Well, what can I say about the allergy + free from show 2017? It’s a corker 🙂 I laughed, I learnt, I chatted, I cried, I asked and I ate and ate and ate…
The allergy + free from show 2017 is there to be enjoyed to the max, especially all you bloggers who are going along tomorrow and will get to meet each other. Sadly I cannot make it tomorrow to join you but I really enjoyed my day there today.
I really recommend the Learning Centre where I learnt a lot! For example, hot off the press: the government have just agreed to change legislation so that the school will hold AAIs which teachers can administer in emergencies! WHOOP WHOOP!!
I had the opportunity to ask Dr Adam Fox about food challenges, desensitisation and the development of EoE. He knew where I was going with my question and finished it off for me – for which I was grateful as I find the full name of EoE a bit of a tongue twister. Apparently EoE is being diagnosed in a 2.7% of “severely allergic” children as they pursue desensitisation and introduction of allergens into their diet. The reassuring news for me is that he thinks it’s highly unlikely that the introduction of baked allergens into the diet cause EoE, but that it’s linked with severe pollen allergies and would probably have surfaced regardless of the hospital challenges and process of desensitisation. This really low percentage in the “severely allergic” kids should reassure parents on their children’s journey away from anaphylaxis to pursue desensitisation through food challenges at hospital. The other positive point is that the allergists are working with gastroenterologists on the connection and problem of EoE and its link with severe pollen allergies in particular… so there is joined up thinking and collaboration in approaching the research.
I also really appreciated listening to Dr Polly James, speaking on the issues children with severe food allergies can face – we tend to focus so much on safety, care plans, diet and nutrition and it was great for me to hear someone acknowledge some of the other developmental, social, emotional, mental… issues that our children have to manage and deal with. I got to chat with her afterwards about secondary school where the social times outside of lessons are centred around food, making it hard for a child with contact allergies and anaphylaxis to integrate and participate. Exacerbating this, in our situation, is the fear parents of his friends have, following his last two anaphylaxis to safe foods, which curtailed all invites to their homes… it is so isolating. She was saying the best thing is to find a peer with a similar experience of anaphylaxis, severe food allergies and contact allergies so that he can share his experiences with them… so a call out to any parents of kids aged 12-14 in London/South East (Surrey would be ideal) who may be in need of the same!
So I really encourage you to go and listen to some experts at the learning centre, learn and ask them your questions – it’s a very open positive forum.
This is the first year I have visited the allergy + free from show on a Friday and I was initially overwhelmed by how accessible all the exhibitors were – it was not too rammed. I found myself at Aaron’s fave crisp stand! Where I got to chat with the chap about how Aars loves their lentil crisps, and try out the new flavours coming onto the market soon. YUM! The guy was so sweet and gave me a free big packet to bring home to Aars. You can check out their website here!
I also had a fab chat with the Coeliac UK rep, they are moving to more of a focus on living well gluten-free rather than focusing on just Coeliacs disease – which is great for folks like Aars and me who have not been diagnosed with Coeliacs but have EoE and allergy to gluten. It can only be positive when we become more inclusive and support others who are struggling in the same areas as us, even if it is for different reasons.
In terms of food the MUST GO TO STAND for vegans and gluten-free folks is the Venice Bakery. Absolutely gorgeous Italian pizza bases and AMAZING vegan Italian mozzarella cheese from MozzaRisella. They were baking samples combing the two in lush pizzas, which disappeared in a flash. But for the greedy (like me) you can order a take-away pizza all for yourself, no sharing required BOOM! I bought some of their amazing bases and mozzarisella and am super stoked to give Aars some – it will be the best pizza he has ever eaten! They supply Pizza Express with their vegan cheese. Sooooooooooooo good! You can order their bases online – a world beyond all the others on the market. I hope they start supplying Pizza Express with their bases too!
I did pop to Violife and got myself some super cheap vegan cheeses for Aars which are tried and tested and he loves. Following an inspiring conversation with brilliant Brazilians at the Donarita stand, I got some extra Violife Prosociano to have a go at making vegan Pão de Queijo in the coming weeks. They are going to have a play too – so hopefully between us we will come up with a winning vegan version of this scrummy gluten-free more-ish snack. I bought some cassava flour from Isabel’s stand so I have everything I need to get to it this week. I’m absolutely determined to get it sussed since my friend Juan suggested I try making a vegan version of them a couple of weeks ago. It was good to see how they should be – texture and lightness… so I know what I am aiming for.
Likewise I had a great chat with one of the girls from Delicious Alchemy about their mixes and making them egg-free. They had different mixes made up as egg-free for vegans to try. I have taken away their brownie mix to play with (gonna use sweet potato instead of egg I think). They have a section on their website for baking egg-free, you can check it out here.
Also really appreciated chewsy – an all natural chewing gum, after sampling some potent free-from garlic bread from one of the other exhibitors! It was so minty fresh and totally stopped me from knocking folks out with horrifically garlicky breath.
Obviously I still love Rana’s artisan bread and have bought her cracker mix to have a play with.
I chuckled as I rounded a corner to see a WWF guy eating dried apricots whilst gazing at the girls in shorts standing on these weird fat burners that basically just seemed to jiggle and shake them all about! I asked if he was enjoying the view ;P Unsurprisingly he was!
So all in all a great day – I ate lots of scrummy samples of vegan and gluten-free YUM, drunk a lot of matcha samples! I met lovely folks and chatted and had a laugh with some and actually cried the I spoke with Dr Polly James, cos she was soooooo nice and encouraging!
So if you are heading there this weekend, you are in for a treat. Enjoy your weekend either way, and if you can’t make it pop over to some of the websites in the links above and check out their wares on line.
Enjoy the sunshine and have a taste-tastic weekend,