Stamp Out And About: When Food Is Not Your Friend

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Stamp Out And About: When Food Is Not Your Friend

Intolerance is NOT the latest trend on the catwalks of Milan. Anaphylaxis is NOT a lifestyle choice. That sh*t can be a one-time party trick. These are REAL medical conditions. Best outcome, you’re hugging the porcelain bus praying for the nightmare to FINALLY end. God help if you’re ejecting from both ends. You look like you’re auditioning for the next remake of The Exorcist. Worst case scenario. Death.

When I was eight months old, I was dead for three and a half minutes. I turned blue. I stopped breathing. I was limp. My mum was hysterical. My nanna frantically dialled for an ambulance. After months of tests they made the discovery. I’m allergic to egg. Yep, I’m THAT kid. The one who couldn’t have the cake at your 8th birthday. The one who has to carry an EpiPen in my bag. The one who needs ask the waiter to ask the chef what is in the stuffing.

“It has egg. Ok. Can you ask about the BLT? Does it have mayo on it?”

I know what you’re thinking. “But egg is in EVERYTHING! What can you eat? How do you do it?”

I’ve managed for most of my life. It’s why I cook a lot of my own lunches and check out a menu online before I go to a restaurant. It’s how I live. I do it to live.

But when I have ended up vertical in a hospital bed, attached to a drip, sucking oxygen through a mask, it’s been your fault. The complicacy of the restaurant. The café. The bar. The home cook – I’m looking at you.

I speak on behalf of everyone with an allergy. Yes, there are now supermarket aisles dedicated to those who struggle to eat a meal. Restaurants that commit to offering alternative meals and they work on accommodating my needs. However, this is not always the case.

I’ve experienced discrimination. I’ve been made to feel an inconvenience. I did not want this. But it’s a reality. The biggest issue I, and many people with an allergy face, is the shift in blame when we have eaten our sworn enemy. “You went and ate the one dessert you shouldn’t have?” No, we didn’t. We know how to take precautions. You became complacent.

Want to know what you should do? I went to The Backyard on Ryrie Street and ordered the Roast Pumpkin salad. “Can I ask, are the nuts mixed through or are they sprinkled on top?” (oh yeah, I have an intolerance to nuts too – joy). Not only were they happy to take the nuts out, the staff checked every element of the dish and found the sauce also had cashews through it. They swapped it with a salsa Verde and Mat threw Persian feta on top!

So, be more like The Backyard because I prefer not to perform my “one-time party trick”.

Stampsy is the Music Director and Drive Announcer at K Rock in Geelong. Stampsy does her thing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @only1stampsy