Safe products can be life-changing


Gwen Smith, co-owner and editor of Allergic Living magazine and, recently shared her thoughts on living with allergies with MadeGood.

How can a safe product change someone’s life?
GS: Finding one can be life-changing. When those of us with allergies in the family find a new tasty and allergy-friendly product, we get really excited. This is particularly true of premade snacks, which kids and travelling adults always need.

I know parents who for years made every snack for their allergic kids took to school. Now, with newer dedicated, allergy-friendly brands, they can pop in a safe packaged treat, and that’s liberating.  I have multiple food allergies and, when travelling, sometimes I can’t find safe food quickly. That’s when my go-to snack – MadeGood’s Mixed Berry Granola Bars – will save my bacon. Since our choices are restricted, allergic people are the most loyal and appreciative customers.

What kind of information do newly diagnosed food allergy patients need from food manufacturers?                                     

GS: When you must read every food label, ingredient transparency is extremely helpful – for new and seamadegood-slideshow-2018-overlay-allergysoned allergy consumers. Some brands will say they are free of certain allergens, but not do the due diligence with suppliers or dedicated facilities. The MadeGood products get very high marks because you folks have a top 8 allergen-free and sesame-free facility, you do the diligence, the right training and you spell out your process on your website.

We also need brands and government to develop a standard for the “may contain” warnings that some companies employ. Such a label warning may be legitimate, or merely a legal precaution. Especially when you’re new to allergies, this is confusing. If there was a consistent standard, such labels would have meaning.

You’re the editor of Allergic Living magazine and What do you love about your job? allergic

First, working with the food allergy community, an incredibly caring and involved population. I love that through Allergic Living’s articles, we actually get to help people successfully manage food allergies and navigate issues such as safely going to school, dining out, travel and caregiving. We do a lot on disease-related anxiety issues, which people find very helpful, so that’s rewarding.

Covering new research, and watching therapies emerge and ideas develop about the root causes of the disease is also fascinating. The most common thing I hear from readers is: “Your articles make me feel not alone.” That is important, touching, rewarding. I love my job.

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