Saturday, 26 January 2013

What has happened in two short generations?

What do these items have in common?

  1.  Bananas
  2. Strawberries
  3. Ice Cream
  4. Asparagus
  5. Olives
  6. Cheese
  7. Tuna
  8. Butter
  9. Milk
  10. Cream - and you can throw in the pastry
  11. Chocolate
  12. Beer
  13. Salmon
  14. Any seafoods which involve tentacles
At first glance there doesn't appear to be any connection, apart from them all being food or drink.  In fact they are some of the foodstuffs which I can't use if I was cooking for a family gathering.  They are foodstuffs which will cause some sort of allergic reaction to at least one member of the family.  Well, maybe not 5 and 14 which certain adult male family members cannot stomach - I know, I know - where did I go wrong?

With dairy allergies, kidney stones and migraines, serving up a meal with these ingredients could not happen without booking up the whole ER ward in advance.

In the past few days I have been discussing this with my daughter and my best friend and they pointed out that once you bring friends and their families into the equation, about the only thing you could safely serve would be a lettuce leaf, minus the dressing of course.

What has happened in two short generations to bring on such an epidemic of food allergies?  At the risk of sounding like an old fogy, when we were children we didn't encounter anyone with a food allergy, apart from my mother who couldn't tolerate certain brands of chocolate which triggered a migraine attack.  Now it's rare not to have a family member with some sort of allergic reaction to a particular food.

Thank goodness there are always solutions.  Dairy substitutes can easily be found in the supermarket and I have a ready supply of them in my fridge if I need to whip up a cake, pastry or slice.  And at Easter our granddaughter doesn't miss out on her share of Easter Eggs, thanks to dairy free chocolate.

But it is a concern and I wonder what will happen with the next generation.  Maybe their immune systems will kick in and there may be a little more balance to the whole food chain problem.

If Marie Antoinette was in our midst today, I'm sure she would declare, "Let them eat lentils".

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