Plant-based food and veganism, the free-from movement and booze-free beverages have been identified as the top three trends which impacted food & drink businesses in 2018, according to new research by The International Food & Drink Event (IFE).
Sharing a picture of my beautiful sister here with my favourite plant milk company, Oatly!
They’ve certainly been trends for me.
The popularity and rise of veganism is great for anyone with a dairy allergy, but having such a limiting diet already (I’m allergic to all nuts, all dairy, soya, wheat, chestnuts, celery, tomatoes, kidney beans and broad beans) restricting my diet any further unnecessarily would not be great for my health.
I have significantly reduced my meat intake though and really enjoy vegan and vegetarian meals often.
So what do these trends mean for us?
For vegans it’s fantastic!
For animals too! Win win.
For the planet, veganism is far more sustainable.
But I’m not so sure for people with allergies.
In my own experience more and more restaurants are offering what they might truly believe is freefrom.
But to the customer with a life threatening allergy, this is potentially fatal.
There seems to be a far more worrying trend of deaths from anaphylaxis and certainly in the last two years I’ve had two horrendous reactions where I’ve been given food containing milk, yet the food establishment had assured me on both occasions that it was a dairy free meal.
I think the staff believed this to be the case. The alternative scenario is impossible to believe, no one actively tries to make people ill by serving the very food they are allergic to.
This happens due to misunderstandings and mistakes. So hopefully there will also be a rise in food allergy training and awareness. It’s certainly needed!
So with these trends comes more danger. It is less safe to eat out at the moment. I think more restaurants are playing lip service to freefrom but failing to understand the implications of this.
Allergies can kill.
If you don’t understand, don’t say you do. If you’re not sure, or think your pub/restaurant is unsafe, say so.
If you haven’t checked the label, be honest.
If staff had been honest with me I would never have eaten the food.
If anyone, on both occasions had said, “We haven’t checked the ingredients and we don’t know what’s in this and we also don’t really even know what dairy is..!” I would have quite happily gone without.
I love my life. I have a beautiful life and amazing friends and family. I have so much I still want to do.
To all you allergy people out there!
Don’t eat anything if you haven’t seen the list of ingredients and explain calmly and sensibly how serious your allergies are.
If you don’t have an allergy, can I ask that you please STOP saying that you do.
Because if I hear one more person say they’re allergic to dairy and then I see them tucking into cake, biscuits, ice cream… WHAT are you doing?
You do not have an allergy. You choose to reduce your dairy intake but by saying you have an allergy you make life so much harder for me and others like me.
Be honest. Explain that you don’t have a life threatening allergy, you just try to reduce your intake.
Because freefrom is here to stay. It’s on the up!
And let’s not forget the booze free drinks! I know my eczema would be so much better if I cut out alcohol and I have reduced my intake significantly, but for now it’s something I enjoy. In moderation. My skin does suffer but I am finding I can enjoy just one drink and be satisfied with that.
Shame about the carnage at the Christmas work do… but more about that in my next blog post. I nailed the safe food but failed to drink water in between each drink and succumbed to the sambuca again… argh!
PS. If you want to find out more, check out this event next year: The International Food & Drink Event (IFE) is the UK’s leading and largest food & drink industry event, taking place 17 – 20 March 2019 at ExCeL London.