What’s Causing the Increase in Food Allergies?


Robyn O’Brien is a former food industry analyst turned crusader for safe, healthy food talks about the link between food allergies and our food system.

We talked last week about a child with a debilitating peanut allergy, and several commenters brought up the good point that we didn’t see food allergies like this when we were kids. What’s causing this increase in food allergies here in the U.S., and what can we do to prevent them? As it turns out, kids are not “wimps,” as one commenter put it. In fact, what’s changed isn’t the kids. It’s our food.

In this TED talk, O’Brien discusses how one breakfast changed her outlook on food. She discovered that her daughter had a severe food allergy, and she became determined to discover what was causing the sharp spike in food allergies here in the U.S. What she found was alarming:

I’m so glad to see someone looking at the link between genetically modified foods and allergies. It’s something I’ve wondered about for a long time, and I’m not surprised to see that there is, in fact a link.

The facts about our food system are pretty depressing, but I think the take away message here is very uplifting. As O’Brien herself says in her talk, “one person can make a difference.” She encourages everyone to “Do One Thing” to improve your health and that of your family and our country. What’s your one thing?

h/t: Civil Eats

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Vinni123

11 thoughts on “What’s Causing the Increase in Food Allergies?”

  1. What about the peanut storage? Molded and mildewed as they sit in storage. Not fresh peanuts. Definitely makes enzymes work harder when needed on other things in gut. Opine?

    1. Good point. My allergist said that even though I don’t test allergic to peanuts, many of them harbor mold and nut butters often contain rancid nuts. I’ve had problems with nut butters and he explained it that way.

      1. When my 5 year old son suddenly became deathly allergic to peanuts last year, I called Golden Peanut Company in Georgia. They said the only thing that has changed in their production of peanuts is that they used to turn them in the field several times during the growing process. Now they leave them and dry them in dryers. So perhaps the mold is growing then sealed in during the drying process? In “History of the Peanut Allergy Epidemic,” author Heather Fraser shows how anaphylaxis to food was created in dogs–injecting food protein into them. Of course, vaccines have food protein in them and vaccine makers are not even required to put all ingredients on their labels. “Adjuvant 65” is peanut oil–undoubtedly with trace amounts of peanut protein. It is russian-roulette. And the FDA is not only useless, but a big player in this tragic turn of events in our health.

  2. Thank you, I will have to watch this.

    I am currently reading “Natural Solutions for Food Allergies and Food Intolerances: Scientifically Proven Remedies for Food Sensitivities” by Casey Adams PhD.
    It is full of the most recent research and studies on Food allergies and intolerances and talks about the causes of and how to overcome these sensitivities.
    It’s astoundly well-grounded in studies and research.

    I have suffered from debilitating and numerous multiple food sensitivities for the past 6.5 years, so I am quite interested in this topic.

    I am only about 1/3 of the way through, but am applying some of what he talks about and seeing noticeable changes.

  3. I have, in the recent months, become increasing more aware of this information by watching two movies: (1)Food Matters, and (2) Food Inc. As a result, my husband and I have ONLY bought Organic. I know it is expensive, but the prices in our local grocery stores have been coming down. I have made a point to my local grocers that I spend hundreds a month for my purchase, and purchases I have led to buy for others. However, I will only spend these monies in stores that will give me what I now demand ORGANIC PRODUCTS!!! We as the consumer, have the power, and I don’t have any problem at all wielding it!!!

  4. I have been saying for the last 20 or so years that there was something wrong with our food supply. The food that we consume is what fuels us, it is our immune system to help us fight NATURAL preditors, not create them. When I have blatenly stated in conversations that cancer, food alergies, diabetes and other diseases were at an all time high and that it wasnt like this 30 or 40 years ago, i’m hit with, “well, it existed, we just didn’t know about it – Bull shit!

    1. We also need to DEMAND that our Governments make these GMO products illegal instead of taking backhanders to promote them and poison us all.

  5. I try to consume organic only and boycott anything that is Genetically Modified and I try to share information about this sort of thing with other people to make the public aware of the risks of consuming GMO.

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