen Newsletters!" .