Emily’s Advocating Story
Hi everyone! My name is Emily, and I run the blog nallergy. I am allergic to tree nuts and peanuts, and I am also on FARE’s Teen Advisory Group. I am so excited to be writing a blog post for Food Allergies in the Food Industry, and I hope you enjoy!
I actually started advocating one year ago. I have always wanted to do something to help with food allergies. I filled page upon page with ideas of food allergy businesses and apps, and it was always something that I talked about in school presentations. However, I always felt so helpless about what I could actually do. It’s a little hard to do food allergy research or start a big brand when you’re only thirteen or younger.
I was messing around on the computer when I somehow came to FARE’s (Food Allergy Research and Education) teen page, and I found the Teen Advisory Group. If you don’t know what the Teen Advisory Group is, also known as TAG, it’s a group of teens who have food allergies and also advocate for food allergies. There are projects, opportunities to meet each other, and so many more opportunities to engage in the food allergy community. FARE’s Teen Advisory Group is also where Alexa and I met!
Anyways, I filled out the application for it on the last day that it was due. I hesitated until the last day because I wasn’t sure if it would be something that I would like to do. I thought that it would be another one of those activities that I try but that isn’t, well, something that I like to do. The application was also pretty intimidating with some of the questions, such as “Do you have a blog?” and “How have you advocated for food allergies in the past?”. Coming from someone who has never really advocated for food allergies in the past, those questions were definitely intimidating! Especially because I thought at the time that TAG was some very selective group.
About a month later, I got an email saying that I got into TAG! Immediately after came a sign up sheet for food allergy projects created by teens. I chose to be involved in the Food Allergic Teens blog, a book called “It’s a Beautiful Life”, and an epinephrine awareness project. I worked on them all of 2020, and they were all so much fun to work on.
A lot of TAG members also had their own blogs and social media accounts for raising food allergy awareness. I have always wanted to have my own blog, so that’s when I came up with the idea for nallergy. The idea behind nallergy is that it is a place that helps teens navigate their food allergies with helpful tips and stories from me, a teen with food allergies. The name nallergy came from nut + allergy, which in my mind equals the word nallergy.
I launched my blog in May of 2020. Since then, nallergy has gained more than 400 supporters! It really is amazing to see how many people your advocating can reach. In the future, I hope to continue making blog posts, continue being on the FARE Teen Advisory Group, and overall just continuing to advocate for food allergies.
I hope that my story has taught you to just start advocating now. If you have ever wanted to start advocating, know that you can start at any age, at any time. If I had never applied to be on TAG a year ago, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Thank you Alexa for having me on Food Allergies in the Food Industry! I really enjoyed writing a blog post for this blog. If you want to read more from me, including my newest blog posts on how to get started with advocating, you can go to nallergy.com.
Alexa's Advocating Story and guest blog post for nallergy can be read here.