When it comes to food allergies, I have a pretty MAJOR pet peeve. And it's pretty serious...and it kind of makes me angry...
It's a phrase...two little words...
There are plenty of things that make my heart pound and my head spin when it comes to food allergies, but this one in particular just rubs me the wrong way. It bothers me when I hear friends and other acquaintances say it. But I am really upset by the people in the food allergy world, those who advocate for those with food allergies, that continually use this phrase.
Y'all...NO SUBSTANCE IN THIS WORLD IS ALLERGY FREE!!
There is a case of a girl that is literally allergic to water. WATER. I'll say it again. Nothing in this world is allergy free. You can react to ANYTHING!
Yes, 90% of the food allergy reactions in this world are caused by the top 8 foods. My son is allergic to 5 foods off of that list! Yet, it's three foods NOT on this list that have caused three separate anaphylaxis reactions - peas, lentils, and sesame. These three foods are arguably more dangerous to my child than any of the other 5 that appear on the top 8 list! Yet, time and time again I see recipes in recipes or by other food allergy bloggers that include one or more of those three. And, more often than not, these recipes come with the label "allergy free."
Now, I know that just because something is touted as "allergy free" doesn't make it so. I am firmly entrenched in this food allergy world, and I know the difference. But this phrase does nothing but increase the risk of anaphylaxis and exposure to allergens. It is irresponsible for anyone or any company to label a product as "allergy free."
We have to move away from using this phrase. We simply must. It is irresponsible for those of us in the food allergy community to aid in the assumption that a label of "allergy free" makes something safe! You will never see me label a recipe as such. I am comfortable with "allergy friendly" IF the recipe is free of the top 8 allergens. But that's it.
What is safe or allergy free for one is likely not for another. My son has a few obscure allergies, and they are life-threatening. He could very easily be exposed to a food he is allergic to by being told (or by a caregiver being told) it is "allergy free."
For the safety of my child...for the safety of your child...for your own personal safety: PLEASE help me spread the word that nothing in this world is "allergy free!!!"