I decided to start MenuMD 5 years ago when dining at a restaurant in Las Vegas on my birthday that provided an allergen specific menu. It was the most comfortable I’ve ever been eating at a restaurant for the first time. I have had food allergies for as long as I can remember. The first allergic reaction I remember was when I was 5 when I had mistakenly been offered peanut butter. I remember knowing at that time that I wasn’t supposed to eat Peanut Butter, so my parents and I must have known about my allergy long before that. I also remember a bully in first grade who, to scare me, threatened to rub peanut butter all over me. The threat worked. I was scared and I cried. This has been my relationship with peanuts for my entire life. As it’s been so long (I won’t say exactly how long), I have gotten used to the inconvenience of dining out with my allergy. I’ve been served my allergen several times at restaurants despite all of my preventative measures. I’ve asked servers who “think” their restaurant doesn’t fry in peanut oil. Upon hearing that, it really doesn’t matter what the server comes back and says – I’ve already ruled out ordering french fries. I’ve been invited to business dinners with large groups and I have to have a side conversation with the server – at which point all conversations at the table stop and eyes turn toward me.
When I saw this allergen specific menu in Las Vegas, it was truly glorious. I felt free, safe and comfortable eating at this place I’d never been and I had never felt that at ease. I didn’t have to ask the chef what I could eat because I indirectly already had their sign off. From that point, I wanted to do is offer that feeling of safety to other people like me. Creating MenuMD and partnering with restaurants to give the official word on the ingredients in their dishes is going to help millions of people. I truly hope other people feel at ease trying something new as I did. Welcome to MenuMD where we’re dedicated to Simpler. Safer. Dining. Enjoy!