Have you ever wondered why your grandparents did not suffer from food allergies, or at least they were not as common as nowadays?
There is a growing number of people suffering from this type of allergies, and this modern epidemic significantly complicates life, and at the same time, its treatment can be quite expensive.
“Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department – that is more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year.” FoodAllergy
A study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that the number of children suffering from these allergies has risen by 50% between 1997 and 2011.
Moreover, according to Dr. Mercola, milk allergies are the number one food allergy in America, and he believes it has all started in the 1990’s, due to the use of growth hormones incorporated in milk and the overuse of antibiotics in factory farming.
Therefore, we should spot the major cause in something we didn’t use before- processed foods!
These foods contribute to allergies since they are high in various flavors, preservatives, food colorings, and additives. However, this is not all. Another serious threat is hidden in the food stores around the state.
7 Reasons Why Your Grandparents Didn’t Have Food Allergies
1. They ate real seasonal food.
Up until the 1950s or so, food came from local sources (or home-grown) because preservative chemicals weren’t widely used and technology didn’t support long-distance shipping.
There may have been more frequent trips to the grocery store (or the garden) and this resulted in fresher food devoid of additives. Most produce can lose a significant percentage of its nutritional value within a few days of harvest, making them less nutritious after a few days of shipping. (2)
The foods available at the local store were whatever was in season and not originating from the other side of the world. Additionally, produce is less nutritious now than it used to be, due to soil nutrient depletion—the result of conventional farming practices. (3) Food 60 years ago was more nutrient-dense for this and other reasons
2. Fad Dieting
We have been taught that food is either our enemy or our entertainment, rather than our very survival. Our grandparents didn’t hop on the newest diet trend wagon—they simply ate what was available and what they felt like eating.
What we eat affects every cell of our bodies. Eating too much of this and not enough of that, denying certain foods, counting calories, and yielding to the marketing influence of food manufacturers puts too much emphasis on what our brains tells us we “should” do (according to someone else) rather than listening to our bodies to satisfy needs and cravings.
A clinical study into the relationship between dieting and food cravings found that if you are actively dieting, whether to lose or maintain weight, you’re likely to crave foods that you are restricting yourself from eating. (4) In addition, eating the same foods all the time lead to cravings. (5)
Your body can tell you what it needs if you pay attention. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be mindful of what we eat (a sugar craving doesn’t mean your body needs a candy bar). Eating a variety of real whole foods served our grandparents well because they didn’t mess up their metabolisms by tinkering with manufactured diets.
3. Traditional Cooking
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, or thickeners.
Back then, food wasn’t full of additives, antibiotics, and hormones. It was just real, whole, natural food.
5. They ate the whole animal, including mineral-rich bone broth AND organ meats.
The article tells us, “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 meds. Doctor visits were only for accidental injuries and life-threatening illness.
When our grandparents got a fever there were a NUMBER of natural remedies they could use that had been passed down through the ages. And when they got sick they ate soups, broths, and got lots of rest. They knew their bodies and they trusted their immune system to heal itself, much more than we do today. In fact, their food was medicine, whether they knew it or not. Although something tells me they did.
7. The Great Outdoors
In days gone by, people actually spent time outdoors playing, socializing, traveling, and exercising. There weren’t electronic devices at their fingertips for entertainment and many people still worked outside in labor or agriculture. Exposure to fresh air, activity, and sunshine kept their immune systems working optimally. In fact, there is a direct correlation to vitamin D deficiency and allergies; the best source of vitamin D is sunshine.
How all these generational differences affect the experience of a food allergy is fairly straightforward.
The progressive introduction of chemicals in/on food and the air contribute significantly to allergic reactions.
Proper nutrition and physical activity are necessary for healthy immune system function.
It’s interesting to note that genetically-modified food hit widespread production in the American market in the mid-1990s, immediately before allergy rates began to exponentially increase. A coincidence?