Thursday, October 9, 2014

In need of a precise handheld allergen detector anyone?

If there wasn't enough to worry about with what foods we eat, then what about all the hidden ingredients found in foods whose origins aren't identified properly? Normally, the articles posted to this blog target the importance of knowing where your food comes from, how it gets literally from the farm to the fork and also bringing it all home with home-cooked meals that are better for our health (& taste).

There are other concerns on the horizon with regard to our food -- namely, food allergens. How is it that many food allergens were not heard about or talked about as much as now? How is it that the number of people who have a food allergy is getting larger, but there is no clear answer as to why. One can learn more about the facts and statistics of food allergies by going here.

 With all that said about food allergies, then why don't handheld allergen detectors exist for the "everyday joe" who is likely to suffer from a mysterious food allergy? This blog post segues into an interesting article written by Bonnie Powell, director of communications for Bon Appetit Management Company who has some thought-provoking things to say about the need for such a detector. As Ms. Powell clearly points out in the article, "That’s why few people with severe food allergies dare to eat out, and that’s why manufacturers of packaged foods are playing it safe on all their labels, with voluntary statements like “May be processed in a facility that also handles nuts/wheat/shellfish” etc. And that’s why food service providers facing the enormous responsibility of feeding everyone who has to be able to eat with them regularly — like students and corporate employees — are struggling to train kitchen staff and enact strict guidelines for ingredient labeling and communication."

To learn more, go to the article here.

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