Skip to content

The minor superpowers my food allergies give me

McKinley Valentine — 2 min read
The minor superpowers my food allergies give me
Photo by Cristiano Pinto / Unsplash

This week's Whippet ended up collecting a couple of different articles on allergies/intolerances. I have a bunch of these, which is mostly annoying but gives me two superpowers. These are superpowers that you, who can eat anything, can easily grab for yourself, so I present them here:

1. Bring your own food to events, it's fine. This is a superpower that leads to never being hungry or impatient, and it feels very weird at first but you get used to it and now you don't have to wait for a group of 11 people to decide they don't want Italian after all, we should just go back to that Thai place near the venue, will they even have space for 11? "I'll run back and check" (friend decides to just go home instead of messaging you to tell you whether the Thai place has room for 11 or is even still open).

2. I read the ingredients on everything. I thought everyone did this, but it turns out no, people who aren't allergic to anything also just don't care what ingredients go in their mouth, it is so weird.

Which Tomato & Basil pasta sauce contains 0.5% basil and which contains 6% basil? I know the answer, but you don't because you don't read labels. You have to settle for basil-less basil pasta and avocado-less avocado dip and fruit juice that's just six different kinds of sugar (they do this because ingredients have to be in order by weight: if it was all Sugar it would be the #1 ingredient on the list after water, by splitting into honey and fructose and brown rice syrup and molasses, you can keep all six lower on the list than the homeopathic proportion of raspberries.

You can tell which potato chips will be the oiliest and which corn chips will be too salty. Which brands of pesto still uses pine nuts (as they should) and doesn't cut them with cashews (the lesser tree nut).

Plus, how can you learn how foods affect your energy levels and mood if you don't even know what foods you're eating? I feel very sure that a universal practice of reading the ingredients on every item you buy would just tend to bring up the general quality of all groceries.

This piece was originally published in The Whippet #33 – subscribe to get the next one in your inbox!

Unsolicited AdviceBe More Functional


Sign in or become a Whippet subscriber (free or paid) to add your thoughts.
Just enter your email below to get a log in link.