Flying can be challenging for so many reasons—missed connections, turbulence, lost luggage, overnight airline bankruptcy—so we can’t help but be annoyed to have to add food allergens to the already seemingly exhaustive list.
We have a food allergy. One of the dramatic, stop-breathing-rush-to-the-emergency-room kind. Nuts. All types, tree and otherwise, if eaten will cause us to go into anaphylactic shock and more recently, cause extreme stomach cramps that can and have burst intestinal blood vessels (really). That said, sometimes even the smell of nuts can instigate unpleasantness, which is why those little bags of peanuts handed out on flights can be so problematic. Over 100 people in a small space simultaneously opening individual bags of peanuts and sending nut dust circulating through recycled airplane air does not bode well for people with severe nut allergies. This is why most airlines stopped serving them all together and started passing out things like cookies, chips and fruit snacks. Isn’t a box of animal crackers better then a tiny bag of peanuts anyway? We thought so, but we were amazed by the outcry of disapproval that came after the announcement that our short flight from New Mexico to Las Vegas would not come with peanuts and that cheese nips would be offered instead. There were heavy sighs and one very loud, “What?!” from the back of the plane. This prompted the stewardess to announce that she was very sorry, but there was someone on the plane allergic to nuts and that person was preventing them from being distributed on the flight. We didn’t mean to spoil the fun, but what can you do when you have a food allergy in situations like these?
It seems from airplanes to potlucks, people are going to have to get used to these types of situations because food allergies aren’t going anywhere. In fact, food allergies are on the rise and while nutritionists can’t seem to figure out why, more caution will have to be taken to accommodate them. Dairy, gluten, chocolate, wheat—some the most basic and beloved foods are becoming impossible to eat for more and more people. On the one hand it’s making it easier for long-time food allergy sufferers like us to identify deadly ingredients because food allergens are more commonly broadcasted, but on the other hand it makes for a somber and frustrating food experience for those without the allergies.
Our solution? Alternate sources of energy for humans. If we could replace food with, say, air then we could stop eating food and just use air as our sole source of sustenance. This would mean making sure we actually continue to have air to breath, but that’s a whole other post. In the meantime, we hope all of you lucky allergy-less food lovers will have a little a patience and sympathy for those who aren’t so lucky and vent your frustrations on your middle seat or delayed flight instead of that missing bag of peanuts.
Photo: By ftartinomiel