With #AllergicToEverything, Oakland Resident Aims to Publish Cookbook with Food Allergies in Mind


The recipes aim to avoid common food allergens. - PHOTO COURTESY OF JESSICA GRAY SCHIPP
  • Photo courtesy of Jessica Gray Schipp
  • The recipes aim to avoid common food allergens.

What’s it like to all of a sudden be allergic to everything? Oakland resident Jessica Gray Schipp had to experience that herself after falling ill and going through an elimination diet. Now, she’s hoping to help others who have multiple food allergies.

Schipp has been developing recipes and researching food allergies for the past six years. While looking for resources to deal with her own allergies, she realized there’s not a one-stop shop for people coping with allergies.

“The most important thing is to get it into the hands of people who have food allergies, the people who need it,” Schipp said. “But I’m looking for everybody around to rally and to help make it happen.”

Schipp is running a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to publish her book, #AllergicToEverything - A Cookbook & Lifestyle Guide for Food Allergy Collectors & the People Who Love Them. The crowdfunding campaign ends June 17. So far, it’s raised roughly $10,000 toward a $33,111 goal. The money raised would go toward first edition printing costs and hiring an editor and illustrator. Incentives include five PDF recipes with a donation of $5 or more, and a copy of the cookbook for $35 or more.

The book is part lifestyle guide, part cookbook. For example, there’s a four-page symptoms tracker. “That was something helpful to me,” Schipp said. “It walks you through a version of the elimination diet — things like, how to read ingredient labels, and where your allergens hide. It’s such a personal journey.”

The more than 100 recipes are all free of gluten, wheat, corn, oats, eggs, shellfish, sesame, and soy (Schipp’s own allergies), but they can be modified for other allergies. (The top eight food allergies are wheat, peanuts, eggs, milk, soy, fish, nuts, and shellfish). Her recipes may include dairy, for example, but it’s fairly easy to use a milk substitute.

“A lot of the recipes are comfort food and kid-friendly, things I grew up eating,” Schipp said. One of the recipes, for example, is cornbread stuffing. Her grandmother would make it during the holidays and use it for turkey stuffing. Schipp created a “corn-free cornbread” recipe for it using coconut flour. “It tastes pretty much like cornbread,” she said.

Schipp, a former school teacher in Oakland, is now working full-time on the project. She previously spent time as an AmeriCorps Vista volunteer in Oakland, living off of food stamps, so she includes money-saving tips in the book, too. There are also recipes for body balms and yoga mat cleaning sprays.

For more information, visit HashtagAllergic.com.