I am an award winning fine art photographer from Santa Monica, California. My photographs are exhibited in fine art galleries and in gift shops. Learn more about my photography on my website, ElizabethNoblePhotos.com . I love animals, I have a cat named Dinah, I volunteer at my local Animal Shelter and I am Vice Chair of the Nonprofit Foundation that supports the Animal Shelter. I love Los Angeles, from the coastline to the mountains. When I am not taking photographs, or working on No Peanut Foods, I enjoy all things outdoors including spending time at the beach, hiking and gardening. I also love music and attending concerts. I have faced many challenges with my health; I had my gallbladder removed because it was diseased, and have multiple auto immune disease: Lupus and Hashimotos Thyroiditis.
I have always had a serious, anaphylactic, allergy to peanuts. I have struggled to find foods that I can enjoy, and products I can use, without the fear of an allergic reaction. My allergy to peanuts has always been a source of a huge amount of anxiety and stress for me. I have been bullied and ridiculed by many, it is something that I have been made to feel ashamed of, and I have been told far too many times by those I trusted that, ‘you have an EpiPen’, as if it is a magic wand, which it is not! I have allergies to other foods as well, all are less severe, but I do avoid most tree nuts, many legumes, salmon and eggplant.
A couple years go I suffered an allergic reaction due to cross contamination, that thank goodness did not lead to anaphylactic shock, but was close, and still incredibly scary. Afterward I wanted to know what had caused the reaction. Everything I had cooked with I thought was safe for me. The only new product that I had used was olive oil. I called the brand who made the olive oil, Montabello. They informed me that 'their products are not safe for anyone with a peanut allergy due to the fact that they are processed in a facility containing peanuts'. I was very upset to receive this answer, I just could not believe what I was hearing. What I found particularly disturbing is that I had actually 'lucked out' so to speak, with having a reaction that did not lead to anaphylactic shock, needing my Auvi-Q and going to the hospital, it cold have gone so differently.
I had incorrectly thought that the absence of a 'May Contain' statement on a product meant that it was safe for me, and free of any peanut cross contamination risk. But, in actuality, the FDA does not require allergen cross contamination risk to be stated. A ‘May Contain’ warning is voluntary, and not mandatory. Learning this started me on the path to creating No Peanut Foods, and I began spending all my free time looking into literally every product in my home. I was absolutely shocked by the answers I received. As more and more companies wrote me back I decided to create my lists in the hope of helping others with peanut allergies benefit from my research. What began as a side project is now something I work on everyday, reaching out to brands, sharing my findings and my experiences.
In addition I hope to educate on the risk of cross contamination in products, such as toothpaste and bath/body products, not just foods alone, and to shed light on the flaws in the current FDA labeling laws. I believe that labeling for any and all allergen cross contamination risk should be mandatory and I very much hope we get there one day. As an adult with a serious peanut allergy I have my own rules that I stick to keep myself safe. Visit my Blog to read more. My hope is that my words will help others with a peanut allergy to feel supported and to see that they are not alone.
I am not a Physician, I am just a girl with a peanut allergy trying to help others. All information found on this website is self researched and should not be construed as a guarantee. You should always consult your physician and/or allergist for all questions about peanut allergies. Nothing on this website should ever replace the advice from your physician or allergist. Manufacturing practices can change. Always read each product's ingredient list every time.