Updated: May 4
Did it ever cross your mind that your grandparents did not have food allergies … or that it wasn’t as common as it is with you and your children today?
The human immune systems overreacts to certain innocuous substances, going into overdrive and producing allergic symptoms such as swelling, rashes, red eyes, runny noses, and shortness of breath. Such reactions have been described in historical documents with asthma symptoms recorded in ancient China, Rome, Egypt, and Greece, from where the word “asthma” comes, meaning panting. While allergies are not new, our modern understanding of them and the lethal allergies are.
After the Second World War, the term allergy was being applied to many conditions, including reactions to synthetic chemicals such as cosmetics, and to some common foods. Our understanding of allergies made a leap in the early 1950’s with the discovery of mast cells. These are found in some of the most sensitive parts of the body including the skin, blood vessels, and respiratory system. A mast cell contains 500 to 1,500 granules, each packed with different chemicals, such as histamine, designed to attack antigens. It’s these chemicals that produce the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) was identified in 1960s as the antibody responsible for most allergic reactions. IgE remains dormant until the allergen is detected. Simply put, when someone prone to allergies is exposed to an antigen, his/her mast cells release disproportionate amounts of allergy-causing chemical IgE.
Today, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, costing around $18 billion a year. In particular, food allergies have been on the fast pace rise for the last three decades. Life is getting increasingly difficult for those masses of people who suffer from a new food sensitivity every passing year. The alarming scale of this "modern" epidemic is evident in more than 200,000 emergency department visits each year directly related to food allergy reaction . That is one emergency visit every 3 minutes.
A 2013 CDC study stated that food allergies among children increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011. The most common food allergy in the US is milk, according to the Comfort Keto trusted medical authorty, Dr. Mercola. He sates that it all started with the babies in the 1990’s when the dairy industry started using growth hormones, as well as antibiotics in factory farming.
Is There Something “Foreign” in The Food Today That Wasn’t There Before?
Absolutely! Processed foods in general can contribute to allergies for a number of different reasons. Most processed foods contain a variety of additives that have a major impact:
But there’s another, even more insidious hazard lurking in American food stores…
In the mid-1990′s, new food proteins were engineered and introduced into our food supply, yet many people are still, to this day, clueless about this. In 1994, the dairy industry started using a genetically engineered growth hormone, rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) on cows in order to increase milk production. This was clearly done to maximize profitability for the food industry, yet NO trials were ever conducted to see if these were safe for human consumption.
The use of rBGH in industrial dairy production resulted in high rates of disease in the genetically treated livestock. To counteract the ill effects, dairies started using antibiotics. This practice in return resulted in the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs in humans who consumed such tainted food products.
So Why Didn’t Your Grandparents Have Food Allergies?
It’s really quite simple…
Unlike today, babies had a great start to life with breast milk.
People ate natural, unprocessed food with no preservatives, which largely came to the markets directly from local farms. No one was dieting.
Locally produced meats came from animals that were not pumped full of chemicals.
People did not stay on cell phones, computers and gaming systems. They played outside in the parks, open fields, climbed trees, rode bikes and had good healthy fun in mother nature!
People ate good traditional home cooked meals which they prepared from scratch. Eating out was only when people visited family and friends.
People did not run to Doctors for everything either! When they got a fever, they waited it out. They trusted the body’s natural healing process.
The food was the medicine, whether they realized it or not. When they felt sick, rested a lot and old fashioned chicken broth and bone broth were used for most ailments.
Diet and lifestyle have an important impact on your body. Every cell of your body needs the correct nutrition to function properly. Poor diet and lifestyle will compromise the integrity of each cell, thus creating sensitivities to certain foods. Today’s industrially processed foods which are loaded with chemical additives, stabilizers, preservatives, food coloring, flavoring, and GMO’s do not help either. In addition to food sensitivities, they cause inflammation, bloating and obesity.
Food allergies are unpredictable byproducts of the many factors which were largely unknown to us just a couple of generations ago. At this rate we have to wonder what the future of eating will look like, as more and more toxins are being introduced into our diet.
Advances are being made in immunotherapy and the management of some symptoms, but a cure for any allergy remains as elusive as ever. Despite the risk of severe allergic reactions and even death, there is no current cure for food allergies. The condition can only be managed by allergen avoidance or treatment of food allergy symptoms.
In the next "Blog Post," we shall talk about difference between food allergy and food sensitivity. Stay tuned.
Gourmet COMFORT KETO prepared meals take food allergies into consideration. Just let us know about your food allergies at the time of your order so that we can adjust your meals to exclude critical food items effecting you!