Why So Many Allergies?

Everyone I talk to has some type of allergy.

“I can’t have dairy”

“Oh I’m allergic to soy”

“I am severely allergic to nuts”

Even out of my group of friends, 3 of them cannot have dairy, 2 cannot eat gluten, and 2 (including myself) are allergic to nuts. When I talk to my parents about this, they are appalled of how so many people have so many food allergies now. Back when they were kids, allergies were something 1 or 2 kids had, but now, the majority of kids have at least 1 allergy. This got me thinking… Why? It is something in our food? Chemicals? Lack of tolerance? So I decided to do some research starting with Milk…


I came across a TED talk that was given by a concerned mother and now knowledgable activist for chemically infused foods. She starts by talking about her childhood and how her diet wasn’t the most healthy. As she goes into it, she begins to speak of how in the mid 1900s, new food proteins were taking over the food scene with little knowledge about their makeup or potential harm. This is was done by the food companies so that they could be better off however, no human trials were conducted to test these products’ safety.

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-1-32-44-pmMilk is the biggest victim of this and coincidentally the number one food allergen in America. Recombinant bovine growth hormone or, rBGH, was introduced to the dairy scene in 1994 in order to increase milk production of the cows. However, this chemical resulted in an increase of disease of the animals given this. To solve this problem, they treated the livestock with antibiotics, but this only snowballed into a bigger problem of the rise of antibiotic-resistant humans.


Because rBGH has not been proven safe, countries such as Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and other European countries have refused to use it. But, clearly America went by the logic that it hasn’t been proven dangerous, so let’s use it! That being said that this chemical has yet to be proven dangerous, there should still be much concern revolving this. It is like saying, let’s let the murder off because we haven’t found too much evidence concluding that he is guilty, only some.

A scientist at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, Samuel Epstein, MD, is an expert on cancer prevention. He is one of Congress’ “go-to guys” to consult on cancer prevention and is very well written. In his many books, he explains to readers that rBGH milk is very different from natural milk because it is contaminated with high levels of natural growth factor (IDF-1), which has been proven as a major cause of breast, colon, and prostate cancers. In the picture below, it also states the multitude of other chemicals in our milk.



A study highlighted in the article showed that the United States has the highest rate of cancer. In addition, 1 out of 8 American women have breast cancer and 1 out of 10 are due to genetics …. Leaving 9 due to environmental factors. So, not only are these chemicals harming us with allergies but increasing our risk of cancer.


Soy is one of the top eight food allergens and a common ingredient in most processed foods. Just as we saw with the milk, there is a “foreign” substance being added to our soy: weed killers. These pesticides are Bt toxin which can be harmful to the body.

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-1-32-24-pmIn addition to the Bt toxin, GMO or, genetically modified organismsare taking center stage as the culprit for many new health issues. One of them being the staggering increase of food allergies.




Nowadays, nut allergies are EVERYWHERE. Whether is peanuts, tree nuts, or both, a lot of people are victims. I wanted to find out why in the past couple of decades this allergy has been on the rise. When researchingI found something in this article that hints towards the absence of nuts at early ages can be a potential cause. In the 2000s, pregnant women were told to steer clear of nuts because they didn’t know yet if the baby could be allergic. However, now scientists and researchers are claiming to incorporate small doses of nuts into pregnant women’s and children’s diets in order to expose them to the substance and increase their tolerance.

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-1-16-30-pmThis statement is also supported because of the new way to treat allergies: immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is when doctors are giving small doses of the allergen to the victims in order to increase tolerance and hopefully, cure their allergy.


screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-1-16-51-pmClearly, this new treat is in early stages and SHOULD NOT be tried alone without doctors, but in my opinion, and many other professionals’, this could be the new way to treat and cure allergies.


According to all the research, my questions were all valid. It seems to be that all of the new and untested chemicals taking over our food is also taking over our health. Lack of tolerance is also an issue regarding allergies. My advice: have a wide variety of food to increase tolerance, know what you’re eating, and steer clear of chemically infused foods — not just for allergy sake, but for detrimental health effects as well.

4 thoughts on “Why So Many Allergies?

  1. Rachel Waite

    As someone who does not have any known food allergies I have always been intrigued by the concept and science behind them. Having a fraternal sister with a nut allergy, which I do not share got me thinking. Is there a genetic component to allergies? A study was conducted with 58 pairs of twins in which at least one of the twins in each pair had a history of a severe peanut allergy. Each set of twins was then observed for allergic reactions after eating peanuts for 6 minutes. Additional experiments were conducted in response to this initial hypothesis. The most recent was held in Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam with a sample size of 3600 pairs of twins. Results indicating that 65% of identical twins shared the allergy while only 25% of fraternal twins did. Now while these results are not a definite answer they do provide evidence that supports the hypothesis of allergies containing a genetic component. More information on these studies can be found at this website http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/biology/b103/f03/web3/m1teicher.html .

  2. Daniel J Lehecka

    I’m lactose intolerant, so this blog hit home for me. In my case, it’s not severely debilitating but It is a nuisance in my daily life. My body is unable to break down dairy products, so I have to take Lactaid pills whenever I want to eat a product with milk in it. (https://www.lactaid.com/products/fast-act-chewables) These tablets help the body to create Lactase Enzymes which break down the dairy. So while allergies might be becoming more and more common, it is nice to see that we are able to come up with ways to help fight those allergies

  3. Danielle Megan Sobel

    Hello! This blog really resonated with me since all of my friends at camp have some sort of allergy, whether it is to nuts, dairy, or gluten. However, I don’t have any allergies. I was interested to know what It was like to have an allergic reaction? That could be an additional part of your blog. Since I don’t know and won’t ever experience one relating to food, I would be curious to know the signs and symptoms. This link shows some of them, including how to help a person experiencing them. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-allergy/basics/symptoms/con-20019293 Is this what you have felt?

  4. Jessy Severino

    Your blog post is very interesting. I’m a person who can eat anything and not have any allergic reaction and I’ve always thought that people exaggerate about being allergic to certain things. That being said I also wondered how some people are allergic to things like milk or nuts if they are healthy foods. Understanding that its the chemicals in these products that are causing the harm gives me a better helps me be more aware as to why people get sick if they eat these products.

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