Food Allergy & Celiac Awareness Month campaign, and why we think it's important for all custom eaters to come together as one community, speaking with one voice.
Elsewhere on social media, May is Celiac Awareness Month with Food Allergy Awareness Week right in the middle of it.
We thought a lot about how to honor those two communities here on freedible in the span of one short month - but then it hit us: these two health concerns are far too important, and have far too much in common, to compete with each other. Things like the critical importance of product labelling laws, or a mother's desire for her child to be safe and included at school. Commonalities that make a father with celiac disease the natural ally of a "food allergy mom."
And yet, we understand that we can only truly support and advocate for the things we hold in common when we first take time to understand the meaningful ways that we are different. After all, any bridge needs a firm footing on two facing shores.
Throughout May, we'll be hosting a series of events and special features to bring these two important parts of our community together to share, learn and advocate with and for one another: one community, speaking with one voice.
And we've launched a brand new Food Allergy Center, sponsored by So Delicious Dairy Free, and relaunched our Celiac Disease Center. In these unique new centers, you can find not just the facts about these severe food restrictions, but through the tips and stories our members have shared you can read accounts of how these restrictions affect individual lives.
And finally, we're working with our partner Enjoy Life Foods to host a community-wide project to share and collect the stories behind the conditions. Whatever your "food rules" and whatever the health considerations are that drive them, every custom eater has a story - of unlocking the connections between foods and their individual health and of interfacing with doctors, colleagues, schools and even family members raised in a world that still believes food is one-size-fits-all.
So like an oral history project, we're inviting all our members to share their stories: how food affects you, how you figured it out and how knowing that connection has changed you, your lifestyle and your health. This is an exciting and challenging time for custom eaters, a time when our health, our food supply, our collective medical research and our clinical physicians' knowledge are all-too-often badly out of sync. That's a story that needs to be told - so that we can affect the changes we need to improve it, so we can reclaim our voices and so we can really support one another.
After all, in the end it is the stories that really move us to make change.
And so, throughout this May and beyond, whether you have food allergies, celiac disease, neither or both, we hope you'll join in the festivities - the learning, the sharing and the advocating included.