I’ve not been feeling right for the last couple of months and could not get to the bottom of it. I went to the nurse to check about my allergies and it turns out I have a number – which was quite a shock. I was the Robin Hood of the allergy world. I have worked In this field for years as an outsider but now I discover at the grand old age of 42 that I have these issues, too.
I have a massive allergy to stone fruit, tree nuts and possibly other nuts. For me it’s a bit of a shock but it makes sense because of how I have been feeling recently. When you have been a consumer, a person in the food industry, you sometimes don’t realise some of the hidden ingredients in produce – sometimes without realizing you are eating things that are harmless but contain ground nut oil or stone fruit extract, for example.
Then you realise how difficult it must people to eat or decipher recipes. It highlights to me how this problem is ever increasing. I love peaches, almonds and cashew nuts – so now I can no longer have my favourite sort of satays and peach and almond tart is one of my truly favourite desserts. Now it has become my nemesis.
I think it’s the nature of how the human population is evolving because of more refined versions of food and modern farming methods. There is a probably a lot of underlying issues – suddenly my body has become intolerant. The best thing I can do now is re-evaluate everything I eat.
We are a culture that looks for shortcuts and don’t want to wait for the seasons – for the apples in autumn and peas in spring – and obviously gluten is the prime example. If you are gluten intolerant it is probably due to the wheat varieties we have evolved over the years. And lactose. It is a bit of evolution – but the confusing thing for me is why suddenly it has started to affect me.
The great thing is because I was already dabbling in that world as a food consultant I completely sympathized. Now suddenly I am know what restaurants to go to and where to turn to for that information, such as Nicola Neal’s website Feeding My Intolerant Child. Or Liz Allen and the Allergy Aware Kitchen.
I don’t kneed to lock myself away and wrap myself in bubble wrap. But it’s a bit of a turning point for me. Now that retailers and restaurants have to by law get the info out there I have more of a chance of staying safe.