Okay, so it doesn't have the same impact as saying "lions and tigers and bears, oh my" but these things can be just as scary.
Australia (along with New Zealand) have some of the highest instances of allergic disorders in the developed world, so it shouldn't be surprising that more and more causes of allergic reactions are being discovered. Some argue that it's the exposure quantity that triggers the reaction, when the body stops being able to handle the overall amount and build up, whilst others say it's hereditary or it's happened suddenly. Regardless of the how or why, it's certainly no picnic when you're in the midst of an allergic reaction, no matter how small.
That's one of the reasons why you won't find additives like benzoates and sulphites in our products. It affects some of our staff and when you look into how these additives are artificially manufactured, you would probably want to avoid them too.
Benzoates is a very common preservative found in a variety of food, drink, beauty products, cleaning products and just about everything in between. It's cheap to make and is excellent at preserving ingredients from going mouldy and essentially, lengthening shelf life, but it's also become a known cause of allergy. The most common reaction to benzoates, is an itchy rash.
In products, the ingredient is usually hidden and called anything from E210 to E219, or in our case, it's anything with "benz" in it that we avoid. In food, that includes vinegar and anything pickled.
For sulphur, it's a similar situation, however, instead of just a rash, the allergy reaction to sulphur preservatives can cause anaphylaxis, headaches, asthma, seizures and death. Scary stuff, huh? And those sulphur preservatives are usually hidden too, so we avoid anything with "sulph" or "sulf" in it, or preservatives 220-228 with the most common one being 223. In Australia, vinegars contain it along with the majority of dried fruits. It also extends to cleaning products.
So in short, we're a pretty allergy aware team. The owners in particular, have experienced anaphylactic reactions first hand, so we're aware of how sudden and terrible it can be.
We don't use any nut oils but we do have and use almond milk and nut butter is available as a spread for toast. Occasionally, nuts will be present in our foods, so please let us know if you have any nut allergy.
Similarly, we use soy and soy products. It's present in our marshmallows, ice cream (used for drinks) and in any dishes that contain tofu.
Gluten is avoided wherever possible, with low gluten options being sought if no gluten can't be avoided. Again, please advise us if you have any allergies so that we can work with you to provide you with the best options and outcome.
Yours in good food and health,
The RG team