Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2013

Where Have I Heard This Before?

From Paul Ryan's original health care proposal, which established him in some eyes as tough-minded health policy intellectual with bold and innovative solutions. Such as these: Provides a refundable tax credit – $2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families – to purchase coverage in any State, and keep it with them if they move or change jobs. Provides transparency in health care price and quality data, making this critical information readily available before someone needs health services. Creates state-based health care exchanges, so individuals and families have a one-stop marketplace to purchase affordable health insurance without being discriminated against based on pre-existing conditions. Equips states with tools like auto-enrollment programs and high-risk pools, so affordable health coverage can be accessed by all. Addresses health care’s growing strain on small businesses, by allowing them to pool together nationally to offer coverage to their employees. Encourages the a…

Thanks and Thanksgiving at SAGE

Thanksgiving -- a time to give thanks.  As we reflect on the year, SAGE has much to be thankful for during this season.  In no particular order, here are some things we give thanks for at SAGE.

1) Our Amazing Volunteers (and Interns)!!!:  We couldn't grow 3 - 4 tons of food without the help of  the 500 - 600 community members who contribute their time and hard work each year.

2) Our Community Sponsors and Donors: Thanks Samaritan Health Services for supporting financially supporting the education programs out at SAGE.  Thank you to all the individuals who have contributed to the work we do at SAGE, every bit makes a difference and is appreciated!

3) Our In-Kind Donors: Nectar Bee Supply provides bee hives, care and expertise, Republic Services provides yards and yards of compost to the garden, Dunn & Co. Tree Service graciously donates wood chips all year long, Gathering Together Farm, Persephone Farm and Peoria Gardens all donate plant starts, Shonnard's Nursery provides s…

Beans, Beans and More (or Less) Allergenic Beans!

We have a little good news this week: my son passed a home bean challenge for both pinto and cannellini (white) beans last night. Hooray!

At our last allergist visit, they ran the numbers on a number of varieties of beans and many were Class 0, with values like 0.68. My son's doctor thought it was reasonable to try these at home.

Going to stop for a moment and interject: DON'T DO THIS WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR'S DIRECTION. A lot of things go into whether home challenges are a good idea for your child: how serious the allergen typically is, how far the hospital, how experienced the parents are with recognizing reactions. Many doctors are not comfortable with this at all. But, in our case, it makes sense to do some challenges at home because my son tests slightly allergic to dozens of foods.

He has avoided all beans since around age five, when he started developing new allergies. First it was tuna. Then cashews. Then (to our great surprise), he suddenly became allergic to garbonzo be…

Taking The High Road With Food Allergies (Sometimes)

I was getting all ready to write a post about how grateful I am. You know...one of those count-down-to-Thanksgiving posts where I list all the people or things that have helped me along the way.

And I am grateful. Really. Having virtual friends who have traveled this same food-allergy road is a wonderful gift. I can name so many times when my panic and frustration were alleviated by someone I've never even met in real life, but who took the time to give me a tip, or to console me.

But frankly, my lovely gratitude post went out the window when I received this email from a relative:

What can we bring to share? I have some ideas: Sweet Potatoes glazed with Chutney and Ginger, Green beans with Dijon and Caper sauce, Creamed Green beans with Dill sauce, or whatever you request.   I am aware of [FAB's son] dietary restriction.

My son is allergic to beans. We avoid all beans. Even green beans. The doctor was surprised by this, as green beans are the least allergenic of the bean family, b…

Best Food Allergy Tweets/Posts From 2013 ACAAI Meeting

Sorry, guys...I've been very busy the last couple of weeks, but just over a week ago one of the largest allergy and asthma conferences, the annual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, was tweeting its brains out.

Here were the tweets and (virtual) presentations I thought were most interesting:

ACE inhibitors are often used to treat high blood pressure. I believe Lisinopril was the one specifically mentioned. This goes hand in hand with the idea that older patients, especially men, can see changes in the severity of their allergic reactions as they age.

Here's an answer on the question many of us asked about component testing. Just as with RAST, the number itself doesn't matter; just the positive result.

Gross! But yes, give your kids the bobber after the dog/ brother/ mailman licked it.

Conversely, tree-nut-allergic individuals have a 30% incidence of concurrent peanut allergy. 
So stop blaming yourselves, FA mommies! I've said this consistently - Mother Natur…

Turn Trash to Treasure: An Easy Way to Help SAGE and the Corvallis Environmental Center!

Clear clutter and unwanted items from your home and you can help raise funds for the Corvallis Environmental Center--all year long!  Just take your unwanted items to an ARC Thrift Store where they sell them and donate the proceeds to the CEC.  It easy!  Here's how:

1. Collect Items in Good Condition

Not all donate-able items are eligible, so check out the list of items that will raise money for the CEC:
www.corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org/turn-trash-to-treasure
2. Put a sticker on each eligible item Stickers are located in a big envelope on the window outside of the CEC office at 214 SW Monroe Ave., Corvallis

3. Drop-off Items at The ARC! Items can be dropped off anytime during store hours at either location.

The ARC Thrift Stores:
928 NW Beca Street, Corvallis (541) 754-9011
936 Main Street, Philomath (541) 929-3946

Hours:
Monday-Saturday: 10am-5:30pm
Sunday: 12pm-5:30pm
Thanks so much for helping support SAGE and the other programs of the Corvallis Environmental Center!!!

Magical Thinking and Food Allergies

So we got our FAHF-2 clinical trial email notification this week.

No, it's not the trial results. It was just a brief little note:
We are pleased to let you know that study participants have completed all study visits and we are now able to inform you of which treatment arm you or your child were part of (active or placebo). [FAB's kid] was on active treatment medication.At this time we can only provide you with your treatment assignment.  We are unable to share any information pertaining to other study participants.  Once the data is fully analyzed and peer reviewed, we will be able to share the overall study results.  So...good. We weren't crazy.

The problem is that history is always written after the fact. While you're living your way through something, cause and effect are never clear. When people ask us whether the medication has made all the difference in my son's life, I have to just shrug and say "I don't know." There HAVE been some major changes …

Transition Time

"Leaves are falling all around, it was time I was on my way.  To you I'm much obliged, for such a pleasant stay. " - Led Zeppelin's Ramble On
SAGE sure is in a state of seasonal transition.  Summer bounty enjoyed a pleasant stay and now it's moved on its way.  As the leaves have been falling (and delivered in huge piles!), the garden has taken the last month to transition from a space flagrantly bursting with fresh foods to one still full of produce, but more subtle in its glory.  Replacing the showing colors of eggplants, tomatoes and peppers, now there are the bright colors of radishes and beets who's hue only peeks through the soil surface.  Squash and cucumber vines no longer sprawl, now we have bok choy and mustard greens blanketing the soil.   The greens that were a bit lackluster all summer long have now come into their full glory.  Kids are eating the kale raw again, chard is glowing and the broccoli is actually producing delicious side shoots rather t…

Inclusion and Food Allergies: How Far Is Too Far?

I enjoy hanging out on Reddit. It feels a little like going to a teenager zoo and I consider it an important study tool in the quest to understand my own teens. Yes, there are other people there who are 40+, but for the most part, Reddit is a collection of teens and 20-somethings with too much time on their hands and often a Lord of the Flies mentality.

So I was not all that surprised to run across this one:


The original poster went on to say:
I was the only one in the neighborhood giving out small goodie bags of bite size butterfingers, recesses peanut butter cups,starbursts and other assorted chocolates during halloween. This woman comes back to my house and got angry at me for giving her son candy with peanut butter in it. He ate some and he was having an allergic reaction. How the hell am i suppose to know what her son is allergic to. It wouldn't kill her to be a good parent and monitor what her kid eats instead of blaming me.I read through some of the almost 2000 comments, tryin…

kale and sweet potato clam chowder

I've only had chowder two other times before this and it was the creamy, loads of bacon and carbs kind. All the delicious stuff right?  Well this time using milk instead of cream and more sweet potatoes then the mighty white to make a much more lighter healthier version. One that doesn't sacrifice flavor or all the things that make chowder, chowder. 

CLAM CHOWDER WITH KALE AND SWEET POTATO 
(LACTOSE FREE)

2 pounds small hard-shelled clams, scrubbed
2 slices smoked bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 cup corn kernels, from 2 cobs or 1 cup frozen
1 large handful of kale, rinsed and chopped
1 celery stock, chopped
2 1⁄2 cups vegetable or seafood stock, low or no-sodium 
2 1⁄2 cups Natrel lactose free milk
1 1⁄2 cups sweet potato, chopped into 1inch chunks 
1 cup mini-red potatoes, quartered
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper
juice of one lemon
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1⁄4 bunch scallions, sliced
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsle…

Discuss This Food Allergy Research At The Dinner Table Tonight!

My mom and I went to a reunion this summer with her first cousins, ladies I had not met before. On the way to the restaurant, I was telling my mom about my summer research into intestinal flora and fecal transplant.

The poop had definitely been circulating in the news all summer, with the popular science journals joining in:
Why Smokers Gain Weight When They Quit Smoking: Changes in Intestinal FloraGut Infections Keep Mice LeanColorectal Cancer May Be Triggered By Mouth BacteriaBacterial Molecules May Prevent Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseHuman Microbiome Livestream channelSome of My Best Friends Are Germs (New York Times - excellent summary)We ran into the cousins in the parking lot and introductions and hugs were passed around. Just as I'm opening the door to the restaurant, my mom says "so FAB, tell my cousins what you were just telling me about transferring pooh into people's colons." 
Not the ideal way to be introduced. 
But you can see the difficulty. This is an astoni…

Examples of Food Allergy Backlash

I've been pretty busy over the last couple of weeks. So, instead of writing a long blog post, I think I'll just leave a few things here that I've recently run across.

Stores are increasingly putting signs up about allergens. Not all of them are friendly.
This is from an album entitled "Guess What Mark Is Allergic To." His oh-so-helpful co-workers put these notes on food at work.


Someecards has a card for us now.

From Your Food Allergy Is Not My Problem.

Do you guys feel there's more or less of this kind of stuff happening now?


Follow me on Facebook or Twitter