Fitsme & Food Allergies

Tim Hester Photograhpy

Tim Hester Photograhpy

Food allergies affect roughtly 15 million people in the American population. Ninety percent of food allergies are attributed to the following foods: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. Individuals may be born with a food allergy, or they may develop an intolerance over time. The severity of a reaction is dependent on the individual, not necessarily the quantity of the allergen encountered. A lethal reaction can be triggered even by a trace amount of the allergen. Visit the Food Allergy Researched & Education site for information on mild and severe food allergy reaction symptoms.

Fitsme and Food Allergies

Fitsme allows users to like, dislike, and exclude specific food ingredients in their food preference profile. This information is then used to curate a set of recipes each user is likely to enjoy. For someone with a food allergy, the exclude function ensures that he/she will not see a recipe that contains the allergen or a by-product of the allergen.

For instance, if I am allergic to wheat, none of the recipes I see through Fitsme will contain teriyaki sauce because teriyaki sauce contains soy sauce which is usually made from soy and wheat.

Dining Out

Restaurants are not required to list all ingredients for each dish on their menu. A soup entree may be described as “sage seasoned roasted pumpkin puree blended with heavy cream” but neglects to note that the soup also uses wheat as a thickener. If someone has an allergy, more often than not, he/she must ask the waiter to list all the ingredients in each dish he/she is interested in ordering. Depending on the caliber of the restaurant, this information is not always readily available or the gluten-free options are severely limited.

Cooking at Home

When you cook for yourself, you have the ability to control the type and quality of the ingredients that go into your meals. If you or someone in your family has a food allergy, it’s easier to prevent a reaction.

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By Jocelyn Robancho

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