The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, requires labels on all the containers of food. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most significant is because of the millions of people who have food allergies and must know what they are consuming or it could mean sickness or even death. Food allergies require the individual to be creative with their meals and to look at food in new, innovative ways that could be similar to food hacking. They are both creative ways of looking at food, but allergens are vital for those who have food allergies.
The FDA also requires the information on the allergy must be written somewhere on the container so that older children can understand the meaning. The eight most common food allergens related to 90 percent of allergic food reactions are peanuts, eggs, milk, shellfish, tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews, fish, soy, and wheat. Wheat can produce an allergic reaction from the gluten, which is a protein found in the wheat kernel. Recently, more people have been identifying gluten as the culprit to allergic reactions.
Foods are listed from the main ingredient to the least ingredient found in the product, but with allergy triggers like those listed above, they must be listed even if found in trace amounts, such as when the food is manufactured in the same plant with nuts or soy. This is a precaution that takes the guesswork out of label reading for those who must carefully watch their food intake.
Individuals with food allergies learn to be creative with their food intake, which could be similar to food hacking, but is vital, since consuming an allergen could cause illness or even death.
Here are a few suggestions to help in your food selections, if you have food allergies. Try almond milk in place of regular cow’s milk, if you aren’t allergic to tree nuts and use Egg Beaters, which are not really eggs at all. To bake a cake or cupcakes, use applesauce or canned pumpkin and ½ cup water in the mix, and bake as usual. You are free to add granola, candy or even nuts if you aren’t allergic. The key is reinterpreting your diet!