My close friends, family and Jalop coworkers are very familiar with my very long list of food allergies. You might be too, if you’ve ever sat on a flight where the attendants make an announcement not to eat any products containing peanuts because someone on board is allergic. Yes, I am that very person.
I love food, and I love to travel, but since I was diagnosed with severe allergies nearly 15 years ago, both can lead to nightmares. Now, one thing that has improved is finding restaurants in and around my destinations that can cater to my allergies (with the help of many an app), but it’s the airports that prove most problematic.
Most airports, the larger ones at least, have a plethora of chain restaurants to choose from, but most all of them are off-limits because of my specific food allergies. The food marts, usually sponsored by some media conglomerate, will sometimes have basics I can pay three-times more than anywhere else to get, but they are more on the snack side and fall short of a real meal. That is, if they have those kind of snacks at all.
For example, one fateful morning, I arrived at Newark after a crazy weekend in New York City (it involved watching what appeared to be a hit-and-run with a stolen car, followed by an arrest of said driver… all while I was driving a press car). I also arrived snackless. I took a chance on the fact that my flight home would only be a couple of hours, so I figured I could manage. My flight ended up delayed for nearly three hours, and I wandered the entire airport to find something I could eat. My options were water and a Naked fruit smoothie. I could not find a single thing safe to eat outside of that.
You know what I’d love to be able to find? Options. A hot meal. Do you know how wonderful a hot meal is after you’ve done three connecting flights and have been in airports for 10 to 12 hours straight? Especially when it’s a hot meal that won’t land you on a steady stream of Benadryl, H2-blockers and potentially a week or two of steroids? I dream about this.
Also, can we just stop selling peanuts?