Ian's Looking to Create Better Food Allergy Awareness After Serious Attack Hits Home

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Elevation Brands learns the hard way that adults can develop serious food allergies

Gary Godin, CFO of Elevation Brands, LLC, parent company of Ian’s, now knows that an acute food allergy can happen to anyone at any time. On October 19, while playing golf, Godin ingested a snack-sized sleeve of cashews. Within minutes, he became symptomatic and ultimately suffered anaphylactic shock.

Paramedics were alerted for what was thought to be cardiac arrest. Once they arrived, and luckily before administering cardiac arrest medications, Godin’s shirt was removed and the paramedics found he was covered in hives. Within seconds, it was known he was having a severe allergic reaction and was admitted to the hospital. If indeed he had been given treatment for cardiac arrest, the results could have been fatal.

“The lesson here,” said Godin, “is the need for more awareness of adult-onset allergic reactions. It can even happen with foods you have safely eaten before. I had no idea what was going on because I had never felt this way before. I have always enjoyed mixed nuts but never really enjoyed the flavor of cashews and have avoided them.”

According to Dr. Wayne Shreffler, director of the Mass General Food Allergy Center, an estimated 4% of the U.S. adult population has food allergies—about 9 million people—and “adult food allergy is a mix of persistent and new onset disease.”

There is both a lesson and an irony in Godin’s experience. Ian’s is a pioneer in providing allergy-friendly/gluten-free foods consumers can trust. Offering an extensive line of products, including center-plate proteins for lunch and dinner, pizzas, desserts, breakfast items, snacks and more, Ian’s is committed to allergy education and advocacy. Nearly all of Ian’s products contain no wheat, no gluten, no milk, no casein, no egg, no peanuts, no tree nuts and no soy.

“When people think about food allergies, they usually worry about the rise in childhood allergies,” Godin continued. “The common belief is that if you don’t have allergies as a kid, you won’t develop them later. I have always believed you outgrow things like this, not grow into them. I now know that’s not the case, and I am even more committed to increasing public awareness.”

Godin, who had no idea he had any food allergies and spent almost three days in the hospital, was just recently confirmed to be cashew-allergic. He now wonders, since he always avoided cashews, if his body knew something he didn’t. Since his recent attack, he has become very diligent about reading labels on the food he purchases and is a lot more aware about what he is ingesting. Awareness and education for adults is key to Godin. If adults “listen to their bodies more,” he feels allergy attacks like his could decrease.

“Ian’s has long been popular with families of children with allergies because customers know they can trust Ian’s. They also know our products are delicious enough for the whole family to enjoy,” Godin noted. “I hope more adults will consider what Ian’s has to offer them!”

For more about Ian’s, please visit http://www.iansnaturalfoods.com. For interviews or product samples, please call the contacts listed at the end of this release.

Ian's is the pioneer of high-quality, allergy-friendly foods consumers can trust. Products are made on-site in Ian’s Framingham, Mass., facility where allergy-friendly food safety practices exceed federally mandated standards. All products are laboratory-tested for allergens and the plant’s equipment is cleaned and sanitized, following stringent food safety standards. Ian’s allergy-friendly items are available nationwide at local natural and organic retailers and in the natural section of many grocery store chains or by direct purchase online at http://www.iansnaturalfoods.com.

Alexandra Salazar
O: (520) 882-6262
M: (520) 820-9948

Christina Thompson
O: (520) 882-6262
M: (623) 229-2597


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Alexandra Salazar