Allergic To Peanuts? No, You’re Not.

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am skeptical of many of Western society’s recently discovered “diseases”.  I truly believe that many problems that we regularly treat with medication (or worse) are simply a culture of excess run amok. I’m still not convinced that shopping or hoarding are legitimate disorders but rather stem from a country that has had everything it wanted for a long, long time and is starting to collectively freak out at the prospect of losing that privilege. I’ve had food allergies on my list for a long time too, mostly because they didn’t even seem to exist twenty years ago. So, I was heartened to read yesterday that I might be on to something.

Now, I’m sure that many epicureans will be quick to point out all the terrible things that go into our food that could account for the recent deluge of so-called allergies. I have been upbraided on more than one occasion for my lackadaisical approach to food. To wit, I’ll eat damn near anything, free range or not, and haven’t found a single thing yet that disagrees with me (at least not in any major way. Three gallons of milk does tend to play havoc with my stomach if drunk in one night…). I also have many friends who have incredibly restricted diets due to their food allergies: gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, glucose-free, etc., etc. This new report would seem to lend weight to my theory that most of this hoopla over allergies is simply psychological. Yes, High Fructose Corn Syrup in my wheat bread is crazy and really makes me think about what I put in my mouth. But I’m also not running to the flax seed because my stomach is upset.

I know this probably comes across as condescending and maybe a bit mean-spirited. The report clearly states that 8% of the population really do suffer from food allergies and I’ve heard plenty of anecdotes about closed air holes after ingesting shellfish. My only point is that the problem, like many of our contemporary disorders, is so overblown as to be laughable.

On that note, I think I’m going to make a peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread and see what happens. I’ll keep 911 on speed-dial, but something tells me I’ll be fine.

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