Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Food Allergies/Food Phobias


 Share

Recommended Posts

FG...I haven't gone to a Dr. yet...as caviar is a luxury easily (most times) avoided. But now curiosity has the better of me (and that takes a lot since I am petrified of needles!). Squeamish people stop reading here.....Since I also suffer other symptoms...including passing out (I thought from the violence of the projectile reaction...maybe not, now that I read the FAAN site) and intestinal reactions, that it is an allergy, not an intolerance. Will fill you in after I get an appointment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does FAAN consider Lactose Intolerance as an allergy? Or do they define intolerance as something other than an allergy? I admit I haven't gone to the link yet...on my way now...

Lactose intolerance is not an allergy. Allergies are the result of a persons immune system developing antibodies to a substance. Lactose intolerance results from the body no longer producing an enzyme that is used to digest lactose. As a result, the milk sugars are acted upon by bacteria in the lower intestine and can result in a lot of nasty side effects.

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi everyone,

I am a personal Chef in NJ. For the last three years I have studied and cooked for clients with multiple allegies or intolerences. i.e. wheat, corn, soy, milk, gluten, fruits and vegetables. Almost everyone has a food allergy but many are not harmfull. Reactions can be as small as increased heart rate, headaches to congestion. Does this make us stop eating these foods, probaly not. I wont go into too much detail but if anyone has any questions feel free to ask. It seems to me that the environment, pollution and chemicals found in food adds to the problems. I cook mostly with organics these days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my friends from graduate school told me this great story about her father, who was indeed allergic to crabmeat (i.e., anaphylaxis was imminent shortly after consumption). Anyhow, he was attending some high-fallutin' function in upstate NY, where attendees paid something in the order of $200 a head. He really wasn't paying that much attention to his food, and he started eating what was on his plate. After swallowing a couple of bites, he called over a waiter and asked him what the dish was. The waiter told him it was a lump crabmeat-based dish. My friend's father informed the waiter to call an ambulance, as he had failed to bring an epinephrine pin with him and that without treatment, he could have a full blown reaction in a matter of minutes.

Strangely enough, after 5, 10, 20 minutes, nothing happened. No adverse reaction at all.

The lawsuit against the caterer for using fake crabmeat settled quickly, I believe.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say this is comparable to the number of people claiming sensitivity to MSG.

Unfortunately, I am one of those people truly MSG-sensitive. If there's been too much in my food, literally just a few minutes after I stop eating I get terrible, sharp head pains (not a steady headache, but pulsing twinges) that no amount of Advil can get rid of. Only sleep & time help them go away. No fun, believe me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To those of you who have said you have allergies or intolerances: Assuming you're right, I'd still be interested to know what you think of the massive disconnect in the statistics. So say you're in the 2.5 percent. I assume that makes you substantially more annoyed with the false alarms than I am. Or do you believe that everybody claiming to have an allergy or intolerance is correct?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FG-

First, how was that 2.5% determined? Was it a poll? Was it based on reports to physicians? I'm too lazy to find out the methodology of that study.

I agree with you that many people categorize a single bad reaction to a food as it being an allergy. I also believe that people who develop a stomachache after eating a meal all too often attribute it to food poisoning.

Regardless, I think people tend to attach labels to a bad outcome without understanding the underlying etiology. I am guilty of that. I have eaten oysters four times in my life. The first was when I was in my teens, and I had no reaction. Early on in college, I had an oyster stew. I got violently ill -- major projectile vomiting. I stayed away from oysters for about 5 years. I had some fried oysters. Repeat illness. Then, about 11 years ago, before I was about to get married, my best man promised to take me out to "get me sick." Within 10 minutes of sucking down a raw oyster, I was doubled over in pain. He got me sick, all right.

Am I allergic to oysters? Am I intolerant? Am I just unlucky to get 3 bad oysters in a row? Beats the hell out of me, but I'm not ready to eat an oyster again, despite how good they taste.

Thus, is that 2.5% figure legitimate? You, of all people, are incredibly suspicious of statistics and epidemiologic studies, so it's important to make sure that the numbers you're citing are verifiable and correct.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Varm, as I explained above, FAAN has a vested interest in making the absolute highest possible scientifically supportable claim for the number of Americans with allergies. Therefore I'm quite certain that only a seriously fringe group could come up with a higher number. In reality the number is probably lower, given the reality of the group's bias.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To those of you who have said you have allergies or intolerances: Assuming you're right, I'd still be interested to know what you think of the massive disconnect in the statistics. So say you're in the 2.5 percent. . . .

Remember, FAAN only stated the percentage or persons with allergies. Has anyone found a study or claim that discusses all chronic and repeatable (including allergies, intolerances, etc.) food-related problems?

I agree with you, FG, that the number of people claiming to have allergies or intolerances is higher than what could be scientifically proven. But I think that there should be other categories of problems. I don't claim to be "allergic" or "intolerant" to oysters, but I sure as hell won't eat them anymore.

Finally, I'd really be interested to see what the percentage of people claiming they have food related problems in Southern California vs. Wisconsin. I've always said that thin people seem to have more food problems than thin people, and the folks in Milwaukee are generally fatter than the ones you see in LA. It seems people in the Midwest just like to eat their food. They don't look at it as a problem.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I know the word "maldigester" has been bandied about in some of the literature. Basically it describes the various reactions to unfamiliar foods, which can hit some people harder than others. The maldigester can develop the ability to tolerate certain foods by eatind small amounts and building up. At least that's what I think I read somewhere.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't speak for anyone else, nor will I attempt to. Lots of people are nuts, about lots of things. I have some extremely hypochondriacal friends...if they told me they had a food allergy, no way would I believe them. But I don't know what to say about the statistical disconnect. I can only tell you that my lactose intolerance is real and it's physical. And the couple of people I do know with food allergies (nuts, fruits), have terribly physical reactions if they eat those things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What would be, in your opinion, some examples of "credible, scientific, independent organizations"? In any event, the reason I looked to FAAN was not because I was looking for a credible source, but rather because I was looking for the strongest form of the argument I don't believe. We can say with a high degree of certainty that FAAN is not going to underestimate the number of people with allergies.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What would be, in your opinion, some examples of "credible, scientific, independent organizations"?

The Royal College of Surgeons, Imperial College, The Weizmann Institute, Marie Curie Institute.

These are organizations that have a track record of quality research; are funded only by unconditional government grants, non-political charitable foundations, self-administered trusts or private donation; do not have members with vested financial interests in either the content or direction of the research; do not sell merchandise.

The question I asked about FAAN was quite open. I have never heard of them, and I am interested to know whether or not they are a credible organization whose research can be trusted. Why did you assume I was levelling any form of accusation or criticism at you, FatGuy ? Anyway, it was ShawtyCat who provided the link to FAAN.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why did you assume I was levelling any form of accusation or criticism at you, FatGuy ? Anyway, it was ShawtyCat who provided the link to FAAN.

I was the first to cite FAAN on the thread, in my first post, and there was a subsequent discussion about it with Dmccord. I read your post in that context. Thanks for clarifying, though.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find the discussion on lactose intolerance interesting, because over the past several months I've come to realize that I can't tolerate drinking milk or eating yogurt anymore. It took a while to figure out what was making me feel so awful, and the funny thing is I had started increasing my intake of skim milk and nonfat yogurt because of the whole calcium/osteoporosis thing. (I'm already short enough, thank you.)

I would go a few days without having milk, then I'd have cereal and milk for breakfast and end up miserable the rest of the day. Cheese and ice cream never bother me, since I never eat them in quantity. I checked out a website on lactose intolerance, and sure enough, skim milk and nonfat yogurt are absolutely the highest in lactose. Is it true lactose intolerance -- who knows? My mother's identical twin has severe intolerance, so maybe there's a genetic tendency for me. Anyway, I've adapted my diet to adjust, switching to Lactaid milk and giving up yogurt except as a garnish.

As for people saying they have allergies when they don't, a funny thing happened to me the other day. I was having lunch with a friend at Uno's and when I ordered, I asked for my salad without onions and the chili without the chopped onion garnish. I just don't care for raw onions. The server was very concerned and came back in a minute to ask if I was allergic to onions. I assured her it was just a question of like/dislike but clearly they take the whole question of food allergies seriously. Can we say "liability"? :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know someone who vomits at the sight of custard. Literally. This is a real physical reaction but it is clearly nothing to do with custard intolerance or allergic reaction. No one disputes that the reactions described here are real, but the cause may not the physiological. I.e., you’re all bloody nutters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pariah, some people are allergic to herbs. People with hay fever or extreme allergens to pollen could be allergic to herbs of the same family. Some people are allergic to the pesticide or herbacide that is on the plant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find the discussion on lactose intolerance interesting, because over the past several months I've come to realize that I can't tolerate drinking milk or eating yogurt anymore. It took a while to figure out what was making me feel so awful, and the funny thing is I had started increasing my intake of skim milk and nonfat yogurt because of the whole calcium/osteoporosis thing. (I'm already short enough, thank you.) 

I would go a few days without having milk, then I'd have cereal and milk for breakfast and end up miserable the rest of the day. Cheese and ice cream never bother me, since I never eat them in quantity. I checked out a website on lactose intolerance, and sure enough, skim milk and nonfat yogurt are absolutely the highest in lactose.  Is it true lactose intolerance -- who knows?  My mother's identical twin has severe intolerance, so maybe there's a genetic tendency for me.  Anyway, I've adapted my diet to adjust, switching to Lactaid milk and giving up yogurt except as a garnish.

Just some info of Lactose intolerence.

Lactase is an enzyme in the small intestinal luminal (facing the food) membrane which breaks lactose (milk sugar) into monosaccharides for absorption. Lactase deficiency (fairly common) can cause some lactose to pass through small intestine unabsorbed, holding water in lumen (causing diarrhea) and feeding intestinal bacteria, most concentrated in large intestine (causing excess gas). And generally an upset tummy.

As the lactase enzyme is on the small intestine gut cells, if you have an episode of tummy trouble, the enzyme gets shed along with the gut cells. While new gut cell appear very quickly, it can take some time to get back to normal levels of lactase, so in this period you will be lactose intolerent.

As much are the symptoms are due to lactose being passing onto gut bacteria, I would think that one of the reasons why Europeans don't suffer as regularly as Americans is because the former eat (or did) more femented products (which contain bugs that break down lactose) and most likely have a very different gut flora, better able to cope with a diet high in lactose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just some info of Lactose intolerence.

Lactase is an enzyme in the small intestinal luminal (facing the food) membrane which breaks lactose (milk sugar) into monosaccharides for absorption. Lactase deficiency (fairly common) can cause some lactose to pass through small intestine unabsorbed, holding water in lumen (causing diarrhea) and feeding intestinal bacteria, most concentrated in large intestine (causing excess gas). And generally an upset tummy.

As the lactase enzyme is on the small intestine gut cells, if you have an episode of tummy trouble, the enzyme gets shed along with the  gut cells. While new gut cell appear very quickly, it can take some time to get back to normal levels of lactase, so in this period you will be lactose intolerent.

As much are the symptoms are due to lactose being passing onto gut bacteria, I would think that one of the reasons why Europeans don't suffer as regularly as Americans is because the former eat (or did) more femented products (which contain bugs that break down lactose) and most likely have a very different gut flora, better able to cope with a diet high in lactose.

so what you're saying, adam, is that it's all in the head.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...