I have now officially graduated from “crazy” food requirements to “mind boggling.” A recent blood test revealed I am allergic to a vegan’s worst nightmare: the potato.
Coping When You’re Allergic to Everything
I am also allergic to carrots, tomatoes, peanuts, and whey. Combine this with “vegan – except sometimes honey” and “gluten free” … what you get is a travel/eating out disaster.
Carrots and tomatoes are the most severe allergy.
I’m not too upset about the carrot allergy. Unfortunately, carrots happen to be in most vegetable stocks, stews, and (of course) the lovely carrot cake.
Tomatoes and peanuts are annoying. No pasta sauce? No Italian recipes? No classic pizza? No peanut butter?
Whey is irrelevant, considering I eat no dairy products anyways.
But then there’s the potato. Oh potato, how I have loved thee.
My favorite food is french fries. Mashed potatoes no more. Potato chips. Gluten free flour mixes. Many gluten free, vegan desserts. Even a bag of dried mango I got at a grocery store in Austria snuck in some potato starch to prevent caking.
It’s omnipotent. Omnipresent.
I’ve had to start reading labels even more carefully now. Couple this with other shocking food-related discoveries (sugar isn’t vegan, most wine isn’t vegan) and you’ve got a very confused human indeed.
What I’ve gleaned from this situation is how important food is to quality of life. I’ve eaten all of these allergens for years. I was even in the process of baking some home-cooked french fries when I got the call from a nurse that I had 5 food allergies. Yet I never knew they could be causing me so much physical and mental discomfort.
Luckily, there are places in Phoenix like Gluten Free Creations Bakery that explicitly list their ingredients and cater to the same types of weirdos as me.