Read of the Week

Allergy sense for families: a practical guide

Meg Faure, Dr Sarah Karabus and Kath Megaw

Quivertree Publications

Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

Allergies are on the increase and no one is quite sure why, though there are a few theories.

This book doesn’t claim to have the answer but it does aim to help families with food allergies to cope.

Having had a strange array of allergies my whole life – losing some as I grew older but picking up a whole lot of new ones at the same time – I was interested in the book but only marginally because I thought that I had the management of my allergies down pat. But I was wrong. The book did have a few useful tips that have greatly affected my diet and my budget because, as families who have them know, food allergies can be expensive.

What I liked about the book was that it was comprehensive and easy to read.

The pages are colour-coded along the edges to make for easy flipping to frequently dipped into chapters. It also had helpful charts that show what are effective substitutes for allergens and their potential hidden sources. There is also a whole chapter exploring emotions and senses which can be mistaken for or impact allergic reactions.

More than half of the book contains recipes and meal plans, including substitutes for people like me with multiple allergies.

My one criticism is that most of the recipes are not cost-effective. Things like gluten-free products, coconut milk or oil, macadamia nuts, dairy-free cheese, etc, are not affordable for the majority of South Africans and allergies affect rich and poor alike.

We received 93 entries in our book competition last week. The lucky winner of Field Guide to Mushrooms & Other Fungi of South Africa was Elmi Lotze from Somerset West.