Bell Pepper Allergy Campaign

Symptoms of capsicum allergy result in serious situation like anaphylaxis or mild signs like asthma, abdominal pain, hives, eczema and head ache.

Source: Allergy Symptoms.org

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During #inktober I created my first bell pepper allergy illustration. I then saved this on my phone to show when ordering food in restaurants.
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Watercolour painted peppers added to the original many language background

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Now don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t like peppers. I find them deliciously tasty, but it took some years to pinpoint that being doubled over with severe stomach cramps, hot and cold sweats, three days when I couldn’t get out of bed, diahorrea until my system was empty, was due to eating bell peppers.

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Bell Pepper Allergy and Intolerance Symptoms – Found through research.

Give me a chilli and I’m happy and fine, but a fragment of bell pepper or a pinch of paprika and I loose the next few hours at least. Until my body has painfully fought the peppers and kicked them back out of my system.

It was suggested to me by a GP that it may be IBS, which is why I believe some people could be thinking and dealing with what they believe is IBS when they might just need to drop peppers from their diet. 

Now peppers are very nutritious for some people, but they can be anaphylaxic for some. However they are almost never listed on food menus and food packaging as allergens. Often they’re not written on food menus, despite them being part of the dish. Due to their colourfulness peppers are often used in ‘food on the go’ meals such as salads. Really helpfully they’re often finely chopped and written in minuscule font on the ingredients list on packaging. 

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So I just want to make people, you even, more aware of the possible reactions and physical responses to peppers. Maybe this work can take away someone’s pain or discomfort. 

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So I’m asking people to think before they eat and serve bell peppers and paprika, I’m asking food retailers to think before they add bell peppers and paprika and to make it as an allergen, and for restaurants to always state where bell peppers and paprika have been used in their dishes. And please use a different chopping board for peppers.

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Thank you for reading to the end. Next time you eat peppers just observe in the time afterwards how you feel. If you have any of the symptoms listed in this article you might want to see if the symptoms clear up or cease. 

Eat happy, be happy, consider pushing aside the peppers. 

Free Download – I’ve created an illustrated download for those with Bell Pepper allergies and intolerances. This is for use in restaurants, hotels at home and abroad. Please feel free to print and/or share this with someone that it may help, and to raise awareness of this food allergy. Card size set to 9 x 13cm.

Bell Pepper Allergy Advice Card

See more on my Facebook and Instagram

Related work: Work that relates to the techniques is at the following links. I often find that the work is stepping stones to the next creation, like a bright creative path where the next step is revealed upon completion of the present one. These creative projects led to this work.

Bird and Flower Cushion

Steel Company Brand Art

Satin Cheese Plant

Next Step – in the campaign is to use the content created with supermarkets, restaurants and through PR and social media to raise awareness of bell peppers as an allergen.

Mini Case Studies – If you’ve a bell pepper story please email me as I’m collecting personal accounts and experiences that can demonstrate how this intolerance can affect individuals.

Links that may be of use/interest:

https://www.livestrong.com/article/279402-bell-pepper-allergy/

https://allergy-symptoms.org/capsicum-allergy/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321883.php

https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/nightshade-allergies#treatments

http://research.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/informall/allergenic-food/index.aspx?FoodId=58

https://wwws.fitnessrepublic.com/nutrition/healthy-eating/does-bell-pepper-cause-stomach-cramps.html

If you have a reaction to chillis…

https://metro.co.uk/2018/02/19/chilli-peppers-capsaicin-intolerance-affect-7315577/

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