Forbidden fruits and vegetables

In her feature, Multimedia Editor Sarah Ford narrates her experience with Pollen Food Syndrome, an allergy to raw fruits and vegetables. She illuminates some of the safety issues and accessibility concerns, and looks at ways we can best support those with severe food allergies.

Video by Sarah Ford.

One Comment

  1. No idea food allergies were ignored a lot in Canada. I am allergic to nearly all tree nuts (“luckily” only vomiting, cramps, and occasional hives not anaphylaxis… yet.) and this hits home.

    Ishan, I’ve cut back on eating with vegan acquaintances at potlucks after a similar encounter with cashew cheese in vegan spaghetti and countless close calls.

    I realize as Canadians, you generally don’t enjoy hearing what it’s like in United States as a default response, but traveling I’ve found that the best way to ask (or sometimes tell!) about food allergens depends on the culture. The level of understanding (at least in the States) and response to inquiries varies a lot regionally too…. I’ve had a terrible time with tree nuts in Florida for example.

    Also in the US food intolerances, food allergies, socio-religious and ethical dietary restrictions, and food preferences are usually clearly delineated. That seems to help- with the exception of gluten-free as a health fad that minimized the actual threat gluten poses to some people. For country with a lot of willful ignorance, the importance of understanding food allergies seems to have been realized by most people.

    My only criticism of the video is that cooked vegetables do retain a lot of nutrients, and a diet with a range cooked vegetables is usually better than one with only one or two types raw ones. Steaming is the most nutritious method of cooking, but if you need everything thoroughly cooked you might try steaming in a pressure cooker- less risk and it’s fast.

    Last thought, I have the non life threatening form of Birch OAS and another fruit to really watch out for is Jackfruit… my mouth itches terribly from the coating around the seeds, and some from the fruit itself.

    This was a good mini-doc PSA. I look forward to seeing more.

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