In my post last week, I posed questions challenging the gluten-free craze as fad dieting. Many commenters took issue with the idea that gluten-free was simply a “diet” and suggested other factors might underly the rise of gluten intolerances. Reader Hannah responded:
“The gluten content of our food supply has increased over the years, most likely due to GMO’s and unnatural farming practices. Increasing the consumption of any type of food increases the likelihood of some type of allergic reaction such as those found in intolerences or sensativites. “
This started a chain reaction of thoughts for me. It’s not just gluten. I look around and food allergies are everywhere and to all types of things: soy, peanuts, dairy, citrus, wheat, and eggs. And the rise in allergies is not just limited to food! People are allergic to the very air they breathe, the trees outside their windows and the flowers in their yards. Hardly anyone goes into the sun anymore without covering up or lathering on the, often times, toxic sunscreen, afraid of burning and harming their skin. People are sensitive to their soaps, detergents and body products. I even found a woman who was allergic to rain….RAIN!
Are we becoming allergic to life?
This is a serious question to look at and the answers don’t come easily. These issues are hotly debated and the reasons behind them vary. Here’s just a few:
2. Increased Consumption
6. Genetic Vulnerability
Holy cow, that’s 10 reasons! And I’m sure many of you readers can add to this list (please do!)
How would one even begin to mull through this information to find the answers? So much has changed in our food culture over the last 50 years. We have food ingredients and diseases our grandparents never heard of (let alone imagined!) It is in our nature to be balanced and in harmony — in other words, to feel good, be disease-free. But our systems can’t keep up.
Our kids come back from the peditrician’s office diagnosed with a laundry list of “disorders,” and we’ve been taught to assume the problem is with their little bodies rather than considering it may lie outside, in their environment. Well, ring the alarm! Send out the S.O.S!
Our bodies are crying out for help, but often we’re too distracted with other things to listen! And by we I mean all of us: parents, doctors, food manufacturers, policy makers… What’s the hold up? Convenience, legislation, lack of education, all of the above?
Our systems are revolting and we are slowing killing ourselves.
A colleague of mine recently suggested that allergies are more of a collective, maybe even environmental, problem than an individual one. It seemed plausible to me. Do you agree?