Food Allergy and the “Free From” Movement

May 31, 2016

Food Allergy and the “Free From” Movement

Since 2004, Fancypants Baking Co. has been making cookies that are peanut and tree nut free.  What that means is that our facility and all of our cookies are “free from” some of the most common food allergens that affect people today – nuts.  In the United States, as many as 15 million people have food allergies and many more have sensitivities or diet preferences for foods that are free from specific ingredients.   As a result of this growing food trend, there is a new food movement called the “Free From” movement.

food allergy free form movement

By definition, the “Free From” movement refers to foods that are made without any of the following allergens: gluten, milk, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. Some people also include sesame and sunflower seeds/oil as a growing number of people also have allergies to these foods.

There are many different results stemming from this movement. First, there is more talk in pop culture about food allergies. For example, this morning on the Today Show, Al Roker discussed allergies and what is being done to end them.  And, celebrity Sarah Jessica Parker recently spoke up about her family and food allergies.  Second, there is an explosion of products being offered by food manufacturers that are “free from” certain allergens.  Entire sections of supermarkets are dedicated to “gluten free” products, for example.  Third, education and advocacy by food allergy groups like FARE  (Food Allergy Research & Education) are gaining more attention.  During the month of May, FARE organized a nationwide campaign where major city landmarks including the Empire State Building (NYC) and the Zakim Bridge (Boston) turned their lights teal as a way to bring awareness to food allergies.

The great news about all of this is that there are more choices for people who have allergies, and more awareness about the impact that allergies have on individuals and families.  At Fancypants, we’re proud that we’ve been baking cookies for nearly 12 years that are free from all nuts and that are 100% safe for people with nut allergies to enjoy and we’re excited that the Free From movement is impacting consumers and companies in a positive and meaningful way.

Cheers!




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