A Welcome Sign for the AllergicIf you are currently alive and speak to other humans on the planet, you know someone with food allergies, or food sensitivities. Perhaps you didn't when you were growing up in the halcyon days of the 1980s, but guess what? That's all changed, people, and it's time to stop saying, "In my day no one was allergic to peanuts!"
Which is why this research being published by the Jaffe Allergy Center regarding the disparity between people who claim to have food allergies, vs. those who actually do, is kind of annoying. It seems that some people may be exaggerating about what foods they are allergic to at the dinner table Because while only three or four percent of Americans have food allergies, around twenty percent make the claim.
For those of you ready to to be pissed off, here is your excuse. But for those of you with food allergies, or food sensitivities, you kind of get what's going on here, don't you?
As someone who has Celiac disease, I don't have a food allergy, per se. I have an autoimmune disease. But I don't distinguish between the two when I'm going out to eat and have to explain this to the waiter. After all, he could give a crap about my medical problems, he just wants to know what I'm not okay to eat on his menu.
I also know a lot of people who have bad reactions to certain foods, yet they haven't been diagnosed with a "food allergy." Still, they can't eat even a little taste of lobster without getting sick. Is their physical reaction any less dramatic because they don't have a food allergy label? Yes, in that they don't die. But should they be forced to suck it up to not annoy other diners? It's much easier to say to someone, "I'm allergic to lobster." Rather than, "Eating lobster means I'll have explosive diarrhea in your bathroom all night long."
The researchers do admit that many people who claim to be allergic, do have food sensitivities. Which is incredibly unpleasant as well, if you've ever experienced that particular kind of physical reaction. But for some reason people get really irritated by other people who can't eat certain foods. As if that person purposely is out to ruin your good time by refusing nightshade vegetables. What is it to you if I can't eat wheat due to an allergy or an autoimmune reaction? Really? And who are you to judge someone as not being allergic enough to avoid your world famous peanut butter cookies? Would you rather be relieved of the pressure to be considerate of others at the cost of someone's life?
I realize not everyone thinks food allergies are a load, but if you do -- you need to get over it. It's not about you, it's about the sensitive person's digestive and/or immune system.
Do you have a food allergy?