I have added a poll (on the right margin) for everyone to participate in.
Occasionally I will change the poll to ask about a different topic. Answer only once per poll, please. This will help me to decide what I will offer in future posts.
So, don't forget to answer the poll and then "vote" today.
Have a great day. Thanks.
June 1 update below...
Edit to post results:
38 people voted (since people could pick more than one answer, there are more than 38 total answers)
#1 poll findings - taken May 12-31, 2008
Do you have a food allergy or sensitivity? (check all that apply)
(choices listed with number of votes beside)
4 - Yes, gluten
3 - Yes, wheat
3 - Yes, soy
1 - Yes, corn
2 - Yes, tree nuts
1 - Yes, peanuts
8 - Yes, dairy
5 - Yes, eggs
1 - Yes, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant)
3 - Yes, but not any of the above
21 - No
My response... I am glad to see that most people that voted (55%) are not allergic or sensitive to any foods. On the other hand, it is possible they do and are not aware of such.
The number one allergen food seems to be dairy, of those polled. To me this is not surprising in the least, in fact there is information available which might explain this. I do feel (with the possible exception of raw organic milk - which many people can tolerate) that in many ways there is more reason to live dairy free than to live meat free. That may be hard for you to believe, me being a vegetarian and all, but I have learned much about the dangers of the dairy industry. We are told to drink our milk. "It does a body good" they say. I've even seen people being told that if they eat a certain amount of ice cream, that it can "count" for a serving of dairy. My point...I understand why this is number one in the poll. I hope to post more about this in the future.
Depending how you look at it, the next two/three that are allergen foods are gluten, wheat, and eggs. The wheat sensitivity is what we deal with in our house, along with some possible dairy in there. This seems to be a difficult one for those who find out they have to avoid these. Not only will you have to start baking all your own "bread" and baked desserts (or find the expensive special foods), but you find that wheat/gluten is in many processed foods out there. Having to avoid eggs may be hard to deal with, but very possible.
Soy and corn are ones that we may hear more about in the future because they are the most genetically modified (GM) food crops out there. Did you know that more than 70% of all foods in the average grocery store these days are genetically modified or have GM ingredients in them (processed foods)? That's way too many, folks! This includes anything from produce to canned soup and everything in between. And why? It all comes down to money. If you haven't already, you must see this video I posted here about the GMO controversy if you care anything about the future of food and your family's health. Soy and corn are also very hard to avoid as these are in many many foods in stores in many different forms such as soy protein, vegetable oil (which is soy oil) to corn syrup and cornstarch. These two things are everywhere.
Tree nuts and peanuts...I have heard that some schools have banned peanuts from school property because there are enough students allergic to them that it's easier to make them "contra ban" if you will. Living in Ghana and having lived in Georgia for two years, the peanut one would be hard for me. But from what I understand, peanut allergies mainly come from sensitivity to the mold that easily grows on the shells in storage. Yuck, you say...I agree. But do you realize the mold/mildew issues from other foods as well? Foods like dried fruit, grains, and beans and other foods not properly stored or cooked may have some of the same issues. Tree nut allergy is not one I am as familiar with, so I will have to learn more about this one. It just shows you that what one person needs to avoid, it will do wonders for another. Everyone is created differently. No two of us are alike.
For the person who has sensitivity to nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant- this also includes tobacco, by the way), I am guessing that they have arthritis. Some people find major relief from their arthritis when they avoid these foods and quit smoking. If you deal with this very painful disease, it might be something to look into. There are alternatives for tomato based sauces and those mashed potatoes. I plan to post some of these recipes as well, as it's always nice to have alternatives for a change.
The other answer..."yes, but not any of the above" may come from those who might be allergic to shellfish, strawberries, bananas, or other food that falls in the "other" category. I tried to list all the major ones I could think of, but I know there are many others I could have included if I had done an exhaustive list.
Thanks to all who voted. Check out poll #2, posted on June 1, 2008. Remember one vote per person, per poll. Have everyone in your house vote today! =)