Beyond the Bite: 6 Easy Ways to Build Understanding and Support for Alpha-Gal During Food Allergy Awareness Week

A white plate with a turquoise heart painted on it, flanked by a fork on the left and a knife on the right, on a wooden surface.

Food allergy awareness is crucial for the millions of people with food allergies, especially those of us dealing with lesser-known conditions like alpha-gal syndrome. Here are several easy ways that you can help build understanding and support for alpha-gal syndrome during Food Allergy Awareness Week.

The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.

Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions, making any adjustments needed, and directing any questions to your physician.

It’s May! While the fifth month of the year is best known for Mother’s Day, graduations, and the unofficial beginning of the summer wedding season, it’s also food allergy action month. And while the strains of Pomp & Circumstance and vows of “I do!” may not be in your near future, the alpha-gal food allergy that unites us may pique your interest in Food Allergy Awareness Week beginning May 12th. 

While more than 33 million American adults and children have food allergies, the “big nine” most common food allergens responsible for most do not include the ones that typically trigger alpha-gal reactions. Here are a few easy ways you can help build awareness of alpha-gal syndrome and support those learning to live with this often misdiagnosed and widely misunderstood allergy.


In This Article

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1. Share Your Story

Personal experiences resonate with others and help raise awareness of AGS. Whether you’ve experienced an allergic reaction or are helping a loved one adapt to life with alpha-gal, I encourage you to share your story. It can be as easy as crafting a social media post using the hashtags #FoodAllergyAwareness, #AlphaGalSyndrome, and #AllergyAlly. Sharing your experiences with alpha-gal can help increase awareness and help a newly diagnosed person adapt to their new normal more quickly. 

2. Participate in Local Events

Look for local Food Allergy Awareness Month events in your area and join in the activities. By participating, you can learn more about alpha-gal while building a sense of community and belonging within the community.

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3. Be a Friendly Advocate

If you’ve been living with alpha-gal for a while, share your experience with someone newly diagnosed. There are many alpha-gal support groups on Facebook, and each group has plenty of newly diagnosed alpha gals seeking guidance. 

A little empathy and friendly advice go a long way. And when you have a condition like AGS that is not well known, your firsthand experience as a food allergy advocate can play an essential role in supporting and educating others.

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4. Say Thank You

Is there a nurse, dietician, primary care physician, allergist, or other healthcare professional that has helped you diagnose and manage your alpha-gal allergy? Are there teachers, friends, co-workers, or other people who consistently go above and beyond to keep you or your loved one with AGS safe? Take a minute to say thanks via a heartfelt note of gratitude or another thoughtful gesture.

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5. Work Toward Change

Are you discouraged that many healthcare professionals still haven’t heard of AGS or cannot provide sound advice on managing it? Do you feel frustrated because food labels don’t highlight mammalian products as they do for peanuts, eggs, soybeans, and other major food allergens? Do you avoid taking medication, including prescription drugs, because you are afraid of hidden ingredients? Join the Alpha-gal Alliance Action Fund and help advocate for change!

There is no fee to join the action fund, and you’ll:

  • Receive advocacy program updates,
  • Gain access to advocacy tools,
  • Be invited to participate in advocacy events, 
  • and more!
While it’s free to join the Alpha-gal Alliance Action Fund, you can make a one-time or ongoing donation to support this 501(c)(4) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization focused on citizen-based advocacy and lobbying.
And, whenever you make an Amazon purchase through this link, I will donate a portion of the earnings to the fund along with a 100% personal match. There’s no additional cost to you, but with each online purchase, you’re helping raise the voices of us living with alpha-gal.
Alpha-Gal Allergy Definition
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6. Educate Others About Alpha-Gal Syndrome

Many people are simply unaware of our unique food allergy. As an example, visit FARE—the research and education organization that established Food Allergy Awareness Week—and search for information about alpha-gal syndrome. You’ll find seven results, most of them from 2018 or 2019, and none very detailed or helpful. Since this post was originally written last year, FARE has only added one item related to AGS

So use Food Allergy Awareness Week to spread the word about alpha-gal syndrome. Use these helpful resources for alpha-gal articles and other information you can use to:

  • publish a social media post,
  • create an infographic,
  • or make a TikTok video

explaining the basics of alpha-gal syndrome, its causes, symptoms, and management strategies. Share these resources with friends, family, and colleagues on social media to increase awareness and contribute to education efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions About Food Allergy Awareness

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Food Allergy Awareness Month and Food Allergy Awareness Week.

When is Food Allergy Awareness Month?

Food Allergy Awareness Month is observed annually in May.

When is Food Allergy Awareness Week?

Food Allergy Awareness Week typically occurs during the second week of May. The dates may vary yearly, but in 2024, it will be celebrated from May 12-18.

What is Food Allergy Awareness Week?

Food Allergy Awareness Week is an annual event designed to raise awareness about food allergies and promote understanding and support for those living with life-threatening food allergies. The week includes educational initiatives, advocacy efforts, and community-building activities.

Who founded Food Allergy Awareness Week?

Food Allergy Awareness Week was founded in 1998 by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), now known as the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization

What is a food allergy awareness law?

A food allergy awareness law is a piece of legislation that aims to increase public awareness about food allergies, promote safe food handling practices in food service establishments, and protect individuals with food allergies. These laws may require training for food service workers, clear food labeling, and the availability of epinephrine in schools and public places. Unfortunately, for people living with alpha-gal syndrome, much of the current legislation doesn’t fully support our food allergy.

What states have food allergy awareness laws?

Although Massachusetts was the first state to pass a food allergy awareness law to help restaurants understand allergens and safely serve people with food allergies. Several states now have some type of food allergy law, including Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Several of these laws are designed to protect kids with food allergies by requiring schools to stock epinephrine and educate school staff on how to administer it.

What Other Ways Do You Build Understanding and Support for Alpha-Gal Syndrome?

Whether it’s during Food Allergy Awareness Week or another time of the year, what are some ways you help build understanding and support for alpha-gal syndrome? Any additional tips and tricks to pass along? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Thank you for sharing!

5 thoughts on “Beyond the Bite: 6 Easy Ways to Build Understanding and Support for Alpha-Gal During Food Allergy Awareness Week”

  1. Vicki Perritt

    Thank you for your encouragement and advice for those of us living with Alpha-Gal. It is a true “brightener” every week. As I search the internet for “safe” answers, I am seeing the name Sage Scott more and more often in answers to my questions. Way to go!!

  2. My sister was recently diagnosed with alpha-gal syndrome and I have been researching ways to support her. Really appreciate your site and this awareness post! Our families are donating to the Alpha-Gal Action Fund!!

    1. I’m so sorry your sister was recently diagnosed. I hope she is able to get the hang of her new normal easily. Fortunately, there is a growing number of alpha gals willing to help!

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