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I'm allergic to.......

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MJ5150, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Has anyone else noticed an increasing number of people with food allergies? I have. We moved to NH for two years, so I lost touch with many of my friends here in WA. Now that we're back in WA, the wife and I have been organizing dinner parties, coffee cuppings, and game nights at our house to get reacquainted with all our friends and meet other people.

    As we organize these events, I get more and more people telling me about their food allergies. "I can't have dairy", "I'm allergic to onions", "I'm allergic to sunflower oil", "I'm gluten intolerant", and the list goes on. Now we do have a fair amount of friends with none of these issues, but the number that do is increasing in my experience.

    I'm not mad, and I don't question the authenticity of their claims. We actually find it challenging and enjoyable to prepare meals with the various dietary restrictions placed upon us. But I'm not going to lie, sometimes I just feel like saying "then how about you bring something you know you can eat".

  2. I have noticed this, as well. Sometimes I feel like people are inventing food allergies :p
  3. Bloodhammer

    Bloodhammer Twinkle Twinkle Black Star

    Jul 7, 2009
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Maybe fast food is causing the increase? I don't know. I haven't noticed if there's more of it than there was. The only food allergy I ever hear about around here is a few people being allergic to shellfish.
  4. Bloodhammer

    Bloodhammer Twinkle Twinkle Black Star

    Jul 7, 2009
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Maybe it's a left coast thing. :p
  5. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    You never seem to hear about this problem in third world country's.
  6. My Primary Care Doctor says he's seen kind of an explosion of this in recent years, and believes that maybe genetically modified grain products that are now in most of our diets have triggered sensitivities in people that they didn't have a decade ago.
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    That's sort of what I was thinking too Humbled.

  8. bass_case

    bass_case Maintain low tones. Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2013
    Miami, FL
    I believe there's a lot of hype at work here. It sells a lot of diet books.

    Maybe they could genetically engineer some wheat with lower gluten content.
  9. Can't say I've noticed any particular increase.

    Allergies can start appearing at later stages in life, so that could make it seem more apparent. Grain products in general can trigger allergies.

    Dairy is an interesting one, people generally call out lactose intolerance when that isn't always the case, and it isn't always a true allergy. What is pretty interesting is that it's quite culture specific with instances being much lower in much of europe and the white population in the US. Lactose intolerance makes sense when you think about it, simply put, the human body doesn't expect milk products beyond young childhood.
  10. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass SUSPENDED

    Apr 10, 2009
    I've been diagnosed allergic to cats and kiwis. Yet I have a cat and eat kiwis.
  11. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    We got so much food in America we're allergic to food. Allergic to food! Hungry people ain't allergic to ****. You think anyone in Rwanda's got a ******* lactose intolerance?

    - Chris Rock -
  12. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    The only thing is that our colloquial definition of the word "allergy" has evolved.

    A true "food allergy" would be something like peanut allergy: you eat peanuts, you go into shock, you get rushed to the hospital.

    The trend recently is to include "sensitivities" under the umbrella of "allergies." For example: I am "sensitive" to green peppers. They give me gas and I prefer not to eat them because I will have a mild non-life-threatening response. It would be exaggerating in my opinion to say "I am allergic to green peppers" but that is how a lot of people are using the term these days.

    Then there is the general connection between food and wellbeing. If I eat too much junk food, I will die younger. Does these mean I am "allergic" to junk food? A less extreme example is all the people giving up gluten these days who do NOT actually have Celiac (gluten allergy). Do they feel better because they were "allergic to wheat all along" or is it because they've replaced highly-processed carbs with healthier foods?

    Interesting conversation. I am a picky eater with several sensitivities. I try never to put the blame/burden on the host or anyone else other than myself. Honestly it would be no problem at all, except that peole often get upset/offended if I politely decline eating something they prepared, then they get pushy and I have to explain myself. A simple "no thanks" should be enough; it is bad manners IMHO for hosts to force guests at the table to justify their dietary preferences or detail their health problems.
  13. Tony Flow MMMM

    Tony Flow MMMM

    Dec 4, 2012
    I think it's pretty obvious it's BS. they read a book saying gluten is bad (it is) and just day there allergic to it.. Well technically everyone has a inflammatory response to it but are not celliac.

    I found a lot of people claim to be allergic to things, but show no reaction until they KNOW their being exposed to it.
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    There are 3 main factors to this.

    Lack of diversity in food. People tend to eat standardized processed food that lacks the diversity of components you get in fresh and homade products. There is a direct correlation between allergies and baby food. You are less prone to develop them if you ate mother milk and homemade food rather than readymade pots and processed baby milk.

    Excessive hygiene. If you live in an urban area, wash a lot and make sure everything is sanitised, your environment becomes void of many bacterias and products your body could accommodate.

    Chemicals, color agents and preservatives are very aggressive toward the immune system. If you get too much in your everyday food your body becomes more sensitive to allergies.

    Surprisingly, the last factor is a minor one compared to the others. I read an enlightening study about this issue but I can't find it back.
  15. Bloodhammer

    Bloodhammer Twinkle Twinkle Black Star

    Jul 7, 2009
    Shreveport, Louisiana

    If people normally ate poison ivy, I'd be screwed.
  16. I agree that allergy is thrown around a little too liberally. I'm not really allergic to mushrooms, but my gas has been known to clear rooms and peel paint.

    In the healthcare setting, lots of people claim to be allergic to things they've never had before.

    Yes, true allergies are increasing. There are theories, but nothing concrete, or so my immunology professor told us.
  17. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    I think it's a result of the junky food we've been conditioned to eat. Fast food, processed food, additives, preservatives and so forth. I think the effects of eating all this stuff are just now beginning to make themselves evident in people's overall health. My .02.
  18. Don't know if I'd agree with that, sensitivity is still an allergic response and always has been, maybe people use it more, which I could agree with (making something out to be a bigger deal instead of "I'll avoid that, it gives me gas). But an allergy is something (an allergen) that produces a response from the immune system, it doesn't have to be severe and cause anaphylaxis (or another similarly severe reaction) for it to be a true allergy.
  19. I have no known food allergies, but there are some things I will not eat. Sweet potato, for example. I have tried them several different ways and I don't like them and don't care to try them again. If it is rude to tell the host this, I'm sorry, but I have never liked them and see no need to put something in my mouth that I want to immediately spit out.
  20. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    "Just try a little bit!"
    "It's my grandmother's recipe!"
    "You're all skin and bones!"


    To some degree this is cultural. For example, I was recently having a similar discussion with an Asian colleague. She said in her particular part of China, the polite thing to do in your situation, would be to accept the sweet potato, and then throw it in the trash once they left. (It would be rude to refuse the gift.)

    I agree with you that saying "no thanks" one time should be sufficient.