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A mom takes on children's allergies
A recent article in the New York Times struck a chord with me. It concerned a mom, Robyn O'Brien, her four kids--one of whom has a food allergy--and big business food companies. According to the research Robyn has done, she feels that food allergies are related to additives, genetically modified ingredients and all the things you can't pronounce that are in the foods we eat.
Robyn, who basically naysayed children with food allergies until her daughter was diagnosed with one after blossoming into a full allergic reaction after eating egg, says to throw out all those foods and try to eat organic, non-modified food whenever possibility and cost allow. Her mission is to educate the public about what she feels are the true causes behind food allergies in children--which according to her and to many other concerned parents with Internet access are well on the rise.
Where do food allergies come from? Do the things that cause food allergies also cause autism? Who knows for sure. The number of deaths from such allergies isn't even that clear. According to the Center for Disease Control, the CDC, the numbers of death due to allergies are drawn from "doctors' notions on death certificates." How very grim.
Robyn has a website you can check out to learn more about her beliefs, her cause and her products, which is AllergyKids.com. Whether or not she's right, or whether or not we believe her, follow her, it is true that at least the concern over food allergies has grown tremendously within the last ten years.
What concerns me more than the allergies is how people without them treat those who have them. I have a severe nut allergy, a deadly one, in fact. Yet this seems to have no bearing whatsoever on the waitstaff at a restaurant, caterers or anyone else who serves food. I've been served a nut probably fifty times. I have yet to die from it, thankfully, but that's mainly because I trust no one under any circumstances.
I've had family members who know I have an allergy accidentally serve me something with nuts in it anyway. Considering that my son could well have this horrible allergy, I am more worried than ever. As annoying as all of this business is for people, schools and teachers, playdates and all that kind of stuff, it's real and it's out there and we have to deal with it.
Robyn O'Brien could be right or she could be wrong, but at least she's out there doing something about it. And she got the attention of the New York Times so that's something! Of course, it could be because she mentions Rumsfeld....