The food allergy community in Israel faces numerous challenges- from the lack of accessibility to allergy-free products, to a culture highly focused on foods that include the most common allergens like sesame and peanuts, to a society that falls far behind in their knowledge and awareness of food allergies. Researching safe products is a full-time job, shopping in bakeries a faint dream, and ensuring adequate care within the school setting, a journey not for the faint-hearted. With a history like that, it’s no wonder that it is hard to find an allergy-friendly restaurant in Israel.
A quick search on google of allergy-friendly restaurants in New York will supply you with enough options to keep you busy for a while, but try the same thing in Israel- and you’ll come up empty! For the locals- this is something they have had to get used to, but for foreigners and tourists visiting Israel with food allergies- it is incomprehensible. Many tourists who travel to Israel bring their own bread and baked goods with them, due to the lack of safe options, and for those staying a little bit longer, specialized chefs are their only other option to stay satisfied and safe.
The main reason why Israel is so far behind the rest of the world in terms of accommodating food allergies is its lack of prevalence in society with Israel having only 1% of food allergies per capita. This has led to a lack of awareness among the population of both the reality and the dangers of food allergies. Additionally, it’s possible that the lack of tolerance may come from a systemic level, expressed in the poor allergy labeling laws on food products and the rights of students with food allergies in the school system.
Vegan options in Israel
Its not all bad news. If you are allergic to an animal product such as eggs, fish, or dairy- you’re in luck! It’s not for no reason that Tel Aviv has been named the ‘Vegan Capital of the World.’ With over 400 vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants- you should be able to find somewhere to eat that tickles your fancy. This ever-growing trend has made life easier for some people with food allergies; however for anyone allergic to nuts or legumes- unfortunately, vegan foods are of little help. The vegan diet relies heavily on nuts and legumes for nutrients in their food so almost everything has their allergens in it and the chances of cross-contamination are high.
Gluten-free options in Israel
Gluten-free is another trend that has been getting some attention during the last few years and trendy Tel Aviv has caught on! People have adopted a Gluten-Free lifestyle due to its numerous health benefits and many restaurants have begun to offer Gluten-free options on their menus. Buyer beware: Although many eateries are safe for those with a gluten intolerance- some are not celiac safe, so be sure to ask the waitress, chef, or whoever else you need to, to make you feel secure.
So, is Israel the place for you??? Thankfully yes! Everyone deserves a chance to explore the Holy Land, and no one is more passionate about that than Food Allergy Concierge! With our wide range of services- we are here to assist you, so you can enjoy an allergy-safe experience in Israel without compromising on your travel plans or explorative desires. We will have you eating at the best restaurants Israel has to offer and staying in 5-star hotels- all without compromising your safety. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you!
Don’t let food allergies stop you from pursuing your dream!