Food Allergy Awareness Week: Summer Camps & Safety

  Did you know this week is Food Allergy Awareness Week? With up to 15 million people in the United States affected by food allergies, it's time to learn a little more about this potentially deadly medical condition, and how to live with them if you or someone you love is diagnosed.



In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, I'll be posting some quick links and real-life examples to help shed light on this emerging field. If you're on Twitter follow the hashtag #TealTakeover this week to see what everyone's posting. Teal is the official color for Food Allergy Awareness. While we'd all like simple answers and quick fixes this is not the realm of food allergies. Resist the urge to adopt or to spread popular myths about causation. The more we all take responsibility to share science-based facts, the greater and more accurate awareness we can spread.

Happy Campers

Right now many families will be packing kids off to summer camp. The Food Allergy Research and Education site has great tips for parents and kids planning a camping outing.

  • Wrist bands, wallet cards and more new tools are becoming available to help your kids stay safe at camp.

Allergists talk about "filling the bucket" when dealing with multiple allergies. As you are exposed to multiple triggers your bucket becomes more full and you're increasingly likely to suffer a severe allergic reaction when exposed to a trigger.

Dust mite allergy - Allergic reactions can be triggered by a single molecule of the offending protein or by a cumulative effect of several milder allergic reactions. It's good practice to eliminate contact with anything that causes allergic reactions. For example, while dust mite allergy is not a food allergy, it can be helpful to cover your pillow and bedding in special slipcovers that prevent the exposure which causes a reaction in those with dust mite allergy.

  • Tip: when traveling bring your own dustmite slipcovers for pillows and bedding.

Ticks - Campers beware, ticks are tiny, easy to overlook and potentially very dangerous.

Did you know:

  • Emerging studies suggest there may be cross-reactivity with house dust mite allergies and shellfish allergy. 

About me:

After developing food allergies as an adult, I turned my lawyer’s research and analysis skills toward understanding this complex topic. I now speak, write and train restaurants on serving food-allergic diners. You can see me speak at the first annual Food Allergy Research and Education organization conference in Chicago this June. If you're in the area, stop by and say hello!

I started Kitchen Confidence, a private culinary coaching service, to teach people to cook food they love in the comfort of their own kitchens. Learning techniques like poaching chicken or pleating dumplings enables clients to enjoy cooking more, to cook more efficiently, and to achieve better health. Most importantly, I make cooking fun and easy. I'm building a repertoirs of dairy-free, nut-free recipes, too.

As the founder of The Oyster Century Club, I teach classes on oysters, lead guided tastings and shucking demos and host popular tweet ups at local oyster bars. Modeled on the wine century club concept, we’re tasting our way through 100 varieties of oysters.

I’m also a food writer who’s been published on line and in print and have been recognized by a James Beard award winning editor, as well as gourmet food and drinks lovers around the world. My work has been syndicated by the Chicago Sun-Times, Reuters and Austin Statesman among others. I often write about sustainable food issues.

You may find clips of my work here: