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The Plague of Food Allergy

Updated on October 9, 2011

Grocery Shopping

For those with food allergies, grocery shopping is more like treasure hunting to find something that a. you like, and b. doesn't make you sick.

Let's spend a day grocery shopping through the eyes of someone with a long list of food allergies...

Produce Section

First, we'll enter the produce section and look around.

Apples: stomach ache. Large oranges: headache and sore throat. Small oranges: too expensive and besides, those are old and won't keep more than two days. Nectarines: migraine headache. Peaches: migraine and stomach troubles. Apricots: Yes! I can have apricots. Oh, no! They don't have any today. Darn! I'll continue the search.

Watermelon: stomach ache. Tomatoes: death in minutes. Sore throat, swollen throat, anaphylaxis, and migraine. Lettuce: Yes! I can have lettuce, and it's on sale. (Puts lettuce into cart.) Too bad lettuce doesn't keep all week. It turns brown after about 3 days.

Soup Section

MSG, MSG, all these soups have MSG? Oh, here's one that doesn't. Darn, that one's got tomatoes, though. Oh, here's another one that doesn't have either MSG or tomatoes. Oh, no. Near the end of the list it contains coconut oil. I cannot have coconut oil, palm oil, or palm kernel oil. Eating it gives a 3 day migraine.

Here's one that doesn't have tomato, palm oil, or MSG. But it gives me a stomach ache. I am leaving the soup aisle.

Cereal Section

Palm oil, palm, I wish I could try that granola, but no can do. What's this? No palm oil? But it's got cinnamon. If I eat cinnamon, I may as well dial 911 first.

Corn...can't have corn. Oats....yes! I finally found one that doesn't have corn, cinnamon, or tropical oils. I don't really like that flavor, but I'm going to buy it anyway. It's edible.

Cookie Section

Every single solitary last package of cookies has either cinnamon, palm oil, or peanuts. None of them are acceptable.

The organic cookies have soybean and cotton seed oils. I can eat them. But they want twice the price of regular cookies. Maybe I'll get a package of those for a treat when the holidays roll around.

Candy bars: All the candy bars except for Hershey's have added palm oils to their chocolate. Although it makes the chocolate smooth, it makes me unable to buy their product. Yay to Hershey's for old fashioned quality!

This concludes our tour of the grocery store through the eyes of the allergic. Tune in next time! We might go shopping for diabetics!*

*This statement is meant in no way to insult or discourage diabetics, but rather to recognize that they also have difficulty finding acceptable foods.


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    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      North Wind: I certainly am glad you can eat tomatoes. They're so good for you!

      PegCole: I sympathize with your quest to find less sugary foods. As far as what I can eat, I count myself lucky. I read about one person with food allergies who lives on only 6 simple foods. She can't tolerate anything else. I can eat a lot more than 6 foods, so I won't complain, although my hub sounds a lot like complaining because I wanted people who don't have this condition to see what it's like. Also, people without allergies should still stay away from MSG.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      We discovered how difficult it is to grocery shop when hubby was first diagnosed with diabetes. We spent hours that first time reading labels and being shocked about the sugar content in most food! It doesn't sound like there is a whole lot you can eat. That's not good.