Why your grandparents didn’t have food allergies…but you do

Why your grandparents didn't have food allergies | Butternutrition.comDid your grandparents have food allergies? Mine sure didn’t. A stark comparison to the growing epidemic of food allergies, worsening with every generation.

So why didn’t your grandparents have food allergies? It’s really quite simple…

1) They ate seasonal real food.

Food came from farms and small markets in the early 1900’s, and because food preservatives were not widely used yet, food was fresh. Because of the lack of processed food, their diets were nutrient dense allowing them to get the nutrition they needed from their food.

For babies, breast milk was valued and it was always in season.

2) They didn’t diet, and play restrictive games with their body and metabolism. They ate food when food was available.

Our grandparents did not fall victim to fad diets, food marketing, calorie counting, and other detrimental dieting habits that are popular today (in part because the marketing infrastructure didn’t exist yet). Because of this they had a healthy metabolism, and ate according to their body’s needs and cravings.

3) They cooked food at home, using traditional preparation methods from scratch.

Buying processed food was not an option, and eating out was a rare luxury. Lucky for our grandparents these habits actually increased their health.

4) They didn’t eat GMOs, food additives, stabilizers and thickeners.

Food was not yet treated with additives, antibiotics and hormones to help preserve shelf life and pad the pockets of food producers in the early 1900’s at the expense of the consumer’s health.

5) They ate the whole animal that included mineral rich bone broths and organ meats.

Animal bones were saved or bought to make broths and soups, and organ meats always had a special place at the dinner table. These foods were valued for their medicinal properties, and never went to waste.

6) They didn’t go to the doctor when they felt sick or take prescription medications. Doctor visits were saved for accidental injuries and life threatening illness.

When they got a fever, they waited it out. When they felt sick, they ate soups, broths and got lots of rest. They did not have their doctor or nurse on speed dial, and trusted the body’s natural healing process a whole lot more than we do today. Their food was medicine, whether they realized it or not.

7) They spent lots of time outside.

Our grandparents didn’t have the choice to stay inside and play on their phones, computers and gaming systems. They played on the original play-station:  bikes, swing-sets and good ol’ mother nature!

And what do these things have to do with food allergies?

Nutrition affects EVERY cell in our body. The health of our cells is dependent on diet and lifestyle. Cells create tissues, tissues create organs,  and we are made up of a system of organs. If your nutrition is inadequate, the integrity of each cell, tissue and organ in your body will suffer, thus you may be MORE sensitive to certain foods.

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

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Why your grandparents didn't have food allergies | Butternutrition.com

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    • Stephanie says

      Yes, vitamin D is so important for a healthy immune system & the immune system regulates allergic response as well as the ability to resist and fend off illness! Must play outside to get your ‘sunshine vitamin’.

      • Jake says

        I believe the idea has more to do with the ability of your body to adapt to the bacterial environment which surrounds you. When a child plays in mud (or eats it!) their young immune system is generally able to grow to resist complex bacteria and this is advantageous throughout their entire life. Even not washing your baby for 5 days or so allows for this adaptation. Dont get me wrong sunshine is VERY important to health but I think there is a much bigger picture to this idea.

          • Jess says

            Kohl that was an unnecessary and irrelevant comment.

            That being said I love this! Everyone always asks why I don’t go to the doctors or take medicine until I really feel cruddy. I always tell them because my body knows what to do and can take care of itself! I also don’t and have never disinfected every single surface in my home (my home is clean of course) and I can count on one hand the times my daughter (now almost 6) has been sick.


        • John says

          Absolutely true. Our sanitized world does not allow the immune system of the young to fully mature. I also believe that breast feeding (which Grandma always did) helped to build up their immune system.

          • DAWG says

            Wouldn’t you agree that some people need matters to be considerably more simplistic than they would be for others?
            Personally, I believe the contaminated world in which we live; I.E., foods, food additives, and water, and their respective supplies are so contaminated that people are being dumbed down in a very unwitting way.

    • allergytoitall says

      I was born w/ allergies to practically everything. eggs, dairy, nuts, etc. My dad was raised on all natural foods. My mom everything ‘organic’ as well. I feel like our grandparents could have had allergies & didn’t know.I mean look @ all the diseases they had & didn’t know they had it. One example is a person could be in a coma. They were usually mistaken for being dead. There was very little knowledge of types of cancers. If the above is as easy as it says then why did our grandparents get cancers, die of flues, diabetes, meals, polio, mumps, etc. Look @ all the diseases they had! If you go back into their generation or their parents generation you would find out they were not as healthy as you think they were. I have said many times; it is a wonder that the earth’s population is so large, when you think about all the plagues, diseases, fire, wars, etc that has happened in the past 800+ years. So I think some is full of hot air.

          • EmmA says

            Agreed. Perscription meds were huge in the 1950s! And it is totally not true that my grandparent’s generation didn’t diet – this list of “facts” is a total joke!

      • Anthony Yearwood says

        This is in reply to allergytoitall. I understand what you are saying. The people of our grand parents generation did not have everything going for them. They did have conditions that they did not know what they were and they also did die of somethings that we can prevent today but the allergic issue is true. People now have less active immune systems and live because of medications. The point that I think they were making is that we could be even better off if we were not being fooled into thinking that lack of symptoms means health.
        We have so many heavy metals and plastics in our systems now that we never did before and as a whole our population is getting sicker, perhaps living longer but sicker.
        In our grandparents time mistakes where generally made due to ignorance but in todays world BIG PHARMA and some other large companies knowingly poison the population in the name of profits. The GMO issue is a great issue that has been linked to autoimmune issues. The link may not be direct cause and effect but the fact that they have tried so hard to prevent the population from knowing if they are present does make you wonder. Any way I digress. Depending on your age you can see for yourself how many people that you personally knew who had peanut allergies when you were in grade school versus how many have these allergies today. I am sorry to hear that you have all these allergies and day to day life must be difficult but I suspect that many of your allergies may be sensitivities and not allergies but I could be wrong. Hope your immune system improves and you feel better

        • AllergyFamily says

          While I appreciate your dedication to whole, non-GMO foods and exercise, it is ignorant to assume that someone simply has “sensitivities” due to a decreased immune system. Before you continue educating people, please do more reading and research. I have a child in my family who is fatally allergic to all of those things your reader has mentioned. Boosting her immune system through whole, home made foods and exercise, though generally good for anyone, has not in anyway increased her ability to eat dairy, eggs, nuts etc. She will still died if she ingests them. Telling people that a change in diet will change these things is both dangerous and irresponsible, especially if you are claiming to educate.

          • DCU says

            I have very recently read a lot about fermented foods which is definitely something my grandparents and their grandparents ate. You should check out Donna Schwenk at culturedfoodlife.com. She helped her daughter with her food allergies. She has an amazing story. (I’m only endorsing her because I like what she has to say and what she is putting out in the world. I’m also trying fermented foods on myself. I am not being paid by Donna.)

          • Liz C. says

            I think the author wasn’t saying that allergies don’t exist, or they aren’t serious. I’m sure that people back then also had food allergies, and they are still fatal. However, there is a rise in the number of people that have food allergies recently. While some have legitimate allergies, I wonder if the author is right, andsome are simple iinsensitivity to the junk we consume everyday. Again, somepeople have very real, very dangerous allergies. I would never dispute that. Also, a recent study in Canada has found that EBF and not introducing solid foods may increase the likelyhood of food allergies and intolerances. Just a thought.

          • DAWG says

            Oy, vey. Have you considered doing some research into food desensitization?
            Were you aware of the fact that this is entirely within the realm of POSSIBLE???
            Please, do your child a favor: Question conventional medicine. Examine the potential for alternative medicine being a solution or, at least, a complimentary portion of the solution.
            Have you ever considered integrative and complimentary medicine as the way to treat your child?
            Have you considered putting down your Bon-Bons, turning off your television, and reading a few books to enlighten yourself? In other words, have you considered the potential of NOT being presumptuous and avoiding foregone conclusions?
            Did you even read this bloggers post? Or did you just peruse the words that stood out? Geesh.

          • sickofallergies says

            I would disagree as I have healed several of my allergies as well as chronic fatigue, irritable bowl, adrenal failure, masses in my liver, fatty liver and a whole slew of other things, by changing my diet. I now truly believe anything can be fixed with diet.

          • Ummmm says

            He never ignorantly assumed, he said he suspects, but could be wrong. A lot of people these days, especially on the internet can themselves be full of hot air, and stretch/bend stories and crap like that. He was just putting forth his points and observations in a respectful tone, just as you were :)

          • theresa says

            Amen! I feel the same. I also have a daughter that is allergic to a list as long as my arm. We do cook non GMO, organic, and at home every night, because she cant eat out anywhere. She was born with these and yes I breastfeed and also watched her vomit all the time and struggle to gain weight. When we finally figured out what was happening and fixed my/her diet things fnally turned around. 70/80 years ago thwy wouldnt have known what was wrong and she wpuld hae died. They never would have thought the home raised eggs, wheat, dairy, nuts and beans, etc. was hurtng her.

        • Bekah says

          Something that they are completely ignoring is the acute and cumulative effects of vaccines.. some people are eating and living “healthy”. .but they are still loaded with toxins from childhood in the form of vaccinations.

        • Clingy says

          Just for everyone’s information.. Allergies are an immune system overreacting to something… an allergy is not evidence of a weakened immune system.

          Also, in my opinion, this article is someone’s opinion and not based in any kind of fact or research. I’d love to see their references.

          • fish6 says

            Thank you….as much as I agree with the lack of processed food, additives, etc. in old times, allergies are actually due to an overactive immune system, recognizing certain proteins and enzymes in food as foreign substances and sending an appropriate response. Unfortunately for those of us with multiple food allergies, once the body recognizes these as foreign they will always attack when exposed. It stinks, but my allergies came on as an adult and correspond to airborne allergies, my niece however was born with a severe milk allergy, among others. This to some degree refutes the premise of this article.

          • DAWG says

            It’s quite apparent by virtue of this particular blog that the origins, causes, and propagation of allergens, allergies, allergy and autoimmune issues will forever remain in dispute between people and their diverse and varying opinions. However, the fact that a select few people opine with ill informed retorts doesn’t change the fact that I’m an example of how educating myself to the extent that I have about nutrition and its impact on my overall health, I will forever serve as my own check and balance against the greed and avarice which exists in the hearts of even the most seemingly competent and well intended criminal……er, physician.
            Some of the folks who post here are obviously well informed. Some are obviously well educated about certain other topics but, quite ill informed or uninformed regarding the topic of allergies/autoimmune related health issues.
            Though my wife is not an expert, she has been in the medical field for 25 plus years, has an autoimmune disorder, and has worked for a specialist in this arena for nearly nine years.
            My wife’s employer is rated among the top 100 physicians in his respective field of specialties. The difference between him and many others is this: he is a good listener. This doc will not approach all cases from a perspective of absolutism. He does not issue edicts and expect his patients to follow them. He listens, communicates, educates (what a doctor is supposed to do), and allows his patients to make up their own minds.
            Some of you are not even willing to examine the potential that Catherine may be correct in what she is saying. Some of you seem to lack all form of objectivity and the willingness to do some fact checking before you offer a kneejerk reaction. Geesh.
            Hello…….FOLKS??? Are ya listening to what your eyes are reading? Are your freakin’ heads too filled with your FB feeds and television soaps to engage and possess any thoughts independent of your doctors and what others say you CAN’T do?
            How many of us have begun to break away and not abide the status quo by coming out of our psychic sleep from too much damned television and technology invading our lives?
            How many of us have actually done even the most basic research to test what this author is speaking about?
            How many people will actually make the effort to do some research so they can conduct their own comparative analysis via their own tested informational resources?
            I know that I have. And I will continue to do so, as life is a never ending process of learning.
            I’m telling you, some of you are full of dung. Some of you are objective. And, some of you need to be taken back a good many years to a place where you realize that you CAN do something to improve your health.
            Read some books. Disconnect your cable/satellite television. Engage some independent thought. Test things. Do a few things for yourselves instead of relying solely on modern medicine to do it all for you. Geesh.

        • LaShawna says

          Although I agree with eating organic and eating less processed foods, this article is wrong. I was born disabled and because of that I cannot eat a lot of the foods they did back then. If I ate like they did, I would be dead. I cant go “play outside” like they suggest. Why? I can barely get around as it is without passing out from either pain or exhaustion. They say eat organ meats. Well my hemoglobin would argue with that. If I ate organ meats my blood would turn into sludge and my heart would eventually give out to exhaustion. On prescription meds, well Ive been prescribed 22 but I only take what I need when I need it because I do understand that to many would poison my body. In conclusion, Everyone’s body is different so don’t make a blog that pretends that everyone’s body is the same.

        • Jake says

          Thank you for this. “Allergytoitall” pointed to diseases of civilization whose development generally has very little to do with diet or proper gastrointestinal bacteria balance and healthy immune systems. I developed Crohn’s disease due to 3 main factors: genetic predisposition to a weak immune system, environmental factors, and the fact that my mom was a TOTAL GERMAPHOBE.
          As a baby, I wouldnt go a day without a bath and every surface I touched had to be squeaky clean. This resulted in an underdeveloped resistance to bacteria in my immune system and in laymen’s terms Im basically allergic to any food which is delicious.

        • anonymouse says

          You also have to look at the vaccine connection. I bet those that have the allergies have been vaccinated or had parents or grandparents who were vaccinated. There’s research that shows problems from vaccines that go on for generations! Back in the 90s there was a peanut adjuvant put in the vaccines. Few years later guess what—severe peanut allergies! There’s so much junk in vaccines that we don’t even know about included aborted fetal cells! Vaccines are causing all kinds of autoimmune, diabetes, heart disease, etc. They want to make us sick so they have life long customers!

          • Liz C. says

            I actually know a few kids who are allergic to everything almost, andb have never been vaccinated. I vaccinate my son and he is very hearty and has no allergies.
            I would also hate to see any child die from such painful diseases as meningitis, or whooping cough. Therefore, I think vaccinations are healthy. Not to mention. They cannot be spread to very young children who aren’t able to receive the vaccine yet.

        • Jen says

          Allergies are happening at an alarming rate. My son is anaphylaxis to dairy, eggs, nuts/peanuts. It is no joke and definitely a difficult life. I would like to see you extrapolate on vaccines and allergies. The first allergies were anaphylaxis and to canola I believe because it was in a shot with penicillin. Peanut oil was in many of our parents vaccines. So think we were then building antibodies against peanuts and for 2 generations. Also allergies the anaphylaxis type are an over active immune system, meaning super strong reaction. Not weak in the least. I wish my son would have a sensitivity to his allergies then the epi pen wouldn’t be so necessary and I could stop holding my breath when he is on his own. Please try to be companionate towards the allergic community because most of us eat healthy and have our kids play hard outside, but, we have to be extra careful when eating at a public picnic table and have to wipe down seats so that we don’t end up in the emergency room in the end.

        • Mo says

          My grandparents were born in the early 1900 and my grandmother had allergies, so has my dad (1932) and I remember being the only one in school with allergies and I’m from 1959… I was born with an overactive immunesystem so not just sensitivities. The allergies keep coming, it started with grass, herbs, trees, nuts, all kinds of fruits and vegetables and then whasps and bees and quite recently gluten… I don’t think the environment is always to blame, sometimes it’s in the genes…

        • Mel says

          I do belive that the many people with peanut allergies get them from vaccinations. Many vaccines have peanut oil on them as a preservative. Pretty stupid, huh?
          And what a great post! Love reading all of butter nutritions’ blogs. She’s always right on the money!

      • Jonesy says

        Exactly!!! I have a close friend whose family eats all organic, natural food. Nothing processed, no preservatives, or anything. They grow their own veggies and spices, don’t eat meat much at all, and when they do, it’ll be “free range” chicken or something like that. He has a slightly worse than moderate peanut allergy, and each one of his kids has some sort of food allergy. One of his sons has an entire list of foods that he can’t eat, and if he even comes in contact with a peanut/peanut butter, they have to make a trip to the hospital! Being raised on natural foods hasn’t done a thing for the poor guy’s food allergies!

        • KT says

          I understand what you are saying; however, the guy was probably not raised on fresh, organic, real foods, and the allergies developed before he was an adult. His biology was changed, and therefore the sensitivity passed on to his children. I have inherited several autoimmune diseases (Primary Bilary Cirrhosis, fibromyalgia, neuralgia, Reynaud’s disease, etc. ) and can attest that diet, especially eating those foods which reduce inflammation in the body, can and does affect my ability to feel and function better. I am currently medication free and have been for the last 8 years. The article is rather simplistic, but the message is real and true: stay away from processed foods, learn from the latest research, and eat organic as much as possible.

          • LC says

            From reading your comment, you don’t even seem to have a basic understanding of genetics. If one’s “biology” were to change, he/she cannot pass on the ACQUIRED “sensitivities” to their children. This article does not show cause and effect; it simply cherry picks, comparing and contrasting things that are different between now and previous eras. Just because something is different does NOT mean it was the cause. A million things have changed, and to properly determine the actual cause(s) and contributing factors, you need a well-controlled experiment. Please do not go around purportedly “educating” people with your ANECDOTAL evidence.

          • PB says

            Did anyone ever go to biology class? Anyone ever read a medical textbook? I agree with LC. Most of the statements in this article are irrelevant to food allergies. Prior generations died much younger with “natural” diets. In 1900 only 2% of Americans were 65 years or older, now that number is around 11%. The “natural” food they ate included far more parasites (improvement credited to better inspection and cooking techniques as well as awareness of the parasites and bacteria), food more often spoiled (improvement credited to refridgeration, food packaging and preservatives), and much less was available both in terms of variety and quantity. One of the reasons for increased food allergies is simply exposure–peanut oil was uncommon before the past few decades in many foods, shellfish was not eaten by anyone without ready access to seacoasts or frozen food (when that became available). There is no evidence that preservatives are associated with “weakened” immune systems nor food allergies (since it would be the preservative the individuals were allergic to) There is way too much pop paranoia and anti-science built into most of the preceding comments with almost no facts. It might be a good idea to limit preservatives, eat a healthier diet, get more exercize and vitamin D, avoid antibiotics in animal feed, however, none of those reasonable recommendations will alter the incidence or severity of food allergies at all.

        • Adam says

          All the naysayers in these comments are forgetting and/or ignoring an incredibly important part of the article. Eating “organic” foods and staying away from preservatives and pesticides is only half of the equation. All of you that are claiming to eat nothing but organic blah blah blah ask yourself this, when was the last time you ate liver or chicken gizzards? What about including bone marrow in the broth of your stew or soup? None of these things sound appetizing and most people I’ve met don’t like the taste of these foods and therefor don’t eat them but the nutrients they provide are invaluable to maintaining a healthy immune system.

          • DAWG says

            Bioaccumulation? Hmmm. Just imagine all those wonderful food additives and genetically engineered foods people have been stuffing into their pie holes for years.
            I have to wonder if matters of this nature aren’t made worse by some of the nefarious vaccines being advocated as safe and efficacious.
            Regrettably, I WAS guilty of the same thing for a long while. But, when I educated myself and learned the error of my ways, I could no longer live in ignorance.

      • laura morgan says

        Yes, people did have food allergies when our grandparents were alive. They were call banana babies I believe because the only thing they could eat were bananas until doctors could figure out what else their bodies could handle. However, these cases were very rare. I think this article is referring to the fact that 1 in every 17 children today has some type of EXTREME food allergy. One can remain in denial about the necessity of eating the way nature intends us to, but the truth remains. GMO’s, additives, unseasonal fruit, and growth hormones are poisoning with every bite!

        • Kim says

          I totally agree. I am 54. I’ve never had food allergies and neither did my parents or grandparents. Or any of my 7 brothers and sisters. However, I do remember my Mom commenting back in the 80’s and early 90’s, when food allergies, ADD, ADHD and all of the other illnesses started to coming to surface, that she thought it was due to preservatives in food, etc. How right she was~!

        • StoneMaven says

          I’m not disagreeing that organic, unprocessed food is better. I myself am a Weston Price believer, however I don’t think the health of our grandparents is a good litmus test of the lack of allergies. Could it be that many with severe food allergies died in childhood and didn’t get to be grandparents? My grandfather was a small town GP in the 20’s to 50’s. Healthcare was wayyyy more Darwinian back then.

          • Allergymom says


            There are days when I have thought about the “good ol’ days” and thought that my daughter, with her multiple food allergies, asthma, and infant reflux that was so bad that she could hardly eat, would have been a child that would not have survived infancy back then. My maternal great-grandmother had a baby who died in infancy, leaving my grandfather as a singleton. No one can exactly explain why that baby died. There was no disease to speak of, but he didn’t live. On my paternal side, my uncle had reflux. My brother had reflux. My husband’s father’s (now in his 70s) asthma was so bad that he missed almost an entire year of school. His brother has multiple food allergies. My husband’s brother also has food allergies. I have one food allergy. I can’t say my grandparents or my child’s grandparents, or even great grandparents didn’t have food allergies. In fact, I’d wager that they did. But medicine is much better at recognizing and treating it now. Sadly, society is much better at shunning people with food allergies as well.

          • EleJue says

            Exactly. Those individuals who managed to survive childhood to become grandparents likely form a very biased sample to make these type of generalizations. Food allergies and other severe allergies likely killed a very large number of children because of the lack of access to healthcare and the lack of awareness of the potential for food allergies. There may be way more children with severe food allergies today simply because they are able to survive with quick access to treatment, not because of any other factor.

            Which doesn’t mean that I have any disagreement that ones’ life can’t be improved by following the big statements in this article. I would suggest though that making sweeping generalizations about how everybody could benefit pretty well guarantees that you’re going to be wrong. Nothing will ever work for everyone and while someone may have a dramatic wellness revolution, many will likely be unable to see any visible benefit whatsoever. Nothing wrong with either faith or science, but it would be nice if the two weren’t confused so often.

        • T says

          Banana babies was the term for Celiacs. Celiac is not a food allergy, it is a medical condition caused by the inability to process some of the proteins in gluten. Bananas were thought to be a cure as patients got better eating a diet of bananas.

      • T says

        You are so right….and notice how your post is completely ignored. Yes, let’s all go back to the days of polio and whooping cough because humans were MUCH healthier!

        • Jen says

          Hmm, with polio on the rise and whooping cough outbreaks getting worse every year, I guess we already are despite the increased battery of immunizations that are supposed to “protect” us. Just saying….

          • andrea says

            The increase of people not getting their children vaccinated has attributed to the rise in the number of whooping cough cases. The vaccines cannot eradicate diseases when people dont get vaccinated.

          • Paul says

            Really…..from CDC Is polio still a disease seen in the United States?
            The last cases of naturally occurring paralytic polio in the United States were in 1979, when an outbreak occurred among the Amish in several Midwestern states. From 1980 through 1999, there were 162 confirmed cases of paralytic polio cases reported. Of the 162 cases, eight cases were acquired outside the United States and imported. The last imported case caused by wild poliovirus into the United States was reported in 1993. The remaining 154 cases were vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) caused by live oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV).

            so the vaccine is AWESOME 😉

      • Joanne says

        Sanitation, hygiene was poor back then. That’s why diseases were more common. They had outhouses and didn’t wash their hands. Research, one sanitation improved diseases decreased.

        • Anna says

          This is a reply to Andrea, for some reason there is no reply button under her comment. What a bunch of bologna. Last winter our neighbors two boys got their whopping cough vaccine and then they both had a 2 months ordeal with whooping cough, trips to the ER, breathing treatments, all nine yards. That vaccine sure protected them from getting it, didn’t it! This was not an insulated case, there were other parents, who attested to the same situations. So, if they were vaccinated, they should have been fine, not the other way around or maybe the vaccines don’t work in protecting, but rather make you sick.

          • Liz C. says

            There is a certain time frame for whooping cough. It can remain dormant for some time, and if you have the virus within you and get vaccinated it won’t work…

      • Judy says

        A lot of problems were caused by lack of hygene. Normal soap and water hygene. And, of course, a lot of people didn’t eat a variety of foods, they only ate what they thought they liked. Also, a lot of people cooked EVERYTHING which kills off nutrition. Another reason illnesses spread is the fact a lot of people closed themselves up in a room, but everyone came to see them, and didn’t think about fresh sheets and pillowcases, fasting, and a few other things that we know today to be health without the use of pharmaceuticals.

        • Elizabeth Hale says

          I am a great-grandmother and I beg to differ with your statements.
          We had excellent “soap and water” hygiene” when I was a child. We had fresh sheets, washcloths and towels, bathed each day, always has clean underwea, etc. Growing up in New Jersey,the Garden State, we had plenty of fresh vegetables which we ate hours after they came out of the ground. We had a varied diet and ate a lot of fresh fruit, not much beef,but chicken and fish. A special treat was leg of lamb which was delivered by the butcher, not done up in plastic sitting on a shelf for days. Yes, we had childhood diseases such as chicken pox and measles, but we were quarantined and didn’t have visitors. We had plenty of fresh air as our windows were open at night even in the winter! We played outside after school until dark or until called in for dinner. Life was good!

          • Laurenhannah says

            I am incredibly jealous of the era you are from. :) thank you for your comment. A lot of people are too naive to realize these things.

      • Crystal says

        Ignorance is bliss. Back then they didn’t have a diagnosis for every little thing. People may still have had allergies but, not to the extend that we do now a days. Allergies are a luxury – if you can barely afford food – you eat what is put in front of you, not some special organic hypoallergenic thing – you are happy to have anything to eat. People didn’t have money to buy the luxury food so most of it was home raised and made – you knew what was in your food and where it came from. Studies have shown that allergies have risen in the past 20 years because we -as a culture- spend too much time inside and not outside. when outside all the time and exposed to all the millions of allergens you slowly get immunized from allergies. AND they have done studies that show eating organic is not any bit healthier for you and does not extend your life. On the other hand of things cancer has risen 1000% probably from all the GMO food and indoor pollutants. Did you know leaving your deodorant in your armpit while you sleep and not washing it off before going to be can kill you? Did you know the fabric softener that you use to make your clothes smell so fresh and so clean, stays on your clothes and you inhale chemicals all day long?

        • Jen says

          Excuse me…Allergies are a luxury? So, if a person has no money for foods they won’t react to, and they get sick constantly or die, that’s what? toughing it out?I have a friend who has not so severe allergies to several foods, she just itches from hives internal and external and her breathe gets short. So, she should just toughen up and deal with it? I personally agree with your concerns about fresh air, GMO foods, and chemical exposures, but your opening comments completely undermined your entire argument and make it impossible to give credence to your opinion.

          • Kelle says

            Jen, you are free to share your wealth of knowledge because you deal with allergies personally but everyone else is also entitled to their thoughts as well, I don’t think this is a contest of who is more knowledgeable and you seem to have a rather large chip on your shoulder, so instead of coming back with an comment that comes across as an attack, why not just share what you know and how you do things for your allergies and what works and what has not. We been so conditioned to be PC, but that doesn’t make your opinion fact, nor does it make anyone elses opinion fact! Lets look at both sides and try to learn something from one another, instead of the one upsmanship I’ve been reading. *sigh*

          • Luna says

            Jen, if your friend is still struggling with hives then she is clearly still consuming foods that are irritating her body! Tell her to check out a low histamine diet so she can stop itching and scratching!

      • shoppermom26 says

        There are always exceptions and being born with a long list of allergies is not what this article is about. I’m 45 and growing up I knew NO ONE with peanut allergies or gluten allergies or lactose intolerance. NO ONE. For the past 25 years I have seen the count of food allergies in the school children rise exponentially. Our oldest is 32 and no one in her class had these allergies. Our youngest is 14 and there are so many allergies that certain items are banned.

        This is not BS

        • Josie says

          Eh…. I beg to differ. I’m 30 and I knew two kids in my grade alone in school that had severe peanut allergies. This isn’t that new.

          • eva says

            i am 28 and had peanut butter every day to school, although not in the US but in Europe. one girl in my class was severely allergic, but it was a respiratory thing: dust, fur etc.

      • M. Peters says

        THANK YOU. While I agree with the fact that there are a lot more additives in our foods than there were one hundred years ago, one hundred years ago, no one – especially people in the rural areas who “waited out fevers” – knew what it meant when one of their children could be stung by a bee and only get a large welt, but another could get stung in the same place and have their throat close up. Some of the climbing numbers of allergies and problems can simply be chalked up not to bad diets, but to the fact that science now has names for what those allergens and problems are. I’m terribly sorry you had to suffer with all those allergies – but it goes to show that while it’s true that eating from McDonalds et al every day is NOT a healthy diet, it’s also not true that eating organic everything, and paying $3 a pound for bananas, is a cure-all.

      • Deb says

        The price of vaccinations. Vaccinations do good but trading one set of issues for another. Something to try: waiting to cut the cord when baby is born. I had 3 sons all with allergies to dust, molds, weeds, tobacco, dairy and pet dander. My 4th son we heard about waiting to cut the cord until it stops pulsing. In the olden days of home births this was a regular practice that hospitals stopped following. My youngest had no allergies, ear infections, tonsil or sinus issues or asthma like his brothers. Once his well baby check ups were done didn’t see the dr until kindergarten check up. Is 21 now and has never been sick! Also I decided to wait until his system was a little stronger to do vaccinations. In Europe they wait until baby is 6 mo old.

      • Maggie Bee says

        No offense, but you sound uneducated. While I agree that they did not have the technology or tests to rule out or understand all the diseases that we know of today, you make it sound as if they lived in the dark ages. I have a copy of my grandfather’s grandmother’s death certificate. She died in 1925 and her cause of death is listed as cancer of the pancreas. Maybe they didn’t know about it until an autopsy-I can’t say because everyone who knew her has passed on as well. What you should not do though is turn a blind eye to the horrible, unnatural things people are eating, and not by their choice but because most of the food at the market is filled with GMO’s and chemicals. Do some research and you will see there is a direct correlation between the stark rise in food allergies and the distribution and consumption of foods containing GMO’s.

      • Kate says

        What articles did you research to make these claims? Just curious. Nothing has been cited. Looks opinion biased and I’m not convinced of your position. Not all food allergies have to do with the statements you have made – as you should know, some food allergies come and go based on the reaction of the immune system. Im not here to educate you, just pointing out the fact that you can’t arbitrary state something based on opinion and expect the public to believe it, or negate to reference it even. I’d be more interested on where you are making your claims from, peer reviewed research? I think not.

        • says

          There are studies all over the place that shows that people were not suffering from many of the diseases that we suffer from today. All you have to do is google them for yourself. Some of us are old and intelligent enough to remember when Type II diabeties was not an epidemic. We remember that Alergies, ADHD and a whole host of issues that we live with today were not endemic then in the way that they are today. I find it sad that because you can’t adequately articulate or express your opinion that you resort to questioning the intellect of others. This is just laziness on your part. Google is a powerful tool put it and your sluggish brain to work.

      • Viennah says

        I’d just like to add to this – it is possible that there were a lot of allergies that were never diagnosed. Why? Because they died.
        People from our grandparents generation died from allergies, disease and other causes, not all children survived the first five or so years of their life.

        We live long enough now due to medicine, hygiene and other advancements to be able to find out these allergies.
        I do believe that some are caused by our lifestyles and food – but I’d rather need to avoid wheat than get polio.
        Also, I was raised by a nurse where I got antibiotics when I was sick etc – I have one allergy, one intolerance and am rarely sick. My cousins raised on all natural, organic stuff? Multiple food allergies, severe asthma – you name it, they got it.

      • Lisa Brott says

        You mentioned diabetes-that barely existed since people were active, not obese and didn’t consume all of the refined carbs of today. Other diseases like measles, mumps, yes were contagious and people did die of those. Cancer and heart disease were much more rare. Lifestyle is amost all of our health for good or bad and consumption(food, alchohol, etc. determines 80% of our weight issues. Cancer needs to be prevented not just research for a cure. Rampant radiation, CT’s, radon, chemicals, pesticides, pollution and poor diet, not to mention the biggie, smoking, overweight, inactivity-people need to be warriors and advocates for their health, mental and physical. Do it for yourself and your loved ones. We will live into our 90’s-prevention is everything. What quality of life to you want and are you going to be a burden on society and our health care crisis. The answers are not in drugs and surgeries, they just deal with the symptoms and their is a big cost of adverse affects to your body and mind.

      • Nurse says

        I agree! Also life expectancy was much lower back then. I agree that eating all organic/non processed/real food was a factor.. Along with physical labor(exercise) for their healthier being.. People weren’t diagnosed of diseases. Dementia was just old age to people. And a lot of people didn’t live long enough to be diagnosed with what was wrong with them because they didn’t believe in seeking medical treatment.

      • Karen S says

        Were you born with allergies, or perhaps did you acquire them through immunizations? Were you breast fed? I think that the etiology of allergies is more complex than presented in this article, but most of us were not “born with” allergies since allergies are in essence an immune response, and we are not born with functional immune systems that would be capable of mounting a response before, say, about 6 months of age. Not challenging what you said so much as trying to provide further “food for thought.” (Unintentional pun there).

      • Rachel says

        Totally agree….correlation (even if there was some here) does not equal causation. And our grandparents actually did not have the lifespan we have. They died from completely preventable diseases and people of their generation died from diseases (small pox, polio) that we have eradicated. They died from listeria from unpasteurized milk and meat.

        And how do we KNOW no one then did not die from food allergies??? Is there a study about this? If so I’d be very interested in seeing it and seeing the scientific method used.

        Also there are no citations to any studies in this article. No sources. All opinion. Dangerous trend to set. Let’s believe stuff that’s written with NO actual study or labor behind it? Ehhh. Btw, the moon is made of cheese.

      • DAWG says

        Of course, I speak from within the extremely narrow parameters of my life experiences because, after all, what the heck do I know except, the following?
        Having conducted countless hours of genealogical research and performed a comparative analysis of both mine and my wife’s respective sides of the families, noone will ever convince me that modern medicine has increased the life expectancy of people today.
        All of my Okie native relatives, some of whom are Celtic in origin, and some of whom are of several Native American tribes, lived into their late 80’s and 90’s. My grandmother, whom I just spoke with on the telephone today, just turned 97 in December, 2013. Her mind is still very, very, sharp.
        Were someone to interview her about her upbringing in rural Oklahoma, they would find that the author of this blog is precisely on point. Not nearly on point but, the epitomy of being on point.
        She and her family raised their own lifestock, vegetable gardens, and fruit trees, etc. They rendered their own lard and used it for many purposes, including their diets.
        There is so very much to say with regards to this topic that there simply isn’t enough time or space to write about it all. I will, however, say this: To the young lady who seems to imply that she “CAN’T” do anything like they did in our grandparents’ generation; Pobbycock !!!
        With all due respect and empathy, young lady….perhaps you’ll be encouraged and consider spending some time doing some research and thinking outside of the realm and box of conventional medicine.
        My wife and I are living, walking, talking, breathing proof that health issues can be turned around by virtue of nutrition. Why and how? BECAUSE NUTRITION IS MEDICINE, PERIOD.

      • Valerie says

        I agree… my grandmother HAD food allergies and she ate just as the article states… grew much of her own food…everything was from scratch and she ate beef liver every chance she got! She lived to 91 1/2 but ALWAYS had food allergies… so much for that theory!

      • claire says

        Cute & true, but nothing to do with food allergies.
        My Daughter has a severe life threatening nut allergy. I am confident this allergy (which she was born with) wasn’t caused by any lack in nutrition or fresh air! Also no prescription drugs were taken either during my pregnancy or during her early years.
        There are a LOT of different theories about where allergies come from & why they are on the rise. ONE theory is that they come from the Grandmother (mothers mother) as the egg that ultimately becomes the Grandchild is formed within the Mother during her Mothers pregnancy!

      • Charismama says

        Autism has always been around, but recently there is a drastic rise in cases of autism. Some people have genetic propensities to be autistic. But many of the cases recently seem to be brain damage being caused by toxic overload. I was told two of my kids were autistic when they were very young. I did a lot of research, cleaned up their diets (major overhauls), sent them outside, and now they seem very nearly normal… make eye contact, smile, communicate, have friends… etc.

        I think allergies are the same way. Allergies have always been around. Some people have a genetic tendency toward allergies. But with the drastic increase recently in allergies, it’s likely that people are having a reaction to toxins. And most of these people are not truly allergic, but are “sensitive.” Corn, soy, sugar… these are not things that people were commonly allergic to. And all of these are GMO’s.

      • Salima says

        My grandparents smoked as hell as smoking was not yet understood to be unhealthy and I think especially in their later years food was not supernatural anymore – same with my parents. From the fifties processed food was seen as something modern and therefore good I think. Organic didn’t exist as a concept. Also breastfeeding was somehow seen as oldfashioned and probably today there a more children being breastfed then in the sixties. but still neither my grandparents nor my parents generation suffered from allergies in this extent as my generation does. I think its because we today have to much time and luxury to care about every little feeling of discomfort of our body. My generation is a generation of hypochonders. Thats why so many people think they cannot eat this or that. and I don’t mean here the people who reall y have serious allergies since thei childhood on.. But there are many people who “develop” a problem with gluten or diary in their later years ans strangely enough most of this people have been in the organic/vegan culture for some time and are middle class. thats at least my observation.

      • Jen says

        Your parents might have been victims of hybridization. Even organic foods have been hybridized to select for size and disease resistance, not nutrition. It’s very sad. People are thinking food is healthy when its organic, but not necessarily the absolute healthiest for you. And then there is sugar, cane sugar, which destroys people’s bodies even when it is organic. One more point is that your grandparents may not have been as healthy, aka white flour was seen as something rich people ate (this was my grandparents in the WWII generation, anyway) and that changes genes in your parents, which could have expressed themselves in you. Many parents in WWII ate poorly due to the war, and it has punched a hole in our generational line. I have 2 great grammas left, one of my husbands just passed at 100 years old, but their children, our parents have all passed young but one, who is almost gone with brain cancer. I know MANY friends who have the same story. WWII really affected this world in so many ways, and its like a ripple effect, it just doesn’t go away in one generation.

    • Brandon says

      While this is nice, and cute, it doesn’t include 1 scientific fact and is all conjecture. Every you stated could be a coincidence and doesn’t imply causation. You sound like those idiots people screaming that vaccines cause autism

        • Scientist says

          So regarding that link, for the science uninitiated you may wish to know that the word “hypohesis” when used in a scientific context means unproven conjecture. When a scientist tries to learn something about our world, he first makes an educated guess about whatever it is that he intends to try to prove. That’s called a hypothesis. He then constructs a test case to try and disprove his hypothesis. When he can’t, he then repeats his test again and again. If things still look good he asks his colleagues to attempt to disprove his hypothesis. If they can’t after multiple test runs, at some point along the way he publishes his hypothesis along with his test data to a journal that publishes with other scientists peer reviewing this work for accuracy. After some time this then becomes settled scientific fact, which in scientist parlance is called a “theory.”

          You’ll notice the link you submitted describes itself as a hypothesis, and not a theory. So what you have posted inadvertently agrees with the poster with whom you were trying to disagree. Just wanted to point that out.

          • DAWG says

            So, you ascribe to insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Isn’t that how the FDA, USDA, and all of their crony agencies do things? After all, were this not the case, how could we ever suffer another big pharma drug recall and class action lawsuit from all of those hidden and undisclosed side affects as a result of great science on the part of the scientists working for big pharma and the FDA? :-)

        • LC says

          Did you, KT, even read the article? Did you comprehend its meaning? Or did you simply look at the pretty picture and fill in the blanks with your own baseless “theories”? The UCLA article you linked speaks nothing of GMOs, organic meats, traditionally prepared foods, or seasonal foods. The ONLY relevant point in the “Why Your Grandparents Didn’t Have Food Allergies” post is point #7– the hygiene HYPOTHESIS. However, the majority of the nitwits on here are clinging onto the other points as truth. This kind of lack of critical thinking is the reason why vaccines are getting a bad rap, and the reason why preventable cases of childhood illnesses, such as measles, are on the rise again!

    • Susan says

      Not only did our ancestors play outside, but they worked outside to grow the animals, vegetables and such that they ate or sold that contributed to their overall health with healthy exercise. Children worked around the farm and the home place too –

      • Grant says

        Totally agree. Good old-fashioned work outside makes a huge difference. You can feel the difference after working a few hours outdoors. Beats a day in the office anytime.

    • mar says

      so many great comments! one idea that i didn’t see mentioned….. we also lived in a time when insurance companies and pharmacutical businesses did not constantly attempt to convince everyone that we were ill! how often do you hear on an advertisement “ask your doctor” or “you have a disease”! all in hopes that a physician will whip out his prescription pad and write an order for a drug you may not even need. be smart about your health! do you really need those eye drops when your eyes are a little tired and dry? how about that chloresterol med….when you can be eating almonds and lowering it naturally. take charge of your health! don’t allow insurance companies and drug companies to take over your life!!! and don’t allow your doc to be non pro active in your health! find a doc that will work with you and find out what is really wrong. sometimes it is just a life style adjustment….no need for meds. and lastly…..write your congressperson and tell them to STOP the insurance companies from taking our money, charging a co pay, and setting a deductible for the care we pay for. it is unfair, unconstitutional, and WRONG. register to vote and voice your opinion about healthcare in the us. it is NOT working. too many companies are getting RICH on the illnesses that have been created by mass production of food, radiation of food, use of pesticides, genetically engineered food, and preservatives, additives and processing. this has got to stop! my grandchildren are the victims! thank you for listening. health and good thoughts to all.

      • TeresaS says

        And now the government will take more of our money because of it! They see the $$ insurance companies are making, and now they are taking advantage of it to subdue us by law.

      • Lisa Brott says

        Regarding what we are doing to the environment, I nearly died from HUS TTP e-coli food poisoning from spinach in 2006. After Blood transfusions, ICU, etc. I lived. The spinach fields were trampled on by cows and wild boars in factory farming processes in CA dropping their e-coli feces on the spinach. This factory farming and crowding animals in is humane profit producing farming of today. And I was eating healthy I thought organic spinach. Now I don’t eat greens unless they are sauteed or steamed to 160 degrees because our food supply is so tainted by all kinds of harmful toxins.

    • Sheri says

      I must say after reading the comments that it seems people really want to justify allergies…. Those with them should be the most upset about our food industry, as they are the most tormented by it! This article is generalizing population over time and makes sense. You can isolate incidences in all generations but the the only time reference was turn of the century… Read stats, look at the big picture – it never said people didn’t die of cancer in the early 1900’s or have undiagnosed allergies so why belabour that point? Our food and drug industry is ruling even if we are ignorant of how that affects us, and is a tyrant ruler at that!

      • Allergymom says

        I don’t think anyone is saying they love GMOs. I think they are saying this article should be called How to Eat Healthy Food instead of anything about food allergies. Someone who doesn’t know anything about a medical condition should not be writing an article telling people why they have that medical condition.

    • Danielle says

      Playing outside: good. Suggesting that going to the doctor when you feel sick will give you allergies: not so good.

    • critter says

      Ok, this is largely crap! This maybe true for our Great Grandparents. But our grandparents all grew up during the 20th century which ushered in the dawn of canned foods, frozen foods, TV dinners and imported non seasonal foods. They INVENTED preservatives! And guess what, peanut allergies existed back then too. If they had celiac disease they simply lived with the cramps and diarreah and constipation. Eventually they learned they gotta stop eating cheese and ice cream because it gave them the runs. The difference is now that there is technology to share peoples’ experiences and more medical knowledge to identify and diagnose. Should we eat more whole foods – yes. Should we get more exercise – yes.

    • Penny Miller says

      i just saw an interesting programme about food allergies. Scientific research showing that people with food allergies, with the exception of those with genetic disposition which is 1%, have much less varied gut bacteria. Farm children are therefore much less likely to have food allergies, and people with outside jobs. It seems we pick up a lot of useful bacteria being outside, especially amongst animals. These prevent us having the allergies, except in the 1%. In the past obviously people were outside and amongst animals much more. Now a lot of people are inside nearly all the time. Another aspect is cesarean sections. In a normal birth a baby will get about 700 types of useful bacteria onto its face during birth. Not so in cesarean section, which used to be rare. Interesting!

    • says

      This is a nice article but it misses the real cause of the peanut allergy. The reason our grandparents didn’t have food allergies is because they weren’t vaccinated with vaccines containing peanut oil and food protein.. How can I say this without solid proof? There is a ton of circumstantial evidence. It is only the final culture medium that is listed on the package insert. All the earlier culture mediums can be food waste which is why patents for culture mediums list nearly every food known to man. Vaccinations can have a mixture of food oils in them that have a trace amount of food protein. The FDA allows pharmaceutical companies to self-affirm Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) ingredients and nothing gets submitted to the government and these ingredients become trade secrets protected by international law. Even the FDA doesn’t know what is in the vaccines. Food allergies are unknown in unvaccinated populations. Vaccine safety cannot be adequately studied without knowing the ingredients in the vaccines. Why try to fix a problem when the problem could be easily eliminated by making the pharmaceutical companies divulge all the vaccine ingredients.

  1. jim says

    This bring up good points about fresh foods but has zero to do with food allergies. If a child now has a peanut allergy what does that have to do.with this article. Peanuts are not processed. It’s a peanut. They Get Picked And They Get eaten. I see where this article is going but to say allergies to foods? Nope sorry.

      • Caro Van Hooser says

        I take issue with your use of the word create. Tissues are formed from cells but the physics Law of Conservation of Matter tells us that nothing can be created or destroyed. Also, permanently altered proteins are denatured. They cannot be killed as they are not living entities. There is enough confusion in the sciences, particularly nutritional sciences, so I think it is important to at least use the language of science correctly.

        • jimmy says

          splitting of hairs when unnecessary is merely blowing hot air up your ego; everybody understood the statement without your pedantic clarification.

        • Tracy says

          You said “nothing” can be created or destroyed, and that’s not what the law refers to, it’s energy. “Things” can quite obviously be created and destroyed.

          • JTComfort says

            The proper citation is that in any chemical reaction, MATTER is neither created, nor destroyed.

            The same number of atoms on the “out” side of the equation as on the “in” side.

        • laura morgan says

          Hahaha this has got to be the best comment! It makes absolutely no sense!!! This “law” that you are so intelligently stating does not refer something being deformed, defaced, or altered. It is referring to the fact that just because something is being changed does not mean that it’s matter has left, it is simply altered but still present. You sir/ma’am are the ignorant one!

      • Teresa says

        Peanut allergies may be in a class by themselves though. Peanut allergy ran strong even before processed foods. My father grew up on a farm, ate as you wrote in article, but had deadly peanut allergy even as a very young child. I agree with your article, but have talked to others with this allergy in their parents and grandparents as children.

        • Holly says

          Could a peanut allergy be a reaction to the mold on peanuts, not the actual peanut?? If that is the case, a peanut allergy may have nothing to do with the points in this article. Just wondering…..I don’t know this for sure. : – )

          • Grant says

            That’s an interesting point. Peanut allergies do seem to be in a separate class. At the same time I would not be surprised if better general health made most bodies less susceptible. “The Starch Solution” by McDougall opened my eyes to some things I had never considered.

        • Heather says

          Agreed. I know a man who became severely allergic to BEEF in his late 70s (he is now in his 80s). Just very suddenly and seemingly randomly went into anaphylaxis while eating a hamburger at his home, when for his whole life it never bothered him.

      • Caro says

        Or, how about this? The person with a life-threatening peanut allergy had a much higher chance of dying from the allergy in our grandparents’ day. Lots of people alive today are here thanks to modern medicinal science and the beauty of the epi-pen. Not only that, but they are alive long enough to reproduce and pass their genetic abnormalities to future generations. Your article is interesting, and no one with any sense can dispute the benefits of wholesome food and time spent outdoors, but this is hardly the whole story.

        • James says

          So why don’t YOU tell us the whole story? You seem ready to split hairs and audit the article so please… enlighten us with the WHOLE STORY.

        • gruber says

          More people did die due to food allergies- that gene that couldn’t learn how to process the protein in a peanut gets passed onto the offspring; now if that gene carrier eats a peanut and dies, then I guess Darwin wins. Because of the epi pen and modern science today; the very WEAKEST of humans can now breed and further degrade our great species into medicinal co-dependence.

          • Cris says

            You sound as though people who suffer from peanut allergies (such as myself) made a conscious choice to suffer with a food allergy and are in a conspiracy to weaken the human race with our horrible genes. Do you think we should all be executed or castrated?

          • Kimberlee says

            I’d like you to consider how the words you use hurt others before you comment. For all of those who have severe food allergies, or like myself who have a precious young child with a severe food allergy, saying that these are the “WEAKEST” of humans and bound to “degrade our great species” by reproducing is incredibly offensive. By this “great species” do you mean the proliferation of people who think it’s okay to go around hurting others? Because that’s surely what I see in your comment and all over the internet. Let’s hope for the best for all those who suffer from life-threatening allergies: that they are blessed with long lives and get to take part in the joy of having children.

        • Amanda says

          This. Food anaphylaxis definitely existed back then. Much earlier than our grandparents’ day, actually. But they didn’t call it that. It was just an unexplained case of a child dying.

          I’m 36. My mom is 70. My grandmother is 94. Both my mom and grandma have egg allergies. Of course, they didn’t realize it was an allergy until recently, when I asked them to get tested. (My daughter has an egg allergy and I have a theory they did, too.) They just didn’t like the taste of eggs, so refused to eat them. At least that’s what they said. Most likely, they had a very, very moderate allergy that manifested itself in upset stomachs but because they were so young at the time, they couldn’t fully understand it, so they just said they didn’t like eggs, so were allowed to skip them.

          Anyway, my daughter is anaphylactic to tree nuts, peanuts, and sesame, and gets eczema from eggs. My son is intolerant to rice and dairy. We eat very healthy, whole foods, organic, no processed foods, etc. Did that save them from getting food allergies? Nope.

      • Kris says

        As soon as my baby was born into this world, he was always sick. a after a few hospital visits, it turns out he had a peanut allergy. The smell makes him sick. If somebody just ate a candy bar and even if they washed their hands, he stills gets sick. What do you make of that?

        We eat very healthy and are very active. His diet had nothing to do with his allergy since he was a couple months old when we found out.

        This article is pretty ignorant of the fact that some people are just born with allergies.

        • christin says

          My kids were too born with allergies. But genetics plays into it too over time the bad genes for the sensitivites and if the parents are building intokerences and their cells affected they will only pass it on to their children. Like they said poor nutrition affects every cell in your body over time from generation to generation this gets passed just like and other genetic disease. Remember Barbie start from two cells one from mom and one from dad. If those cells are compromised to bad nutrition then the kid can be affected from birth. And continued exposure for that child just makes it worse. Not trying to be ignorant but just trying to state what my sons geneticist told us. Over time things get passed on and more wide spread.

          • Lori says

            You are thinking of Conservation of Energy (energy can neither be created nor destroyed.) There is also the Law of Conservation of Matter, which says matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Matter can change forms but cannot !poof! cease to exist.

        • Lisa says

          Did you eat peanuts when you were pregnant with him? I was told by my allergy doctor to absolutely avoid peanuts during pregnancy, as it could cause my unborn baby to have a peanut allergy.

        • Lourdes says

          The article has lots of truth on it, it is not ignorant at all. Your baby was already feeding himself from the bomb, so whatever you had he had it as well. But it just may be genetics too.

        • Jennifer says

          My question is, was he vaccinated with hepB vaccine at birth? Vaccines are created using peanut oil, it is injected with the vaccine. Because of the way vaccines are designed, the body will create antibodies to the peanut oil.

        • Melissa says

          Did he get the hep B vaccine as a newborn? Some vaccines have peanut oil in them as an adjuvant and since vaccines are designed to create an immune response, sometimes allergies are developed to additives in the vaccine.

        • Tracy says

          It may not have anything to do with his diet, but it absolutely could be affected by your diet. DNA strands experience deletions and modifications all the time and DNA repair is happening constantly, sometimes DNA is copied incorrectly. Whatever the original source of the modification, your body’s ability to repair DNA is greatly affected by your nutrition. Maybe you or the father passed that on to your son, maybe something else happened early in his life, who knows?

        • Danielle says

          You’re missing the whole point. All the above factors contribute to allergies, whether you directly, or to your child that you carried for 9 months, getting nutrition (or lack of it) from you.

        • Katie says

          I have asked several pediatricians and allergists about the possibility of someone with a peanut allergy having a physical reaction to the smell of peanuts and they have all said the same thing: it doesn’t happen. The allergic person must EAT the peanut or inhale peanut dust. The smell alone, or even the oily residue left behind by someone’s finger prints does not contain the offensive enzymes that induce an allergic reaction. HOWEVER the allergic person can associate the smell with a reaction and bring one on. It’s not a true allergic reaction and is rarely fatal because it is psychosomatic. Parents must bring up their allergic child with the understanding that smelling a peanut is NOT harmful. To do so otherwise fosters a lifelong problem.

          • says

            I have to disagree here. I have a ten year old grandson. He has had allergies and asthma since birth. He gets sick to his stomach when he smells peanut butter. We really can’t discern if it is psychosomatic in cause as is thought. He has had two exposures and swift administration of Benydryl took care of the physical reaction to the peanut only being in his mouth. He has pretty much out grown his egg allergy at. At this point he can eat them cooked but raw egg on his skin causes redness. Due to the fact he still reacts to it raw we still limit the amount of egg he eats. He is all so allergic to shell fish. He only needs to be in close proximity to it cooking and his face becomes flushed. He was exposed at a resturant to food fried in the same oil as shell fish and with out eating the shell fish he became physically sick to his stomach. Just like any allergy or illness there are differing degrees and symptoms to exposure. His Dad is allergic to peanuts as well so there many be a genetic link. My theory is that generations in the past have consumed so much peanut butter that it has effected the allergic response in some people. Maybe it depending on genetics of family over exposure. Could it be just as simple that peanut butter allergy is on a steep increase due to the mode of manufacturing and refining process effected the nutrition and genetic quality of the nuts? Is it all just and auto immune response?

          • bapbam says

            I think you’re wrong about “oily residue left behind by someone’s finger prints does not contain the offensive enzymes that induce an allergic reaction.” When my daughter picked up her infant after working with peanuts in a recipe, she left behind a red raised imprint the shape of her hands. The child was tested for peanut allergies shortly thereafter and had the highest possible positive results.

          • Chrystle says

            Um, you answered the whole smell question in your response. You stated that an allergic person has to inhale the dust. What do you think is happening when you smell it? Smell is triggered when you inhale particles of that thing (in this case peanuts) have evaporated from the whole. So someone who is smelling peanuts is smelling evaporated peanut particles, which if their allergy is sensitive enough could set them off.

          • Lisa says

            I think smells can cause an allergic reaction as we are smelling small particles in the air and not just the wind. Also I knew a lady that had such a severe allergy to walnuts that if she touched it, it would immediately cause inflammation on the area it touched. That wasn’t in her head.

          • Kris says


            I’m sorry but you are wrong saying the smell of peanuts doesn’t cause an allergic reaction. So very wrong. I spoke with several allergist and doctors and then told me in rare cases smell (not just inhaling peanut dust) can cause a severe allergic reaction. My son is one of those cases. He is not old enough to associate a smell with a reaction.

            Unless, you have a child that has a peanut allergy as bad as my sons..don’t tell me smell can’t trigger an allergic reaction.

          • Allergymom says

            I disagree. You are misunderstanding airborne anaphylaxis. Let me give you a real world example to clarify matters. My daughter is allergic to peanuts. I went to a walk-in medical facility for bronchitis. The doctor, while writing an Rx for antibiotics, asked if I was allergic to peanuts. I said, “No, but my daughter is.” He continued writing my antibiotics Rx, and also added an inhaler. I went home and in the morning, I used the inhaler. I then put my toddler daughter on the counter in front of me to brush her hair. Her lips started to swell and her face turned pink and I had no idea what was going on. Turns out, the inhaler he gave me had a peanut derivative in it. I was breathing peanut into my daughter’s air as I did her hair. It’s not the SMELL, it’s the PROTEIN that causes anaphylaxis. To teach an allergic child that smelling an allergen is safe is like telling a person that walking next to a lion is fine as long as the lion doesn’t attack. You can’t control a lion any better than you can control the protein in a food. If you’re allergic to it and you can smell it, you get away.

        • odballs2u2 says

          Sins of the father and mother befall the third and fourth generation. Change your attitude, do unto others, love one another, pass on the benefits to your off spring train up your ways with the lord, and he will look after you.

      • Andrea says

        Anyway, Jim is correct, allergic reactions are caused by antibodies and histamines released by the immune system’s inflammatory response. It has nothing to do with nutritional intake. Your article has no science.

        • Javv says

          The article may not have all the science jargon all listed out, and you are right about allergies and the body’s physical response, but i disagree with your saying, that is has nothing to do with nutritional intake, really, it has everything. A properly fed body has a strong immune system, the complex immune needs nutrients to be strong. Also some points in the article shows where people of long ago allowed much better opportunity for their immune system to be exercised, this is vital. They got proper nutrients from eating seasonal foods, meaning, they ate what nature offered at that time, which may be what is needed the most at that time for a person living at that place. Simply put Nutrition is EVERYTHING to the proper functioning of the body and the immune system is a major part of the survival of man. Another point to note which we can relate to is the fact that people long ago never frequent the doctor unless necessary, again more opportunity to exercise the immune. Fever is an immune response, so by waiting it out you are letting your body do the work and get better at it over time. When modern man take pills and vaccines and fever meds at the slightest chance of having a fever or illness the body relies on that aid. Hope this helps.

          • Zach says

            No, you are not helping out, you are hurting.

            Vaccines are important. Get them. A vaccine allows the immune system to build up naturally. Your body reacts the same way to a vaccine the same way it would to the actual virus, and builds it’s own immune system. A vaccine in no way hampers or weakens your immune system. If you feel slightly sick after getting a vaccine, that’s your body reacting as if you had caught the virus, and is reacting accordingly.

            Vaccines are important to get because of herd immunity. Your body won’t always build the immunity properly. Or you may not be able to get the vaccine for legit health reasons. The best way to protect these people is to have everyone around them vaccinated as well to mitigate the risk.

            Remember, about 33% of people with the flu are asymptomatic. Just because you don’t feel sick, doesn’t mean you aren’t infecting other people. And 250,000 to 500,000 people still die of the flu every year. When you vaccinate, you aren’t just protecting yourself. You are also protecting other people who may not have a good enough immune system to survive the flu.

          • TeresaS says

            Hey Zach….where/what is your documentation that 33% of people WITH the flu are asymptomatic? I have done many hours of research on influenza. They don’t swab everyone with “Influenza like illness” to verify whether or not it IS the flu – I know they don’t swab people without symptoms to verify whether or not they have the flu. So if you have a study – even one single study – where they swab people without symptoms and 33% have the flu – I would like to see it! Thanks!!

          • TeresaS says

            Not sure what happened to my first response to you so I’ll repeat: Where is your documentation for your statement? If you have a study that demonstrates that 33% of people SWABBED for influenza were positive but had no symptoms I would like to see it. I have done countless hours of research on influenza and the vaccine (how well it correlates to circulating strains) for the last 4 years and I have not seen any study like that. They don’t even swab everyone they think has the flu! And those numbers of people who die of the flu every year?? Those include pneumonia and “influenza like illness” – in other words NOT the flu. So again, if you truly have a study that documents asymptomatic people who test positive for the flu at 33%….please, cite it for me. Thanks!

          • Luke Louison says

            You know why my cousins don’t have a peanut allergy? Because my uncle died of a peanut allergy at age 2, and my cousins don’t exist.

            You want to know why less people had allergies then? Natural Selection. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be alive with an allergy rather than dead.

          • Scientist says

            And yet those same people had life spans roughly half of those of people living today….

        • Herc says

          Go back & study the book…Reaction is a response to an action. Yes, food can cause histamines to jump in gear. Certain foods I eat, bring on Asthma attacks. Peanuts (even organic). Dust is a larger allergenic source. Pray/tell: Could the dust be affecting the peanut?

      • Craig says

        I agree with most of this with the exception of number 6. In 1920, the average life expectancy was 54, in 1950 it was 65 and today it’s 78. My grandfather died at 51 from something that was preventable if he had gone to the doctor to get treated, but he instead tried to tough it out despite warning signs and as a result my father lost his father as a teenager and he never met any of his grandchildren.

        • Jackie says

          there were also a whole lot more infant deaths back then, so the life expectancy always looks lower because those infants are factored in.

          • Jo Yardley says

            Exactly, even in Medieval times quite a lot of people lived to be in their 60s or 70s.
            And until the post war era people have been living like that, in some centuries they died a little younger, in some they lived a little longer but reaching 60 or even 70 was not that much of a big deal.
            Infant mortality has affected the ‘average age’ way too much.
            Just look at the age of skeletons found during archeological digs in cemeteries from all centuries and you will find plenty of old people.
            People didn’t die much too young… we die much too old.

          • Scientist says

            Regarding life expectancy at birth, this is true infant mortality is part of the makeup. But that’s not the only statistic science has maintained… For example you can look at life expectancy “at age 25.” The data shows that people who made it into adulthood back then still had significantly shorter lives, on average, than compared to today. Anecdotally you know this to be true. I’m sure you’re well aware of the increasing numbers of people living long enough these days to collect social security. Infant mortality doesn’t impact something like that, right?

        • KSpear says

          Ditto to this comment. My grandmother died at about 62 from what began as a mild, treatable illness. She tried “waiting it out,” and lost.

          • says

            On “average life spans”: remember that as with all things, statistics do not tell the whole story and in fact, often distort the picture. In reality, the average life span from the early 20th century was indeed quite skewed by the fact that life in the big cities, where people moved in droves, was very unsanitary and unhealthy. Between immigrants coming literally in boat loads, and masses moving from rural areas looking for work, our nation’s cities were large, crowded, and *dirty*! TB, influenza, and many other diseases were the cause of many thousands of deaths in the very young, and very old, alike. And then there were the very poor working conditions experienced by the millions of people working in them including children as young as 8-10. Hence, *many* children never made it to their first birthday and if they made it as far as their third, they were expected to live into old age unless they succumbed to lung diseases (from the woolen factories, for instance) or died in factory fires. Things were very different there and then!
            So understanding this, you can see how the “average life span” of someone living in the early 1900’s was indeed statistically quite short. But the reality was that if you lived into your youth, you likely also lived into your 80’s. And most didn’t die of debilitating diseases, stuck in nursing homes (repositories for the waiting-to-be-dead), or generally miserable.
            Those who were fortunate enough to live in rural America generally had far better lives and health, and children had a far superior life in general, with the expectation that most would in fact survive infancy and grow into adulthood.

        • stewart says

          Life expectancy figures are like inflation stats….pure fantasy. They manipulate the data to show progress. The prediction is that there is a massive die -off soon. They also did not have fake milk, honey ,olive oil………

        • Debbie says

          Had we had a flu shot or antibiotics my mothers mother would not have died in 1932 at 32 leaving 6 kids ages 12 (my mother) to 18 months to grow up without a mother

      • Jim says

        I’m sorry to be annoying but I still don’t see what peanuts have to do with causing food allergies, as the other jim mentioned. I re-read the article but couldn’t find an answer

        I understand what you’re saying about creating tissues and overall nutrition requirements but what do peanuts have to do with that? Aren’t peanuts good for people? Those without peanut allergies, of course!

        • caroline says

          truth! did you ever consider that the reason there are more food allergies now is that we have the technology & means to diagnose these issues that didn’t exists when our grandparents were young? promoting a healthy lifestyle is great, but insinuating that living a certain way will rid the body of allergies is just wrong.

          • Juniper says

            Truth! My grandma hated onions and didn’t eat them. She didn’t call it an allergy nor was it diagnosed. She just didn’t eat them. When my siblings and I eat onions, we get migraines. We’ve been diagnosed with food allergies. (We have reactions to similar foods).

            The reason they didn’t have food allergies is because it didn’t have a name. If a food bothered them, they stayed away from it or they didn’t correlate the reaction with the food. Food allergies most definitely existed.

      • says

        In part I can see that they were less likely to deal with some of the things we deal with today BUT you fail to mention that in the early 1900s the life span was considerably lower, especially for women, because more died in child birth then.
        You also neglect to mention that a lot of “diseases” got lumped into the same category, usually labeled “consumption” or some equally broad term.
        and they didn’t have vaccines which could be good in some cases but back then if one person in a town got sick, half the town got sick hence the warnings of the whole town being confined

        I am all for championing better eating habits but at least include ALL the facts

        • Bert says

          I’m sorry but life expectancy numbers get skewed because of the number of children who died before reaching adulthood. It doesn’t mean that people just up and died when they reached a certain age. In fact many lived as long as we do now but without all the autoimmune diseases and alleges.

      • Kevin says

        I agree with Jim. Nutrition is great, and does affect ever part of your body, but has very little to do with food allergies (especially later in our lives).

        Simple answers:
        1. I feel we are very much in danger of drawing a causation from just a correlation.

        2. People with food allergies during our grandparents generation just died from lack of proper medical care.

        3. More people in the world + better medical insight = more diagnosis of food allergies.

        I would like to say, that this is your only life to live, so you better treat yourself right people. Catherine is giving some great advice
        regardless of if its going to prevent food allergies or not.

      • Jennifer says

        Good points, but I agree that the link between food allergies and the points in the article is loose. The points made above don’t explain childhood food allergies, which is where so many occur. Food sensitivities are more an adult phenomenon, but you can’t blame a lack of playing outside to a 1-year-old’s peanut allergy. Or blame a child’s strawberry allergy on not eating organ meat. Perhaps if the article were referring to food sensitivities and intolerances, such as lactose or gluten, I would find the article more agreeable.

        • AEM says

          Strawberry allergy is more likely for a person who is allergic to roses (as they are related). My grandmother was allergic to strawberries, and I am allergic to roses, but we both have a smaller sensation when given the opposite. I am also allergic to a large amount of things that grow outdoors. If there are more allergies to plants, there will be a greater likelihood of allergies to foods that are related to those plants, I won’t drink tea for the same reason.

          • AEM says

            I also have to say I have 2 sisters, we all have ranges of lactose intolerance to allergy and one sister also has issues with gluten. We have had these issues all our lives in spite of the fact that we were always outside and had healthy, unprocessed food from our garden most of the time, and when not ours, someone else’s.

      • Eric says

        Maybe this article will help your peanut allergy argument in relation to your article. I saw your article on my friends Facebook. I’m a chef and have been preaching this for years. Glad to see somebody else say it so they actually start to listen.

        BTW, peanuts are processed. I think people’s idea of processed has gotten too specific. If it’s not from the ground to your table , it’s probably processed.

      • june says

        In the 50’s if you did not have money you did not eat peanuts in any quantity. Fruit was bought in season or for a x-mas present in stockings and under the tree in my family. We had the same meal on the same day each week. Veriaty was not something that was in our diets. Most things were grown within a 100 miles. Still had some allergies but would not have known of others because of lack of exposure.

        Still allergic to Milk (raised on goats milk and my daughter and grandsons have the same protein allergy to cows milk) strawberries and we had alot of malnurished children in the family.

        Yes your points might help, but this is only as good as the exposure of the test group. Did that generation die before they could be told they had a food allergy? Did they even get exposed to the food in the first place? I was not exposed to peanut butter till I was in school, around 6. Please do more research on the data if possible.

        • Lisa says

          Not to be contrary, but I think that if you were exposed to proper nutrition prior to exposure to allergens, you have less of an allergic reaction. I think this because I know increasing my vitamin B complex intake has reduced my allergy response. Also, we know that there are just less nutrients in the ground now than there used to be and they are not being replenished by letting the land rest or flood every once in a while. For a while during the depression my grandparents just ate pancakes and that is all the kids had too, unless they were able to get some fruit or berries that grew wild. They weren’t exposed to allergens but they weren’t getting proper nutrition either so no allergies.

          • Catie says

            Wait, re-read your argument. If you have proper nutrition you won’t get allergies, but your grandparents and their kids didnt get proper nutrition so they didnt get allergies? Also, I don’t know if you’ve read about the depression, but farming practices were even worse back then. The Dust Bowl was created by not letting land rest and scraping away all the top soil. As for nutrition preventing allergies, I was breastfed, not vaccinated, fed on all organic food and you should see me puke when I eat shrimp! It’s been that way for me since I could eat solid food.

      • lin says

        really? My dad has smoked, drank tea, never exercised, eats candy for dinner and barely eats a healthy meal once a day. He is 72 years old and has no “allergies”. Your article has no scientific basis and is nothing but hogwash spewed to scare people into thinking that if they eat right and go outside, their kids wont have allergies. i’m not a doctor nor do i play one on Facebook. lol

        • James says

          Okay… you’re not a doctor and therefore you have no basis for saying the article has NO scientific basis. Remember: the writer has more education in this field than you, so you might want to pay closer attention instead of simply dismissing it. Also, using the phrase “nor do I PLAY one on Facebook” seems to demonstrate both derision and possible anger issues. You might want to take some personal inventory in that area. Just a suggestion.

        • Rich says

          It’s a blog, what do you expect? I don’t think the poster insinuated that she was a doctor, either. However, I do agree on the lack of scientific evidence in this article. Perhaps, a search in the American Journal of Medicine will lead to some research articles on the subject. Oh and congratulations to your father, he’s one of the lucky one’s that hasn’t succumb to cancer, CVD, diabetes, etc from his high-risk lifestyle. All of which, I may add, are directly related to a majority of the things he does or should I say doesn’t do.

          • Rich says

            Oh and may I add your father is 72 years old, which is old enough to be many of peoples grandfather, so his lack of allergies kind of goes along with the posters point, doesn’t it.

      • Kory says

        I just wanted to point out that your article is a fallacy, correlation doesn’t prove causation, not saying it’s false, but you give absolutely no evidence to back up your claims.

      • Meg says

        1 key point left out & refers to the above mentioned peanut allergy is the peanut oil adjuvant in vaccines. That is sensitizing children from the vitamin K shot at birth.

          • Jennifer says

            There is actually a pretty firm connection between vaccines and peanut allergies. Many vaccines contain peanut oil, the vaccines are designed to make the body produce antibodies, and sometimes the body produces antibodies to peanuts, as well as the particular virus. One doesn’t have to listen to Jenny McCarthy to figure that out…

          • caroline says

            Al, all that article proves is that naturalnews.com is not in fact a legit news source, and that you don’t interpret legal rulings very well. MMR does not cause autism. I though this conversation was hilarious before, but now I think it’s dangerous and sad. People are dying because of a resurgence of illnesses like whooping cough b/c people aren’t vaccinating their children all because of fear mongering and incorrect statistics.

        • Stephanie says

          Meg, you might have something there – not one responder to your comment has provided any citations to back their comments – they “lack science” to support their refutations!

          • Stephanie says

            @rich: LMAO that link is not science! It’s merely the opinion of one person who has searched for “peanut antigen”, “vaccine” AND “contaminant” or “contamination” on Pubmed. Pharmaceutical products are not required to list all ingredients on the label, only actives/preservatives/sweeteners, therefore, most excipients are/can be legally excluded. Excipients are not defined as “contaminants” because they are deliberately added, so any search for such terms will turn up zero results. And if the peanut oil blend is a proprietary mix, full disclosure is even more of a challenge. The answer most sought after here is “are all vaccines definitively peanut free?” We all know that aluminum adjuvants enhance antibody formation to antigenic substances – so why wouldn’t it initiate formation of antibodies to the peanut oil in the vaccine? Thank YOU, and good day.

          • Stephanie says

            Sorry, that link is not science! It’s merely the opinion of one person who has searched for “peanut antigen”, “vaccine” AND “contaminant” or “contamination” on Pubmed.

            Pharmaceutical products are not required to list all ingredients on the label, only actives/preservatives/sweeteners, therefore, most excipients are/can be legally excluded.

            Excipients are not defined as “contaminants” because they are deliberately added, so any search for such terms will turn up zero results. And if the peanut oil blend is a proprietary mix, full disclosure is even more of a challenge.

            The answer most sought is “are all vaccines definitively peanut free?” We all know that aluminum adjuvants enhance antibody formation to antigenic substances – so why wouldn’t it initiate formation of antibodies to the peanut oil in the vaccine?

            Thank you, and good day.

          • Penny Miller says

            This is to Jenny. Re peanuts and vaccines. You say children get antibodies to the peanut oil. But antibodies aren’t anything to do with allergies, so it’s not really relevant

    • Sybil says

      Peanut allergies as it relates to nutrition make perfect sense to me. Peanuts are legumes and therefore contain lectins.(like grains) which are difficult to digest, linked to leaky gut.. Google Paleo Mom’s explanation of lectins. Nutrition along with lifestyle and everyday toxin exposure HUGELY affects gut integrity/immune system which affects food sensitivities and food allergies.

      • Bert says

        People rarely had peanut allergies in the past. They became more prevalent when vaccine manufacturers began using peanut oil as an adjuvant. When it’s injected into your body your immune system recognizes that it shouldn’t be there and attacks it.

        • Catie says

          Youre sort of right… That is how vaccines work, and also how allergies work, but then why does your body also react when a person just eats peanuts or stands near them? Or when it’s a baby with parents who never had him immunized but had a whole bunch of allergy tests run? I think maybe you should do a little research on the prevelence of peanut allergies in the past (my guess is they probably didnt collect much data on it).

    • says

      When our diet is devoid of real nutrition, we can not build healthy cells/tissues/bodies. When our diet also consists of GMO’s and food additives, it damages on a cellular level, beginning with the gut, the seat of our entire body’s health for good or bad. Add to that damage from medications and vaccinations and you have a recipe for disaster: food allergies, degenerative diseases, cancer, psychiatric disorders, etc. Furthermore, peanuts are one of the most heavily pesticide-ridden crop, contaminated systemmically as well as foliar. How does this *not* have everything to do with peanut allergies?!

    • Karlyne says

      My daughter-in-law, who has a PhD in nutrition, told me several years ago that she thinks the “peanut issue” which is so prevalent today has more to do with the fungicides that are routinely added to the soil than with allergies to the peanut itself. This also explains why potato allergies exist now. When we test for allergies, we are not separating the pesticides, fungicides, herbicides from the food itself.

      • says

        Very interesting reply. I was wondering, reading this, why it is that I have zero allergies, my husband has none, my parents have none, and even my daughter has none. But, my son is allergic to EVERYTHING! Including fruits and vegetables. And I’m reading this article thinking, “but WHY is he allergic to the healthy foods he should eat? Like veggies and fruits?” Very illuminating answer. Thank you.

        • AKS says

          I would suggest that you — very carefully — try organic versions of the veggies that he’s allergic to. What seems to be a food allergy may be a pesticide allergy.

          • Jess Bart-Williams says

            Even Organic foods use pesticides. She’s going to need to start meeting farmers and getting clear about their farming practices to test that theory.

    • says

      There is a book that you must read if you want to find out why children with peanut allergies has skyrocketed in the last few decades. I have been doing a lot of research about his topic and was surprised to find out that a lot of vaccines, antibiotics and other drugs actually have peanut oil or peanut protein in them. http://www.amazon.com/The-Peanut-Allergy-Epidemic-Causing/dp/1616082739

      There is also a very informative website that I came across that also talks about why peanut allergies are so prevalent: http://barbfeick.com/vaccinations/

    • Eli says

      Some studies are suggesting peanut allergies are from the fact that peanuts are a high GMO food. So it could be from the body not being able to handle those modified genes that have been found to be incorporated into our own genes, particularly during pregnancy. Another study showed that mothers who don’t eat any or few peanuts while pregnant have a higher incidence of children who have allergies while those who ate peanut products daily in high quantities did have peanut allergy children.

      I am a molecular biologist.

      • Paul says

        As a molecular biologist you really should know that you need to do some research before spreading your theories. That way you can find out that there are no commercial GMO peanuts. There were some field trials that ended several years ago but no approvals were sought. There is some more GMO research going on to try to reduce the allergens, but it is still a long ways off.

        • Anonymous says

          DNA is universal; that is, all DNA is made up of A, C, T, and G. It is my understand that when we eat something, we denature these foods (proteins) with the help of our digestive system. I do not see where something being a different order of A/T/C/G would have an effect on how our body receives that protein.

        • Danielle says

          Thank you for posting this- I was going to say the same thing. Way too many people talk about GMOs without knowing anything about the science behind them.

        • Mary says

          Peanuts are totally GMO, Soy beans, peanuts and corn are all pantented by Monsanto as a GMO product owned by YES MONSANTO

    • Vance says

      I agree that the direct link between all seven points and the propensity to Type I hypersensitivities might not be adequately demonstrated here. It “makes sense,” but the evidence is a little weak.

      You don’t have to look too far, though, to find peer-reviewed science demonstrating that preservatives have a modulatory effect on immune system function, and I think the “hygiene hypothesis” should be implicated here for points 5, 6 and 7. Our immune system builds tolerance in ways that are not completely understood, but it partly has to do with levels of exposure to those things that might otherwise harm it.

      Finally, while hardly a conclusive specific bit of science, one also needs not go far to find growing bodies of evidence that we evolved to eat according to certain cycles and economic conditions, and we sort of fail when we deviate from that evolution (hence the interest in omega 3s from fish (not flax, sorry, not the same), beans & lentils, etc.). Again, not directly related to allergies, but a good reason to suspect that if you want to consider how to make your body function optimally, you’ll consider the way life’s been for the past 100,000 years or so.

    • Orla says

      There have always been children who died of peanut allergy. In the olden days they called it “choking on a peanut” The most common allergens are simple foods, strawberry, kiwi, etc. And the healthiest children fed on the simplest diets can still be susceptible.

      • Joe says

        One in 13 kids has peanut allergies nowadays, an average of 2 per classroom, and it is so bad that some schools completely segregate the kids at lunchtime and then make the kids who ate peanut butter sandwiches wash up before getting near the allergic kids. I went to grade school from 1963 to 1971, high school till 1975. Big schools, 40 kids per class, 5 other siblings in various grades, and there was NOT ONE incident of a kid getting ill from a food allergy, in spite of the fact that most of us lived on peanut butter sandwiches and freely traded lunch items. We had an average of just ONE somewhat-overweight kid per classroom, and out of all of the kids we knew between the six of us, in both public and parochial schools, there was just one diabetic girl. We all still have our class group photos and you can not find a truly obese kid in any of them, and not one of my siblings can recall any incident of someone turning out to be allergic to ANYTHING.

        • Mary says

          That is completely a lie. You mustn’t have children – North American Schools, are nut free – if there is any other allergy not related to nuts or nut products, one call to the school board, and that item is not to enter that school, let alone the class room the child is in. To enforce this the school and the parent of the child bringing the offending item in can be held, civilly and criminally responsible.

          • Deanna says

            Not at my kid’s school…they had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as one of the items at their Christmas party. There was one child in the class that had a nut allergy (not to peanuts, but almonds) so they didn’t have her eat the PB&J…guess we don’t live in a very sue-happy community and our kids aren’t penalized for other people’s food issues.

    • melanie says

      Peanut allergies have been traced to certain vaccines that contain peanut oil as a adjuvant. Peanut allergies didn’t exist much in children 20 years ago. You can read all about it in The Peanut Allergy Epidemic on Amazon. Allergies are triggered when the body has reached its maximum for tolerance.

      • NK says

        Bingo. Also, eggs are one of the most common allergens, and they are used in many vaccines. Numerous food proteins are used in vaccines. is it any wonder that the body cannot distinguish between a viral protein and a foreign food protein when injected into the body?

    • tessa says

      it has to do with GMO… the plant its self was more often then not modified so when bugs eat them, their tummys explode so they cant eat the plants. ever think about what that does to our bodys?… we are bigger then a bug but it effects us all the same… kills us..

    • Paul says

      Kids with peanut or other life threatening allergies didn’t live long enough to breed and pass the traits on. Evolution may be harsh, but it is rather efficient in keeping bad/dangerous mutations out of the gene pool if allowed to work unhindered.

      • Allergy Girl says

        You’re unreal. Why don’t you go troll a sci-fi board instead?

        Completely untrue. People with peanut (and other food allergies) DO live. I’m in my thirties and there is NO one else in my family with any food allergies, yet I have extreme allergies to most fruits, vegetables and nuts. (True allergy – meaning that my throat swells and heart rate drops, not an upset stomach kind of intolerance.) Yes, its life threatening, yes, I can easily have a serious reaction by touching something (like an apple) that I’m allergic to. So perhaps you need to think twice, or just not post at all, when you consider writing something so ridiculously RUDE as disgusting as to suggest “survival of the fittest”.

        • just wanted to say says

          Please don’t be so offended by what he said. It is truth. It doesn’t mean Paul thinks that the allergic should die off so our genes would be purified. It’s not a value statement. It’s simply a fact. (And moving beyond allergies, we now do many terrible things to our bodies (drugs, etc.) and pass on deficiencies to our children because of it.)

          My beloved son has asthma, with repeated rounds of pneumonia as a toddler/young child. He is now a healthy adult, but he wouldn’t have made it that far many decades ago. It’s possible that my future grandchildren will have these same physical ailments. Hopefully not. But the point is that modern medicine has allowed this child of my heart to live–and he may have his own children someday. If they have the same challenges, then we will deal with them. But their lives will be worth it and we will thank God for the doctors and medicines that help them overcome these challenges.

          Remember, it’s not a statement of value. It’s simply a statement of science.

        • Calm Down says

          Paul said, “kids didn’t live long enough,” key word being “didn’t.” He was making a logical argument to explain why people didn’t have allergies in our grandparents day but do now. As in, before the modern medicine could tell people that they’re allergic to something and before EpiPens were available if for those who eat that something without realizing it, kids died when they had severe allergies. His comment had nothing to do with modern people being able to survive with allergies.

          (You might also consider the theory that lactose intolerance has been passed on genetically for ages since humans started using dairy products, which is why it is so common in certain ethnic groups and much less so in others. It’s essentially the same idea that Paul mentioned, and I would hardly call it rude to identify someone as being lactose intolerant simply because the trait was passed on to them genetically.)

        • Paul says

          No, it is not rude, it is basic fact. The question was why are food allergies more widespread. One very valid reason is people are able to survive what used to be deadly events with scientific inventions like epi pens and social engineering like banning peanut products for healthy kids because someone might be allergic. These genes get passed down though offspring in increasing amounts as more parents who might have mild to severe reactions merge their DNA.

    • Qin says

      Peanuts these days are some of the most sprayed and GMO’ed crops around. Peanut allergies are a recent phenomenon and the reasons are still unclear but how they are grown now days could be a big factor.

    • Tina says

      I can see where your argument is coming from. However, if food allergies (such as peanuts) are caused by such black & white reasons, then why have peanut allergies have tripled just in the last decade? I’d argue that there is a but of truth to your claim, but I feel it would be a bit naïve to think that spraying pesticides, genetically modifying food (including peanuts), and adding all kinds of synthetic preservatives to our food is not causation for some form of rejection from and/or poisoning of our bodies.

      Also, I don’t think the title of this article should be taken quite so literally. Of course there were people in our grandparents generation who had food allergies, but the point is that the incident rates of food allergies today versus 50-100 years ago has quite significantly increased. It’s a blog article (with some very good points to consider)… not a scientific publication :-/

      • Chris says

        Really? The title of this article is the reason we clicked on it, read it, and why so many of us have pointed out its fallacies. It was deliberately attention grabbing and it got our attention. Additionally, it is generating plenty of exposure for the blog/blogger, which I’m sure was the point, BUT for all the wrong reasons. In my opinion, this article further fuels stigma against nutrition minded people who eat organically and avoid GMO processed food. “Scientific publication”, or not, the fact is: You can’t simply make stuff up and pass off an opinion piece or theories as fact. There are a lot of people out there trying to scientifically prove the effect these foods are having on us, as are there are a lot of great nutritionists who believe in a realistic balance of preventative care and modern medicine . . . articles like this simply run in the face of much needed progress. The fact that this was written by a nutritionist and that I found it through another nutritionist’s Facebook page, where she claimed the article was “100% correct”, makes me really worry that we’ve created a profession for people who mean well to do more harm than good. Nutritionist need to be trusted to be effective, but how can you trust someone who is so passionate about what they feel to be the case that they are willing (even if it’s unknowingly) to mislead the same people they are trying to help. Had the title read “food sensitivities” instead of allergies, I guarantee you the comment thread would not be this long. I’m sorry, but an article with the title “Why your Grandparents didn’t have food allergies but you do” can not be taken any other way except literally which in this case makes both the title misleading and the information contained within it.

    • Sandy says

      Jim — it is still in the study stages, but this sudden flood of peanut allergies could be attributed to the vaccine situation of peanut oil in the serum. The body was never meant to have the oil injected into muscle tissue and now the body is trying to eliminate it as it only recognizes it as a “foreign” object……..they did the same thing with eggs way back when vaccines were incubated in them. I do not have all of the details obviously but I found that it has a lot of credibility to it….until they figure it out we need to be wise………

    • Jennifer says

      Peanut allergies come from vaccinations, and GMOs. Peanut oil is an ingredient that is in some vaccinations, injected directly into the muscle/blood stream, a child can sometimes develop antibodies against peanuts, thus causing allergic reaction. The GMOs are created using bt toxin that causes damages in the intestines (leaky gut). Small food particles get through the lining. The body attacks these as it does not recognize them.

      Our great grandparents had very few vaccines, and didn’t eat GMOs

    • Kris says

      Peanut allergies didn’t start until peanuts were used in vaccines. They are just beginning to connect the dots with that one. I’d love to see a study on peanut allergies in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated.

        • says

          Forgot to finish my thought… I have a son with severe peanut allergy. The only vaccines he ever received were the initial ones at birth while in the hospital. Personally, I strongly suspect a link to that with his peanut allergy and his severe asthma (which has decreased to mild asthma now, thank goodness!, as he’s gotten older). There is a lot of compelling info. out there about the link to asthma and allergies with those initial vaccinations…

      • ToTripoli says

        Peanut oil is not used in vaccines. Even if it were, refined peanut oil does not contain allergens.
        Not only that, but deaths due to peanut allergies have been reported since at least the 1800s… before vaccines were standard in most countries.

        I’ve seen your claim before, Kris, but only on anti-vaccination sites. There seems to be no actual scientific, historical, or otherwise verifiable source for the “peanut-vaccine” rumour. It seems to have as much credibility as the ones about aborted fetuses & mind-control drugs.

        If you don’t want to vaccinate, fine – just don’t spread misinformation, and keep away from my kids. One of them has an immune deficiency, and I don’t want her dying because of your paranoia.

    • Jen says

      Great way to live, but the allergy aspect is just plain wrong. My grandfather had duodenal cancer (which is caused by undiagnosed Celiac (gluten allergy) disease). None of his siblings survived to adulthood. The difference is that we have enough nutrition in our diet that people don’t die from them. We are better nourished than ever, we just eat too much.

    • Sue Wolfsong says

      I’m one of the grandparents that they’re probably talking about–or my parents are. The variety of different foods that were available in my childhood were considerably smaller than they are now. We ate what we were used to and it was very unusual for children to be taken out to eat. Pizza was considered an exotic food when I was a kid! I do think that all the non-food ‘foods’ increase the sensitivity to what the body considers a threat. And peanuts can be one of those things.

      • Mary says

        Pizza is poor people food. Maybe you didn’t go out, but it sure was a staple in many homes – thin dough, sprinkled in meat and veggies… so simple. Cabbage rolls, poor people food, how to get most food and nutrients into one sitting with dough to burn in calories for another days work… Most of the foods we have at restaurants is poor food stables, the sources maybe questionable with hormones, antibiotics and additives now. Back then – anyone could own a chicken and a bag of flour was pretty much a stable. Cabbage can be grown anywhere, cheese is simple to make. POOR PEOPLE FOOD

        • Gale says

          What are you talking about????stable food ! you are a good example of the ignorance that is being displayed here. I think you probably mean to say staple.

    • Gdixon says

      Peanuts are a crop now sprayed regularly with herbicides and pesticides which can cause problems with many people, especially children. Peanuts are not the only allergy that has escalated..gluten, soy and dairy. All are effected by the application of these sprays, something our grandparents never had to deal with.

    • MarVet says

      Peanuts actually do get processed. Rarely can one buy raw peanuts as a food; at least around here that is. Most of the time we see “roasted” peanuts. Roasting is a process even though heat is what’s involved rather than chemicals.

    • Betty says

      I completely agree. Lots of good advice about nutrition and over all health but not about allergies. You can be really healthy and still get hives when you eat strawberries.

    • K MacDonald says

      Peanut allergies began to become common at the same time peanut farmers started using extreme chemicals (pesticides) on their crops. Most things grown naturally are now affected by production processes. It’s a shame.

    • Laura Paas says

      I think the peanut allergy epidemic has happened because doctors are telling pregnant woment to avoid eating peanuts and other tree nuts. I was told the same thing by my doctor when I was pregnant in 1994. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, peanut butter was the ONLY food that I craved while pregnant. I told the doctor this and he told me that if I eat it, I run the risk of causing my baby to be allergic. That rational made no sense to me. Exposure to a disease, or a food causes one to build antibodies to it. So, I ate peanut butter, lots of it. While I ate healthy, I restricted very few foods from my diet, and even back then, avoided processed foods as much as possible, and that included soda pop. My daughter was born healthy, and nearly 20 years into her life, she’s allergic to nothing. So I’m going to agree with this article in that regard. In the time period discussed, pregnant women usually only saw a doctor when it was time to have the baby, if even then. The people of that time ate what they grew, got plenty of exercise through going about their daily lives, and didn’t pump themselves full of big pharma and supplements. While it may not be the whole story, it’s certainly a good part of it, and it begs the question: Where did it all turn around for the generations that followed?

      • TeresaS says

        They are coming back around to not excluding these foods as I posted earlier. My daughter was born in 1977 and we didn’t restrict anything at that time.

    • Kim Wages says

      Are you kidding me?! (person who said peanuts aren’t processed) That is what is wrong with the thinking these days: Most peanuts that are grown today are genetically modified, and heavily sprayed with pesticides (same true for corn, soybeans, etc…). Then they go through the plants that clean (chemicals)/roast them, and more than likely turn them in peanut butter (read: add sugar, hydrogenated oils, and other sorts of unhealthy ingreadients). This is known as PROCESSING. duh. How we as a society came to think of peanut butter as a healthy thing to feed kids, I’ll never understand. Unless your child is eating peanuts straight from a farm/or homegrown vine, then they are PROCESSED. period. I believe the culprit for so many of our modern ailments are the pesticides. They are altering in small ways our DNA, with already alarming consequences.

    • Notsosure says

      I agree. My was born with an allergy to milk, egg, and soy. Started showing symptoms in the first 2 weeks and was tested and diagnosed at age 6 weeks. I agree that the factors cited in the article effect our daily health, but not so sure they have an effect on allergic reaction. Our highly regarded pediatric allergist explained to my wife and I that the cause of allergies has yet to be discovered, and that processed foods have been ruled out as the culprit.

    • RW says

      I had the peanut thing explained to me some time ago. Peanuts are stored in big piles before they’re shelled and ground for peanut butter or other uses. They mold… and it’s actually the mold that ingrains into the peanuts that the average person is allergic to.

  2. Vivian says

    I actually don’t think this is the whole story. It’s true that it is better to eat according to the guidelines above, but I recently developed a whole bunch of weird allergies and I have always been that annoying mother who buys only “ingredients.” I buy groceries at “Whole Paycheck” and I developed an allergy to crab, which is something I ate maybe 10 or 20 times in my entire life. There is a lot we don’t know, and there are many things (like the environment we live in) that we can’t control. If I were to post an article saying that we should all keep kosher according to the Bible, I would be accused of being reactionary and ignorant. Yet if you look at the Jewish dietary laws they forbid shellfish (most common sudden allergy to occur in adults), pork (until recently full of trichosoma – and I mean recently, like 20 years ago), and require that food be treated in a certain way. Salting and soaking your meat might not make it tastier, but it certainly takes out any dangerous parasites or bacteria. I could go on but I think you get it. There are a lot of explanations for things, and the recent allergy epidemic is probably (and most likely) a result of immune responses to other allergens that chemically resemble those in peanuts, etc. We have no control over those allergens and we don’t even know what they are – they might be floating in the air as a result of the internal combustion engine – we just don’t know. Just saying.

  3. Denise says

    I do not eat any meat so forgive me of any ignorance on this. I am wondering about the organ meats. These are used in the body to filter out harmful things in the animal. Should we be concerned that eating these could be bad considering the animal’s diet of mutated grains and grass covered in environmental garbage? I really would like to know about this. This is the second story I read just today on the importance of eating organ meats.

    • Jay says

      It is important to understand that organ meats specifically referring to livers, kidneys in this case are, as you so correctly stated, FILTERS of detrimental things in the body. They are NOT repositories of those things…our livers do not hold on to these things…they process them out…thats why we sweat, urinate, and defecate…toxins are pushed OUT. They are not stored as some so strangely believe that eating liver or kidneys gives you an unhealthy dose of whatever the icky toxins might be. Always remember filtration organs are not banks…they are processing plants. If you will check out the Weston A. Price Foundations webpage, you’ll find that almost every known indigenous culture ate the entire animal. Veganism/Vegetarianism is a relatively new concept in the grand scope of humanity. Sure, many cultures ate mostly plant based diets, but the key word there is ‘mostly’…not ‘only’. Eating meat is vital to the ultimate health of the human body.

      • Herc says

        At the time the animal was killed, are you positive the detox organ had completed processing the filtering of toxins ? Agree, meat is a vital protein. Including red meat (beef) in my diet, reduces release of histamines, not so with poultry.
        Hogs do not sweat. I do not eat pork nor organ meat, for the stated reasons. I am 70, none of my elders had allergies…neither did they have childhood vaccines. Do agree with the Author of this Article: Seasonal whole foods beget health.

    • patrick says

      don’t eat organ meat unless you raise the animal yourself or you get it fresh organic. It’s not worth it. The article is good, but it oversimplifies things. It’s basically a bunch of good facts with loose strings connecting it all.

    • says

      Denise, eat organ meats from naturally-raised, grass-fed animals, not those grown conventionally. And then we soak the organs for an hour or two in lemon juice which draws out the toxins, before we rinse and prepare.

    • Matt says

      Don’t think about your liver as a filter that gets filled with gunk. Think of it as a processor and a metabolizer. The liver takes toxic metals and compounds and turns them into molecules that can be excreted, either through the kidneys or the bowels. Your liver doesn’t necessarily store the bad stuff like a filter would.

    • Dawn says

      Your concern about poor animal diet only applies if the animals you are eating have been fed and treated poorly, in which case yes, EVERY part of an animal treated that way bears some level of risk if eaten. But just as there are organic and better than organic produce farms, there are some amazing farmers out there that really care for their animals and their diets. It’s no different than finding good vegetables – you just need to know your farmer. And this can certainly be done from metropolitan areas. Look for local co-ops and buying clubs and ask around.

    • Lisa Butkiewicz says

      Denise, animal organs a very high in nutrients. In the early 1900’s I would say it would be very beneficial to eat them, but now, in todays world, I would be very weary of eating them. The animals back then didn’t eat grains and grass coated in GMO’s and weren’t given antibiotics. I don’t eat them and I’m very concerned about eating meat now. I used to eat it all the time when I was a kid, but back then there was no GMO’s and antibiotics in the meat. I’d say if you were going to do that, you should get your meat from a local farmer who grass feeds and doesn’t stuff them full of crap, then it would be beneficial.

    • Mandy says

      This is why getting pastured/grass fed/free range/local (organic if you can get it, but some practice it and can’t afford certification) meat is so important. Ask your local farmer at the market about what they do with theirs.

    • Qin says

      This is just one excerpt, there are may others on line with a web search. Also the organ meet in question is organic, grass fed and not grain processed.

      “When Dr. Price analyzed and compared the nutrient value of foods eaten by traditional versus modern cultures, he found that a traditional diet provided at least four times the water-soluble vitamins, calcium and other minerals, and at least 10 times the fat-soluble vitamins, such as A and D.

      These fat-soluble vitamins are present only in animal fats—butter, lard, egg yolks, fish oils, and foods with fat-rich cellular membranes such as liver and other organ meats. Of course, these are the foods now shunned by Westerners as unhealthful. Is it any wonder that adopting a modern diet spells disaster for your health?”

    • Qin says

      Until recently (the 60’s) diets were only for the wealthy and was usually to gain weight not to loose it. If there were medical reasons that’s completely different.

      • Sue Wolfsong says

        I remember my mother getting addicted to ‘diet pills’ in the ’50’s (which were actually speed)! And we were far from rich!

      • Jennifer says

        If you look at the history of small pox, vaccines did not eradicate it, as we have been led to believe, but better sanitation, and hygiene were more likely the agents responsible for eliminating small pox. In England and the Phillipines that were heavily vaccinated (97% vaccination rates in England), they had the Biggest epidemics, and the most deaths. It wasn’t till they discontinued the vaccinations that the epidemics dissapeared. We continued some vaccinations for small pox in the US until the 70s. The only cases of small pox by then were being caused by the vaccines, Our soldiers in the US are the only ones vaccinated against small pox, and many of them catch small pox as a result.

        As for polio, when they began mass vaccination, they changed the definition of polio. We know it today as ‘aseptic meningitis’. Look up the rates of aseptic meningitis today (virtually the same symptoms of polio), and you will see that polio has not really went away. Also, look up the recent mass vaccinations for polio in India. In the areas where they have vaccinated there has been a massive increase of what they call “non-polio flaccid paralysis” virtually no difference from polio, except for the higher incidence of death.

        Please research and think for yourself!

      • Frank says

        And millions and millions of people died of polio, small pox, etc. My mother (and grandmother) had polio. Anyone in your family have polio? No? well, keep up with your stupid anti-vax crusade and sooner or later someone in your family will.

        • Mel says

          If they’re gmo peanuts, they’re bad. Also, peanuts are actually processed. Especially if you get honey roasted or flavored peanuts. Read the food labels, and if you’re unsure about an ingredient, google it. But, I can guarantee that there are alot of companies out there that process their peanuts.

  4. Tamara Reynolds says

    This doesn’t sound at all like my grandparents nor like most of my friend’s grandparents. My grandparents are in their 80s and are still alive. They lived and still live in a major city without any farms nearby. I grew up at their house, and this isn’t how we ate or lived. My grandparents had 9 children and 19 grandchildren to feed, and we often ate hot dogs, ramen noodles, and cheap cold cuts. This was the reality of all of my friends and their grandparents as well. And, not one member of my family has a food allergy that I know of.

  5. Karen says

    Agree that our food has been tampered with down to the cellular level much to our detriment. Farm animals pumped with hormones & antibiotics & fed GMO unnatural feed makes both the meat & the organs toxic, more acidic & allergy ridden. Grass fed (in an organic environment) animals would be the only “less toxic” choice & may still be healthy if not cross contaminated by over-spray, etc.
    Milk is also not healthy & looses most bio-accessibility after being pasteurized since pasteurization changes the chemical composition & kills the benefit of good bacteria as well as killing any bad. As a diary farmer told me raw milk just changes form but doesn’t go bad. Seeds/nuts as well even if purchased raw usually have been pasteurized. Pasteurization kills the enzymes & life & roasted seeds won’t sprout. Most have been GM’d so even if they sprout they can’t reproduce. Not to mention the fungus/mold that can be associated with nuts- allergy may not actually be the nut but the fungus/mold.
    Things to remember: if you want to maintain, recover & restore your health, it is essential to get the best nutrients for your body & not add to the toxic mess by eating known contaminates/chemicals.

  6. Mindy says

    Great article! I agree, but it would’ve been nice to read some scientific information backing these thoughts. I also second the comment on vaccines, I don’t know the science behind it, but I’m fairly certain they are contributing to the drastic rise in food allergies. I know multiple people who developed peanut allergies after getting vaccines. :-/
    As for the organ meat question, those who believe organ meats are healthy, nutrient dense, traditional foods would also say you should only be eating animal products from organically raised, pastured animals…thus the animal’s organs wouldn’t be full of the junk you referred to. :)

    • Tammy says

      Peanut oil is used in many vaccines. It is a reaction to the vaccine that causes peanut and many other allergies. Research it and see for yourself. Good article aside from the missing vaccine reaction and antibiotic influence on weakened gut health.

    • Brenda says

      Its not the vaccines. I am 61 years old and had most of the vaccines we need to avoid these terrible epidemics that have been around for years, smallpox, rubella, tb, etc. Its all the prescription drugs and processed food that people are consuming. The peanut allergy has be baffled. I don’t ever remember going to school with anyone who was allergic to peanuts.

      • Kiwismommy says

        Peanut Oil being used in vaccines is a new phenomenon. Other oils were used in he production until the last 15-20 years ago when it as discovered that peanut oils were the cheapest, most abundant, and readily available in the U.S. to vaccine manufacturers. Most made the switch over the last two decades and this corresponds with the extreme and recent increases in deadly peanut allergies. When you look at the adjuvants added to vaccines to “enhance” the reaction to killed viruses it is easy to see how the body’s revved up immune response would also recognize the peanut oil as an enemy to be attacked. This is not an attack on vaccines but could be easily resolved with the removal of peanut oil in the manufacturing proess of all vaccines. It simply all comes down to cost!

    • Tamika says

      Mindy, Your quest to receive “scientific information” to back up centuries of common sense information is an effort in futility. The “scientific” world is only in support of pharmaceutical advancements. The “scientific” world will never co-sign one’s ability to become self sustaining as it is in direct contrast to it’s core purpose and that is to make money. The sicker we are the more money science makes. There is a saying that says “Your oppressor will never empower you with the education necessary to escape your oppression”. The only way to combat food born sickness/allergies as stated in the article is to grow your own and THAT my friend is when you will get your “scientific information” and all of it will tell you that everything stated in this article is false thus keeping you dependent on Big Pharma.

      • Scientist says

        The purpose of science is to find truth, and that’s it. The problem with common sense is that humans don’t have much of it, and it is often proven to be entirely wrong… Humans are incredibly bad perception devices. That’s why science relies on computers, and data, and documented test procedures and their results. Science can’t answer everything today, sometimes we just never see the data that we need to draw a conclusion. Science is complex. But we keep trying because tomorrow we may find the answer. Common sense ideas of the past are anecdotal, meaning they were never subjected to rigorous tests such as statistical analysis of double blind experiments with control groups. So there’s nothing really valid at all from common sense, not on the face of it.

    • Meg says

      Vaccines are created in a peanut oil adjuvant & since it is an adjuvant it is not on the ingredient list. Peanut oil has minute peanut proteins in it. Today kids receive up to 5 shots at 1 well visit & every shot is sensitizing to the peanut protein. I have spoken to a biochemist who works for a vaccine company who educated me on this whole process as he was saying this is why my son is anaphylactic when we have zero family history. Google the book the Peanut Allergy Epidemic.

  7. says

    We have been on a product from a non-GMO, U.S.A. food science company for over 9 years. I am 50+, just completed annual physical and the dr./nurses cannot believe I don’t take medications. We have no family allergies, strong immune systems and low food bills. This is from a family with nine children so statistically we should have some kind of health issue in one of us, but we don’t. Check out our website if you desire to be healthy and have all your product paid for. That was our original goal an it was far exceeded.

  8. Will says

    The link that you make between overall system health and food allergies is somewhat fallacious. While it’s true that overall nutrition is very important to our system and a lack of nutrition has a serious trickle down effect on various individual components of that system, this does not mean that poor nutrition is the cause of food allergies. While I agree with a few of the points you make, the degradations in life style you illuminate may not be the cause.

    The fact is, the current rise in food allergies (and all allergies) in developed countries is poorly understood. It is likely that some of these facets play into the allergy pandemic, but without any supporting evidence, it’s not really correct to state that these things ARE the cause. I could just as easily use the fallacy of association to say that the rise in household electronics is responsible for food allergies.

    Further, I would raise caution with some of the points you mention. As poster ‘mom’ says, fad diets have been a central part of American society. And while they might not have played ‘restrictive games’ with their diet, nearly every early 20th century farmer ate almost nothing but wheat, meat, dairy and potatoes for the winter months. Compare this to today, where one can have almost any food item any time of year and it’s how present day gastronomes have access to a wider variety of nutrition.

    • says

      Yes, exactly.

      Any or all of these reasons MIGHT have played a role in the (seeming) rise of food allergies, but I find it very irresponsible to have posted this list of speculations (particularly without any citations). People believe (for better or worse) things they read, and this adds to hysteria and hype that may be very misguided (for instance, while companies like Monsanto obviously have many ethical problems and may be harming our health, most people do NOT understand what GMOs actually are and that they aren’t inherently unhealthy or dangerous; this article does nothing to clarify that currently massive public misunderstanding). And they also love to join in a speculation fest — so people in the comments are now linking food allergies to vaccinations, etc.

      Basically, I view our current milieu as a time where REAL, RESEARCHED information is needed, not more hype.

  9. Will says

    The link that you make between overall system health and food allergies is somewhat fallacious. While it’s true that overall nutrition is very important to our system and a lack of nutrition has a serious trickle down effect on various individual components of that system, this does not mean that poor nutrition is the cause of food allergies. While I agree with a few of the points you make, the degradations in life style you illuminate may not be the cause.

    The fact is, the current rise in food allergies (and all allergies) in developed countries is poorly understood. It is likely that some of these facets play into the allergy pandemic, but without any supporting evidence, it’s not really correct to state that these things ARE the cause. I could just as easily use the fallacy of association to say that the rise in household electronics is responsible for food allergies.

    Further, I would raise caution with some of the points you mention. As poster ‘mom’ says, fad diets have been a central part of American society. And while they might not have played ‘restrictive games’ with their diet, nearly every early 20th century farmer ate almost nothing but wheat, meat, dairy and potatoes for the winter months. Compare this to today, where one can have almost any food item any time of year and it’s clear how present day gastronomes have access to a wider variety of nutrition.

  10. Angel Shadoff says

    I am a registered dietitian and I agree with a lot of what is said here. I also want to add that I think overuse of immunizations also triggers food allergies. The immunological response to these immunizations (in some people) causes people’s own immune system “short circuit” and start attacking things that it shouldn’t – including foods. My Grandparent’s didn’t really have a lot of immunizations, and my parents ended up having only the ones for the terrible diseases. We immunize for everything now and I don’t think that is 100% healthy.

    • Warhawke says

      And that is why you are a dietician, not a doctor. You have absolutely no basis for claiming immunization is bad for you, and your spreading such misinformation is extremely detrimental and even dangerous. Immunization has been the only means by which we have been able to successfully fight certain diseases and improve the quality of life of people by using people’s natural immune systems to learn and fight off viruses. Now that people are refusing to vaccinate against dangerous communal diseases (as opposed to non dangerous ones), we are seeing an emergence of stronger, mutated, and resistant viruses that lack any form of cures.

      Stick to providing dietary and nutritional advice. You are neither licensed nor qualified to provide advice on medical practice.

      • Frank says

        You should troll around on the Old Internet making this comment everywhere some dietician spouts off nonsense. Thanks!

      • Mel says

        Why is it stupid? because you don’t agree with it? I’ve never had a flu or pneumonia shot and I’ve never had the flu or pneumonia. I was vaccinated for chicken pox and still got them anyway. The fact that the number of vaccines given to children has greatly increased as has the number of kids with autism nowadays. I mean, it’s worth seeing if there’s a correlation. Don’t for one second think that Big Pharma has your best interests at heart, that dumb. They have profits at heart, first and foremost. Do some research on people who have had horrible life altering reactions to vaccines. Also, I have friends that never vaccinated their kids and they are actually healthier and get sick less then my friends who have kids who were vaccinated. Could be a coincidence but….I don’t feel it is. But, I think it’s really unfair for people to say 100% that vaccines are safe and criticize people who are wary of them. It kind of just proves how small minded people can actually be and how deep the programming actually goes.

      • Susan says

        Ummm, resourcing your stance on vaccines with a link to a site that, according to my quick search, tells me it is a website funded by businesses and the Australian government. So of course it will tell you what THEY want you to hear.

        • Kiwi says

          And who else is funding research, besides the government? If there is a university or medical center involved in the research and the results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal, most likely it is legitimate. That doesn’t mean it is irrefutable truth, but I’d pay more attention to that than to an Internet web site published by an unknown entity.

  11. says

    do some research on Genetically Modified Food. What the laboratory is doing to manipulate the DNA of our food is changing how are bodies are responding to the foods. ALL seeds are now genetically modified unless you are buying organic seeds and growing your food yourself. Seeds are spliced with bacteria and virus’s to bind other compounds to the DNA. No, I’m not crazy…….do some reading its scary how Monsanto is manipulating the DNA of our foods. I have been testing food allergies in my clinic for the last 15 years and in the last 2 years nearly everyone I have tested is allergic to Wheat and Gluten. Peanut has become the most Volatile of the food allergies. Most grade schools that I know of PROHIBIT cookies with peanuts or peanut butter from being brought to school parties. Food Allergies cause a host of immune and health conditions that are hard to diagnose.

  12. Stacy says

    What about people who have one child who has deadly food allergies and two other children with no food allergies? There is a lot more to food allergies than the ‘reasons’ given here. Frankly, stating these reasons for food allergies is reaching at best, and is an insult to people who suffer from food allergies. To suggest it’s as simple as ‘playing outside’, ‘not dieting’, and ‘cooking from scratch’ is just spreading falsehoods. Where is the evidence in a peer-reviewed study?

    • Bec says

      Good answer. I’ve suffered from anaphylaxis to peanuts and tree nuts since birth, however my siblings are not afflicted with any food allergies. I grew out of my life-threatening egg allergy at age 6, developed asthma at age 8, developed a sunflower allergy at the age of 21, and continue to suffer from environmental allergies (smoke, pollen/plants, dust, animals/dander, etc) since childhood. I am 23 years old now and we still don’t have peer-reviewed scientific proof stating the definite cause(s) of peanut and tree nut allergies. I have always been a very active outdoors woman and commit to a very healthy diet and lifestyle; and I adopted these habits from my family. I am living proof that this article is flawed.

    • Catherine says

      I think the nutritional world could use a little more common sense and a little less science. Wasn’t it the “science” that lead Americans astray– compelling people to avoid eggs and butter, and eat margarine instead?

      Thanks for reading!

      • Joachim says

        What do you define as “common sense”? It seems to me what what is now “common sense” was once “science.”

        I think there’s something to what this article says, but it doesn’t seem to make much sense to me that we should pretend that all of our grandparents were attuned to Nature and their bodies. Not everyone lived on a farm, and not everyone could afford to purchase fresh food from the market. By 1900, the urban/rural population distribution was about 40/60 (http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/hiscendata.html). Wartime rations and Depression-era food shortages barely fed our grandparents (http://blsciblogs.baruch.cuny.edu/his1005spring2011/2011/03/10/the-great-depression-breadline-and-worlds-highest-standard-of-living/). History is filled with fad diets (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20695743). Processed foods originated from the Industrial Age, not the 20th century, and so predate our grandparents (http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/food.cfm). My point is, our grandparents and great-grandparents certainly weren’t the nutritionally-perfect people you’re making them out to be. To make the assertions that you have without backing it up with historical record or scientific research is careless.

        • Kathryn says

          Hear hear! GMOs. The fuss on this seems kind of silly to those of us in corn country, where kids have been tasselling corn for years. Corn has been genetically manipulated for centuries – most history texts will tell you that the corn the Indians ate was very different. And – do you like tangelos? nectarines? Manipulated. The new popular tests for mtDNA and Y chromosome ancestries measure classification by – MUTATION. I am a mutant and so are all of you.

      • Randy says

        You are using a product of science (the Internet and the electronics behind it) to propagate the idea that common sense, not science, is the key to health.
        Let’s make a deal — just provide the evidence that substantiates your assertions, and we’ll pretend we’re not doing science as we logically evaluate it.
        Life expectancy increased more than 60% in the US between 1900 and 2000, and the biggest reasons are increased consistent availability of nutrition and the advent of modern medical techniques, including the antibiotics that you think we’d be better off without.
        Catherine, you are entitled to your opinions, but before they should be used as someone else’s guidance for their health, you need to provide more evidence than just “I see it, I think it, it must be true.”

      • Jim says

        No, it wasn’t ‘science’ that led Americans astray.

        It was a combination of governmental agencies and influential margarine industry lobbyists who used spin tactics to scare people away from buying butter.

      • Janis says

        There is no doubt that we can all benefit from eating more natural foods, etc. However your speculation about allergies is just that speculation. My 72 yr old father had severe food allergies, so did my brother and so does one of my two sons. It’s called genetics.
        I personally believe in natural medicine I just don’t like speculation being stated as fact.

      • Zach says

        Science is not infallible, but the scientific method is one of the greatest inventions of mankind. My grandfather lost 2 brothers and a sister ( before any of them were 7) to yellow fever and measles. Diseases which are either extinct or vaccinated against today. (Related to point #6)

        While I do appreciate the fact that there are problems with modern Western diets, your comment about “less science” is extremely ignorant and short sighted. It is also dangerous, because people who do not believe in objective, dispassionate, and observable results, and rely on intuition instead, tjose people can also vote. Which has the effect of making life less safe for the rest of us.

        I know that 2500 lb cows injected full of hormones are a problem, but I would rather have that than wortying about dying from infection from a paper cut or walking 100 yds to draw a bucket full of water.

      • ed lyman says

        well, you try and support your argument with something distinctly science sounding at the end (cells, tissues, etc). So, which way do you want it? Science? Or no science?

        I think this is all very good advice, but we need to realize that (1) we have no idea how prevalent food allergies were during our parents’ generation, let alone our grandparents’. There simply is no data. (and don’t try and pass off an anecdote from grandma as data.) (2) Immune dysfunction is still poorly understood, whether we are talking about an allergy or an autoimmune response. So to draw a connection to crappy food is nothing but speculation.

        But again, all great advice. Real food tastes better, too!

      • Qin says

        I love the theory’s but common scene still needs to be backed up by science. The problem being there is no money to look into a more natural life style so finding the research can be tough.

      • says

        What this whole world needs is a whole lot more common sense over science! True, we need them both but many medical mishaps could be prevented if common sense (over following total scientific protocol) was used a little more often… We’ve lost our abilities to follow our guts/common sense and simply follow the crowd and what is governed as scientific fact these days – and I believe it’s to our own detriment.

    • Jim says

      I agree…I like some of the points the article makes but the ‘evidence’ behind it is clearly absent.

      Without providing some concrete ‘evidence’ or some further explanations the article is just full of hearsay and opinion.

    • Jeff says


      To say there is no science backing up the article is ignorant. You are confused about what science is. Most of us are confused. We throw the word science around to make our views seem valid. Stop it.
      Science is not an objective truth because the people performing the experiments are not objective. For every piece of literature that you perceive to be scientific truth, I can find another scientific study opposing it.
      Why? We are all emotional, biased, and subjective beings. We come to every situation with predetermined ideas.
      The statements in this article are backed by observation, empirical evidence, history, logic, and a bit of emotion.

      Good article.

      • Calm Down says

        So this article, then, is basically everything that comprises a scientific research study? Based on your original argument, there must be at least one other article to oppose it.

        (Incidentally, good scientific research studies should include information that attempts analyze the biases not only of the participants but also of the researcher(s), which this article does not do. That is intended to show outside readers the “emotion” aspect so that they can determine for themselves whether or not the study is valid or based on unwarranted assumptions, in other words “predetermined ideas.” People are confused by science most likely because they read short blurbs that summarize studies rather than going to the source.)

      • Scientist says

        Your understanding of the scientific method is completely incorrect. Science specifically devises test procedures in an attempt to remove human perception and bias from the experiment. We repeat the experiment sometimes hundreds of times to verify what we are seeing, have our colleagues do the same, and then have our statistically significant results peer reviewed by yet others to ensure human perception hasn’t accidentally snuck into the experiment. Science is about finding truth in as objective of a way as is possible. That’s the whole point of it.

  13. Ryan says

    Peanut and other true allergies are not simply a “sensitivity” that can be fixed by anecdotal treatments like playing outside. They’re specific immune responses that can be very serious and sometimes fatal. Your article, which has absolutely no references or scientific credibility, completely trivializes what is a very serious medical condition.

    And to suggest that you shouldn’t go to the doctor if you’re sick is just plain stupid. Yes, healthy lifestyles and preventative care of your body is absolutely the best thing to avoid sickness. But to advocate for avoiding medical advice and treatment when you’re sick is dangerous.

      • Amber says

        I understand the need to disagree with the views of others and to share your own opinion, but to suggest that somebody who agrees with you is “one of the good ones” and somebody who doesn’t agree with you is by default not “one of the good ones” seems like a rather childish way of getting your point across. There is a way to politely disagree without attacking the actual person. The fact of the matter is nobody really knows what’s happening to our food because we are kept in the dark. I usually rely on “science,” but in today “science” is often owned by big corporations and can’t always be trusted. True, not everything on the list is going to prevent allergies or disease, but at least she has opened a conversation where people can start thinking about the choices they make. I’m not sure how this makes her, or the people who agree with her, not “one of the good ones.”

  14. Drew says

    There hardly is any proof here for any of your arguments, In my opinion this is just a biased idea of what “healthy” is. Now don’t get me wrong I agree that we should play more outside etc but a lot of your science is missing. Point #2 is innocrect there were many non-safe fads such as the cigarette diet and the tapeworm diet (http://www.eatright.org/nnm/games/timeline/index.html) . Point #3 there has always been use of food preservatives such as heavy salting of meats. Also the reason why we use preservatives is because of the deadly E. Coli that cause intestinal colitis in you Large intestine can grow in Spinach, Beef products and many other foods. Even food that is “strait from the farm” still has many bacteria in it due to the close proximity of slaughter and feces. However I do agree that too much food preservatives is bad but so is any other drug we need to weigh the good with the bad. Additionally as far as your knowledge with Immunity and cells you seem to only have elementary understanding of this. First off if you think that vaccines cause autism etc follow this link. http://imgur.com/account/favorites/dMv1Yok Also many of the vaccines we use today have been MANDATORY since 1940 such as Smallpox Diphtheria Tetanus Pertussis and by the 60’s Polio (OPV) Measles Mumps Rubella. http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-schedule/history-of-vaccine-schedule.html Surely these would have shown to cause more food based allergies earlier in the 70’s and 80’s but they did not. Also you have no understanding of how vaccines work or how immunity works. Early in life T cells (immune cells) will be created to help fight off infection however if early in life you are exposed to certain antigens (food or begin bacteria) the signal will be given to these T cells to stop producing TdT and “kill” them selves. If you are not exposed early in life to a certain food then these cells will grow and then cause allergies. However by thinking that exposing yourself to dead viruses (vaccines) that this causes food allergies is beyond logical. The “wiring” that Angel suggested was off is not true and suggests that she doesn’t understand this completely with her Dietitian licence. All cells are very specific and will only attack antigens if they have a very specific epitope like a lock and key. Food and viruses have very different types of epitopes so there is no chance that this could happen.

    Catherine I hope I didn’t come off to harsh here.. your article set up was very pleasing aesthetically and I agree with some points. However saying that vaccines cause food allergies has no real scientific proof (and if you have any I would love to see it.) Also you bring up a good point that people didn’t go to the doctors as much back then. This is true, however now that more people are going everyday to the doctors we need to contrast these two societies. First in the 50’s many people didn’t understand autism and would merely call it retardation. Sadly as for many years these children were either put in insane asylums killed, or hid from embarrassment. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2012/07/11/is-autism-an-epidemic-or-are-we-just-noticing-more-people-who-have-it/#.UsEMx_RDuSo When the census or doctors take note of the mentally ill or autistic many people wouldn’t claim these kids thus making Autism low in our grandparents time. Now that we do claim and raise kids with Autism it is artificially increased. This is only because we are claiming these kids now and not hiding them/abandoning like before. Also since people dint go to the Doc’s as much many people did not claim food allergies. Many would not have even tried many of the foods that we are allergic to today. So if we are to compare our parents and grandparents generation we really need to think about how often we claim our diseases vs how often they did.

    –Drew Angerer B.S.C.L.S MT(ASCLS)

  15. Jane says

    Please, help!
    I`ve got big time itching…and if i scratch millions of little sores appear . I took claritine and aerius but nothing………….. i tried not eating meat….nothing. and I don t know from what they appeared. i have had this for a week now and i can t stand the itching :((( plsss

  16. says

    You make valid points about how messed up our food system is but there is no know link between our current mess of a food system and allergies. ” cells create tissues, tissues create organs, humans are made up of a system of organs. If you nutrition is inadequate, the integrity of each cell, tissue and organ in your body will suffer, thus you may be MORE sensitive to certain foods.” is not a legitimate explanation. Also, our many of our grandparents did diet, and organ meats are only healthy in moderation because they often do contain a lot of toxins in addition to the healthy stuff.

    What is currently being considered and scientifically studied is that our over sanitation, excessive use of Cesarian births, and use of antibiotics may be linked to the increase in allergies. Also, the fact that we don’t have to fight off parasites may be a factor. With our bodies not fighting off or exposed to the pathogens and stresses that it evolved to deal with our bodies are turning on themselves. An extreme example of counteracting this would be purposely getting hook worms to cure asthma http://io9.com/5933615/why-doctors-are-treating-allergies-with-parasitic-worms while a less extreme approach would be something like having pets while your kids are growing up and eating local raw honey.

  17. BevM says

    They also did not have fracking of oil in their backyards, car emissions everywhere, or all the other pollutants we’ve been adding to our water, food, air and even dirt where we grow our food. And let’s not forget how they pick food before it’s done so it doesn’t rot before they get it shipped here from all over the world – thus losing lots of nutrients. What a mess the American food industry has become.

    • Dawn says

      Fracking has been employed in my state (Colorado) for well over 50 years. Just b/c you only heard about it in the last political cycle or two doesn’t make it “new.”

  18. Roody says

    This is stupid…. I’m in my thirties lets say my grand parents are 85,,, that would place them in 1920s ,,, a good decade for medicine,,, the reason my grandparents did not have food allergies is children in this era with severe food allergies would have just died (probably from anaphylactic shock orasphyxiation ) and not had children who had me…infant and childhood mortality was roaring in the 20s… They prescribed morphine for every thing and drank wonder tonics from snake oil sales men. They had cocain in they’re coke…. And lithium in they’re 7up worse food additives than any current I can think of,,Tell me how my grandparents didn’t have penicillin 1930 ( the just died from bacterial infections) your grandparents didn’t have blood types either 1930 ( no blood transfusions just died). Epilepsy treatments 1920. (Just died) your grandparents didn’t have diebetes because insulin (the substance your body produces not the drug) wasn’t discovered till 1923. Vitamins didn’t exist till 1920. Band aid 1921… And there food quality not great ,,with no health department regulations or electric refrigeration … Would you like some grain alcohol in your bathtub Jin martini….. Tell me again how my grand parents didn’t get computer viruses because the software was better ,, or maybe it was because they didn’t know what a computer was!!!

  19. Louise says

    I tend to agree with everything in this post and wish with all my heart this were more possible for all of us.
    It did lead me to one question, however. Why, then, was their life expectancy so much shorter than ours is? If they were soooo much healthier and I know they were because all of the above is true, especially their ‘original playstation,’ why did they all pass at much younger ages?

  20. Lisa W says

    I love this article and agree with all of it HOWEVER there are always exceptions to the rule. My grandmother and her sister both had a food allergy. Both were allergic to strawberries. My grandmother would break out into hives after eating a strawberry but my great aunt could not even touch them. I also have a strawberry allergy and it is as severe as my great aunt’s. I was 2 years old when I almost died from anaphylactic shock just from touching strawberry juice on my mother’s pants after she went picking.

  21. Karolle Krajewski says

    Have no problem with some of what this is saying but I know when my moms cousin was small, and believe me when I say processed food was not part of their diet, knowing what we know now she was quite allergic to many foods, shellfish a mainstay in their world, but as she got older and foods were introduced that were not around when she was young it was discovered how allergic she is to many of those, so diet can not be the only contributing factor.

  22. Leslie says

    My grandfather DID have food allergies. My mother, uncle, and aunt also have them, as do I, and now my little girl and her cousin on my mother’s side have them as well. Food allergies are partially, if not mostly, genetic. I think some of the rise is from GMO’s and the weird chemical type stuff we put in our bodies now, but some of it is just because people went undiagnosed back then. My mother often just said she didn’t like certain foods. I just found out a few years ago that the reason she doesn’t like those foods is because they make her throat tickle and give her a few hives from time to time. She has never gone in for food allergy testing. Just as you said, people didn’t used to rush to the doctor for every “little” thing. She just avoids those foods because of how they make her feel. That is often what people used to do rather than get diagnosed. My uncle is allergic to nuts. He has never been officially diagnosed even though one time he accidentally ate a bite of something with pine nuts and went into anaphylactic shock. He obviously is allergic, he just avoids nuts and never worried about being diagnosed. He should worry and he should get an epi pen, he just doesn’t. My little girl’s allergies are worse than anybody else’s allergies. However, she has food allergies on both sides of the family, which neither my husband or I knew about until after my little girl was born.

    Also, people often died from mysterious causes back then. They’d call it heart failure or respiratory distress (anaphylactic shock can cause both these things). It easily could have been from anaphylactic shock and they would have had no idea because the person was never diagnosed with food allergies.or something that would cause them to think that. Anaphylactic shock can hide under a myriad of causes of death.

    All in all, while I do worry about food allergies being on the rise, I don’t think you can say for certain it is all caused by being so unhealthy. I think we should strive to be very healthy just because it is good to be healthy. However, to say that food allergies are caused solely by that is just silly. My entire family is thin, exercises regularly, and eats pretty healthily and we still have food allergies. Why? Because it’s in our genetics.

  23. lucy says

    My great-grandmother was allergic to domestic meat…..went into anaphylactic shock due to milk…..the….no problems here……

  24. mary says

    This article has good points, but I don’t think it has a lot to do with why food allergies are more prevalent. Research is actually showing that allergies and other autoimmune disorders may be because humans today are too clean. We evolved being much dirtier and our immune systems evolved in much dirtier environments. So now, since our immune systems don’t have to work as hard (due to the cleanliness), they overreact and see normal proteins as foreign antigens to fight against.

  25. Matt says

    Some things to note that clearly are not taken into consideration regarding this article. Life expectancy at the beginning of the 20th century was around 47 years. Research in the last 50 years has led us to uncover things such as food allergies. In our grandparents era, if they had mild allergies to food it wasn’t documented. It was seen as their body didn’t react well with that food, and they no longer ate it. Today, in an era where everything you can consume can be tested with a little prick on your back, it makes the data much more readily available and clearly would increase the numbers of cases of individuals with food allergies.

    Let’s, also, take a further look at what people are no longer dying from if vaccinated, not from common sense but from science. chicken pox, diphtheria, malaria, measles, polio, smallpox, yellow fever, and typhoid fever just to name a few.

    By your common sense approach we could make up anything and attribute that to people becoming allergic to certain foods. “Our grandparents slept when the sun went down and awoke when it arose, I bet that affects the way your body reacts to certain proteins.” The point here is science is the basis for discovering and will be the ultimate answer to curing food related allergies.

    Your statement at the beginning of the article states “It’s quite simple.” The reality is – it is quite complex. It is hard enough for people living with life-threatening food allergies without people with no knowledge of it placing blame on the individual’s lifestyle. My challenge to you would be to investigate food borne allergies and place yourself in the position of people who have them.

  26. Cassandra Early says

    I believe that a lot allergies are from the sprays and pesticides that they spray on the plants. I never heard of peanut allergies until about 15 yrs ago. What they spray on the plants would be mind boggling. God forbid that I had or my kids or grandkids had peanut allergies. Remember when peanut butter came in those buckets that when empty were used at the beach and sand piles.

  27. Melissa says

    The only problem I have with this, is that my 85 year old grandfather has a severe tree nut allergy, chocolate allergy, and pork intolerance and has had these since he was little. Out of all the grandkids, (and 4 great-grandkids), I am the only 1 with mild allergies – I feel sick if I eat real (dark) chocolate and get a dry sore throat if I eat brazil nuts (but the allergies are so mild that I do continue to eat these sometimes).

    Vaccines can’t cause food allergies. That is funny. Vaccines only can trigger a response to that specific disease, as if you had caught the disease. Your body has the same response to creating the antibodies to the disease, without you having the live disease in your body causing your the, sometime deadly, consequences.
    That is like saying, “catching measles, mumps, and rubella can trigger food allergies”

    Food allergies usually start AFTER immunizations, as most of them occur between 2-6 months of age and infants don’t start eating food till 6 months, and many allergies do not show up until later as it often requires a few times trying the food. But there are also infants whose mothers must change their diet while breastfeeding because their baby is born with food allergies. So while there may be a correlation between these 2 data, it is not a causal relationship.
    We do have more allergies these days as, Children who are born prematurely are more likely to have food allergies, whereas they didn’t use to survive. We now diagnose new food allergies, gluten intolerance used to be very rare as we only diagnosed it when severe, but not lots of people say they have it because they find cutting gluten got rid of their bowel issues or migraines (we can view this as diagnosing non-life threatening allergies, or as misdiagnosis).
    I have also heard that in very low-income schools there are very few allergies, and in high-income schools there are lots and lots. High-income parents are more often the ones who are questioning immunizations and things like that, so shouldn’t they have less food allergies based on the immunization comments? I don’t know why this correlation exists, BUT a theory I have heard is that higher-income areas are more likely to be overly clean, parents are cleaning more often, they are more likely to keep keep their children away from dirty areas, and constantly use hand sanitizer.

  28. James says

    Complete and utter nonsense. My grandmother was born in the Depression in Mississippi, and the whole time I was growing up, she ate a salad of spinach, carrots, beef (whole cuts, without fillers, seasoned with nothing but salt), and cranberries, three meals a day, because of her food allergies. She could have had unseasoned boiled okra too, but who wants to eat that? When I was in high school she was able to add pork and potatoes, and a few years later she added soy, but to this day that’s pretty much the extent of her diet.

  29. debra says

    I too love the article and you can find most of the science that backs it up fairly easily; however, I have to comment on the romanticizing of the past, especially regarding the doctor visits. Remember that many children didn’t make it into adulthood and it’s for that very reason we go to the doc with high fevers and to cure a bronchial infection for example.

    Our kitchen table came to us from the family log cabin. The 5th generation is eating on it today. The stories that came with it are horrific. It served as an early operating and recuperating table for the small community of settlers. Most of the stories were about children under 12. Today the weak reach adulthood and have non optimum health. I am most certainly one of them. I have had pneumonia several times through my life. I don’t think I would have made it to adulthood without modern medicine and at 53 have lost 4 organs already. I will most likely be a drain on the medical dollars for my family/government. I firmly believe that the cleaner and healthier we eat, closer to the producer, the better off we all are. My great grandmother lived to be 92 (eating out of her own garden every day of the year) as did most of her 10 siblings, except 2. They died as teens from ‘colds’.

    Ditto the comments on vaccinations. Both of my boys went through developmental setbacks after the 5 yo vaccination protocols.

  30. Beth says

    The jury is still out but #1 on this list should be reduced or non-existent intestinal flora: “Recent research has shown that the intestinal flora also plays an important role in the formation of the immune system in the intestines and that changes to it can increase the risk of food allergies or chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases.”1

    Causes? Some of the other 7 reasons listed. All the drugs in our systems and water (anti-biotics) and denying ourselves access to existing microorganisms (“You gotta’ eat a peck of dirt before you die.” Mom)*
    1. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120702152940.htm

  31. RF says

    Some good common sense here, but as others have noted, has little to do with food allergies and sensitivities. For all the reasons why people might need to eat gluten free or dairy free or peanut free (true allergy/celiac/any number of autoimmune diseases/because they feel better when they don’t) we in this group don’t need more articles that blame or shame us (yours is mild in this regard but still I get prickly reading it because there are many like me who were already eating healthily when they got sick or realized they had food allergies/sensitivities. Your thinking is good for the most part on eating like our grandparents did (whole, unprocessed foods, from the farm etc) but has little to do with food allergies (and even if it does- GMOs, processed foods, etc, WE’VE created that problem and doesn’t make people’s allergies or sensitivities any less real).
    Also, it’s actually a good thing to have access to medical care and go when you need to.

    • Heather says

      Right on.
      I was raised a typical 80s child on pop tarts, hormone milk, and cowschwitz beef. But as an adult, I have chosen to eat local, organic when possible and reasonable, and take good care of myself. But still at 27 I became allergic to peanuts. Then almonds a year later, peas two years after that, and most recently, cinnamon. Despite doing all the things this article purports would eliminate any risk of my having allergies.
      My feeling is, allergies are more prevalent now for a couple of reasons. One being that we know what they are, so they are diagnosed more often (when before they’d just be written off as something else); the other reason is that we have a crumbling food system, where we are exposed to many things without realizing it – a tiny bit of corn in your bread, a little bit of fish in your yogurt – in ways our bodies were never meant to handle. Allergies are the immune system gone awry.
      This article is just a bunch of random guesses as to why people seem to have more allergies than they used to. The advice is solid, but there is no science or reasoning to back any of it up.

  32. Barbara says

    Duh!!! Supply and demand is the key. If you buy the garbage your body will fail you for sure eventually. Keeping your house clean, (exercise), eating fresh, organic, avoid refine sugar, white processed food, meditation, yoga, sex, and dancing are all best for long healthy living.

  33. Alexis says

    Common sense! Yes. So many people have lost connection to themselves and have no idea what their body needs. A scientific backup would be great, of course, but I think a certain number of people will either get this article or not. Great points! On a lighter note, I can definitely see trends moving in the right direction.

  34. Betsi says

    I don’t know about this one… Although I agree with the SENTIMENT whole-heartedly, in fact food additives were MUCH WORSE in the early 1900’s before they were regulated. Remember Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle? We have a lot of food issues to blame on the Industrial Era – industrialized agriculture, over-production of grains, advertisements for processed food products, and food additives to make up for preservation, color and flavor. I once read a 1920’s encyclopedia and the section on food additives was shocking – the very frank description of what is added and why – some are chemicals that have long since been banned!

    The article seems highly anecdotal. My grandparents may have grown up living a close to the land, farm existence, and/or they may have been eating highly processed, chemical-laden foods. If they were around in the time when bicycles were a way to go outside, then processed food was definitely an option. Industrialized processing wasn’t all bad, either – for the first time food could be preserved by canning at home – previously all fruits and veggies were either eaten immediately or preserved by fermentation (although arguably removing fermented foods from our diets has had its repercussions too).

    GMOs and time outside – those two things mentioned in the article have in fact changed in the last 50 years and are more likely to be related to allergies: GMOs because they introduce new antigens to the body; time outside and spent being “dirty” because that builds up the human immune system. I

    I guess my point is that although I think food additive chemicals are BAD, it seems to be jumping the gun to lump them in with all bad outcomes like allergies. They cause problems, just different ones.

  35. Lisa says

    Sorry to be harsh… But the good sensitive people probably died long before they were able to have children or grandchildren.

  36. Tom says

    Your grandparents didn’t have severe food allergies because people who did were already dead. A child was more than 10 times as likely to die in 1900 than now. Causes of death like the flu, fever, and unknown infections and ailment killed them at such high rates for, among other reasons, an inability to diagnosis and prevent otherwise preventable conditions. Clearly, there is also a cultural trend toward diagnosis right now that makes it seem like more people have these allergies now than in the past. All due respect, little science backs up any of the assertions above.

  37. Becki says

    The article is telling us that eating natural foods “like our Grandparents did” will boost your immune system and fend against allergies therefore keeping us much healthier. Common sens, no science needed.

  38. dan says

    Our grandparents also contacted polio, measles and deadly flu at a much higher rate. Life expectancy was nearly 10 years younger than it is today. Eating healthy is universally regarded but let’s not pretend that the world was that much healthier as a result.

  39. Jim says

    I think some of the points bear more discussion:

    #1. Yes, people ate real seasonal food. They also had to eat during Winter and obviously could not pick fresh produce during that time. Therefore, they had to preserve (sometimes with preservatives!) food and store them for those long Winter months. I agree that some of the preservatives used today are unhealthy, but is eating a huge amount of salt really much better? I don’t truly know and hopefully someone can provide more info.

    #2. There were plenty of diet fads when our grandparents were younger: The Tapeworm Diet, the Cigarette Diet, the Chewing Diet, etc. People have always been self-conscious and appearance-focused.

    • Qin says

      Yes salt was used to preserve but it was not the only way. A lot of preserving methods took the form (and still do) of canning, fermenting and even making dried sausages and is still used by a lot of backyard growers to extend what they are eating through out the year. There is a lot of information out there but here is the beginning of a discussion. http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201306281000

  40. Cindy in GA says

    This article has no scientific basis for its claims. Though many of the issues listed are important and certainly affect our health, not one has been shown to have any affect whatsoever on the incidence of food allergy. We do follow many of the practices listed in our home, yet we still have a young child with life-threatening food allergy. It was not caused by diet, hers or mine. (#2 – you’ve got to be kidding; my baby’s fad diet made her have a peanut allergy?)

  41. Elizabeth says

    I believe wholeheartedly in the intent of this article. However, there is absolutely no scientific evidence to back any of this as the cause for food allergies. I would venture to say that a better title would be “why chronic disease affects 1 in 3 Americans”
    But as for food allergies very little of these points actually affect an individuals immulogic response to food proteins. Some of your readers comments about vaccinations maybe more accurate.
    My daughter suffers from over 10 food allergies. She was exclusively breat fed until the age of 12 months, never had a vaccine, has only eaten whole foods made at home by me, we do not buy genetically modified foods and buy organic when possible. I fact during the spring summer and fall we buy local from our farmers market exclusively. Neither my husband or I have food allergies. In fact there are no food allergies in our family. I am inclined to discredit your hypothesis at least where food allergies are concerned.

  42. Michael Myers says

    Recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is that pregnant mothers who ate peanuts during pregnancy had babies/children who were 30% less likely than the control group to have an allergy to peanuts.

  43. Nathan says

    Of course your grandparents had food allergies. The mild ones got written off, e.g. “Food X gives me gas.” The severe ones killed your grandparents’ generation before they could reproduce. We see it more because now we know what to look for and we can treat them much more effectively.

  44. says

    I’m going to point out the obvious: our grandparents also survived childhood. Not all of their siblings did, largely due to the lack of access to medical care and lack of vaccines. My grandmother had siblings die from diseases that are now treatable if they are not prevented by vaccines today.

  45. Edward says

    Yet when my grandpa was born the life expectancy was 54 and when I was born it was 77. All that science and bad habits of modern life only allows us to live 23 years longer. Oh well… I prefer to statistically expect to make it to my 80s. Common sense is not always sensible though it is necessary. Science isn’t always right, but it constantly self-correct and pursues the truth; hence (IMHO) is the best way to go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for wholesome foods made from scratch, but not this anti-science, anti-modernity, “all-natural-is-good” view that is not backed up by facts. Anecdotes are great, but controlled studies are the closest to the truth we have… And BTW, if you consider all the 20th century, life expectancy went up 30 years! We do not owe that to anti-GMO-let’s-eat-organic movement, but to science, technology, and medicine. That being said, we do have to be responsible for our health and make educated decisions that will help us lead healthier lifes.

    • Qin says

      That’s simplistic and is looking at the numbers skewed. When they take those numbers into account they average everything. I don’t know that anyone here is discrediting having supervised births to make sure that nothing goes wrong or that a babe born 2 months (and even more) now has a greater success of survival rate. If you take out even those factors the numbers are greatly reduced. Then lets put in hunting accidents, unregulated factory accidents, wars and you can see where this goes. There have always been reports of natives living well past the century mark. The norm? nope, but more common then you would think.

  46. Lamar says

    Much of what you say may be so in terms of some better nutrional benefits and outside work and living. However, they lived not as long as folks do today. They died a lot younger on the average than folks do today. I do also agree we don’t need to be running to the doctors for every little thing that takes place. Colds, a little temperature or fever, etc.! Hospitals – are breeding grounds for death and disease. Stay out of them if you can. Doctor’s offices are somewhat better but are full of germs so don’t go there unless you have to go. Stay healthy

  47. RF says

    Some good common sense here, but as others have noted, has little to do with food allergies and sensitivities. For all the reasons why people might need to eat gluten free or dairy free or peanut free (true allergy/celiac/any number of autoimmune diseases/because they feel better when they don’t) we in this group don’t need more articles that blame or shame us (yours is mild in this regard but still I get prickly reading it because there are many like me who were already eating healthily when they got sick or realized they had food allergies/sensitivities. Your thinking is good for the most part on eating like our grandparents did (whole, unprocessed foods, from the farm etc) but has little to do with food allergies (and even if it does- GMOs, processed foods, etc, WE’VE created that problem and doesn’t make people’s allergies or sensitivities any less real).
    Also, it’s actually a good thing to have access to medical care and go when you need to.

  48. Tracey Smith says

    My 94 year old grandmother has eaten the cheapest, most processed foods for the last 40-50 years, as well as my other grandparents who all made it to mid80s. No food allergies/intolerances… Now possibly the GMOs and poor food quality/ additives/pesticides etc.. maybe causing cellular damage of baby during pregnancy. My grandmother and many other grandparents’ babyhood/childhood were raised during healthier food times. They also were not subjected to vaccinations that are spiked with immune system inducing chemicals. Funny how immune system related diseases have gone crazy since 60s when mass vaccinations started…. Then add the GMOs and good additives: result, a vicious cocktail of immune problems.

  49. Ray says

    I think there is another reason, completely unrelated to diet or food intake, which I believe is important, but not the cause of the new allergies all the younger generations seem to have.
    These new class over allergies started showing up about 25-30 years ago. Just about the time the medical profession and the government started “really pushing” mass vaccinations.
    The first set of vaccinations are given now at three months old. Why do you give a baby these injections at three months, when they don’t even develop an immune system until 8-9 months?
    So….when these chemicals are put into those little bodies, where do they go?
    Why do tiny babies develop allergies long before they have been exposed to most foods? Why do infants develop cancers and all sorts of life threading diseases before they can even walk? I’m not saying do not immunize at all, but I am saying it’s done way too early and way too much.

  50. Chris says

    Well, while this brings up some great points to consider, I agree with Jim above: This article claims to be something more than it is. See, my grandfather was allergic to nuts, my father is deathly allergic to nuts, my brother is allergic to peanut butter, and my daughter recently had a severe reaction to walnuts. That points more to heredity than to cell health maintained through proper nutrition. FYI, they all maintain very healthy diets, mostly consisting of fresh, unprocessed food, especially my daughter and brother. To say that if their nutrition was better they would somehow be immune to the peanut allergy they’re stuck with is completely bogus. Food allergies have always been around, I think the reason they are on the rise today has to do with two things: 1) More people are surviving food allergies thanks to modern medicine, which is great, but they’re also passing down the gene to future generations. If you seriously think about it, how many of our grandparent’s parent’s would have survived a severe anaphylactic attack? That’s one of the very likely reasons as to why it was virtually nonexistent amongst their generation and the ones before it . . . the people who would have been prone to it simply weren’t born or didn’t survive. Today, most survive. 2) And this is where I agree with you: Our food is being tampered with at a cellular level and it is affecting the way we have evolved to digest the foods we eat. I think when it all comes down to it, if we’re talking about authentic food allergies, this is what it boils down to. Not that our cells are weak as much as they are ill prepared to deal with our food when it’s cells have been un-naturally modified/tampered with.

  51. amy says

    I agree with a lot of what was written. Based on the main points, I’m going to assume that by grandparents, you mean people born prior to 1930. However, one thing was higher in the past was the mortality rate for children. They did have food allergies and weird disorders; they died from them. Vaccines and medical advances have weakened our race as a whole because they allow the weaker individuals to live. Look at all the children that died from polio before the vaccine… the reason the elderly seem to be healthier is because you’re only looking at the generation’s “fittest.” The diet also sucked back then. Most people didn’t eat beautiful fresh veggies from a bountiful garden all the time; mostly they ate what they had. You know, the peas porridge 9 days old, moldy bread, and rotten potatoes. They had to be strong for the food and disease not to kill them. I’m not disputing the idea that commercial foods nowadays is garbage, because I agree it is. But before complaining the human race is getting sicker, remember saving the sick is pretty much the point of medicine.

  52. Geneticist says

    So basically you’re attributing allergies solely to various outside factors while totally discounting anything like genetics that could form allergies totally independent of any thing?

    This is scientific rigor!

  53. Anonymous says

    Point 6 is more spot on than the author lets on. Due to the lack of effective medications, in my family 2/3 of the children died before age 5. So the unhealthy ones never became parents much less grandparents.

  54. Jim says

    I’m sorry, but you simply cannot make things up and pretend that they’re true. You are diminishing the integrity of the written word.

    All of the things that you mentioned are good, worthwhile things — exercise, natural food, etc. But your mumbo jumbo about the integrity of cells does not have a shred of scientific credibility, and you know it. You literally just strung impressive words together without explaining anything real about the digestive system or the actual causality of an allergen.

  55. Jimmy says

    Then why are some people born with allergies? I was born with allergies to nuts, milk, soy, certain veggies, all types of trees, grasses, pollens, etc. You make it sound like if we follow the points above we won’t have allergies, however, I’ve actually outgrown some of my allergies over the years without necessarily following the points. Maybe they affect the outcome of our kids? Not trying to prove you wrong, rather, see your take on it.

  56. Wayne says

    If all that is true, why is it that their lifespans were shorter than current day? Or: If they were so healthy why are they dead?

  57. David says

    I think that most of your recommendations are good ones, some of them have been scientifically studied and validated, and none of them could hurt even if they turned out to have nothing at all to do with food allergies. But with respect, “a little more common sense and a little less science” means more theories and assumptions, and less validation. Science is about testing our assumptions. Of course science can produce incorrect results, and it can certainly be gamed, but so can “common sense”.

    For example: your basic theory, that our grandparents had fewer food allergies than we do, is interesting, and unproven. That is your perception based on the information available to you — but that information is biased. People simply weren’t as aware of food allergies until the 1980s. I know someone who lived 40 years with a gluten sensitivity, and simply had no idea that anything was wrong — she just thought that was how her body worked, and it wasn’t until after her daughter was diagnosed with Celic’s disease that she started to experiment with a gluten-free diet.

    You might look at the very recent rise in awareness of gluten allergy and conclude that gluten allergies were on the rise. You might then look at the increase in GMOs, vaccinations etc etc and conclude that one caused the other. Neither of those conclusions are necessarily correct.

    We should all question what we’re being told, whether by scientists or bloggers. It’s common sense to question science — and it’s also common sense to question common sense. Unfortunately, people tend to trust their own “common sense” way too much.

    P.S. Margarine was developed as a substitute for butter in the 19th century because butter was not always available or affordable. It became popular during/after WWII due to butter shortages. Ads for margarine may have claimed that it was healthier than butter, but that was just marketing. Science had nothing to do with it. Science did, however, help us finally figure out that hydrogenated oil was not healthy.

  58. Shay Aley says

    Misleading! Food allergies are not the same as sensitivities. Allergies are real and can be deadly. Don’t mix up the two! However, I believe in the points made, but don’t say grandparents were healthier; they cooked in bacon fat, everyone smoked, and drinking durung pregnancy was not taboo. Real allergies are still a mystery.

  59. Brittany says

    There most certainly have been fad diets for the past 100 years if not more. Look at some of the crazy lengths Victorian women did to plump up or lose weight. I’d like more scientific facts. I agree that eating nutritious food is the best route, but you need to back up your claims with data to prove that allergies stem specifically from what you state as causes.

  60. Pat Summers says

    Is it also possible that because of food allergies years ago, children just died and never reached adulthood? Survival of the fittest!

  61. jane says

    When my kids were born, in the ’80’s and ’90’s, we lived on a farm – we drank milk fresh from our cows, ate fruit & vegetables fresh from our garden or from our freezer or canning jars where I preserved them. I thought only hyperclean people got allergies. . . well I was wrong! I have 4 kids – 2 have no allergies at all and the other two couldn’t even go in the barn! One is deadly allergic to peanuts, both were allergic to milk. They had and have eczema so bad, it’s awful. Your theory is lovely but but wrong. The media has everyone believing that farmers do crazy things to their animals and its just not true. As long as everyone is happily blindly led to believe whatever the media says, these controversies will go on and on. Go talk to a farmer and get some real facts people!

    • says

      Agree with Jane. Any allergy could be hereditary and might not. I was born in 80`s so as my brother 4 years later. I never had any allergies when it comes to food but on the opposite site my brother had few of them even we have been living in same house ate same food and drank same milk. You cant really say …. Jane I have something that helps with eczema and is from natural source, admin might give you contact. http://restart.kyanisocial.com

    • Qin says

      It’s not the “media” that says this, in fact it looks like they are trying to hide these facts. It’s people going onto food lots and recording what’s going on and even being put into jail for doing so. Please understand that no one is saying these things NEVER happened, genetics sometimes sucks it’s just the greater occurrence of the problem. And yes I work with and am friends with small ranchers and farmers.

  62. owen says

    I had a friend whos boy ate his first peanut turned blue and nearly died was diagnosed as anaphalictic shock and told if the boy ate peanuts ever again death would be the result the truth was it got stuck in his throat and he choked needless to say he, learnt to chew now and loves peanuts ??? allergy or wrong diagnoses not the answer to all allergys but was good result for this family.Not having ti go through nightmare of keeping the lad away from peanuts.

  63. Matt says

    As a few other commenters have pointed out, who’s to say that your grandparents’ generation didn’t have food allergies? They may not have been diagnosed as such–a person with serious allergies may have been labeled as sickly or not thriving. But is there some historical information that suggests that allergies didn’t exist then? I find it doubtful.

    Perhaps they were less common–that seems to have changed even in recent decades. But I really have to question the premise of this piece.

  64. says

    What in the world is a “high GMO food”?
    There are NO genetically modified peanuts!
    And there is absolutely no evidence that GM foods cause any sort of health problems. All of this is simply speculation, unless you can point to real research that supports it.

  65. Eva English says

    I have been severely tree nut allergic since I was 2, in 1967. and I am allergic (less severely) to a great number of other foods also. We always had our own garden when I was growing up. My parents are avid hunters and most of the meat I ate growing up was wild game. My mom cooked oatmeal for breakfast nearly every morning of my life. I understand that allergies appear to be getting worse, and I can’t discount the items you mention, but my allergies were caused by NONE of them, and I resent the implication that it is a simple conclusion that may or may not offer a solution.

  66. Lynda says

    None of my grandparents or great grandparents died of good health despite the article saying how great the food was when they were all children. I only have one grandparent left who is 91 with multiple illnesses. Her mother born in 1885 and father born in 1875, they also did not die from good health and had multiple illnesses. I do agree that the food supply has definitely endangered our lives so we should be proactive and do all we can to avoid processed foods and preventing GMOs from taking over the food supply. It’s up to us to protect the future generations.

  67. Laura says

    I agree that eating organic food & exercising is best for everyone… But I breast fed my baby for 9 months, fed him organic food, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 3 & coeliac disease recently at the age of 6, my now 4 year old was the same & she is in perfect health…

  68. judytoo says

    you are completely wrong. our grandparents didn’t have food allergies simply because the kids who did, died off before they were old enough to reproduce.

  69. ryan kearney says

    We need to differentiate between food allergies (shellfish, peanuts, and even ciliacs) and food INTOLLERANCE (gluten, lactose, etc). The use of the word allergy in reference to food is often misused. I do not think this author was referring to allergies rather food intolerance.

  70. b says

    um…your article gives great things for us to do for healthy living in general…BUT…not scientific by any means. my son showed signs of severe allergies to the touch (literally the touch of it to his skin) of milk and peanuts before 6 months of age. oh—and his first 6 months of life were in europe—so can’t blame america’s way of raising meats or processing milk. and—he had very few vaccines by 6 months since he spent nearly his first four months of life in the hospital and received a blood transfusion, so was unable to get his next round of vaccines for xxx amount of time after—so gotta take away the peanut vaccination theory. hmmm…where does that leave my son? well—my husband, even though his mother is a “health” minister, has severe allergies. perhaps genetics also plays a part in it all??? my daughter—healthy as a horse and fully vaccinated just like her momma. oh. btw, vaccines save lives. ask my gma whose brother died from the whooping cough as a child—before such a vaccine existed. like she told me—you never want to see a child suffer and die the way her brother did. so, again…good article for just living an overall good lifestyle. but don’t make it the end all of research and reasons why allergies exist today.

  71. Judy Loudin says

    This is so true! We no longer have control of our own food supply, and god knows what is in what we are eating from the grocery stores. I truly believe we are what we eat, and what we eat is no longer recognizable.!

  72. says

    This is true, but only to an extent. It applies mostly to country and small town folk.

    However, at the turn of the 20th century, city dwellers and especially slum dwellers ate a great many meals from sidewalk vendors as their rooms often had no means of cooking. The milk was often half-chalk-water and there were no hygiene standards on the meats. My grandparents were born in the 1920s. My grandfather was undiagnosed ADHD. My grandmother was bipolar.

    My folks grew most of our food the whole time I was growing up in the 70s. I still have a soy allergy.

    Up until the 80s, kids with anaphalactic allergies tended to die of them.

  73. denise says

    This article is pure nonsense. I agree that we need to do all of the things mentioned in the article, but my daughter’s allergies are not from anything you mentioned! She is anaphylactic to peanuts, treenuts, fish, shellfish, sesame and sunflower and cannot eat raw banana, peas or cucumbers. She has seen a chiropractor for natural health since birth, is not vaccinated, goes to a waldorf school where outdoor play is numerous and also plays outside more than in while at home, eats organic and locally farmed foods including free range and grass fed eggs, chicken and beef, drinks raw milk, has been on only a few antibiotics in her 11 years, even went to an acupuncturist weekly for 2 years but continued to develop more allergies! My other 2 children, raised the same way, have no allergies.
    My paternal grandmother was severely allergic to peas and my paternal grandfather was anaphylactic to raspberries.
    Please use your logic to explain how all of this has happened…
    If food allergies-not just sensitivities-were so cut and dry as you allude wouldn’t there be less of them, and more of those which already exist would be cured?

  74. Mark says

    Please! Your grandparents didn’t have allergies. So?! That means no one else did back then… Or perhaps, people didn’t know what allergies were because they weren’t diagnosed.

  75. AEM says

    I have tons of allergies, and to tell you the truth, I am happier mostly for them. I avoid what I can, treat myself for what I cannot, and at the age of 40 can count on one hand the number of times I have been sick…ever, even being married to someone who always got colds! Allergies make my body attack anything that is foreign a.s.a.p., so I never really get sick, I also only am sick for a day when I do get sick.

  76. Beth E. says

    So if I make my child play outside more her tree nut allergy will go away?

    She ate all types of food when she was growing up. Yes, she had some fast food, but the majority of her food was home cooked from real food. We didn’t discover her tree nut allergy until she was slightly older because we didn’t use a lot of nuts in our cooking and she just naturally avoided certain foods. She also has seasonal allergies so playing outside in the spring was problematic unless we wanted her to look like she went a few rounds in the boxing ring.

    • Lisa says

      I was 11 when I was told the dark circles under my eyes were allergies and I got a round of allergy shots because it is difficult to avoid dust and trees when you live in Oregon. But more recently a doctor told me that the vitamin B’s may be effective in about 40% of the people with allergies. It helps me, but my allergies are not as severe as they were back then, it may be worth a try…

  77. sarah says

    My Nana had a dairy allergy, and so do I. While I think there is something to some of this, I do think there are also genetic components that are not addressed. The part of your article about no doctor visits probably has a bit to do with them “not having allergies” The figured out certain foods made them sick, so they didn’t eat them.

  78. david sheriff says

    can be done. am a healthy thin 69 yr, no allergies, food or otherwise. played in the dirt as a kid. try not to eat anything my grandmother would not have recognized as food before 1945. cook scratch. very little meat of any kind. you move your body or you loose it. drink lots of milk, eat butter, cheese, lotsa veggies, squash, potato, pasta, nuts, no soda. no industrial food, no commercial pizza, put lard in my piecrust. you must choose how to live.

  79. Missy says

    So many people are so quick to argue one way or another as to what causes food allergies but the reality of it is that we just aren’t sure yet. As of yet, there hasn’t been any amount of credible research which can point to one cause or another for the rise in food allergies. For all we know it is a combination of all the things listed or it could be none of them. Either way, I really don’t think being snippy to people in an online forum is contributing towards finding out what’s going on.

  80. AKS says

    The article is missing one VERY big difference in the foods our grandparents eat vs. the foods we eat:


    I’ve discovered firsthand that sometimes a “food allergy” is really a *pesticide* allergy. I can safely eat various organic foods, mostly fruits, that will trigger asthma attacks if I eat the same food grown with pesticides! I’ve done the tests, and it always comes back to the pesticides. So it’s been organic or nothing for some foods, for years now. This past fall, on a business trip to Germany, I couldn’t find organic stuff, so I had to try the local fruits. I didn’t have a reaction. It turns out that the EU doesn’t permit a lot of the pesticides that are used in the US. At least now I can add some imported foods to my “allowed” list!

  81. Alex says

    Number 6 is me and my family. Never even been to a doctor at age 19. Been to the hospital for staples, and get regular dentist and eye checkups if that counts… Let your body learn how to fight sickness naturally. Never had the flew and thought dying was even remotely possible, if we got it, we’d suffer through it and eventually get better.

  82. Jo Yardley says

    Dieting has been around for centuries, allergies have been around for almost a century, (milk from around 1900, first recorded case of peanut allergy from 1920).
    So although I agree that in many ways the diet of our grandparents was healthier, part of this article should perhaps be more about our ancestors than about our grandparents.
    Because the last century people have been eating a LOT of rubbish as well.
    Especially if you look into the Victorian Diet you will find lots of ingredients that were potentially lethal.
    The idea behind this story is solid, but the story itself lacks facts, figures, historical data and other scientific research.

  83. Nancy Harvey says

    This is what I have been saying for years. I am a nutritionist, and I have been trying to tell people this forever!

  84. Lior says

    What do GMO foods have to do with allergies? There’s not even a hint of connection. Most GMO’ed foods (like corn) have almost zero allergies related to them.

    I’m not saying they are 100% proven to be safe, as we still don’t understand the long term effects. But demonizing them just for the sake of spreading fear isn’t helping either.

    It comes down to a list of reasons we *THINK* cause allergies to be more widespread these days.

  85. Shari says

    I am allergic to many foods. My adopted daughter is also allergic to many foods. For crying out loud, my dog is allergic! I am a teacher and I see more and more allergic children, over my 27 years in the public schools. I am 51 years old and I did not have these allergies when I was young. I have always eaten a healthy diet. Something has changed.

    Allergies can manifest in many ways. Some with asthma, joint pains, eczema, acne, and more, may not realize that they are allergic. I have read many books on this topic. GMOs have been implicated most often. I am very sure, but it cannot hurt to avoid GMOs. CT has lead the nation in a law to expose GMOs in food labeling. The lobbyists don’t want the public to be informed. This is also a reason to take note.

    I would also like to comment about the fact that it is possible to disagree without showing disrespect.

    • Catherine says

      Thanks Shari!

      I welcome different opinions, but let’s be adults and do so respectfully :)

      I really hate to delete comments, but I do it when they violate my comment policy:Comments are encouraged on Butter Nutrition, but will be deleted upon the following circumstances: disrespect or non-adult like behavior, spam or questionable spam, use of profanity or inappropriate language, personal attacks, or offensive terms. Butter Nutrition reserves the right to edit or delete any comments submitted to this blog without notice.

      Thanks for reading!

  86. Carlos F Hernandez says

    Food for Thought

    Sometimes I just feel I need to comment, especially when I feel information is being propagated that may be leading other persoons astray because it is not based on science.

    I feel like you wrote this article based on your personal world view and didn’t take time to research. You make good points, and they are worth exploring. But let me comment on a few.

    1. There are conflicting reports on eating food in or out of season. I have seen nothing proven. On a personal level, I don’t see what the issue is, except for ONE thing which I will mention later.

    1a. Processed Food. I think this was the point of your number one. There are thousands of articles, movies, white papers, and so on, about the dangers of processed foods. I am not sure why you had to mention, “nutrient dense”, since that seems to be the lesser of the evils and sometimes even irrelevant.

    1b. Mother’s Breast Milk. Good point — this is something that also helped with … wait for it … allergies and immunity. In cases when the mother could not produce milk, there was a wet nurse, a voluntary other mother (family member), and finally they resorted to other forms of nutrients.

    2. “Our grandparents did not fall victim to …” No, but they fell victim to many other lies and deceptions. This is tricky. With the information age we can educate ourselves better (but most don’t). Back then, they were told chug down some oil to make them better and they did and nothing got better and on the off chance it did, they praised the method and propagated the myth or old wives tale. Sometimes these were actually helpful; many times not.

    2a. “Because of this they had a healthy metabolism …” Many of ourgrandparents were malnurished in other ways. This was real. Even you were to narrow down your article to a first-world, western civilization grandparent, during that age, few were affluent enough to have choices in food. They ate what was available, and sometimes not much was available. There WERE health issues related to diet, different from ours, but they existed.

    3. I think this is was your point #1 was actually about.

    4. Back to processed foods. This is definitely a common theme. Like I said above: thousands of reasons.

    5. With today’s selection of foods we don’t NEED to eat the whole animal. Now, I am sorry that most people don’t because if we are going to kill animals for food we better darn well not waste them. It is a special gift and should not be taken lightly. I have become very upset at the world for the way we all treat animals. If everyone went to a slaughterhouse, I doubt they would continue to buy as they did before. Many people condemn hunters but I say kudos to those hunters who are, first of all, taking an animal who has not been caged up, and second, using all parts of the animal. Condemn those that waste it. I am neither hunter nor vegetarian (I eat meat sparingly and am picky about WHERE I get it).

    6. Please don’t spread this nonsense. I need to be stern about this. It’s not about NUMBER of visits — it’s about educating yourself and knowing when your doctor is over-prescribing. See multiple doctors if you have to. Read about illnesses. Educate yourself. They are professionals who can recognize early warning signs of many other serious illnesses. You usually can’t. But don’t put all your trust in them. Find a good one, and be a partner with them.

    You make good points about good eating and rest but DO NOT SPREAD LIES ABOUT NOT VISITING DOCTORS. There is a difference between visiting and following blindly.

    7. Excellent point. We have evolved into a sedintary lifestyle for the most part. This is dangerous.


    I said I would talk about eating foods in and out of season. The real benefit of eating food IN SEASON is that you are eating food that is LOCALLY GROWN IN SEASON. There is new research (some still not completely proven) about the relationship between your body and the environment your live in. If you eat from your local environment you will be better protected from it. Honey is a wonderful example. Local honey helps with allergies as bees have been pollinating locally. I am researching this myself, still, but I just wanted to throw it out there.

  87. Carlos F Hernandez says

    Sometimes I just feel I need to comment, especially when I feel information is being propagated that may be leading other persoons astray because it is not based on science.

    I feel like you wrote this article based on your personal world view and didn’t take time to research. You make good points, and they are worth exploring. But let me comment on a few.

    1. There are conflicting reports on eating food in or out of season. I have seen nothing proven. On a personal level, I don’t see what the issue is, except for ONE thing which I will mention later.

    1a. Processed Food. I think this was the point of your number one. There are thousands of articles, movies, white papers, and so on, about the dangers of processed foods. I am not sure why you had to mention, “nutrient dense”, since that seems to be the lesser of the evils and sometimes even irrelevant.

    1b. Mother’s Breast Milk. Good point — this is something that also helped with … wait for it … allergies and immunity. In cases when the mother could not produce milk, there was a wet nurse, a voluntary other mother (family member), and finally they resorted to other forms of nutrients.

    2. “Our grandparents did not fall victim to …” No, but they fell victim to many other lies and deceptions. This is tricky. With the information age we can educate ourselves better (but most don’t). Back then, they were told chug down some oil to make them better and they did and nothing got better and on the off chance it did, they praised the method and propagated the myth or old wives tale. Sometimes these were actually helpful; many times not.

    2a. “Because of this they had a healthy metabolism …” Many of our grandparents were malnourished in other ways. This was real. Even you were to narrow down your article to a first-world, western civilization grandparent, during that age, few were affluent enough to have choices in food. They ate what was available, and sometimes not much was available. There WERE health issues related to diet, different from ours, but they existed.

    3. I think this is was your point #1 was actually about.

    4. Back to processed foods. This is definitely a common theme. Like I said above: thousands of reasons.

    5. With today’s selection of foods we don’t NEED to eat the whole animal. Now, I am sorry that most people don’t because if we are going to kill animals for food we better darn well not waste them. It is a special gift and should not be taken lightly. I have become very upset at the world for the way we all treat animals. If everyone went to a slaughterhouse, I doubt they would continue to buy as they did before. Many people condemn hunters but I say kudos to those hunters who are, first of all, taking an animal who has not been caged up, and second, using all parts of the animal. Condemn those that waste it. I am neither hunter nor vegetarian (I eat meat sparingly and am picky about WHERE I get it).

    6. Please don’t spread this nonsense. I need to be stern about this. It’s not about NUMBER of visits — it’s about educating yourself and knowing when your doctor is over-prescribing. See multiple doctors if you have to. Read about illnesses. Educate yourself. They are professionals who can recognize early warning signs of many other serious illnesses. You usually can’t. But don’t put all your trust in them. Find a good one, and be a partner with them.

    You make good points about good eating and rest but DO NOT SPREAD LIES ABOUT NOT VISITING DOCTORS. There is a difference between visiting and following blindly.

    7. Excellent point. We have evolved into a sedentary lifestyle for the most part. This is dangerous.


    I said I would talk about eating foods in and out of season. The real benefit of eating food IN SEASON is that you are eating food that is LOCALLY GROWN IN SEASON. There is new research (some still not completely proven) about the relationship between your body and the environment your live in. If you eat from your local environment you will be better protected from it. Honey is a wonderful example. Local honey helps with allergies as bees have been pollinating locally. I am researching this myself, still, but I just wanted to throw it out there.

    • Kiwi says

      I think the comments countering the original post about “our grandparent’s lives” are good ones. Avoiding medical care doesn’t make you healthier, but back there were plenty of conditions that were not treatable years ago. (I think I read something about medical care not tipping the balance towards being more helpful than harmful until after WWI). Also, the big increase in life expectance from the start of the 20th century was due to improved sanitation; namely having sanitary sewers, clean water supplies, etc. I can’t provide a reference for this, but it is more than an opinion. Better living thru improvements in Public Health.

  88. Daune says

    I agree that our grandparents did eat in a way that they would generally be healthier overall. We know that eating locally supports a healthier immune system.

    However, my grandfather died of stomach cancer when he was 62 (that was in 1967). Stomach cancer is very preventable and curable these days.

    I Have celiac and am allergic to gluten. I often wonder if my grandfather had it too (it is hereditary). Perhaps he was allergic to gluten and that caused the stomach cancer. If he had celiac his immune system was jeopardized from eating gluten.

  89. Jude says

    Funny enough, my grandparents are the only ones in my family with food allergies. Nuts and shellfish. Be careful with those generalizations!

  90. Andrew Hall says

    I have found the comments very informative and want to express my appreciation. The rise in food allergies is a serious issue and I wish there were more attention paid to it.

    With my own grandkids, I give them lots of raw, organic veggies and also raw, organic milk to drink. I buy locally-grown cabbage and make my own sauerkraut, but I save the large outside leaves, shred it and give it to the kids.

    That and keeping them away from the ton of sugary foods that are too easily available. I think what you don’t eat is perhaps as important as what you do eat.

  91. Christine Cornwall says

    Our grandparents didn’t eat huge quantities of peanuts, and if they did eat any, they weren’t processed as in peanut butter.

    Maybe this is just a coincidence, but I wasn’t allowed to have all the popular foods when I was a kid. Lucky charms, Pop Tarts and any other processed foods were almost absent in our household. We just didn’t have the money.
    Our breakfast cereal was plain puffed rice, we also had toast and homemade jam or porridge.
    My mom made stews, we ate head cheese made of pig’s knuckles, had liver and kidney, not so much for the taste, but my mom said it was good for us, and loads of vegetables. We also rarely had sweets and desserts.
    And nobody in my family has any food allergies or intolerances.
    Who knows?

    • Tammy says

      I was brought up eating all fresh fruits and veggies….all home cooked meals from scratch….you would think it was sunday dinner everyday at my house. Homemade blueberry pancakes or eggs and bacon every day of the week. All from fresh local farms….leftovers for lunch. We were not allowed junk. My husbands family was poor…but they grew their own food. We both participated in every sport imaginable and lived outside.
      ALL 3 of our children have had multiple fatal food allergies since birth….and I nursed them all for over a year since birth. I do believe the food that is available now is frightening but that doesnt mean its the reason. My oldest allergy to milk is so bad it cant touch her skin or she’ll die. If I had let them give her that bottle of formula when she was born she would have died. I was told by one of my allergist that many babies that diedfrom food allergies may have been list under sids because they just stop breathing. Its infuriating to read opinion pieces with their followers talking about things that they have no experiences of and no facts to base it on. Like many have already said……my grandmother was 1 of 16 but only 11 made it to adulthood. Unless you have facts you should be very careful how you share your opinions….someone may mistake it for fact and their child will pay the price. Yes eat healthy and as chemical free as possible, exercise, breath fresh air, sunlight is the best and get sleep but that doesn’t mean you will be allergyfree……

  92. Ginny says

    Funny enough, my grandparents are the only ones with food allergies in my family. And also- if someone in our grandparent’s generation had a severe food allergy they would most likely die before they could actually become grandparents. I don’t think Gramps carried around an epipen in 1930.

  93. Maggie Thackeray says

    While this is certainly interesting and contains good advice about healthy living, this article smacks of opinion, not scientific fact. I hate to be a downer, but correlation isn’t the same as causation.

  94. Lynn Stallings says

    I think you left out a very important part. Most of our grandparents and back were breastfed. What momma eats baby eats. I’m not saying that there aren’t people with food allergies that were breastfed but you will find there are fewer.

  95. rebecca says

    Actually the reason they didn’t is either because they were non-lethal or because they died from eating nuts at a young age & thus have no kids.

  96. Dave says

    While I appreciate your encouragement to eat seasonal whole foods, I want to point out that many of these point are sweeping generalizations and not well understood or supported scientifically. Nutrition, as you conclude, is critical to health, good or otherwise. However, it is not well understood how food additives like coloring or preservatives affect the state of ones health. These ingredients typically end up in nutrient poor foods which may provide a better reason to stay away from them: you gain nothing by consuming them.

    More to your point of the lack of documented food allergies in the WWII generation (I’m assuming this is what you meant by grandparents?), food and nutrition was so inadequately understood even then so I wonder if allergies existed with a similar prevalence but simply not documented as such? Perhaps many of the signs and symptoms of food allergies were confused with other more prominent ailments as they continue to be today.

    The last comment I wanted to make is encouragement you and your readers to tread lightly with your 6th point that health services and medications were only used as needed. My opinion is that a “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” mentality is a bit cavalier especially since many health issues can exist without revealing any signs, hypertension chief among them. This mentality is, in my opinion a reason the country’s health status is in such a disparate state: we lack the infrastructure, expertise, and mentality of preventive medicine and undermines initiatives to build capacity for preventive care.

    I’m not so sure your conclusions have very much support but I did want to say that I appreciate your encouragement towards more healthful foods and increasing activity. These are great and lost ideals that could greatly impact the health of anyone incorporating these into their life.


    • Catie says

      This is a great response! Well written! I agree wholeheartedly with you when it comes to #6. During the Industrial Revolution they thought children who couldn’t walk and wouldn’t grow just had weak constitutions and there was nothing to be done for them. In reality, Tiny Tim just had a serious vitamin deficiency, but there was no way to test for that just like there was no way to test for food allergies.

  97. Ferho says

    Interestingly, food allergies are an oddity in places like the Ukraine & Russia. They have a hard time even understanding how people are allergic to dairy or other foods because it is so unusual to hear that someone is allergic to food there.

    • Adam says

      Funny you should mention this. My family and I went to Indonesia last May for vacation and the allergy topic came up. They have never heard of the concept of food allergies.

      Peanuts/peanut oil is almost a staple in many dishes there. The big difference I saw was that the foods eaten were fresh. Fresh breads, fruits and vegetables are carted through the streets every morning where one could walk out their front door and buy their daily foods. If you went out to a restaurant they used the same fresh ingredients, including the meats.

      This made me think about preservatives and pesticides as a factor in allergies. I’m in Canada where, like the US, there is a huge boom in food allergies but if a country with three times our population has next to no food allergies then what could the difference be?

      I’m in no way associated with the medical/nutritional fields. I’m just voicing my opinion. But does anyone think that there is any merit to this?

  98. says

    I’m sure someone has already pointed this out, but I’m not inclined to read all the comments. The main problem I see here is that you make assertions without data to back them up. While your points may be true, correlation does not prove causation. This is considered a questionable cause logical fallacy in that two events occurring together are taken to have a cause-and-effect relationship. You need data.

    • Joseph says

      First, and most likely foremost, the phrase should read “correlation does not necessarily prove causation.” Without a hint of correlation, not studies would be done to verify anything. As far as data, the Food Allergy Research & Education website, the premiere organization for food allergies posted this fact: “According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.”

      “The number of people who have a food allergy is growing, but there is no clear answer as to why.”

      “Researchers are trying to discover why food allergies are on the rise in developed countries worldwide, and to learn more about the impact of the disease in developing nations. More than 17 million Europeans have a food allergy, and hospital admissions for severe reactions in children have risen seven-fold over the past decade, according to the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI).”

    • Lydia says

      True, and yet, most medical and pharmaceutical policy in the US has completely failed to make this distinction since the 1970s. In fact, a conscious decision was made at that time to start approving drugs and policies based on large epidemiological studies that cannot tease apart correlation and causation.

      Bad science is the bedrock of healthcare in the US. It’s hardly fair to single out this article when it’s the foundation of American medicine.

  99. Beverly Brown says

    Our grandparents didn’t have food allergies because before epinephrine and other treatment options were discovered or invented, people with food allergies died before they were old enough to become grandparents.

  100. JD Inman says

    Not true. This writer is totally guessing without a stitch of science to back it up. Lets not forget that the infant mortality rate was nearly 30% in many parts of this country back in 1920. As in 30% of our kids died before age 2. In many cases the doctors didn’t even know why they’d died. Their deaths were likely attributed to many various “illnesses” without any knowledge that food allergies even existed. Many kids grew up “sickly” Teddy Roosevelt was one of them. Saying our grandparents didn’t have food allergies is equivalent to saying no one died of cancer in the 1700’s. They didn’t know it existed then. Read some of the feedback she got from real scientists. You may find those more informative than the article itself. Also, I have a food allergy to beef, pork, lamb etc… caused by a tick bite. Its a disease that the doctors just identified 4 years ago. It causes anaphylactic shock which can literally kill me. There’s no telling how many people over the past 100 years died from this but to say my grandparents didn’t die from it is completely speculation and unscientific.

  101. Karen says

    As a preschool teacher of 30 years I have seen more and more alergies. I have believed for a long time that the main cause is lack of exposure to natural things that build up our immunity. It used to be you fed your baby any food that you thought he was old enough to handle and if there was a reaction you waited a few weeks and tried it again. Now there are lists of foods that are bad to give young children. And kids don’t go out and play and spend the whole day getting dirty and breathing fresh air. If you don’t give your body a chance it just doesn’t build immunities. We need a more natural life to stay healthy.

    • Catie says

      Allergies are quite commonly caused by overexposure and genetics, not a lack of immunity. If it were about immunity then babies born with extreme peanut allergies or bee allergies would eventually grow out of them. Instead the opposite happens. A child with the markers for bee allergies may be fine with the first sting, but a second sting can cause extreme swelling, even death. My friend couldnt eat eggs even while breastfeeding because they gave her little boy such horrible rashes, and still do if she’s not careful about his diet. It’s true that babies are born without strong immune systems, and get stronger over time, but if allergies were like germs and disease then they would get better and not worse, wouldn’t they?

  102. Michael says

    No GMO’s?
    Well, if they ate Broccoli, cauliflour, or Brussel sprouts then they most certainly ate a GMO.
    Those vegatables are genetically based on Kale vi selective cross polination over thousands of years and not by any known natural process.
    Modern GMO’s are done in an age of more understanding and information of whay it happens and what to use to make it happen which results in quicker reults in terns of a new species of plant.

    Now with repect to what my granparents ate, yes, much different.
    They also had to deal with a higher probablility of food poisioning due to improper handling, storage and poor (if any) refrigeration of food products.
    There were more famines due to food borne parasites.
    And the list goes on.

    • Sab says

      Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts are not GMO foods, They are the product of cross pollination which is not what GMO means and are no where near the same thing. Apples have been cross pollinated for years and this is not done in a lab by scientists it is actually quiet easy. GMO’s refer to completely changing the molecular structure of the DNA of the plant itself by adding more gene’s to the plants genome. In cross pollination the plants need to be of the same genus meaning you wouldn’t be able to cross pollinate an orange with an apple and get a new plant it just wouldn’t work. GMO plants have their molecular structure changed by adding and rewriting their genetic makeup this is done by unnatural methods and use things like heavy metals, bacteria to make the cells membrane permeable so that they can add DNA from other sources to it. For example you can look at corn. Some types of corn have been genetically modifies to produce a protein that is poisonous to certain pests. It was genetically altered to excrete certain proteins from a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis which is activated in the insects gut after they eat the plant and they then die. Our grandparents and their grand parents even our parents as children would never have consumed GMO’s. The first genetically modified plant was in 1983 and the first food, a tomato, was in 1994.

      • TeresaS says

        Sab, agreed. This whole GMO issue is being promoted as if we have been doing it forever – what they are doing is not what we have been doing forever! Cross pollinating is one thing, actually going in and altering the genes are very different.

  103. Bouncedancer says

    Sure they had food allergies in the olden days too. The 2 biggest likely culprits are grains (especially whole grains!) & dairy. My mother had severe constipation all her life, which I inherited so long as I ate those foods too. (I can tolerate white flour, but no whole wheat or oatmeal.) Her parents and my mother’s generation ate plenty of white flour, sugar, potatoes, and margarine. Vegetables and fruits were not plentiful where they grew up.

  104. Steve Holt says

    Our grandparents also didn’t have iPhones, so who are the real winners now?

    [puts on hipster clothes stolen from grandfather, unicycles away]

  105. thereddiva says

    Is everyone’s argument against this article going to revolve around peanut allergies? Is there possibly a different point you want to dispute?

  106. Crystal says

    Here is how I read the article. Not that the past was completely void of allergies but that the number has sky rocketed expedentially since the introduction of steroids, antibiotics in animals, GMOs, pesticides etc and so forth. Life expectancy has little to do with this article. It has to do with the harm of our bodies ingesting lab made chemical laden foods rather than all natural, organic ones. Sorry but the proof is literally in the pudding here!!!!

  107. says

    I drink milk every day, I eat organ meat and raise my own sheep. I always played outside as a child and I have no food allergies or allergies to much of anything. I don’t go to the doctor unless I really have to either. I cook all our meals and we rarely eat out. I also am not overly clean and use only mild cleaning products. I don’t use any of those strong sprays or anti-bacterial soaps either. I am 55. I have no major health issues. I have normal blood pressure and a low resting heart beat too. I am even over weight but I have to move because I have animals so my blood pressure stays good. I have no food allergies except a very mild one to scallops. I also do not get exposed to much pollution.

  108. Wendy says

    Perhaps a bunch of generations back but my grandmother died of a stroke almost 40 yrs ago in her 60’s and was predeceased by her husband who died of lung issues, she was a very large lady, diabetic and they all consumed a great deal of white sugar, gravy and homemade bread which is what my father was raised on and battled being heavy his whole life…. on my other side both lived in the country but were not healthy by any stretch. When we speak of “allergies” we are talking about allergies to things that didn’t EXIST back then…perhaps its not our bodies but the chemicals in the foods now :-( We are “allergic” to perfume manufactuctured by chemicals, shampoos-conditioners-and laundry soaps that have more chemicals then EVER before- a long way from lye and 4 ingredient soaps and washing your laundry by the stream LOL We are allergic to gluten that has been so heavily modified to be stickier hardier and our bodies don’t even recognize it anymore, we When my children eat a diet of fresh veggies, local fruits veggies, local fish, ancient grains like quinoa, millet, local cows-game, they have absolutely no issues. We wonder why children are “allergic” to freezies, poptarts, processed wheat, corn, peanuts etc. when a quick look at a label will reveal a bucketlist of ingredients you can hardly pronounce- even on a loaf of white buns. If you make your own – 5 ingredients! Buy it from the store- roughly 15 -20 depending on the brand and most ‘processed foods’ is UHT and pasteurized rendering most ‘food’ dead and devoid of most nutrients – but some companies ADD nutrients back in LOL citrus which is FLOWN in from a country we would not have had access to ever so long ago…not to mention the chemicals that they are sprayed with :-( Ihave read articles that indicate that the lead and arsenic content in grapefruits exceeds normal levels event though its sprayed “on the outside”, but it is allowed- it produces crops earlier … potatoes are powdered with chemicals to aid in storage and prevent rodent issues, rice is documented to be alarmingly high in arsenic….we live in a toxic world and unfortunately that plays the biggest role IMO in weakening our immune systems :-(

  109. Mama says

    Actually, they didn’t have food allergies and live to tell about it because they DIED. So food allergies did exist but there was zero awareness and zero treatment like epinedrine (Epi Pens).

    In 1900, the U.S. infant mortality rate was approximately 100 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, while in 2000, the rate was 6.89 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

    People with serious food allergies died of “unknown causes” as children and it wasn’t investigated further. People aupposedly also never died of leukemia until it was discovered in 1847. Until the 1940’s, no one searched for a cure for leukemia, and a cure wasn’t found until the 1960s … So does that mean until 1847 no one had leukemia and until the 1960s no one should have taken this blood cancer seriously because their grandparents didn’t have it and it couldn’t be cured?

    Before insulin was discovered in 1921, people with Type 1 diabetesdidn’t live for long. They died.

    So I guess that’s why our grandparents didn’t have these disabilities….oh wait, they did have them in their families, their siblings just died and never had kids or grandkids.

    • says

      This is a very good point! I was thinking along those lines as well. Something else that struck me is that we get the idea of food “allergies” and Food “intolerance” confused. I have an intolerance to certain foods, but body will not process them, it throws them up, I get a fever and so on. Besides suffering from dehydration and malnutrition if this should happen, it doesn’t actually kill me. In the past if there was food put on the table that made a child ill, in my family they would never have connected the illness to the actual food, so they would have continued to consume it. So I guess it depends on everyone’s definition of “allergies”. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as well!.

  110. Debbie Duncan says

    Well you could be like myself and my family members. Intolerant to the Cold, Heat, Pressure against our skin. Some have increasing reactions to fresh foods. My oldest sister and I being complete opposite in what foods we cannot have. They consist of FRESH fruits and FRESH vegetables now. I am very upset that this year I cannot have tomatoes any longer. I have had a life long love of them. I long for apples also. The food “allergies” came in the latter years of our life. So, this intolerance to me isn’t an allergy. I do NOT test positive for these food allergies. I am betting it’s all in the DNA. I do HATE the hives!

  111. Lydia says

    Since everyone seems to me interested in peanut allergies, the latest research indicates that women SHOULD eat peanuts and other tree nuts during pregnancy to avoid saddling their children with nut allergies:


    Grant you, medical associations had just the opposite recommendation several decades ago,,, But, regardless, the medical associations seem to have been in universal agreement for decades that what the mother does during pregnancy – whether she eats nuts or not – impacts the immunological health of the child.

    Even after birth. I mean, seriously, can anybody dispute that a significant portion of a child’s immunity is passed on through breast milk? In, like, every mammalian species. Breast milk is ALWAYS preferable for the child.

    Another salient point that doesn’t seem to be covered here is the observation that allergies are far more common in the sterile, antiseptic environment of the cities, whereas children who grow up in less sanitary, rural environments – rolling around in the dirt – so to speak, have far few allergy problems, supposedly because their immune systems are challenged more as children. Similarly, allergies are practically nil in less developed countries. Eastern Europeans, as contrasted with wealthy industrialized Northern European countries, have far fewer incidences of allergies. Or take the Amish. Just look to indigenous, agrarian, or otherwise less ‘developed’ populations. In short, farm kids don’t get allergies (as a rule).

  112. TR says

    The average life expectancy of someone born in the US in 1935 – 61.7 years.

    The average life expectancy of someone born in the US in 1980 (like me) – 73.7 years.

    The average life expectancy of someone born in the US in 2010 – 78.7 years.


    Thanks, but I think I’ll pass on taking healthy living advice from my grandparents… Happy New Year!

  113. Bill says

    At least they had doctors that knew how to cure cancer in the late 1800s – early 1900s.
    They even wrote books that are on the internet telling how they did it. They also CURED
    other disease that people get that Drs. of today just prescribe drugs for to mask the
    symptoms. They also wrote about those disease too and how they cured them! Better
    Food and Better Drs. over 100 years ago!

  114. Katie says

    Without scientific evidence, this article appears to blame parents & allergy sufferers of their own bad choices. My kids were born with enormous genetic predisposition to food allergies & despite being breastfed for over a year & fed nothing but organic foods, healthy vitamin d & delayed vaccines – developed food & environmental allergies nonetheless. I’d love to know what I should have done differently!

  115. Rebecca says

    There may be a little to this but not much. My Aunt was born with many deadly allergies to food and they never got store bought food as well as my mom. They lived on a farm and grew all their veggies and their meat and milled their own flour. They spent plenty of time outside. I also have a deadly food allergy to bananas and my mom made everything from scratch including bread. I think some of it is just genes.

  116. Deb says

    They were also breastfed; and so were their parents and grandparents. We’re hitting the third and fourth generations of people who were NOT breastfed. I was not breastfed at all, nor was my mother. I have several food intolerances. My breastfed children do not seem to be reactive (or as reactive) to any foods. Coincidence? I’m beginning to think it’s not. Is anyone studying this as a multi-generational study? Not to my knowledge. I wish someone would.

    • Catie says

      My friend had to avoid certain foods while she breastfed because her baby was that allergic to them. He’s nearly 3 and still can’t have wheat, eggs or milk.

  117. Debbie says

    “Hungry For Change” & “Food Matters”. These 2 documentaries will change your life, if you allow them to and actually follow their advice. :)

  118. Jd says

    I’ve heard similar advice about celiacs (which is in my family), but I believe some things were just misdiagnosed in my
    Grandparents’ day. My
    Grandfather had all the symptoms and most likely passed from it. Although all the points in the article make sense from a healthy living point of view, I don’t think out grandparents had less allergies, they just didn’t have the medicine we do now.

  119. N. says

    Our family members don’t have any allergies in any generation. We are a pro-vaccination family on the recommended schedule. I saw a report just the other day, doctors are now recommending pregnant ladies who aren’t allergic to peanuts eat peanut butter in their diet to try and avoid peanut allergies in the baby.

  120. Kurt says

    All of this is very interesting. The lower instances of degenerative diseases in older generations had a lot to do with the fact that their farm fresh produce was vine ripened and had all those wonderful phyto chemicals AND the fact that their environment was nowhere nearly as polluted as ours is.

    Even the best organic food still has chemicals on/in it. Organic only means no one put pesticides, etc., on it ON PURPOSE. We all live on a toxic planet. The air, water, soil are polluted… EVERYWHERE. Don’t believe me, have yours tested. I am sorry, but high quality supplements are necessary because an untainted food source that contains all the nutrients the body needs is available virtually NOWHERE. Two books that I have found very interesting are “Nutrition Against Disease” and “How to Survive a Toxic Planet.”

    We have to be individually responsible for our health and that of our children.

    Happy New Year to all.

    • Catie says

      Actually the low instance of degenerative diseases was because people died before they could get them. The life expectancy in the 1930s was just over 60.

  121. Dann Anderson says

    where’s the part about out er grandparents life expectancies being 10-20 years shorter, depending on location and studies, than it is for us now.

  122. Catie says

    While I agree with most of these things, pointing fingers at modern food producers is not a valid argument. The 1900s was not a “golden era” when it came to food, health, or happiness for most people. There were few vaccines, children worked and died in factories, and The FDA wasn’t around to “pad the pockets” of food producers. Before the FDA’s creation in 1906, grocery stores and markets would sell people rotten meat and cut milk with chalk, among other things. The fact that people “didn’t have allergies back then” is probably because we didn’t have the medical understanding or diagnostic science to figure out why someone’s 3 year old suddenly died. You are right that people didn’t go to the doctor for everything, which is another argument for why allergies just went undiagnosed. Rashes from peanuts or stomache aches from wheat were just rashes and stomache aches.

    • Ella says

      I agree and honestly i’m surprised an argument like this could possibly be made and taken at all seriously.

      We talk constantly about how people now are just “more allergic” but the reality is that we are just more aware. You said it beautifully and really, there is nothing I can add.

      My grandmother, as i mentioned in a comment below, was also severely dairy intolerant. As is my mother, myself and my sister. But in grandma’s day? She just had a touchy stomach. Nobody really knew why she lived with pain her entire life.

  123. Jeff says

    I guess the moral of this story is that when someone wants to post a story of this nature, they first need to type a disclaimer saying that although the contents of this story are “generally true”, they may not be true for everyone in the entire world. There are going to be exceptions to every rule. There are going to be people with peanut allergies and people who are lactose intolerant. That’s just life. I don’t think that the writers were seeking out them as their audience. I think that this was a broad-based article mainly aimed at those who eat a poorly balanced diet and then wonder why they are always sick. There are always going to be people who have some sort of allergy, just like there are always going to be people who can only feel superior when they are correcting others. Chew on that.

  124. says

    Natural nutrition and lifestyle is important but not all. With food intolerances and allergies, don´t forget they have a function in your system which is to warn you for circumstances that your body fears are potentially life-threatenng for you. Let me explain that:
    When you experience a specific kind of traumatic situation where you feel isolated and have yet no strategy to tackle it, your bodymind starts a process to help you resolve that problem in an archaic way by enhancing specific organic functions. At the same time, the circumstances of the trauma are saved in often unconscious memories, which then produce the allergy against which was perceived in a moment of great distress. Read more about this understanding here: http://metamedicine.info/en/why_meta_health.php
    In modern society, kids often don´t have the possibility to learn how to handle and resolve their issues naturally and with help of community, while even parents´ distress is transmitted to them.
    By finding and releasing these old trauma, I have helped many people suffering from allergies as well as from serious and autoimmune diseases.
    I think nutrition therapy and META-Health complete each other.

    Kora Klapp

  125. Trashcraft says

    I really like most of the points made in this article except the reference to GMO’s. Nothing wrong with eating GMO foods–If you are going to say that, then one can also point to the organic farms that spray many more times than regulated GMO fields, only with ‘natural’ pesticides–that doesn’t mean they are safer–they can be quite detrimental.

  126. Andrew Lennertz says

    A high school friend of mind saw this post and asked me to weigh in on this subject since I am an expert in metabolically induced immune incompetency disorders to which food allergies are a part of. First I am a food/metabolic chemist, applied/actuarial mathematician and neuroscientist in private practice for 30 years working closely with doctors from Harvard, MIT, Tufts and Emory University so my work has been scrutinized by the top doctors in the field of immunology, environmental science and neurology. So this is not layperson opinion or anecdotal conjecture, this is clinical fact. First it is important to clarify the terminology people are using here especially the term allergy. Allergy is a medical term used to describe an adverse immunological reaction to any exogenous substance. This can include foods, food components, naturally occurring chemicals, synthetic chemicals and any form of organic or inorganic matter. The correct term for what everyone is talking about here is food sensitivity or intolerance for which in fact food allergies make up a very small subset of. Food allergies can be easily determined from a battery of immunological testing which is available today from doctors who are allergists and clinical ecologists. The clinical ecologists have a much broader and highly developed model for allergenicity and empirical testing methodology than the atypical allergist. Most allergists prescribe drugs which are anti-inflammatory and immune suppressive in nature and although can provide immediate symptomatic relief it does nothing to resolve the underlying reasons for the allergies and in the long run contributes to total toxic exogenous load which was one of the primary precipitating factors in the first place. Clinical ecologists often provide a combination of homeopathic based desensitization, dietary change and nutraceutical supplementation to provide both symptomatic relief and longer term core functionality resolution and therefore is generally more effective than allergists treatment is. But the problem is that both sciences rely too heavily on a one cause/one cure approach to multidimensional challenge resolution which is a product of germ theory thinking. The allergy or sensitivity provoking substance is seen as an external provoking agent just like a pathogen. The germ theory model in terms of both pathogenicity and toxicology is now being challenged on every level as the new model of health viability is now becoming more host competence centric as opposed to exogenous exposure centric. Both are important in therapeutic model development as the disorder is environmentally induced and internally experienced so both domains of influence need to be considered. But there is just no way to protect oneself from every external toxin or pathogen in life that can cause metabolic mutagenicity and pathological morphology. Any competent therapeutic model focuses on environmental exposure as only a stop gap measure for further symptomatic aggravation but puts its resources into building the metabolic and regulatory functionality that was damaged due to exposure but also the underlying etiological factors underlying both the severity and frequency of reaction to the environmental stimuli. Most adverse food reactions are actually sensitivities that can be caused directly and indirectly by many cumulative factors including genotypical predisposition, concurrent total metabolic and specific metabolic organ/pathway efficiency loss, prolonged or acute exposure to any toxic exogenous substance not just foods, specific biochemical individuality imbalances and intolerances, fetal development issues, and collective and specific macro and micronutrient density challenges. One of the most important overlooked factors is thermodynamic and not chemical in nature which is loss of ergogenic capacity or the ability to produce potential energy and convert it to kinetic energy. Intrinsic to all chronic disorder development is precursive energy loss which creates a deficit in the capacity of the body to sustain normal catabolic detoxificative processes and anabolic restoration. Genetics play a part but only on a very conditional level because most people have thousands of genetic mistakes but will not be incited unless there are prolonged adverse conditions. Another very common significant component to environmental reactivity is toxicological substances introduced into the ecology of the body during fetal development as some posters have accurately stated the dangers of peanut oil based vaccines. Something that would not be a challenge to an adult can be a very destructive force when introduced during sensitive biogenesis processes in fetal development especially during the state of neurogenesis. Many “allergens” are neurotoxins and this is causing all sorts of adolescence development issues with the brain and nervous system. The truth is that the average American woman of childbearing age is an incredibly unhealthy person with numerous subclinical nutritional deficiencies and core vitality weaknesses which can have a profound effect on the liver’s detoxification capacity increasing turnaround time for these chemicals pharmacokinetically and increasing the duration of in vivo exposure and potential mutagenic chemical production exposure to the fetus. So effectively there is no such thing as an isolated allergy, that is an phenomenological impossibility. We just cant blame vaccines for these problems, potential parents are playing a probability crap shoot by bearing children when their states of metabolic and nutrition health is so questionable. Many nutrients enable the body to maintain regulatory control of metabolic pathways and membrane surfaces which protect us from direct and deleterious exposure to exogenous toxic compounds. Everyone is walking around with a Love Canal of pesticides, inorganic compound, medical drug, heavy metal and artificial food component residues in their bodies. Most people will not experience the negative effects till later in life as a variety of metabolically based challenges reach critical mass and create real organic medical diseases especially ones that are inflammatory in nature. You get the life you invest in and the author is not a biochemist or specialist but is trying to provide useful general information for taking proactive action to reduce many direct and indirect contributors to metabolic inefficiency caused by toxicological exposure and nutritional deficiency from food. She is not a highly technical clinician like myself who can run sophisticated testing on all sorts of potential exogenous and endogenous conditions. I am part of a field of therapeutic intervention specialists called functional medicine or environmental/metabolic biochemists. The clinical ecologists have put way too much emphasis on allergenicity instead of metabolic efficiency. I have helped thousands of people recover from just about every form of environmental sensitivity and complex sensitivity syndrome there is including agent orange exposure and EPA super dump exposure. So the narrative of food intolerances is incomplete if seen as separate phenomena from all the other combinatorial factors that create the conditions for hyper reactivity which also includes toxic chemical and pathogenic exposure like molds and internal regulatory imbalances caused by neurotransmitter, neuropeptide, nucleopeptide, pheromone, hormone, cell messenger and cell activator imbalances. So no conversation about any kind of allergy is coherent with out a discussion of the role of nutritional chemistry in metabolic functionality. To state that the primary biomass exposure we experience called food does not play a significant role in sensitivity development and onset is ludicrous. Our ancestors were healthier than us on certain levels but they did not have as high an incidence of food sensitivities not because of the stellar nature of their diet, in fact they endured massive food shortages and chronic pathological contamination, simply because they just did not eat the variety of foods we do which increases the potential for sensitivity and their foods were more basic and not adulterated with partial food components from wheat, corn and rice which is the cause of many developmental intolerances and across generations is increasing allergenicity genetically. The suffered from overt clinical nutrient deficiencies. The average American today is suffering from a host of subclinical deficiencies when by themselves do not elicit actual disease but the combinatorial effect of many imbalances is causing metabolic entropic states of such complexity and etiological confusion modern medicine with its “cure” model is not up to the task of understanding and treating properly. They do not use system thinking in their assumption and assertion models and the gold standard of empirical evaluation called the double blind study just does not emulate real life conditions accurately. It is one thing to test for the relative benefit or pathogenicity of one drug but you cannot do this with nutrients. They are synergistic and many false positive and negative outcomes have been generated by medical researchers when it comes to nutrient value contribution which makes renders much research irrelevant. We need more holographic models for observational coherence. Myself and other mathematicians in the biomedical field are working on that right now using complex mathematical models to approximate functionality. There are so many latency variation issues with exposure to most environmental toxins that you can only test for the big offenders for economic reasons and then construct a diet plan of general food adulterant avoidance and optimal nutrient density provision. That is the service the author provides to the public. But I would rather have the choice of eating selectively from a wide variety of food sources today and experience the occasional avoidable allergen that endure the kind of hard scrabble food existence they endured. They ate organ meats not for health but because of poverty. Eating a lot of organ meat is not advised because of the nutritional imbalances they can create and the relative toxicity of them. They often had very little access to medical care and were often powerless to recover from conditions we see as common ailments today. They did not trust their bodies more they just had no choice but to just get rest and drink water. Medicine has failed across the board in terms of educating people about healthy lifestyles which could prevent most chronic diseases but they are geniuses in the area of trauma and communicable pathogenic disease control. And children did not play on a regular basis they worked which was tough on their bodies for many reasons. The current social orientation of exercising for health and children having appreciable time for recreation is only a modern development. And home cooking was actually boiling the hell out of everything because just about every food source was suspect so their diet was very poor in fact. The availability of fresh produce could not make up for so many other life and food quality issues and the infant mortality rate and overall morbidity rate reflected that. So our grandparents generation was far from a food panacea. The modern person has to deal with an onslaught of toxic chemicals in their environment (400,000 since the early 1900s) as the industrial revolution provided prosperity but also rampant toxicity in the environment and our abundant food supply has come with its perils like pesticides and GMOs. A healthy metabolic rate is your best insurance against all of these challenges because it enables your body to convert these toxic compounds rapidly into less toxic compounds which can be excreted otherwise they build up in the body. Most people above 40 have very inefficient bodies and the rate of metabolic toxins created per calorie produced has increased dramatically which is a perfect environment for environmental sensitivity development.

    • Carl Bamlet says

      Great response Andrew. It is a relief to hear more functional medicine doctors speak out on these topics. I like to think well thought out responses like yours will eventually overcome the convenience of blaming genetics and taking pharmaceuticals that our quick fix western civilization enjoys using. Heres to hoping. :)

  127. Katie says

    I like that this creates awareness of the topic of food allergies, but I have some questions. As a parent of children with food allergies, I would be curious as to what sort of expertise and experience the author has with this topic and where their info. is coming from. There are a number of factors that can contribute to food allergies, and to make a statement like, “If your nutrition is inadequate, the integrity of each cell, tissue and organ in your body will suffer, thus you may be MORE sensitive to certain foods” may make people assume that serious/ life-threatening food allergies can be prevented by simply eating healthy and spending time outside. The problem with this is that by assuming people can change the status of their allergies by simply changing their diet, is that such an attitude may cause people to take (life-threatening) food allergies less seriously than they should for the safety of those that suffer from these types of allergies. I wish food allergies did have such a simple fix, as changing one’s diet.

  128. karen says

    I disagree with most all that is written. I grew up on a farm, Never ate boxed food or canned from a store. I freeze my own veggies. I have always been involved in sports and love the outdoors. I have weighted about the same for many years and wore the same size clothes for about 30 years. And I have developed some crazy food allergies. But the Doctors that helped me figure it all out told me that stress that I went through when my husband got sick and then pasted away within a 3 month period at a young age may have triggered it. Its not always enviroment…………………………..

    • Ella says

      Oh Je-ZUZ… Please people do not listen to this person with zero medical knowledge.

      VACCINATE YOUR KIDS. Or watch them die.

      • Catie says

        Haha, this is a great response! I was raised without having most of the vaccines and now I might die from the measles. Also, I can never travel anywhere tropical, so thanks mom!

    • Ella says

      Show us medical evidence that vaccines harm children.

      And i’m not talking about one or two isolated cases. I’m asking you to show us examples of how diseases such as smallpox, measles etc are more prevalent now than they were before vaccines.

      You make a ridiculous and dangerous claim. The onus is on you to provide evidence to support such claims.

  129. Lex says

    I have to disagree. This can’t explain any of why a baby or toddler would have allergies as they haven’t lived long enough to develop any bad habits. My toddler has allergies and was exclusively breast-fed for 6 months and continued breast feeding into 2 /12 years along with organic foods, grains fruits vegetables and meats. I have eaten a healthy natural diet my whole life and we both have plenty of exercise. Well maybe not me now. But he sure does. Thumbs down on this article. It has great suggestions for living a healthy lifestyle but no relevance to allergies.

  130. Lex says

    To those mentioning peanut oil in vaccines, peanut oil does not contain the allergens of the peanut. The protein of the peanut is what people are allergic to.

  131. Matt says

    I’m not sure about the science behind how nutrition, GMOs, etc. affects the onset of allergies, but here’s an interesting phenomenon: exposure to parasites (helminths) may be a protective factor against allergic hypersensitivity. Our immune response to helminth infection is mediated by the same antibody type (IgE) which causes allergic hypersensitivity. The idea is that since people of developed countries are rarely exposed to these types of parasitic infections, the IgE response is inappropriately ramped up to other stimuli. Perhaps our grandparents were exposed to more parasites as children.

    Here’s a paper that demonstrates this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19128351

  132. Drew says

    I take issue with the inclusion of GMO’s in point 4. They add things or change things in food but they’re not like preservatives or additives etc. You can take a genetically modified crop and grow it in a traditional way and you’ll get the same if not a better result than growing the original plant the traditional way.

  133. Rodger says

    This article is an opinion piece. You gave zero proof or evidence that any of this has anything to do with allergies. A better name for the article would’ve been something like “Why our grandparents may have been healthier than us”.

    There is enough misinformation floating around confusing people. No need to add to that pile of BS.

  134. Sue C says

    I’m 55 & my kids grew up in rural Africa, where w ate Organic because we grew our own. We had a large garden and the kids were always outside. My older daughter developed an intolerance to bananas and it became a full blown allergy as she grew older.

    Her sister (who has no allergies) has a daughter who is so allergic to them that if she goes into a room where someone recently had a banana (outside, no banana in the room itself) she goes into anaphylactic shock, has to have EpiPen treatment and an ambulance dash to the nearest hospital. The EpiPens aren’t working too well anymore and she usually has to have a second dose.

    She has since developed allergies to many other fruits and the paediatrician wants her on a fruit free, sugar free, dairy free, egg free, soya free, wheat free, gluten free diet as her gut is absorbing very little goodness from food. He specialises in kids with fruit allergies and says he has another 6 patients on his books who are just as sick with allergies as she is, and we don’t know what to do, because fruit is everywhere.

    The school is OK about being Nut free but they resist the idea of being fruit free even though exposure to fruit is life threatening for her. She has had 3 anaphylactic reactions on a bus so she can no longer use public transport. She can’t go into shops or play centres or to visit friends homes. Its a bloody nightmare! She’s only 4 years old, and with the reactions getting ever more severe, we aren’t too confident that she will live to claim her Pension one day.

    I was a nurse in Africa (I now live in the UK) and we hadn’t even heard of peanut allergy then. In fact we recommended peanut butter on wholewheat bread as a healthy inexpensive snack. The most common allergies there in the 70s and 80s were to penicillin, elastoplast and aspirin.

  135. farang says

    I’m guessing the author never canned anything? Our grandparents sure did: not all of their food was fresh.

  136. says

    I see this phenomenon almost daily while selling chocolates and other treats made from whole foods sans the traditional soy lecithin, gluten, gmo’s and refined sugars at the farmers markets. It is rare when an older person tell me they have allergies but so many parents are shopping for children that do. Allergies are rampant among the younger set and I agree with all the reasons mentioned in this article. Too much processed food loaded with chemicals, additives, poor quality emulsifiers and bad eating habits, crazy diets and a polluted environment among the parents have put their children at risk.
    The crazy thing is meals/foods made from whole foods taste so much better then the additive/gmo laden processed and packaged goods offered up even in Whole Foods. The more we can move away from these highly processed foods the better.
    Just say no for you and yours. It will make a difference for you and the planet.

  137. Snowy says

    One thing to point out – my mother’s generation (ie kids born in the 1940s/1950s) didn’t drink breast milk if they could afford not to. My mother has told me repeatedly that she finds it interesting there is such a focus on it now, because if you had the means you gave your kids formula. Who knows if the formula had more or fewer chemicals than the formula of today, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a breast feeding issue alone. My parents, aunts, uncles, etc don’t have food allergies either. I think this has much more to do with GMOs that were heavily introduced mid-century. So kids born in the 1970s/1980s started to see effects and kids born today are even more affected by allergies.

    • Catie says

      If GMOs were introduced mid-century then wouldn’t your parents’ generation have spent most of their formative years ingesting them? I was raised on organic food and don’t totally trust GMOs but there is absolutely no scientific evidence showing that anything bad happens when you eat GMO foods. That’s straight from NPR, too.

  138. Jeff says

    This is an opinion piece as it doesn’t cite any actual scientific data or studies that support her argument. There are a lot of people on here going back and forth on this and it’s a moot point. This ultimately is an opinion. I think the author should state that so people don’t read this as fact. This is just more example of how anyone can post anything they want on the internet and it doesn’t have to be true. Lots of misinformation out there.

  139. Lee says

    Instead of blaming modern medicine for the problems of today, maybe one should focus on the fact that we could not even be able to worry about these topics without it. We worry about vaccination side effects because the diseases they prevent are no longer a threat. We have controlled disease in this country to a level where people can be worried about vaccinating children. Don’t know about you, but something like polio isn’t something I want to see my children get, It’s not gone, our defenses are just strong. What do you think will happen if we stop vaccinating against it? There are some good points made here but few of them have solid evidence. Personally I’d like to see a bit more evidence as opinions have a higher probability of being wrong. Waiting out a fever sounds like a good idea now, but back in the early 1900’s the leading causes of death were also infectious disease. What is it now? Heart disease, cancer….hmmmm mostly age related. Think a little deeper folks. The preservatives we have in food increases the food supply, allows both parents to make an income, makes sure a busy mother can feed her family and get everything else done, and the entire time she does not have to worry about everyone vomiting because the meat had gone rancid at the local market before she bought it. If you don’t want the preservatives, keep a spouse at home and grow your own food. Rather then thinking solely about what’s wrong with our current protective mechanisms perhaps you should consider what things would be like if these things didn’t exist or were inaccessible….hmmm I wonder what they think about this topic in third world countries where hunger is real and disease is still the leading cause of death…. of their children.

  140. DocMomDC says

    You didn’t mention the role vaccines play in allergies and other autoimmune problems. Our grandparents didn’t receive 60 vaccinations in their LIFETIME, let alone by the age of 5. Nor were they vaccinated within hours of birth, LONG before the immune system has developed enough (around 2 years of age) to process those toxins. Hell, WE didn’t receive even HALF the vaccinations as children do today!

    As for the peanut allergies, look to the vaccines for that, as well as for the milk allergy (DPT vaccine). Some vaccines are made with peanut oil.

    • Catie says

      Our grandparents were just lucky enough to not have died from the measles, mumps, small pox, polio, chicken pox, typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus, rubella, influenza, etc. In 1920, over 13,000 people in the US died from diphtheria alone. In 2003, there were 500,000 measles deaths in developing countries where children have no access to vaccines but grow their own food and get plenty of fresh air. Those children will never have grandchildren so I guess they don’t count, right?

      • Hydra says

        The New Zealand Government’s statistics show that the average death rate per 10,000 fell from 6.08 to 0.20 before the use of diphtheria vaccine.
        Southland Time 30-Sep-1998

        Figures published in International Mortality Statistics confirm that from 1915-1958 the measles death rate in the U.S. and U.K. declined by 98% (five years before the creation of the measles vaccine)

        From 1900-1935 before the pertussis vaccine was introduced the death rate from pertussis in the United States and England had already declined on its own by 79% and 82% respectively.
        International Mortality Statistics

        “According to the CDC, 133 people contracted polio between 1980 and 1994. A total of 125 of those cases or an average of eight per year were caused directly by the oral polio vaccine, which consists of a live but weakened virus, the CDC said.”
        Associated Press, 1/ 20/97

        “When WHO officials discovered a polio outbreak in Nigeria was sparked by the polio vaccine itself they assumed it would be easier to stop than the natural “wild” virus. They were wrong… Because there is no such thing as a “wild” polio virus. Polio never existed until the vaccine was invented says Salk. The man that invented it.The virus in the vaccine can mutate into a deadlier version that ignites new outbreaks.”
        ‘Polio Surge in Nigeria after Vaccine Virus Mutates’ Associated Press, 8/14/09

        “A sixteen month old boy hospitalized for high fever and paralysis had never received any poliovirus vaccine … From playing and sharing a bed with his cousin, he apparently contracted poliomyelitis from the cousin who received Typ-2 oral poliovirus thirty-three days before. Virological and serological investigation revealed a vaccine-like strain of Type-2 poliovirus.”
        ‘Poliomyelitis associated with Type-2 polio virus strain. Possible tramsmission from an immunized child to an non-immunized child.” Lancet, vol. 1, 3/30/68