FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is the nation’s leading non-profit engaged in food allergy advocacy as well as the largest private funder of food allergy research. FARE’s innovative education, advocacy, and research initiatives transform the future of food allergy through new and improved treatments and prevention strategies, effective policies and legislation, and novel approaches to managing the disease.
Food allergies and intolerances are a large and growing public health concern with more than 33 million Americans who have life-threatening food allergies, and 85 million that are directly and indirectly affected by food allergies or intolerances to one of the top nine food allergens. Once a food allergy is diagnosed by an allergist, the most effective treatment is to avoid the food allergen entirely and any ingredient made from the allergen. This makes grocery shopping extremely difficult and time-consuming. It is even more challenging for those with food allergies who may be dealing with other diet-related health conditions.
The Sifter Shop By Diet platform allows users to create a diet profile using any combination of hundreds of dietary and food preference filters, including the top 9 food allergens and more than 50 ingredients to exclude when shopping. It is a first-pass screening tool for people with food allergies, following medical diets, or simply wanting to eat a healthier or nutritious diet. Sifter’s dietitian-validated technology then "sifts" through a database of thousands of grocery store products to find foods that match the member's food avoidance and other dietary needs. Sifter provides the first set of eyes that can both exclude foods and identify a wider variety of food options to potentially choose from. Sifter’s “exclude ingredients” diet profile feature allows those with food allergies beyond the top 9 to exclude and find new potential foods.
Sifter’s mobile scanning feature lets members use their smartphone to scan food barcodes for suitability when shopping at their favorite grocer. A red X means no, a green checkmark means the food may be okay—pending review of the actual food label and contacting the food manufacturer. This capability can build confidence, speed up the shopping experience, and open up discovery to more potentially suitable foods that may have been overlooked or not known previously.
The Shop By Diet platform is designed to take the anxiety out of grocery shopping. FARE notes that because Sifter is primarily a tool to educate, to screen out foods to avoid, and to discover potential new food options, they encourage all users to check product labels at every purchase and time of consumption to be certain Sifter's recommendations are appropriate. When in doubt, users should contact the manufacturer.
FARE does not endorse the suggested diets and food products obtained by using the Sifter platform. The FARE tool powered by Sifter is not a replacement for healthcare, and users should make sure to read product labels and contact manufacturers as needed before purchasing and consuming food products.
FARE compiles important facts and statistics that illuminate the prevalence and impact of food allergies in the United States.