The suggestion to use zero width spaces to sort of "escape" stuff in org mode has come up many times. I have started using it a lot and suggest that to other people now.
The OP of that question made a valid point that while using zero width spaces is convenient, it is not apparent where it has been used in the document.
To resolve that, I am requesting a feature.
Can the zero width spaces be optionally represented with something like a single space overlay with a colored background (like purple)?
Making this officially part of org-mode will probably make more people make use of it.
.. Or should people use zero width spaces?