The importance of access to allergy-friendly products

Here at Yobee, we are proud to support and promote allergy awareness given that more than 100 million people in the United States have general allergies. On top of these, every 1 in 10 adults have a food allergy and every 1 in 13 children have a food allergy. In order to provide information on the importance of access to allergy-friendly products, we partnered with nonprofit Securing Safe Food (SSF). 

SSF is an organization that envisions a world in which all individuals with dietary restrictions can enjoy safe, nutritious, and enjoyable meals without compromising their health. Knowing that food allergies and food insecurity can intersect to exacerbate the challenges of each condition, SSF partners with food pantries in 10 states across the country to make allergen-friendly foods more widely accessible to those in need. This includes Chicago, IL, the founding home of Yobee! In tandem with their focus on access, they avoid placing logistical barriers on pantry visitors, e.g., an online sign up or doctor’s note confirming an allergy diagnosis. Food allergies and celiac disease may be under-diagnosed among individuals from low-income or inner-city communities without quality healthcare. SSF helps to foster welcoming and inclusive pantry spaces for any allergen-avoidant individual to walk in and secure allergen-safe foods without the hassle of documentation.  

Because of SSF’s extensive work in the allergy field, we partnered with them to help answer questions you may be wondering! 


Why is access to allergy-friendly foods so important?

SSF says that people with food allergies, or those who avoid commonly allergenic foods for other medical reasons, often make their meals from scratch due to limited prepared options. Access to products they can cook with and eat is a basic necessity. However, allergen-friendly substitutes cost significantly more than their allergen-full counterparts. The markup stems from pricier ingredients, specialized manufacturing protocol, laboratory allergen testing, and a market saturated by small or family-owned businesses.

Can allergens in hair products lead to further skin and scalp irritation? 

Our Yobee experts say that allergens can absolutely lead to further scalp and skin irritation, especially in people who have other allergies, both food or environmental. Common allergens found in hair products include certain fragrances, preservatives (such as parabens and sulfates), and harsh chemicals. When these substances come into contact with the skin on the scalp, face, or neck, they may cause redness, itching, inflammation, and other allergic reactions.

What ingredients can cause allergic reactions?

SSF talked with us about the nine most common allergens. These include peanuts, tree nuts, milk, wheat, egg, soy, fish, shellfish, and sesame (out of order). But, it is important to note that any ingredient can trigger an allergic reaction. SSF also serves pantries reporting visitors with allergies to yeast, sulfites, and red meat.

What is the Atopic March?

The atopic march refers to the natural progression of allergic diseases in some individuals, typically starting in early childhood. It describes the tendency for certain allergic conditions to develop sequentially over time. The common sequence in the atopic march includes atopic dermatitis (eczema) in infancy, followed by allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma later in childhood. It's important to note that not all individuals follow this specific sequence, and the severity and progression of allergic diseases can vary among individuals.

The key components of the atopic march are:

  • Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema): This often appears in infancy and is characterized by itchy, inflamed skin. It is considered an early manifestation of atopy, which is a genetic tendency to develop allergic diseases.
  • Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever): This typically develops later in childhood and involves symptoms such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and itchy or watery eyes in response to allergens like pollen, mold, or animal dander.
  • Asthma: Asthma is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. It often follows atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis.

Our Partnership with Securing Safe Food (SSF)

Both Yobee and SSF can bring medically necessary products to underserved communities and empower allergy-free health by centering narratives of inclusion and access. Yobee and SSF complement each other in their shared commitment to enhancing the well-being of individuals within the allergy community. While Yobee focuses on skincare and scalp health, SSF addresses the critical need for access to allergen-free foods. Together, they create a comprehensive approach to supporting individuals with allergies and eczema through advocacy and education!

Advocacy for Inclusivity and Accessibility:

Yobee and SSF advocate for inclusivity and accessibility within the allergy community. Yobee's mission to free people from the cycle of using chemical-laden products aligns with SSF's vision of a world where individuals with dietary restrictions can partake in meals without limiting their safety or nutrition. SSF focuses on wholesome ingredients in the food products they supply. Together, Yobee and SSF can work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals with atopic conditions.

Community Outreach and Education: 

SSF educates individuals and communities about food allergies through their outreach efforts. By collaborating with food pantries, SSF not only provides allergen-friendly food products but also delivers educational resources and allergy training to pantry staff. This comprehensive approach ensures that vulnerable communities have access to safe and nutritious options while raising awareness about the importance of allergen avoidance. Similarly, Yobee focuses on educating individuals about natural skincare and haircare products, particularly for those with allergies. Through partnerships with health professionals, Yobee disseminates information about gentle, allergen-free products, contributing to a more informed and supportive environment for individuals managing allergic diseases.

We are so happy to have worked closely with SSF and proud to call them a partner in the allergy community! 

← Older Post Newer Post →