The landscape of the natural food section in our local grocery stores has changed dramatically over the last decade. From half an isle of supplements and fair trade coffee to 3 full isle’s complete with a freezer section, full of natural, organic, gluten-free and/or plant-based products.
Major business and media publications like MacLeans magazine and the Economist have declared 2019 as “the year of the vegan”. There is no doubt veganism is the driving force behind this major shift in dietary demand. Over the last year alone, sales for plant-based products in the United States have increased by a whopping 20% to reach $3.3 billion.
While vegans, vegetarians, and other plant-based foodies are enjoying these new products, another customer base has also been benefiting; individuals with food allergies. Three out of eight of the most common food allergens can be completely avoided with a vegan diet. In addition to excluding milk, egg, and shellfish; many plant based companies are creating products free from soy, gluten, peanuts, and tree nuts.
Across Canada, we've seen vendors emerge and selection increase, creating a variety of sources for (once stranded) vegans to find allergen free food products:
Food allergies have grown from a relatively unknown and unreported issue to a worldwide epidemic. Approximately 2.6 million Canadians suffer from at least one food allergy. While there is no cure for food allergies, doctors and allergy specialist simply recommend patients to “avoid their allergens”. While cutting out chocolate, cheese, doughnuts, lobster, and/or peanut butter sounds quite unappealing to the general public, innovative companies and alternative food are helping these individuals enjoy a Free-From life.
Thanks to the rise of plant-based products, people with a milk allergy can enjoy dairy-free cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. People with a seafood allergy don’t have to give up “tuna” sandwiches or even coconut shrimp.
Thanks to Eggcitables egg alternative, individuals with an egg allergy can now safely enjoy an omelet or scramble. If you like to get creative, you can cook or bake these recipes for plant based, vegan meals that typically require traditional eggs:
It's great to have options, isn't it?