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Food Allergies/Food Phobias


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I am allergic to mushrooms and have an anaphalatic (sp?) reaction. I have the same reaction to penicilin get hives when I eat blue cheese. All three are in the mold/fungi group.

My son was allergic to milk (not lactose intolerant) when he was a baby and we used soy formula for almost 2 years, gradually mixing in more and more milk into the formula. He can have milk now, just not major quantities of it.

He has several friends at school with allergies, the most common one being peanuts, and those kids bring their epi pens to school with them.

One friend in particular seems to be allergic to wheat and gets migraines when he has milk products. It's made for some adventurous cooking when Ryan has these friends over! I end up making breads, pasta etc by hand with special flours for Justin.

There are definitely more "allergies" with kids these days!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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The major rise in allergies (gastrointestinal and respitory)of developed nations is a known fact. Plenty of hard data on this. Currently the Estonians are the favoured study group. They are a similar racial group to the Swedes, yet very low allergies compared to the Swedes. As Estonia has become more developed the incidence of allergies has risen. A popular theory is that it is linked to diet. Eat more femented foods.

Having said that, some people confuse "Allergy" with " I hate that". An anaphalatic reaction is an allergic reaction.

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I have no evidence to back this up but I would hazard a guess that the number of women claiming to have food allergies outweighs the number of men.

Well, this is purely anecdotal, but I know more men who have food allergies than women.

My DH is allergic to peanuts and eggs (and many other non-food things). He accidentally ate something with peanuts at a festival a few years ago (it was in the sauce), and it was very scary. his egg allergy isn't as severe. He has been known to eat a creme brulee with no reaction whatsoever. he can have eggs if they are thoroughly cooked and if it is not the primary ingredient (I.e. he can't have scrambled eggs). Oh, he is also allergic to some tree nuts.

My nephew is allergic to milk. When my sister introduced a dairy product to him when he was a baby, there was projectile vomiting and his body was covered in hives. My poor sister has to check ingredients for any milk product in anything he eats - including casein and whey.

I can only think of opne woman that I know off the top of my head who has food allergies. She is allergic to everything: wheat, eggs, nuts, peanuts, milk, most meats, corn, the list goes on. Once she almost died from eating a Triscuit. She has to bring her own food with her wherever she goes.

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I had a friend who went from vegetarian to vegan and then mysteriously developed "allergies." She said that she couldn't have wheat or soy anymore; I was too polite not to scoff as I thought they were entirely in her head. At the time, she was trying to wean herself off this cocktail of antidepressants that had been wrongly prescribed--could that have been a factor?

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  • 7 months later...
Southern Girl: Your reaction to caviar doesn't sound like an allergic reaction. Have you had it diagnosed by a doctor? Let me know what you learn from the FAAN site.

To revive this thread from a long time ago. I was researching a caviar allergy for a friend and came across this:

Caviar

Serious reactions can take place to any food. This study describes a case of anaphylaxis to Russian Beluga caviar.

Anaphylaxis to Russian Beluga caviar.

Untersmayr E, Focke M, Kinaciyan T, Poulsen LK, Boltz-Nitulescu G, et al.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2002, 109(6 Pt 1):1034-5.

Fat Guy, It seems that southern girl was telling the truth.

Edited by lizziee (log)
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I have seen some studies lately that the rise in allergies in developed countries may be related to raising our kids too "clean". Also, in the US, some studies show that the incidence of asthma is lower in children that are raised on a farm, exposed to pollens, animal danders, insect parts, etc. from an early age. It seems that the human immune system needs to get some exercise to "butch up" and, like other developmental processes, the optimum time for that to happen is when we are very young.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I have seen some studies lately that the rise in allergies in developed countries may be related to raising our kids too "clean". Also, in the US, some studies show that the incidence of asthma is lower in children that are raised on a farm, exposed to pollens, animal danders, insect parts, etc. from an early age. It seems that the human immune system needs to get some exercise to "butch up" and, like other developmental processes, the optimum time for that to happen is when we are very young.

I grew up in SE Asia (Thailand, 60's and 70's). I was exposed to everything. Had malaria, hep, still test postive for TB (although I don't have it, and don't think I ever had it), dingey fever (sp?). At the time I left Thailand, I could drink tap water from just about everywhere without getting "the belly."

In 21+ years of working at my former employer, I missed 3 days due to illness (I'm excluding childbirth from the illness category).

Breastfed all three kids. To date, Diana (6th grade, 11+ years old) has missed 3 days since kindergarten due to illness; Heidi (3rd grade, 8-1/2 years old, special needs (Angelman Syndrome), epilepsy; supposedly the "fragile one") has missed 1 day due to illness; Peter (1st grade, 7-1/2 years old) is our sickly one. He has, in three years of school, missed 4 days. None of my kids has ever had an ear infection, strep throat. They each get one cold about every 3 years (whether they need it or not).

I have always wondered how much my exposure to all sorts of diseases has increased my resistence (and the resistence of my children) to illness?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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The point is that southern girl has a legitimate allergy to caviar that seemed to appear quite suddenly. I happen to see a site that said this was a real allergy and was only questioning FG's question that a caviar allergy existed.

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Snowangel... You may have a point. It is well known that breast feeding passes on immunities to the kiddos. You sound like a testimony to that theory.

I don't doubt that there are some very real food allergies. I have friends that have allergies to shellfish and other things and those can be serious. But, in general, we build up immunities over time. I go to Mexico fairly often and not always to the tourist areas. I eat everything in sight (well... I draw the line at insects) and I don't get sick. I did, once, many years ago but never since.

I am curious about lactose intolerants not being able to eat yogurt and cheese. Isn't all of the lactose fermented away in these foods?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I have seen some studies lately that the rise in allergies in developed countries may be related to raising our kids too "clean". Also, in the US, some studies show that the incidence of asthma is lower in children that are raised on a farm, exposed to pollens, animal danders, insect parts, etc. from an early age. It seems that the human immune system needs to get some exercise to "butch up" and, like other developmental processes, the optimum time for that to happen is when we are very young.

Yet even those raised in dander-infested, non-spotless homes develop allergies to dander and other external things. Heredity and environment are playing rock-paper-scissors, it seems.

We have a friend who claims multiple food allergies. I'm never quite sure how many are genuine allergies and how many are psychosomatic. Current list: wheat and all wheat components; corn and all corn components; eggs; chocolate, citrus fruit; MSG (I think he classifies this as a sensitivity rather than an allergy). He thinks he may be developing an allergy towards dairy products, and is concerned about eating too much rice lest he start developing a sensitivity towards it. And yet peanuts are fine... for now.

I'm just stunned that a whole generation of children is growing up without peanut butter sandwiches.

I am curious about lactose intolerants not being able to eat yogurt and cheese. Isn't all of the lactose fermented away in these foods?

Perhaps it depends upon an individual's degree of intolerance? I'm lactose-intolerant (half-Asian), but only mildly so. I can drink milk without suffering ill effects about 80% of the time (the other occasions are, um, unpleasant), and never have a problem with yogurt or cheese (even cream cheese or mozzarella). Cream and ice cream always start a stampede if I forget the Lactaid, though.

MSG? Pah. Zero effect. Mama-san put Aji-No-Moto on everything, so my body is probably still one-third MSG by composition

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Yet even those raised in dander-infested, non-spotless homes develop allergies to dander and other external things. Heredity and environment are playing rock-paper-scissors, it seems.

As a kid I never had any allergies or asthma. Now I'm allergic to everything they can test you for - trees, grasses, pets, dust mites, etc. When I saw an allergist for testing, they had to give me an adrenaline shot in the office because I reacted so severely to the tests. Luckily food allergies haven't surfaced. :smile:

My brother's fiance is Greek and lactose intolerant, but mostly to cow's milk. She can eat sheep's milk yogurt and cheese just fine. Is there something different about sheep and goat milk other than it comes from a different animal?

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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My brother's fiance is Greek and lactose intolerant, but mostly to cow's milk.  She can eat sheep's milk yogurt and cheese just fine.  Is there something different about sheep and goat milk other than it comes from a different animal?

It would seem that you putative-sister-in-law ( :wink: ) isn't lactose intolerant. Sheep/goats/cows milk have the similar amounts of lactose. She may be allergic to proteins/carbohydrates in cows milk, which are not present in Sheep milk. Here is good link to some information:

Milks

Edited by Adam Balic (log)
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It would seem that you putative-sister-in-law (  :wink: ) isn't lactose intolerant. Sheep/goats/cows milk have the similar amounts of lactose. She may be allergic to proteins/carbohydrates in cows milk, which are not present in Sheep milk. Here is good link to some information:

Milks

Thanks for the link.

Just looked at my original post and perhaps her problem is with milk (and sadly, ice cream) and not yogurt and cheese. That goes back to your comment about fermented foods a while back.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I don't think I have any actual food allergies, although I think I may have intolerances to a number of things. Of course, I seem to have more problems when I drink colas so I wonder if it's not some preservative or soemthing therein. I do have severe allergies to other things (put me in a room with a cat for five minutes and my eyes swell to ten times their normal size and I'll be covered in hives, yay!) but so far no food.

The thing that's always puzzled me is that foods that make me sick (and I don't need to give details, right?) always make me sick within an hour at most of eating them. From what little I know, that doesn't seem like it's enough time for the body to process them, so I do wonder if it might be somehow an allergic reaction. I'm not interested in going to a doctor, though, and being told I shouldn't eat shellfish. :biggrin:

By the way, I have seen many advice columns written for people on a diet, or advice for ordering in a restaurant, and they frequently say it's easier and a better guarantee of getting what you want to claim a food allergy instead of just saying you don't like something, so this could be part of the issue. I'll see if I can dig one up. I always thought that was disingenuous at best.

Jennie

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  • 2 years later...

Havent posted in a while but ive still been cooking up a storm and learning.

for the last few years I have been cooking for a wide range of people. Friends family and coworkers. I have noticed an alarming trend when dealing with strangers. Does everybody now have a food allergy? And also I continue to bump into people saying I don't like ________. And when you asked them how they have had it, they say My mom made it when I was little and boiled it or worse, microwaved it and it was nasty.

Part 1

I am not an evil or vindicitve person but I am very curious and when I hear a food allergy that doesn't make sense to me I want to know more. Example, I know of a person who states the are allergic to pepper. I ask what kind of pepper? All peppers. I am pretty sure that Black Pepper and say Jalepeno peppers are different. I seem to even recall hearing that most black pepper in the store is made from ground papaya seeds, so no capsacin(???) at all. I digress, I have really found that said person just doesn't like pepper or spicy foods. Yet rather than saying I don't like the way pepper tastes, they invent an allergy. How do you deal with this. Do you just take everybody at their word that they are allergic to something? I have heard a large amount of allergies that I either find hard to believe or simply can't fathom. Peas, bananas, Red food dye, liquid smoke, portabella mushrooms - no others just portabella, marshamallow, coconut, and unsweetened peanut butter. I recently heard about pork allergies and actually researched and found that a small amount have an issue with pork. But the amount of food allergies seems to be on the rise in America. My head scratching and pondering is at an all time high now. The other day a friend says he is allergic to coconut, fine, but he then eats some girl scout cookies with coconut in them. I tell him to read the ingredients and show him there is coconut and he spits it out and thanks me. Basically I think that if I was allergic to something, and will have adverse or life threatening reactions to it I would read every label for everything and be making my own food from then on rather than take the chance a of eating sandwich with deadly cows milk cheese in it.

Part 2

So My girlfriend tells me she doesn't like yellow squash. I blink and do a nice Tom and Jerry double take. "You don't like it!, sounds like a challenge to me" And so several meals later with squash cooked in several ways, she takes it back and now likes squash. I don't stop there and she now eats squash, olives, spinach, bonito flakes on various japanese items, and grits,etc of the long list of things that and I hate to say, mama commited food murder upon long ago. I've often used items people tell me they don't like in dishes and let them eat and enjoy it only to tell them later that atrichoke hearts or goat cheese or kalamata olives were in it. I think that most food dislikes or phobias in adulthood come from it being prepared badly when we are younger so I just love getting people to try it again years later prepared in a way other than mama used to make it.

So finally,

Does this happen with others? Do you hear that people don't like a food and try to get them to try it a different way or prove to them that its good.

And

Do you just take everybody at their word that they are allergic to something? How do you deal with food alergies, real and imagined?

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Food allergies are a delicate subject...there are those who cook them up in order to avoid foods they dislike (and we all have things we dislike - or, at least, most of us do), and then there are those with genuine allergies. It's hard to know the difference.

I had a friend in college who claimed to be allergic to garlic. :shock: Not onions, not shallots, just garlic. Oddly enough, he ate tons of foods with garlic in them, but avoided things like garlic hummus, roasted garlic (which was hugely in vogue then as a pre-dinner spread for bread and the like), and so on. I think he just didn't enjoy a really strong garlic flavor. But, no, he insisted he was allergic. :laugh: What can you do?

Most people I know will try anything at least once, which is really all you can ask for, in my opinion. I try to re-taste things I don't like every now and again (this list includes many cheeses, for what it's worth), just to see if things have changed. After all, growing up I disliked artichokes, asparagus, all cheeses, onions...the list goes on and on. I like these things now, but would never know that if I hadn't given them a second (and, in some cases, third or fourth) try.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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RE: Part 1:

After unsuccessfully trying to kill Mr. gini twice now, I can strongly say that his shrimp allergy is, indeed, a sure thing. Maybe third time is a charm? :raz:

I've never run into someone who said that they were allergic to something they weren't. Maybe I just don't know enough interesting people. I remember a woman coming into the seafood shack and demanding to see the coating we put on our fried oyters. We brought her out the whole damn 25 lb. bag to inspect. :biggrin:

RE: Part 2:

We were out to a group dinner on Sunday night and Mr. g reveals that before he met me, he sustained on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for three meals a day. He's exagerating, but I certainly have introduced him to some varied foods. And he likes all of them - except for the ones with shrimp in them! Oh, and he's discovered cashew butter. To which he adds jam and bread in order to sustain while I'm away :wink: .

Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.
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