Did you know that food allergies affect about 2 to 4% of adults and 6 to 8% of children in America? In our home allergies affect 75% of the children and I have an intolerance to many foods. Food Intolerance is actually much more common than allergies. In fact, nearly everyone at one time has had an unpleasant reaction to something they ate. Some people have specific food intolerance such as Lactose intolerance. Which is the most common food intolerance, affecting about 10% of Americans. There are many differences between allergies and intolerance, but the most basic is that intolerance is not life threatening. Just unpleasant for that person.
With the growing numbers of people having food reactions, how are we to accommodate that in our hospitality? Do we have to make expensive organic meals that are prepared in a sterile environment? Since hospitality is all about showing the love of Christ to others, we should really have their best interest in mind. It doesn't feel good to know that you may have given your dinner guests food poisoning, but when serving food that may contain allergens that is essentially what you are doing. Maybe even worse!
Keeping in mind that the most common food allergies in the US are peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and almonds), fish, and shellfish, milk, eggs, soy products, and wheat; I will continue this article addressing these types of allergens. There are other food related allergies, such as reactions to latex used in packaging or from gloves worn, but those type would really warrant another post all there own.