Food Preferences

Stop calling them allergies.

Yes, I think that, while some people have serious health issues, much of this is just fad.

[Update a while later]

I should note that I’m allergic to tree nuts, but it’s never been life threatening, as far as I know. It’s just that if I eat them, the linings of my mouth and throat itch.

One more point. I’m not normally into censorship, but I think that the “Food Babe” moron should be banned from the Internet.

14 thoughts on “Food Preferences”

  1. I would never question people… who risk going into anaphylactic shock with a whiff of peanut dust.

    Well, he ought to. Because there’s no evidence such people exist.

    There are people with peanut allergies, which means they cannot eat peanuts. But the only authentic, documented cases of people suffering severe reactions from air-borne peanuts occurred in processing plants where the air was saturated with peanut dust. An environment that the general public will never encounter.

    Stories about kids going into anaphylactic shock because they encountered a stray peanut on a school bus are like Bigfoot sightings. They are spread by the media, and perpetuated by the public-school system, but there’s no credible evidence to back up those stories..

      1. Did you bother to read that article?

        died of an allergic reaction after eating it

        Ingestion != inhalation.

        1. Whatever sticks during inhalation is either absorbed by the lungs, or transported by mucus to the throat and swallowed.

  2. Speaking as someone with a food allergy (seafood), I believe that people have a right to know what’s in the food they eat (via finding out by asking.). What they (and I) do NOT have a right to do is influence what’s in the food other people eat.

    Yeah, it’s a bit of a hassle having to ask, pretty much at any restaurant, to make sure I won’t have a problem, but it’s *my* problem. It’d be preposterous (and downright obnoxious) for me to try to ban it for other people.

    Yet, just try getting peanuts on most planes these days.

    Okay, let’s assume that there are a few people who actually would have major complications from airborne peanut dust. Wouldn’t wearing a dust mask during the flight solve the problem for those few?

    One the flip side, I’ll add an aside regarding food preparers and servers; if a customer asks you if a food contains a specific thing, and you don’t know, there are two, and only two, acceptable courses of action; find out, or say “I don’t know.”. Giving a false assurance when you in fact don’t know is not acceptable, ever.

    1. I agree with you. I have severe allergies (some life threatening) but I would not impose a ban on food for someone else. This is my problem and I get to deal with it. I don’t get to tell others they can’t have something just to appease me.

  3. My wife is in the ‘extreme peanut’ category. No interest in banning anything, but it is honestly shocking what a low level, even purely airborne, will still trigger the reaction. It isn’t psychosomatic.

    She -had- had a regular ‘peanut allergy’. Until she received shots that were supposed to slowly reduce her allergy. Instead, she appears to prove ‘group statistics are not individual statistics’, and had her allergy ramped to 11. Or 12.

  4. I recently noticed a problem with Gluten. I’m not sure about “an autoimmune witch hunt that over time will eat away at the lining of their small intestines and potentially lead to everything from infertility to cancer“, but I do have mucous build up (autoimmune I guess) that ruins the rest of the meal. Recognizing the cause and effect has changed eating habits, and otherwise no big deal. Certainly not life threatening, and not something that would make me progressive or fascist enough to ban others enjoyment.

    1. My wife gets that sometimes from ingesting some dairy products. She puts up with it, because cheese. And ice cream. And…

      My kind of gal.

      1. Indeed.

        All my life I’ve had large quantities of mucus form rapidly, within minutes after I eat eggs, dairy products, or poultry.

        Rather than make a big deal about it I step into the nearest restroom and spend a few minutes coughing into a paper towel as quietly as I can. I certainly don’t inflict this rather icky and unappetizing information on my hosts, nor on my fellow dinner guests.

        How many people who are “allergic to gluten,” or have “diverticulitis,” or “irritable bowel syndrome” are just spoiled children grown to adulthood and make these announcements at the dinner table just for the attention? Clearly, not all of them. But I think the number could be significant.

  5. It’s also complicated by the problem that a lot of us can’t get our preferences accepted without going through a bunch of hassle, so it becomes a real temptation to invoke the A-word just to avoid the performing-pony crap. Like being told I haven’t tried it, when what they mean is that I haven’t tried it *in front of them* so they can see me put it in my mouth and gag on it. I’ve taken my “just three bites” lots of times over almost fifty years of living, and I really do not appreciate having someone half my age insist that I perform for them before they accept that I’ve tried it and didn’t like it.

    1. I learned how not to have to eat what my wife’s family calls “scout’s bites” of intolerable foods by the time I was eight. Of course, those weren’t allergies, they were just foods I couldn’t stand to eat. And I still won’t eat them.

      Missed out on a lot of desserts and favorite TV shows, but I made my point.

    2. Sometimes, preferences are impossible to comply with. A dish may have some parts premade and not done at the time of the order, so dropping garlic – as in the article – may not be possible. Other times, it’s impossible to make a dish without an ingredient – most classic sauces require butter, so making them non-dairy is a non-starter. That said, changing a side veggie or the like is usually no problem.

      BTW, I have a friend with real, tested for celiac disease. She has to be damn careful when she eats out. When she has been here for dinner, I’ve been able to make an acceptable meal and was very careful to wash every utensil and pot again before I used them.

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