In addition to being Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month, May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. I’m passionate about both topics, and in my latest article, I explore the impact food allergies can have on mental health.
I’ve documented my rare food allergies in this blog since my biggest scratch test in 2012. In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, I’m documenting more of what it means to be allergic to foods that aren’t in the Top 9. More than 170 foods can cause reactions, but we tend to think about allergies as being very specific.
I may have more food allergies than the typical food-allergic individual, but I recognize that I’m able to manage them because of my extreme privilege. I have great medical care (which I can afford) and the means and access to buy the specialty foods I need. I’ve stared at my grocery bill hundreds of times wondering why I spend so much, and then I remember that I have to.
But what if I couldn’t? What if I simply could not purchase the food I need to eat safely? Or if the choice was between an Epi-Pen and rent?
Pop culture and memes tend to depict people with allergies as privileged, white people who are a little snooty, a little helicopter parent-y, and so out of touch they believe a little bit of peanut is an issue. But the reality is, people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic statuses can have food allergies, and the food allergies are more prevalent among Black communities.
My latest article expands on this issue more. Check it out here.
May 9 through May 15 is Food Allergy Awareness Week, and I’ll be participating by posting articles each day this week with different facts and themes about living with food allergies. Follow along here, or on Medium, where you can find my first post about the particular difficulties facing adults with food allergies.