Observations from a Dutch Allergy Show

Observations from a Dutch Allergy Show

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Observations from a Dutch Allergy show, AllergieBeurs, at the Houten Expo, Utretcht, The Netherlands 29-30 May 2015.

I first met Marloes Collins, at the Brussels Free Food Expo in June 2014. Marloes is a Dutch author writing a book for dieticians to advise clients with wheat, gluten and lactose intolerances. At Brussels, Marloes was with her colleague Remko, owner of Disolut who has developed a pill that can be swallowed.

Minutes before eating an ice cream or any other food containing dairy. The pill avoids the absorption of lactose into the body and prevents the side effects suffered by a lactose intolerance person.  Sadly coeliac disease is more complicated and can not be remedied by a simple pill.

At the show I discovered that lactose intolerance is HUGE! in the Netherlands. 70% of Dutch coeliacs have a dairy intolerance. In the UK it is nearer 50%.  Why is this? The Dutch children still enjoy free milk at school and enjoy their Dutch cheeses. But there is more to it than this.

The Dutch market for gluten free food offered in supermarkets is still a few years behind the UK. On several occasions customers came to me explaining their trips to London as a gluten free treat, and to stock up and take home as many goodies as they could.

As we are aware, diagnosed Brits can purchase gluten free food through the NHS. As an alternative the diagnosed Dutch receive an annual payment of 1200 euros from the government to help pay towards the more expensive gluten free food. In France barcodes from gluten free products are cut out and sent to a government department for reimbursement. Which system do you think is the best system? By the way if you live in Ireland there is no help!

At the show, I met many stands including a Dutch allergy web shop and our neighbours selling sugar free foods and natural sweets. There was a very amusing Squatty Potty who demonstrated the perfect toilet position by selling a foot stall to get a more Asian squat position

So there were lots of toilet jokes after that!

All in all it was a good show with some good leads to follow up. Well done to Marloes, Caroline and the team.

But the trip wasn’t all work and no play! Mum and I and the camper-van saw Rotterdam, Delft, Utrecht and Den Haag then made our way. Then it’s a day in the office and off to the Free From Food Expo at Barcelona show!

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