Living with Multiple Food Allergies: Difficulties and the Silver Lining

In my twenties traveling Italy, my luxury was starting the day at a local cafe with a chocolate almond croissant paired with a cappuccino. All things I cannot have now.

Life’s little luxuries that I took for granted before I became aware of my food problems.

Being able to explore small local shops or new restaurants without worry about how knowledgeable they might be about food allergies. 

Enjoying international travel without worry.

Not having to plan where to get your next meal. Winging it. Being able to get a quick bite or drink wherever you are. Unless you have been deprived of this you don’t know what a huge reprieve this can sometimes be.

Having multiple food allergies and sensitivities sucks in many obvious ways. There is the ever looming threat to your health and even your life. And it is nearly impossible to eat out or accept food from others and can put a pretty significant dent in your social activities. You have to preplan all activities so you know where your next safe meal comes from.

And now having a child like that too, it is more difficult and costly to find childcare. Outsourcing food needs are even more complicated. You need to be vigilant that your child doesn’t accept unknown food from others.

Yet, there are some bright points.

You are more likely to eat healthy, with less processed foods and less eating out. 

You save money. You might spend more on groceries and some specialty items, but this is likely less than the cost of eating out more frequently.

You try foods that you might never have otherwise to try to expand your diet as much as possible. Or eat some foods more frequently than you might have.

You learn things about food that you never would’ve otherwise. Some of course not so savory like what is allowed in our foods.

Multiple food allergies and sensitivities made me appreciate more a fully functioning stable society with a safe and reliable food chain, quality control, lots of choices catering to niche diets and needs, etc. And of course having money to spare to spend extra on food.

What happens in a disaster situation? War situation?

I found my choices rather limited even in a modern hospital. What if I ever ended up in prison?

What if some sick person or entity turns this knowledge against me?

If we were to go entirely back to subsistence farming and/or hunter gatherer society, it would be tough on everyone but my odds probably won’t be terribly worse than others. Whereas a scarcity situation of modern foodstuffs resulting in only the most typical choices might be much more problematic.