Allergies and food Intolerances - how do they affect food shopping?
Posted by: Caféstudy
4th Jul 2014 04:15pm
With food allergies and intolerances becoming increasingly common these days, we were interested to find out how being affected by one of these influenced the way in which you shopped. Did it mean extra time and hassle at the supermarket reading every label? Is there less choice? And what about the cost – do allergies or intolerances send food bills shooting up?
According to Cafestudy members, those of you with food allergies and intolerances do indeed have your work cut out when it comes to food shopping. Trying to avoid ingredients and keep the cost down are the two main issues. Grocery shopping for this group is also more time consuming because of the level of research needed to ensure you are buying the right products. Having to check things constantly is frustrating. As Gerry puts it...’checking things is a pain!’
When the labels are clear, things are easier, such as in the case of more common allergies like nut and gluten. However, the other big issue for you, the cost, is also a barrier with for example, many gluten free products being two or three times more expensive. Ziah describes her gluten-free breakfast cereal as a ‘rare treat’ because of the price. Others mention cutting out particular foods from their diet because the version they would need to buy is just too pricey.
So taking these things into account, how do they affect the way you shop for food? For a start, many of those of you with allergies and intolerances, not surprisingly, prefer to stick to your already tried and tested brands and products. According to you, this cuts down on time spent researching and label checking, as well as providing you with assurance that you can eat what you buy with no adverse effects. As wojo12 puts it, ‘rarely do I experiment because I prefer my current health than addressing an allergic reaction.’
A second group of those with allergies and food intolerances are taking a different approach to food shopping. Rather than buying specifically targeted products, you are instead going back to basics, buying fresh ingredients, and cooking everything from scratch; including everyday items such as stocks, bread and even yoghurt. Taking the approach that ‘fresh is best’ saves money and guarantees that you know exactly what is in everything you eat. For this group, the peace of mind achieved and money saved is worth the extra effort involved.
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