Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is Our Food Supply the Cause of Our Allergies?

Last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine was dedicated to food. There was a lengthy article on British chef Jamie Oliver, a shorter piece by Michael Pollan, plus features on California’s food banks and the calorie-restriction theory.

But another article, “Grain Elevator,” really caught my attention, especially one comment by Jeff Ford, the artisanal baker who is the subject o
f the story.

Many experts believe that our always-expanding list of food allergies is caused by the food itself, probably via the toxins (hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, synthetic additives, food colorants, etc.) found in it.

Ford, who uses “obscure organic grains that he . . . grinds himself,” voices a similar take on the now-popular wheat allergy:
“The varieties of wheat grown in this country for industrial production are down to about five, so it’s all monoculture, chemicalized, no nutritional value. The breeds are bred to stand up to abuse from the machines. We feed people this stuff that their bodies are not designed or adapted to eat. Of course they’re sensitive to it, and it’s not good for them and causes problems.”
And, as often happens, people with wheat allergies won’t eat pure bread like Ford’s, since it gets grouped together with heavily-processed “breads” made with bleached white flour and refined sugars.

This would be like labeling my bike “transportation,” including it in a group with a Lamborghini and ending the conversation right there.

Let's take this one
step further. Is it possible that the same theory holds for other food allergies? When I was growing up, I knew exactly one kid who was allergic to peanuts. Now, our kids can’t bring peanut butter sandwiches to school.

It's hard to believe
that—in what amounts to a nanosecond of human existence—we’ve suddenly become allergic to everything for no reason. What do you think?

1 comment:

Chris said...

I think we are seeing the "Pottenger's Cats" effect on humans...we are now getting into 2nd and 3rd generation of people raised on SAD garbage.