Friday, June 10, 2011

How Did a Cherry Become So Dangerous?

I recently learned that my husband's aunt went into anaphylactic shock after eating cherries. It turns out her daughter can no longer eat cherries, plums, pears or peaches. Her son can no longer eat walnuts. My father-in-law has recently developed a food sensitivity to MSG and soy. My father, who has suffered from environmental allergies for the better part of his life, is now finding that foods containing dairy and gluten bother him too. In my own case, I developed a severe intolerance to several foods around the age of 32. My son is two, and we've recently discovered he cannot tolerate anything with coconut, in addition to everything else we are restricting from his diet. It seems as though all generations are developing food allergies and sensitivities. It makes me wonder, are we seeing food reactions earlier in each generation or are we all reacting to some new strange phenomenon in our food at the same time? Is it something in the food, or is it a unique tipping point that's different for everyone? What has changed to cause so many people - of all ages - to develop allergies to the very substances we need to survive?  There are so many questions floating around in my head and not enough answers.

Fortunately, my husband's aunt was near a hospital so that she could receive immediate medical attention. I shudder to think of what would have happened had she been out an hour or two away. With the rate at which new and serious allergies seem to be popping up, I worry about where the next reaction will come from. I'm looking at the bowl of cherries I've been feeding my son this week, and I'm debating whether or not I should give him any more. How do I protect my family from eating seemingly innocent foods, like cherries? Must we all start carrying EPI-pens with us?

I can't help but worry about what is happening: society is becoming allergic to the very food that nourishes us. Food that is supposed to be keeping us healthy is instead making us sick. How did this happen? I think the answer to that, while probably long and complicated, can be summed up by these words: we gave up control of our food supply. When we stopped producing our own food or buying from the farmer down the road, we became disassociated with how produce was grown and livestock was raised. And now, our food has become contaminated, and we are left to wonder how a cherry became so dangerous.

Linked to Fight Back Fridays, Fresh Bites Friday, Monday Mania, Traditional Tuesdays, Real Food Wednesdays


Stephanie said...

I couldn't agree more. It is very and, yes, scary. But what more can we do now except trying to return to our roots and eat from our own backyard. Thanks for your words.

Shanon Hilton said...

Spread awareness! ;)

Lori said...

This is very scary. I've been eating a lot of cherries over the last couple of weeks, and I've wondered if I could develop an allergy to them. I know they really upset my stomach! Could the allergies also be from all of the pesticides on food? We have lost our connection to the earth. I'm so happy to be able to get fresh, organic produce from our local farmer's market, and I buy grass fed meat. So many people, however, don't really care where their food comes from. It's very sad.

Vicki said...

I believe you will find Bee Wilder's theories about food allergies very informative and spot on. At least with the so called allergy to coconut, I'm fairly certain that what's interpretted as an allergic reaction is actually a healing reaction. The body is trying very hard to heal itself and you get symptoms which seem like an allergy. That may not apply to the other foods you name, but coconut, butter, eggs are all highly healing foods.
To read more about Bee's diet, check out I've been on the diet for 2 years now and couldn't recommend it more highly.

Best in health,


France Morissette said...

I wonder about this all the time. Lately I hear weird things like allergies to strawberries, specific nuts and an assortment of others working in thee restaurant industry. Rare if not unheard of 40 or 50 years ago.

Shanon Hilton said...

Lori: In produce I often wonder if it isn't the pesticides that people are allergic to. I also wonder if it is the culmination of everything else: GMOs, additives, preservatives, environmental chemicals, anti-biotics and gut damaging foods, like dairy and grains, and the lack of good foods, like lacto-fermented ones. It is probably all of the above.

Vicki: Thanks for the link, I will definitely check it out.

France: I agree. I'm not surprised about the allergies to soy, MSG, dairy or gluten, but it makes me wonder when we hear about allergies to produce or even to red meat - something my husband's uncle is apparently allergic to.

Crystal Rassi said...

A friend of mine grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and she developed allergic reactions to particular fresh fruits when she moved to Vancouver - peaches, apples,cherries, etc.
Then she was working in London, England and through she'd try a few of those favorites from a local farmers market. She didn't swell up like a pig....interesting. So when she came back, she bought those same fruits from a farmer's market in Van. - again, she was okay. She bought the same fruits again - from another market that sold fruits from the states - allergic reaction gallore!

The companies that made her react were using pesticides and herbicides. The farmer's markets were not. I'm confident that God's foods are not what we're reacting to. It's our own adjusted products that we use for profitability that I think we react to. When is the rest of the world going to open there eyes!