I met my friend Stef yesterday for a little work/tea break and we were gabbing with the barista (Jenna, the best) and the topic of gluten came up, and naturally I went into verbal spillage mode. Both Jenna and Stef were asking lots of questions, but one that came up that I hear often is: I feel like all of the sudden kids (and adults alike) are getting more and more food allergies…what’s the deal? Why is everyone sensitive to everything, all of the sudden?
It’s a good question. Remember when we used to go to school with our PB&J and trade sandwiches for pinwheels? Well, those days are no longer. There’s a lot of theories as to why food allergies are rampant these days, one of the most popular being the hygiene hypothesis (we live in too sterile & clean an environment), but there are a number of other contributing factors as well. After I talked with Stef and Jenna about our overall immunity going downhill as a result of the Standard American Diet (among many other reasons), and it’s contribution to our inability to digest certain foods, Stef said something that stuck with me: “It’s kind of like Darwinism, but in reverse. Are we de-volving?”
If we keep eating and living the way we have been…we just may.
If it’s a topic that interests you, I strongly suggest checking out a recent forum on KQED.