Accessing Food

By Becca, Phase I Scholar

Food is the natural way to anyone's heart. We all need it to survive but also crave different types of cuisine. However, the path to food can also be a closed and barricaded door to those with allergies. I am one of those people.

For me, it is essential to learn how I will be able to access food. I don't want eating to just be a chore; I want to enjoy my food. During the DO-IT in-person week, I advocated these difficulties.

Notably, when I went to get my first breakfast, I was pleasantly surprised that each item had the main ingredients listed concerning significant allergies. Unfortunately, however, there wasn’t any indication of the ingredients other than the most common ones. Because of that, I could not know if items had some of my less common allergens, creating a lack of certainty when eating food.

Unfortunately, the morning after, the breakfast food was unmarked and unlabeled; this continued into most days.

More guesswork was needed, and I had to use my ability to smell to understand what was in each bowl. This impacted me by being unsafe to eat, which resorted to me only eating fruit, salad, and snacks from the store.

I spoke up that I could not eat anything but salad. This helped immensely. During the following food period, I had separate food that I could eat, which was filling.

Later the chef came out to speak with me about my allergies.

Finally, I could eat enough food through the DO-IT program.