With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life allergen-free.

22 February 2009

"I'm Not Nuts: Living with Food Allergies"

Recently, I had the good fortune to view an excellent documentary, I'm Not Nuts:Living with Food Allergies, by Kevin Lindenmuth. I actually watched it several times! Aside from a television program, Edible Enemies, this is the first film or video about food allergies I have seen in my family's food allergy journey. Perhaps you have already heard about the film. I recall reading about it a few months back on Robyn A's wonderful blog, The Peanut Allergy Kid. I am very excited to share my thoughts on the film here on Food Allergy Buzz.

I am so glad that he made this film, and that I've had an opportunity to see it. It is a great primer on living with food allergies, especially for those just beginning their food allergy journey. 84 minutes in length, it gives a thorough overview of food allergies in laymen's terms, with commentary from experts and medical professionals such as Dr. Scott Sicherer of the Jaffee Food Allergy Institute, and Drs. Harvey Leo and Ben Song of Allergy & Immunology Associates of Ann Arbor. There are interviews with support group members as well as food allergic children, adults and their families. It's divided into twenty-two "chapters" that break food allergies into easily digested topics, such as First Allergic Reactions, The Diagnosis, Reading Labels, and Can You Outgrow Allergies. I wish this documentary had been available when we first received the peanut allergy diagnosis! It gives all the basics in an accurate, reasonable, and reassuring way.

I recall as we left the allergist's office the day of the skin test and confirmation of the allergy diagnosis, we were handed a list of resources. I remember seeing information on how to order Vermont Nut Free Chocolate and that was about it. I hope allergists' offices will begin to include I'm Not Nuts on their lists of resources. It would also be useful for support groups to have a few copies on hand if they have a lending library. In fact, as I type these words, I am thinking I ought to look into donating a copy to our town library. I remember going to the library looking for information and finding little. This documentary would be a great addition!

Indeed, I'm Not Nuts: Living with Food Allergies would make an excellent addition to any food allergy family's library and should be required for everyone beginning the food allergy journey. If you are new to life with food allergies--as an allergic adult or as a caregiver for an allergic child--I highly recommend you see this documentary. For those of you already accustomed to life with food allergies, I'm Not Nuts may provide you with some new information as well as confirmation of information you already possess. It also may be a helpful tool to educate relatives and friends, making the basics of food allergies more accessible to everyone. A shortened 1-hour version of the documentary will air on PBS in May 2009, and the full 84 minute version is available on amazon.com and also directly from Kevin Lindenmuth, www.lindenmuth.com/documentaries. Thank you, Kevin, for this wonderful documentary--perfect timing and a job well done!

Read below for more information and to find out how you can request your local PBS station to air I'm Not Nuts: Living with Food Allergies.

PRESS RELEASE on “I’m Not Nuts”: Living with Food Allergies
Kevin Lindenmuth has recently completed a new 84 minute documentary on food allergies entitled “I’m Not Nuts”: Living with Food Allergies.
This is Lindenmuth’s seventh documentary and he cites that one of the reasons he embarked on this project is because his two nieces have various food allergies. The program is independently produced and self-financed. His previous documentaries include “But You Look So Well...” (2001) and “But You Still Look So Well...”: Living with Multiple Sclerosis (2005), both which were broadcast nationally on PBS.
PBS Broadcasts:
A one-hour version will premiere on Detroit Public Television in March, followed by the National PBS broadcasts beginning in April/May of 2009, to coincide with “Food Allergy Awareness Week” May 11-17th, 2009. The one-hour version will be 25 minutes shorter than the DVD version.
As the program is sent to the individual PBS stations via satellite ahead of time (March) it is up to the individual PBS stations to decide if they are picking up the program and also when they schedule to broadcast it. The more the stations know about the program ahead of time the better, especially with “Food Allergy Awareness Week” being in May. This is the most opportune time for them to broadcast it.
How to make sure your PBS station shows this documentary:
If you wish to make certain your local PBS station broadcasts the program in May of 2009 please contact the programming department at your station directly, during the next several months. The program is being supplied by NETA, a company which supplies programming to PBS, and they will be offering the program in April via satellite. NETA does limited publicity so the best way for the stations to hear about this is through their viewers.
Here is a direct link to the clip
Also, email FAAN and The Food Allergy Initiative to include information on this production. We have sent them DVDS, emailed them numerous times, but they are mysteriously silent about the program. And FAAN is featured in the program!
Synopsis of the documentary:
In recent years the word “allergy” has become a catch-all phrase. The term “food allergy” is misinterpreted as anything from a stomach ache to a rash, most often confused with a food intolerance. What many people do not understand is that food allergies are serious and can be life-threatening, just as an allergy to bee stings can be fatal.
Through the experience of several families consisting of both children and adults with food allergies, this program clarifies the misinformation people commonly have about food allergies. Most importantly, it illustrates that food allergies are something a person can live with. Several medical professionals such as Dr. Scott Sicherer of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute and doctors Harvey Leo and Ben Song of the Allergy & Immunology Associates of Ann Arbor discuss the possible causes of food allergies and its impact on the parents, the allergic child, and siblings. Other topics include the daily routine of an allergic individual; the time and energy that goes into preparing to eat out, going to the park, visiting family and friends, and addressing the lack of understanding and education of people who are unaware of the danger of this condition.
Supports groups include founder Melissa Dalton, of COFAF (Circle of Food Allergic Families) and Terry Furlong, co-founder of FAAN (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network), the largest advocacy organization for food allergies in the world.
The various coping challenges and strategies--medical, emotional and social—are addressed as are the positive insights people have gained from learning to effectively live with food allergies on a daily basis.
Where to buy the DVD:
The DVD (84 minutes) is now available directly from
For more information contact: KJLindenmuth@aol.com
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