29 May 2013

The Food Impact

by: Food Allergy Gal a.k.a Lara Holland

Food allergies, food intolerance and celiac disease are all medical conditions that cannot be helped, prevented or cured to date. Food really does play a big role in our health and yet I still find we don't take it very seriously. In fact I think we take it for granted. Most children these days don't know how french fries are made or think the potato comes from the store versus a farm. We don't understand food, how it impacts us not only from a physical perspective but also from a social and emotional level. Like teachers, we pay our food service professionals very poorly, we don't require education at entry level, anyone can jump into food service at any point in their life on some level. Sometimes it's even viewed as an "transition job," when really food is our life. Everyone has to eat. 

I know this is a first world problem and there are those in Africa and India who are starving and have no food, clean water, shelter or basic essentials of life. I wish I could solve all those problems today too, but for now I am working to solve this problem through education, awareness and ongoing care. 

We, as food service professionals, have the ability to really help those with these medical conditions, enjoy life outside their own kitchens. I am both the food service professional and food allergic and come to find out there are many of us in this world doing both. In fact while I was in Chicago, 50% of the people I ate with at a table one night (all in food service) had at least one food allergy or intolerance and everyone knew someone who was impacted. 

Medical research shows that autoimmune disorders are the leading cause of cancer, heart problems and 101 other diseases. 

In autoimmune diseases our immune system attacks our body. This causes serious problems like ulcerative colitis, thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune Alzheimer's, food allergies, celiac, lupus, autoimmune autism, autoimmune oophoritis, chroh's disease, chronic fatighe syndrome  Kawasaki disease, grave's disease, goodpasture's syndrome, Parkinson  pernicious anemia, polyarteritis nodosa, rheumatoid arthritis. There are over 101 known diseases as a direct result of food. 

There are often genetic predispositions but there is growing evidence that microbes and environmental toxins such as molds, metals & pesticides play a key role. 

I truly believe that we not only need to understand how food impacts us but also really focus on educating food service professionals on the food and it's impact.  In some cases it could mean life or death, as is true with food allergies. 

Instead of taking over my family food business or some other aspect of cushy desk job in food service, I decided to take my passion for culinary with my damn food allergies and use it as a chance to help everyone in this industry. I have spent 11 years with my own food allergy medical battle, including education, training, new recipe development, awareness. 

Over the last 13 months we have developed full service solutions to help in every aspect of the food service business, including our new electronic food allergy management system, AllerSmartMenu, and a comprehensive training and certification program which helps limit liability, increase efficiency and effectiveness and build revenue from the 220 million potential customers with food allergies, just like me. 

I love this connecting article that was written after I first wrote this article. http://blog.fooducate.com/2013/08/31/the-curious-connection-between-your-gut-and-brain/

LaraHolland, Food Allergy Consultancy provides full service solutions in food allergies and special dietary needs to food service providers from restaurants to food manufacturers. Find out how we can help your organization today! Stay connected or email us, info@ilaraholland.com. 

To schedule a training class on food allergies, food intolerance and celiac disease, please click here.

This Post is Sponsored by Home Free Cookies, delicious treats for home or to be served in restaurants as a great little dessert. Gluten, Dairy, Nut Free cookies. 
Mention Food Allergy Gal


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I just went to a place that did all these tests to see if i had food allergy in Minneapolis MN. It was actually really fun.

  3. Great post! I thought I was having an asthma attack at one point, but it turned out how I was having a reaction to the food I was eating. Food allergies are no fun at all, and can be difficult to deal with. But you need to take it day by day and do the best you can.


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