Chapter 40: Deadly Treats Need Receipts
I’ll preface this by saying not everyone with allergies is going to have the same experience as mine. Not everyone with dietary issues is officially diagnosed by a medical professional. Allergies can occur anywhere in your lifetime and can be acquired or lost with age. I trust that you treat my words with a little openness, and understand that I am speaking from my personal experiences and struggles.
That very formal PSA aside, I want to share my story in the kawaii world about interacting with health and body image. When I wrote about the Hello Kitty truck that joy is genuine and I was very excited, and still am about these Popup moments. The experience I have actual references to when I was home the next day. Initially, when Aquarius and I bought these sugary treats, I felt my instincts tickle my insides. I noticed immediately that information about the ingredients was not listed on the product packaging. I brushed it off then instead choosing to focus on the fun of being Kawaii with my community.
I grew up with the best mom in the world making sure that I was safe in public spaces when food was involved. She definitely had loud black mom moments for me. I mean some of my severe allergic reactions are triggered by scent alone, so it’s a scary experience. While my mom meant well, I still am timid about announcing my allergies. Primarily because over the years the response to me having allergies in a public place often left me feeling like I was an inconvenience or a nuisance. That feeling stays. In my mind, I see a collage of annoyed faces, angry expressions, and disdain. Sprinkle that with antidotes and comments of pity because I can’t eat or drink “this” a concept I will never miss because I have never had it.
Growing up my relationship with food was difficult. I did not anticipate that in the kawaii world, sugary treats and delights common to Asian cuisine would be a lifestyle experience I would not have. I did not realize that being left out of those experiences would induce a feeling of isolation. I was and honestly, still, am hype about the Hello Kitty Café Truck. When I was home the next day eagerly awaiting to try some of the treats, I was oddly hopeful about tasting the Kawaii world. I mean I experienced Kawaii with my other senses all that was left was taste. I put the frosted bit of cookie in my mouth. Hopeful after seeing my mom and Aquarius nibble on it. A second later and the roof of my mouth prickles and itches. I rush upstairs and spit it out in the trashcan.
The wave of disappointment and sorrow felt like a thick miasma from Inuyasha. I was so startled to feel it again. At this point, I’m almost 25 and to be surprised about food not working for me felt foolish. It’s not silly. We are in a time of more allergy and dietary restriction acceptance and preparation. When I was younger, I hardly saw warnings for allergies in stores or on menus. Now, I don’t have to memorize the variant names for Cocoa. Most ingredient lists have a warning for common allergies like dairy, wheat, soy, and nuts. In this instance, Sanrio somewhat failed its consumers who rely on information for health and safety. Personally, I don’t want to risk having to use a three hundred dollar epi-pen. Ingredient labels and nutrition facts are vital to how I navigate food and my health. Which is why the Hello Kitty Truck disappointed me, and I hope they will add this information to their treats to avoid their fans experiencing allergic reactions.
* Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
* Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
* Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
* Dairy – Including Milk & Eggs
* Tree nuts
Different types of Allergic Reactions:
* Tingling or itching in the mouth.
* Hives, itching or eczema.
* Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, and throat or other parts of the body.
* Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing.
* Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
* Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting.
Anaphylaxis causes your immune system to release a flood of chemicals that can cause you to go into shock — your blood pressure drops suddenly and your airways narrow, blocking breathing. Signs and symptoms include a rapid, weak pulse; a skin rash; and nausea and vomiting. Common triggers include certain foods, some medications, insect venom, and latex.