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Showing posts from July, 2013

When Food-Allergy Mortality Smacks You Upside the Head

Yes, I know about the latest death in our community. I started a long screed here about all of my favorite hobby horses:
The dangers of giving global medical advice over the internet (yes, I'm looking at you, web sites who are telling everyone to start giving epinephrine even before symptoms)The nastiness of assuming this child's family has lost their right to privacy because they've experienced a tragedy (yes, I'm looking at you, web sites who continually stir the pot for internet traffic)The danger of wallowing in the very rare, worst-case scenario and the impact it can have on our ongoing anxiety disorders (which, admit it, we all have at this point)But really...writing about all that is just my way of avoiding something we all do not want to think about:
Some kids die and there's nothing we can do about itThe father was a doctor, for heaven's sake! He was right there. He treated her based on his training and experience. I have no doubt he did the best job he …

Save your own seed for sustainability, savings and security!

Seeds are something I can go on a tangent about.  I mean a big tangent....or rant if the situation calls for it!.  The great thing is that I don't need to do that for you as there are whole books who do a great job summing up the amazing things that occur when gardeners save their own seed.  Most recently I read The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food by Janisse Ray.  An entertaining read for both beginner gardens and those with years of experience and plenty of knowledge to back their own seed tangents and rants. Ray includes wonderful stories about saving seed and all the folks who do and WHY we should do it.  A few reasons why we should save seeds:

1) saves money
2) decreases resource use (no packaging, shipping, etc)
3) seed crops typically get a large dose of nasty pesticide and herbicides since they have to stay in the ground longer than if the veggie was getting picked for fresh consumption.  That means you want to buy only organic seed OR you can save your own…

Will the New Little Prince or Princess of Cambridge Have Food Allergies?

I admit it. My guilty pleasure is reading all the British royalty news about the new Ruler of the Seas To Be. But a line in an article the other day caught my eye:
"A hospital porter added...'they have been cleaning the floor inside and outside of the ward. They've re-painted.'"I might be the only person in the world who would immediately think of food allergies upon reading that...but it's not as far-fetched as you think.

There are definitely some provocative associations when it comes to allergies, and exposure to new nursery paint is one of them.  Boy babies exposed to new paint and fungus during the first six months of their lives had several times the rate of eczema that daughters without these exposures did. (Eczema is often a precursor to food allergies.)

So what else might predispose the young prince or princess to become one of our fold?

Family history: Kate is known to have environmental allergies to horses. While the royals are pretty tight-lipped abou…

3 Phrases I Wish Food Service Would Stop Using When Discussing Food Allergies

It's camp time again for a lot of our kids. Even though my son is 18 now, he's fulfilling his childhood-long dream of finally going to...Space Camp! It's quite expensive, but my husband and I decided we could pony up the money as a graduation gift.

I'm writing as a distraction while he's on the way to the airport to catch his plane. I knew I would cry. I knew he would get mad about it. Better to stay behind and write.

First off, let me say that the Space Camp food service people have been pretty good so far. But, having been through this a few other times with other camps, I'm seeing the same patterns of misunderstanding. So here's my list of what I wish camp and school food service organizations would edit out of their communication with parents:

1. "We handle allergies all the time." Yes, we know you do. As responsible parents, we have checked out your camp and verified that you do know how to handle food allergies. But that doesn't mean you c…

sweet corn and blueberry ice cream

I am not fortunate enough to be remotely close to any of Jeni's ice cream shops but I am pretty grateful that I purchased her book.  I bought it about a year ago and never really got around to making anything from it, plus there is the fact that I thought up until now my kitchen aid ice cream attachment was a piece of crap which was really just me not quite following the instructions properly.  Anyway her  interesting flavor combinations had me ready to try my ice cream maker again.    With total success I made her The Buckeye State flavor, which was amazing and tasted similar to a reeses peanut butter cup.
     Now you see I was hooked. I had to make more.  Next I made her enticing sweet corn ice cream.  I wasn't really sure how that was going to taste... maybe a little weird?  I wasn't sure. But I had all the ingredients on hand only adapting it with blueberries instead of blackberries.  It was unbelievable.
 This recipe was not in her book but I did find it here whi…

Dealing With PTSD From Food Allergies

I haven't been writing much lately, obviously. As I'm sure all of you know, there are ups and downs in this world of food allergies and, despite all the news being good for us, the stress of introducing all these new foods has made spring a stressful time in our house.

But I thought of you all two mornings ago. That is, I thought of you all after my heart stopped racing and the nausea and shakes went away.

Monday morning, my daughter (the one we called "Teflon girl" because illness seems to just slide off her) came into the office where I was working. She had just gotten out of bed. She said "Mom, I feel so sick I don't know what to do" and slumped against my shoulder.

I thought she was kidding until I reached out and touched her. Ice cold. Covered in sweat. And losing consciousness.

She got up off the chair and lurched toward her bedroom. I followed her, heart in my mouth, just in time to see her fall full out across her bed, lengthwise. As I ran to her an…