Food allergies are on the rise, and more families are faced with the challenge of finding safe and convenient allergy friendly foods to eat. Peanut allergies have more than tripled in American children from 1997 to 2008, and allergies to tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish, and soy – 90 percent of food allergies in the U.S. – can make finding allergy friendly foods difficult. Ingredient information is only given in the small print on labels. Plus, food manufacturers may alter ingredients or the source of their ingredients, causing confusion. Food manufacturers can do a better job of providing tasty, allergy-friendly foods, and clearly labeling them as such.
Allergens such as tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat and soy are key ingredients in so many foods consumers eat. In addition, many foods are manufactured in facilities that also process these ingredients, meaning there may be traces of food allergens present. According to the FDA, approximately 30,000 consumers require emergency room treatment and 150 Americans die each year because of allergic reactions to food. Even though food ingredient labeling has improved thanks to the FALCPA Act passed in 2006, consumers with allergies are still faced with limited food choices when they try to locate foods without any of the major allergens as ingredients. While gluten-free alternatives are increasingly available, there is still a need for safe alternatives free from all of the top eight food allergens.
Realizing the challenges faced by consumers with food allergies, SunButter saw an opportunity to create a new product that was healthy and full of flavor – and peanut and tree nut free. SunButter started its journey to create a safe spread by using a local resource, sunflower seeds. Now this delicious, nutritious spread has revolutionized the way people with allergies eat: a spread that can be used anywhere peanut butter or nut butters are used. SunButter hopes other food manufacturers will become interested in working to understand the allergy challenges facing the world, and join us in creating clearly-labeled packaging and new products that are universally food allergy friendly.
We at SunButter believe everyone deserves to have access to safe and flavorful foods. That is why SunButter is not only a manufacturer of an allergy-friendly food, but also an advocate for allergy awareness groups and organizations. We believe in providing education and resources, and encouraging food manufacturers to produce new food products that are free from the top eight food allergens. We want to make a positive change in the lives of those who suffer from food allergies, and hope you will join us.
To learn more about SunButter and our mission, read our story and visit our blog at http://sunbutterfoodservice.com/news/.