Empathy is a driving factor in my life.  Looking around the world it seems that it is not as common as it should be.  I consider myself a very lucky person.  To that end, I try to see how other people experience the world in their own way to keep myself grounded.

I am thoroughly impressed by an upcoming campaign via End Allergies Together (E.A.T.) and BBDO New York regarding food allergies.  They are seeking to raise awareness, and money for research, for people that suffer with food allergies (adding to my luck, I’m not allergic to any types of foods that I know of).

In the E.A.T. ad, celebrity chef and James Beard Award winner Ming Tsai setup a food truck called “Khil Me” in Madison Square Park, consisting solely of poisonous foods such as puffer fish and toxic yew berries.  He informed potential customers about the deadly side effects that they could expect to exhibit if they were to order particular dishes off of the menu.  Tsai was instrumental in a 2009 Massachusetts law requiring menus to inform diners about potential allergens in meals served.  This was all done to show consumers without allergies how serious one bite of food can be for those with allergies.

The spot is dedicated to 11 year old Oakley Debbs who died last year after eating a walnut, with only previously having a mild allergic diagnoses to walnuts.  Some 225 million people around the world (17 million here in the USA) are allergic to some type of food.

It’s understandably easy for us to get caught up in our own stresses and dilemmas.  We see the world through our own looking glasses.  It’s nice to see  an ad that seeks to empathetically inform and assist, especially when produced in such a creative manor.