Friday, August 7, 2009

Stuff that Bugs Me

Just saw another online "article" (if you can even call it journalism) about how there's too much hype these days about food allergies....(yawn).

Of course, like an idiot, I also read some of the reader comments.

Here's a common one that gets me, personally: the people that criticize parents of food allergic children, basically saying one of two things:
1) all kids need to play outside more, and if they did, then there wouldn't be so many food allergic children; and
2) if only you fed your kid real food and did some cooking instead of filling them up with pop tarts, fruit snacks, and every other processed creation under the sun, then there wouldn't be so many food allergic children.
[Note: both #1 and #2 boil down to, "I have no sympathy for your child's condition, because it's all your fault.]


Okay, I'm not even saying that there's not a shred of truth in either #1 or #2, because maybe there is, at some societal level, over a number of decades. It seems plausible to me that the American lifestyle and abundance of genetically modified, processed foods in our diets might have some connection to food allergies.

But at the individualized level? Well, that just pisses me off. My daughter has food allergies and she's not quite two yet. I'm sorry, was I supposed to send her out on her own to play outside more during the first 6 months of her life? Especially on the snowy days, right? Babies love that.

And as for the food? If anything, I'm the mom that others make fun of for trying too hard to avoid processed crap. (Not that our family succeeds on that front entirely, but I'm just saying, we at least make an effort.) I kind of pride myself on having avoided pretty much all food (or food-like products, as I sometimes like to call them) that are specifically marketed to little kids. Also, we certainly don't do everything organic, but we do buy a lot of organic foods. I try to cook at home as much as possible. We enjoy buying from the farmer's market all summer. And when our daughter was younger, we boiled foods and made a great deal (but admittedly not all) of her pureed baby food from scratch, for Pete's sake. Oh, and p.s., I breastfed for 13 months, another thing that is supposedly linked to a lower risk of allergies. Due to being diagnosed with an egg allergy around age 1, my daughter basically only knows cookies and cupcakes from books, so excuse me if I'm just a *wee* bit sensitive to the idea that it was my stuffing her with pop tarts that gave her food allergies.

Whew! Bitter rant over. Okay, I feel better now.

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