I'm Carrie from Dundee, and I have a Food Allergy!
In 2017 the UK alone had an estimated that 2 million people are living with a diagnosed food allergy, and 600,000 (1 in 100) with coeliac disease. These figures exclude those with food intolerance's such as lactose intolerance.
There is no cure for food allergy or intolerance so the only way to manage the condition is to observe a strict avoidance diet. This puts a strain on the food allergic person, their family and friends. To avoid being the ‘awkward one’ who limits food choices or where to eat, the food allergic person often feels compelled to risk allergic reactions to fit in; this is especially true for young people, and me, I suffered, a lot.
I was diagnosed with an intolerance to wheat a few years ago. I struggled to eat out at restaurants, could rarely have food at outdoor events, and the specialist foods in the supermarkets were all a bit bland.
I visited a few food festivals over the summer months last year and I could only eat from 2 stalls, which were sold out before I realised. This is where I came up with the idea for the "Go Free From Show”.
The Go Free From Show will be the first of its kind in Scotland. Whether you are thinking about going gluten, dairy or meat free, or ways on how to reduce your plastic consumption, or you are a professional looking for new products and ideas, the Go Free From Show will have something for everyone. With lots of stallholders, you are sure to find tons of tasty food to sample that will satisfy any appetite. Lifestyle brands will also be there to show you products on changing the way you wash your hair or how to moisturise your skin.
The two-day event will give you the chance to learn from experts, including brand owners, watch cooking demonstrations by industry chefs and of course, taste tons of awesome “free from” foods.
The money I raise from crowdfunding will help me deliver these events across cities in the UK, starting off in Scotland, with 5 events every year. My aim is to educate and advise that living with a food allergy or sensitivity doesn’t need to be about deprivation and missing out. On the contrary, what you’re living without is all the horrible symptoms and medical problems you had before understanding what allergens you needed to avoid.
My vision is to develop a website with information about the events we hold, speakers, editorials, and over time, an eCommerce site where people can easily purchase "free from" products.