Recently I have witnessed a lot invested into the “fruits of our food allergy labor.” What I mean by this is how much is being devoted to the food allergy community. Research shows, according to Market Research Future, the global food allergy market is expected to grow at an approximate CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 6.6% until 2023.* The investment is occurring two fold – naturally funds are being invested but so is love, passion, energy, dedication and LONG hours! Often times the food allergy consumers have no idea about what is occurring behind the scenes. The food allergy eaters are simply excited or relieved to find something safe for them. To be able to get their hands on readily available snacks, without having to bake or create them is priceless. In a day and age where we are all over scheduled and short on time, convenience goes a long way.
But what goes on with these food allergy manufacturers?
I just finished attending and presenting at the Gluten Free and Allergy Free Wellness Event in Raleigh. This Allergic Traveler had the pleasure of meeting some great people looking for guidance on their allergy travels. Many were newly diagnosed and were fearful of how to travel on this journey. I was part of the selected few vendors able to “show them the way.” During my presentation, I shared tips on how to travel with food allergies. Other vendors were sharing their gluten free, dairy free or egg free creations. What many do not realize is what goes into offering safe snacks or into traveling with food allergies. The first thing I can tell you for sure that goes into both, is trial and error. Whether it be the baker who is making a gluten free cake for the twelfth time or someone like me who is traveling through an airport starving because I can’t find anything to eat. We are both investing hours into bringing you safe snacks and safe travel solutions.
Time to make the donuts
I have a new appreciation for the baker because not only do they spend hours in the kitchen, but then many of them drive hours to the food allergy fair, unload their goods into their hotel room fridge, and then reload them into the car the next morning all to bring something safe to eat to the attendees. This is a labor of love. They spend a lot of effort to sell their craft. They are spending long hours in the kitchen or in front of the computer perfecting their product. Clearly this is not a 9 to 5 job. Its extended hours and days. This is often times a thankless job. To all the food allergy manufacturers making my life safer and more delectable, I am here to say THANK YOU!
More time traveling
The food allergy community has helped me to spend less time in the kitchen and more time in the airports. This in turn has allowed me to expand my business and to bring YOU more tips on how to travel safely with food allergies. Before acknowledging the many companies making a difference in our community, here are a few of my tips from my presentation.
Travel tips with food allergies
1) Always know the emergency phone number in the country that you are visiting. 911 does not exist everywhere. For instance, in France there is a phone number for medical emergencies, another one for fire emergencies and (sadly) another one for terrorist emergencies. Know your number!
2) Know the name of your medications in the foreign language. What is Epipen in French? How about in Spanish? What about in Swahili? Don’t assume it’s the same as it is in English.
3) Pack your Allergic Traveler cards. To be able to communicate your allergens safely while dining out abroad is key. No one ever wants to be sick when they travel.
If you want even more tips, then you can come to one of our future presentations at the Gluten Free Allergy Free Wellness Event in Knoxville and Jacksonville. If you cannot attend these events, then you can reach out to us for a coaching session. We are always happy to help!
Food Allergy Vendors
In the meantime, here are the food allergy companies making a difference in my life and the community.
The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet – My favorite is their sea salt dark chocolate bark that is soy free! They also have a shortbread cake with fresh raspberries or blueberries. It is simply divine!
Simply Gluten Free Magazine – Carol, the editor in chief has come out with a gluten free make up line that was launched at this show. It is beautiful and light, not clumpy. More importantly it is safe!
Justin Case Bee Products – Mark had broken his ribs and still showed up for the show. Another act of Labor of Love. I like their lip balm product. It works for hours.
Pure Haven – They have natural products without all the chemicals. Their deodorant goes on and smells like chocolate mint! Who doesn’t want that?!
Dolci di Maria – Has a great chocolate pear brownie cake. It is egg free and gluten free.
NC State Food Allergy Club – Olivia was there representing this fine institution. I love the fact that there is a food allergy support group on campus. I wish I had one when I was in college.
JP’s Pastry – They had brioches, cinnamon bread, peperoni bread, Neapolitan cake, and so much more. There was something for everyone.
F4L Diva Protein Bar – Dr. Tiffany Brown-Bush ‘s line of high protein bars that are gluten free and paleo. Dr. Brown-Bush is a nutrition coach that believes in rotation concept. So do I!
Fresh Levant Bistro – They were participating in the show. I also had the chance to eat at their establishment the night before. I had gluten free pasts, that was egg free and garlic free. Delicious!
Mediterranean Deli – They are located in Chapel Hill. They were sampling a gluten free pita at the show. They also offer gluten free deserts.
There were so many more great vendors were there this year. There were twelve gluten free restaurants alone from the Raleigh/Durham/ Cary/ Chapel Hill area! I am so jealous. I wish we had that many safe options in my hometown, Greensboro, NC. This show keeps growing over the years. If you have not been as an attendee or even a vendor, you are missing out! Were you there? What was your favorite?
P.S. We are selling bracelets and t-shirts to help with the extensive cost of travel. If you are interested in purchasing these, please leave a comment. These items will only be available through shows or special order. Thank you!
Author: Tarah Jakubiak
After working for 20 years in the corporate world, Tarah Jakubiak founded Allergic Traveler. Jakubiak, president of Allergic Traveler has traveled the world since the age of two. She has been to 25 countries and 34 states. Jakubiak has been to all inclusives, gone on cruises, gone camping; backpacking through Europe, gone to the big cities, and little hidden gems. She has multiple food allergies but it does not stop her from seeing the world. Jakubiak is allergic to eggs, nuts, mushroom, soy, garlic, corn, sesame, potatoes, celery, shellfish, chicken, pork, peanuts, and many fruits. She is originally from Montreal, Quebec and now lives in Greensboro, NC with her husband.