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
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Someday soon an emoji might literally save lives.

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

“Emoji should cover characters representing major food allergens,” 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 because they are chosen and developed by the Unicode Consortium. It is a non-profit corporation that oversees, develops and maintains how text is represented. This is in regards to all software products and standards. That's according to Alex Swerdloff writing for Vice Munchies. It’s thanks to the Unicode Standard that when you text a friend six pizza emojis, they’ll see those six pizza slices on their phone. This is true regardless of whether they use an iPhone or an Android.

Because emojis are everywhere and iconic, they could be helpful for restaurants and food packaging designers. They can communicate whether a product is made with common allergens. But as Komatsu’s proposal argues, many of the most common food allergens are missing or poorly represented by the current emoji library. Examples of these allergens include peanuts, soy and milk. 

There is an emoji for octopus, but 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: several food-related emojis debuted last June, including 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 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

  • MohdS-bad
    10/04/2019 - 10:09 a.m.

    I think if you knew what emojis go with what allergies, it would be helpful cause you would know what people were talking about. If you didn't know what emoji went with what allergies, i think there is no point in that the emojis help with the allergies. I think the most helpful would be when you eat with someone with an allergies and they told you what emoji and stuff it would be helpful so you knew not to that food.

  • DiamonteA-bad1
    10/04/2019 - 10:14 a.m.

    I think that emojis are a wast of food space (btw I’m hungry)

  • LatoyaH-bad1
    10/04/2019 - 10:17 a.m.

    I think that having emojis for food allergies would be great.i think that because i use emojis for texting and stuff and maybe people could put like a secret emoji ingredient in a food to stop the kids or people from having a allergic reaction

  • UW-bad1
    10/04/2019 - 10:17 a.m.

    I think what most help is that for people that cant talk to see their opinions on they food good bad or something like nasty ???? ????spicy.

  • JaeTonnaS-bad
    10/04/2019 - 10:19 a.m.

    I would be happy because it wouldn’t taste nasty and it will encourage me to take it instead of nasty pills.

  • ZinP-bad1
    10/04/2019 - 10:19 a.m.

    I think that help people because you don’t have to talk but you just have to get the emojis look and they will know what you talking about if you don’t know how to talk the good thing is you have emojis to help you ......????????????

  • JaheimJ-bad1
    10/04/2019 - 10:19 a.m.

    I think that this would be helpful the people who are deaf because, if the have a phone And a person at a restaurant comes and asks you
    “What food(s) are you allergic to?” You can just show him/her the emojis you put and they’ll now what you’re talking about.

  • JakyrahJ-bad
    10/04/2019 - 10:19 a.m.

    I will be happy because we are eating emojis and other thing.

  • luciano-lew
    11/06/2019 - 12:23 p.m.

    I think the idea is great to a certain extent. Yes its great I think it's is great that your figuring out a fun way of saying what allergens are in their food but some foods have a lot more than one allergen which means at one point there could a bottle covered with emojis. Secondly,I have become to notice that a lot of parents don't know what half of the emojis mean. Lastly, what if your allergic to a certain amount of something.You would have to add three emojis of a loaf of bread. Other than that it's a great idea that can help understand allergies in food

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