I’ve seen a couple of really interesting things about food allergies in the past 24 hours (in the NY Times and on Ruhlman’s blog) which confirm the sneaking suspicion I’ve had about them for a few years now: that they are often misdiagnosed and have something to do with our ridiculous standards of cleanliness.
I certainly would never deny that food allergies exist and can be dangerous– even deadly. But I feel like, as a society, we’re out there almost looking for something to be wrong with our kids. In the ’90s it was ADHD. In the ’00s it’s food allergies. When kids go to school, the essential supplies have become backpack, pencils, crayons and a list of foods they can’t have. It’s crazy.
I just hope these two articles are the start of something bigger– a wake up call to parents who are doing their kids more harm than good by trying to keep them excessively germ free and who go looking for trouble at the allergist because everybody else is doing it.