By Blythe Copeland, TreeHugger
A food allergy diagnosis can range from being a minor inconvenience — like having to read labels to check for food dye — to a major health issue (think extreme, lethal allergies to milk, eggs, and nuts).
But let’s look at the bright side for a moment: If you’re forced to pay attention to every ingredient that goes onto your plate, you could also be making better choices for your health and the environment — from choosing foods with smaller carbon footprints to defaulting to organic produce over packaged goods. In fact, we could learn a lot from the way people with food allergies approach their plate.
1. You Know Where Your Food Comes From
Whether you’re allergic to nuts, soy, dairy, eggs, gluten, or any other ingredient, a food restriction means you spend a lot more time reading labels — and figuring out exactly where your food comes from. Someone with a deadly allergy — like one to peanuts — needs to trust the source of their food.
A general awareness of what you’re eating and how it got to your plate gives you a better understanding of the environmental impact of your daily diet, from the miles traveled by those South American bananas to exactly what goes into selling tomatoes in New England in January. Once you start thinking about the production and distribution of every single ingredient, you’re more likely to make choices that are good for the Earth (as well as for your health).