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Food Allergy Survivors Together Handbook in brief
Where can I buy it online?
Where can I buy it from the publisher?
Where can I buy it locally?
How much does it cost?
Where can I buy it at wholesale/in bulk?
Review Copies?
How you can help
Book overview with chapter explanations
Reader Testimonials
Book Excerpt

This handy offline resource is great for anyone diagnosed with food allergies, who wants to learn how to make living with them easier -- and even fun! It isn't intended to be read once and then put away on a shelf. Certain sections are meant to be read again and again when you need a little pick-me-up. It's like having a friend around who knows what you're going through.

This page is PRINTABLE...please feel free to print it and pass it along to friends.

Food Allergy Survivors Together Handbook in brief

  • Over 120 pages, divided into 20 concise chapters on various allergy lifestyle issues, such as shopping, creating recipes, traveling, things to do with friends other than eating out, and more. This is not a cookbook! (And that's a good thing, as many of you probably know. Allergen-free cookbooks are generally only helpful to the specific person who wrote them.)
  • Includes a chapter for your friends who do not have food allergies.
  • Intended for teens and adults with food allergies, though parents of allergic children will find useful information within its pages.
  • Publication date: August 2002.
  • List cost is $12.95 US, $20.95 Canadian, and 10.99 UK. (Available to residents of other countries as well.)
  • Appendix is a fun collection of tips from FAST members.

  • Where can I buy it?

    In short -- just about any bookstore! None of the following links are paid links. These are all direct links to order the book, or leave a review. Please leave reviews on online bookstores . . . it will help others find out more about our group!
    Added 2012: Now available as an e-book (such as for Kindle, Nook, and Sony E-Reader) for $3.99 and under! Search Food Allergy Survivors Together Handbook on your favorite platform's website. This is a great and inexpensive way, at under $4 per person, to help friends and family learn about food allergies.

    If making a purchase, please consider buying two copies and donating one to your local library.

  • Amazon Canada:

  • Amazon France:
  • Amazon Germany:
  • Amazon Japan:

  • Amazon UK (United Kingdom):

  • Barnes & Noble:
    Double Discount:
    If you know of other online bookstores that you would like me to link to here for other visitors, please drop me an e-mail. If you have problems buying from a store above, please also e-mail me.
    A special note: Please don't purchase a used copy of the book. If enough copies of the book do not sell, the publisher will cease publication.
    Buy from Publisher:
    Don't have Internet access? Want to support your local bookseller? Copy down the following information and take it to your local bookstore to place an order. You can find a local small/independent bookstore by visiting (With thanks to Richard for the link).
  • ISBN: 0-595-24128-X
  • TITLE: Food Allergy Survivors Together Handbook
  • AUTHOR: Melissa Taylor
  • How much does it cost?

    The fair price of the book is approximately $12.95 US; however, if you live in another country, you will pay a different price approximately equivelent to that. List price for Canada is $20.95 and list price for the United Kingdom is 10.99. Other countries will vary. If you shop around online you may find sale prices. Several of the online stores mentioned above have had the book available on sale.
    However please do not buy a used copy of this book. FAST does not benefit from sales of used copies, and the used copies I have seen online are sold at nearly full price anyway. Also remember that purchasing directly from the publisher is more beneficial to me than ordering from a bookstore, because then the "middle man" (the bookstore) must get paid, too, and gets much of my commission (which is only $1-2!).
    Watch out! Some online stores are doing price gauging. One online store, for example, has the book selling for more than 20% over the manufacturer's suggested retail price--yes, they are charging more than the price listed on the back of the book! Please note that paying more for the book does not give more money to the publisher or to my commissions. Such a store is overcharging you. That's why I've linked above to several "real" stores offering reasonable prices on this page. And remember: buying from the publisher does benefit me more (the book cost money to publish and this cost has not yet been recovered).


    If you are an allergist, school, college, bookstore owner, health food store owner, or another professional who would like to offer the handbook to your customers, here is helpful information from the publisher. You qualify for 25-36% off your purchase--quantity does not even play a factor in the discount!
    When you call them, refer to the following information:
  • ISBN: 0-595-24128-X
  • TITLE: Food Allergy Survivors Together Handbook
  • AUTHOR: Melissa Taylor
  • If you are not a professional, please don't forget to share this information with your favorite booksellers, allergists, health food stores, etc. so that they can sell copies of these books. Since the books are discounted for professionals, they are able to earn profits from sales! If this book was helpful to you, this is a wonderful way to spread the word and make it available to people who would probably not otherwise find it.

    Review Copies?

    I'm sorry, but I cannot afford to give review copies. Each review copy costs me full price plus shipping to me followed by shipping to you. I would have to sell around 20 copies just to make up for out-of-pocket costs. My publisher does not send review copies, leaving them at the expense of authors. Unfortunately, this is not economically feasible, especially considering that the media do not always follow through with reviews. As a professional, though, you are entitled to discount prices, and are more than welcome to buy a book to review. See section above.

    How you can help:

    Nearly eighty (or more) copies of the book need to be sold in the first year alone to pay off publishing costs, with at least eight selling each subsequent year. Here is how you can help:
  • After reading the book, leave reviews on the major bookstore websites such as,, and
  • Ask your favorite allergists, local specialty foods stores and online/mail order stores if they would be willing to stock and sell the book.
  • Purchase a copy to donate to your local library (check their policy before donating...some libraries sell unwanted donated books for less than $1).
  • Purchase copies for family and friends who don't have food allergies. The last chapter is specifically for them, but all of the chapters will yield insight into an allergic person's lifestyle.
  • Book Overview

    Introduction--Explains the lack of books of this type and the need for a friendly, approachable text for anyone diagnosed with food allergies.
    Chapter 1--My Story--Melissa's experience from birth with undiagnosed allergic reactions. Also gets into the founding of FAST and problems in dealing with schools.
    Chapter 2--Dealing with Others--Why don't people understand food allergies? This chapter has great information that yields insight toward the problem of people misunderstanding our disease. It also delves into how to relate to various people: acquaintances, friends and family, and what to do when someone makes fun of you. Includes questions to make you "stop and think" before asking for special treatment, to see if the request is reasonable.
    Chapter 3--Strange Reactions--Explores the lesser known reactions such as fatigue and depression.
    Chapter 4--Making Food Fun Again--Have fun creating new dishes! This chapter tells how to create recipes based on your old prepackaged favorites, and more.
    Chapter 5--Allergists, Doctors, and Medications--A very important chapter that everyone with food allergies should read. Did you know that the very medications you take for your allergies may contain allergens in them? This is just one of a few topics in this chapter.
    Chapter 6--Eating Out--With honesty, discusses the possible problems with eating out (but is not without hope). Also gives ideas for convenient foods, including TV dinners.
    Chapter 7--Finding Something to Do--This is a fun chapter, unlike anything you have ever seen in a food allergy book before! When over 600 people were surveyed on FAST, nearly 86% expressed that they felt they no longer were able to participate in "normal" activities. This joyful chapter looks at various activities and hobbies to do with friends, as well as nearly two dozen one-person activities! This is a chapter to open to whenever you feel down.
    Chapter 8--Less Common Allergies--Talks in brief about less common allergens, contact/inhalant allergies, and multiple allergies.
    Chapter 9--Shopping--Looks at many different "shopping options" and places to go for special dietary needs.
    Chapter 10--Reading and Understanding Labels--No one with food allergies should go without reading this very important chapter. Even experts in food allergies often do not know about the dangers of "natural flavoring." This chapter discusses the problems, as well as making it clear that labels must be read very carefully. Also has a great question section for anyone who feels his/her diet has been overly restricted.
    Chapter 11--Allergens in Non-Food Items--Did you know your shampoo might have food in it? Believe it or not, it may. Important information on how to avoid allergens in non-food items, including lists of some items that may contain foods.
    Chapter 12--When Doubt Sets In--We have all experienced the thought that perhaps we (or our children) do not really have food allergies. This chapter attempts to ask people to think positively and to avoid the trap of doubt, which can be physically dangerous if acted upon.
    Chapter 13--The Little Things--When life gets you down, check out the little things in life...this chapter lists some of the things you can delight in.
    Chapter 14--Where Are the Recipes?--This book isn't a cookbook...but this chapter does tell you where to check to find out many recipes suitable for your diet, and a few ideas on how to adjust recipes you already like to be allergen-free.
    Chapter 15--Your Experience Can Change Lives--Encourages readers to use their experiences in food allergies to help other people, through local volunteer work.
    Chapter 16--Christmas and Other Holidays--Explores how to deal with food gifts that you might receive during the holidays. Information on how to take the focus away from food and instead place it on other aspects of holiday celebrations is also included.
    Chapter 17--Traveling--Takes a look at nearly half a dozen ways to travel with food allergies, as well as pros and cons to each.
    Chapter 18--I'm All Alone--This chapter takes a look at various little "pity parties" such as "I'm not like others" and "People think I'm strange," and offers short encouragements to those who go through these. And I would guess that's all of us!
    Chapter 19--Further Resources--Ideas for finding reputable sources for your own personal research into food allergies.
    Chapter 20--A Chapter for Those Who Don't Have Food Allergies--The Food Allergy Survivors Together Handbook was written with the express purpose of not only being for people with food allergies, but also for people without. This chapter is quick to turn to for anyone who wants a concise overview of what a friend or family member with allergies is going through.
    Appendix--This is an enjoyable section with over a dozen quick tips from fellow FAST members.
    About the Author

    Reader Testimonials

  • "I started reading the book last night and on the train this morning. It is wonderful. I feel like I am reading a letter from a friend. And I can relate to everything I've read so far. I'm so glad that there is finally a book for people with food allergies, written by someone with food allergies" (Nicole).
  • "I found the FAST handbook to be a very useful help in dealing with food allergies. It is like having a support group with you all the time. In the book Melissa covers problems like reading labels and shopping, dealing with social situations involving food, traveling tips, and how to handle some of the changes in your life brought about by the food allergies. I found the book so interesting to read. It's a great resource for anyone dealing with food allergies" (Loretta).
  • "I have read the FAST book from cover to cover and am so pleased I came across it. I was so overwhelmed to read of others' experiences so relative to my own that I actually cried. Somehow I kind of feel normal again, strange but true. I am going to use many of the tips given that will hopefully make some areas much easier for me from now on" (Nandy).
  • Comments are greatly appreciated. Please drop me an e-mail using the form here:

    Book Excerpt

    The print quality of this excerpt is decreased for easy/quick loading.

    This website is for personal support information only. Nothing should be construed as medical advice.