How emojis could help people with food allergies
How emojis could help people with food allergies These emoji cupcakes won't be much help in identifying food allergies, but future emojis could be a big help. (Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr/Kate Ter Haar)
How emojis could help people with food allergies
Lexile: 670L

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Someday soon an emoji might literally save lives.

Hiroyuki Komatsu is a Google engineer. He submitted a proposal. He proposed to add a range of new icons to the standard emoji library. It could help those with food allergies. It could help them understand what they are eating anywhere in the world.

“Emoji should cover characters representing major food allergens.” That's what Komatsu wrote in his proposal. “It enables people to understand what [ingredients] are used in foods even in foreign countries and safely select meals.”

Emojis are universal. They are chosen and developed by the Unicode Consortium. It is a non-profit corporation. It oversees, develops and maintains how text is represented. This is true in all software products and standards. That's according to Alex Swerdloff writing for Vice Munchies. You can thank the Unicode Standard when you text a friend six pizza emojis. Your friends sees those six pizza slices on their phone thanks to the Unicode Standard. This is true regardless of whether they use an iPhone or an Android.

Emojis are everywhere and iconic. This makes them helpful for restaurants and food packaging designers. They can communicate whether a product is made with common allergens. But many of the most common food allergens are missing or poorly represented. This is in regards to the current emoji library. These common food allergens include peanuts and soy. It also includes milk.

That's what Komatsu’s proposal argues. There is an emoji for octopus. But there is nothing for squid. There is a loaf of bread that could symbolize gluten. But a bundle of wheat could be clearer. The emojis could be more direct when labeling foods.

It’s not uncommon for the Unicode Consortium to add new emojis to the library. For example, several food-related emojis debuted last June. These included a long-awaited taco emoji. Apple included support for multiracial emojis in a recent iOS update. An artist even recreated Moby-Dick in emoji characters. Some might bemoan the continuing death of the written word if Komatsu’s proposal is accepted. But you can look on the bright side. If you ever see that happy poop on a carton, you’ll know to stay away.

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What do you think would be most helpful about having emojis for food allergies?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • John-E2
    5/09/2019 - 10:17 a.m.

    I think that this is super cool because emojis can save lives. now doesn't that sound crazy. but actually its real.a man named Hiroyuki Komatsu is a Google engineer that created emojis on food to represent different allergies. I think that this could be life changing.

  • Charliek-hug
    5/09/2019 - 02:11 p.m.

    This passage is good because it has a lot of details on how emojis can fix food alerges.

  • Olivias-hug1
    5/09/2019 - 02:16 p.m.

    This passage is very useful to people who could have serious food allergies. The food that might contain peanuts for exis passage also about emojis. This way the emojis will label the food that might contain food allergies.

  • Olivias-hug1
    5/09/2019 - 02:23 p.m.

    Emojis can be very helpful. Emojis are important for people with food allergies because they can label what the ingredients are. This is why emojis can be helpful.

  • Tuesdays-hug
    5/09/2019 - 02:34 p.m.

    This article is about how emojis could help people with food allergies. There is loaf of bread that could symbolize gluten.

  • Charliek-hug
    5/09/2019 - 02:36 p.m.

    Emojis will help people with food allergies because it would tell people if they are allergic to it or not.They might put emojis stickers on there food or something they own. they could put emojis on food so they know if there allergic to it or not. Some pancake designers put emojis on there pancakes. They could put like an emoji of some sort of food on there phone that they are allergic to.

  • Hannahk-hug1
    5/09/2019 - 02:36 p.m.

    Some day people say emojis will save people someday. Hiroyuki komatsu proposed to have new emojis for people with food allergies. Komatsu said you should have bread to represent gluten. Resteronts use them to tell people if it is gluten or gluten free or if it has any thing. They also added some new ones an apple for apple prodects and IoS.

  • Frannyw-hug
    5/09/2019 - 02:37 p.m.

    A summary of this passage is, that emojis can seriously help people with common food allergies. Because, they can represent food allergies. For example,"There is a loaf of bred that could symbolize gluten." that is what could happen now. But, if we could expand the emoji library we could use wheat as a gluten warning on a bag of bread.

  • Keonnaw-hug
    5/09/2019 - 02:38 p.m.


    Many of the most common food allergies are missing or poorly represented.It makes them helpful for restaurants . And food packaging designs.

  • Vin-hug
    5/09/2019 - 02:41 p.m.

    emojis could label food to be easy to understand universally anywhere weather or not you speak the same language so you can tell what is in food easier and avoid allergic reactions. if we can expand the emoji library to have more common allergies emojis then we could help a lot of people.

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