Thursday, December 18, 2008

Can We Blame Jimmy Carter?

Considering how anti-Israel, pro-Arab, pro-Pseudistinian, former US President Jimmy Carter is, it would be nice to be able to blame him for fatal peanuts, the cause of America's fanatic, hyper-phobic peanut allergy. Today's American schools are obsessively peanut free, and I wish the media would do the same to Carter.

More people are murdered every year by Jimmy's Arab terrorist friends than die from peanuts, but we're expected to be nice to the Arab terrorists.

Soccer Dad sent me this article about the school bus that was evacuated over a peanut. Considering that the Carter fortune is from peanuts, shouldn't we be suspicious?

When I was growing up, mid-Twentieth Century, nobody heard of a peanut allergy. Peanut butter was a staple. If you needed to take a sandwich, peanut butter and jelly was the most popular. It had a long "shelf life," didn't spoil, leak or any other negatives. Peanut butter was relatively inexpensive and an affordable and filling protein for the poor.

Also, when I was a kid, we were forced to drink milk a few times a day, and nobody talked about milk allergies or lactose intolerance. Doctors and nutritionists of the time even accused kosher families of abusing their kids, because the parents refused to give their kids a glass of milk after each meal, including meat ones.

To counteract the serious acne many of my generation suffered from, most probably because of milk/lactose problems, the dermatologists prescribed sunbaths. The peeling skin was "cleansing" according to some doctors, whose patients, today, suffer more skin cancer.

Did fatal peanut allergies exist in the 1950's? Did they exist before Jimmy Carter began producing peanut seeds? Does anyone know?


Leora said...

Allergies have definitely skyrocketed in the past twenty years.

Some blame the large numbers of vaccinations that children now receive as one factor. Then there are all sorts of other theorists, too, given all the chemicals in the environment. And the diet: children raised on Bamba are more likely to get sick than those eating broccoli. Even if there's nothing particularly bad in the Bamba, there probably ain't too much good, either.

In terms of acne, some researchers studied people on the Kitavan Islands who had no acne. They also didn't consume sugar, didn't consume white flour, ate fruits and vegetables. And didn't drink cow milk.

I'll leave off the political part of this.

Batya said...

thanks leora

One frightening thing I will, bli neder blog about later is that I've been hearing more and more from people of my generation less healthy than their parents. Add that to the young children with middle age health problems like kidney stones and type 2 diabetes.

Oy, what will we do?

Politics not required.

Anonymous said...

I've heard about findings very similar to those cited by Leora about diet and acne; very interesting, indeed.

With regard to allergies, two of my relatives have food allergies. This, despite healthy diets (in fact, a family history of such diets) not being exposed to many toxic chemicals, etc. There's not much they can do about it. If one of them comes into contact with a certain kind of food, he breaks out in hives. The more severe reactions for people who suffer from these allergies are frightening - wheezing, shortness of breath, etc.

As convenient as some answers may seem, without concrete evidence, causation cannot be determined just from casual observations.

As ridiculous as that story may seem, failing to act with due caution could endanger the lives of those allergy sufferers. Not giving due credence to a very real problem can be seen as insulting and delegitimizing to those who suffer from such allergies.

Once you personally know someone who suffers from food allergies, the subject takes on an entirely different perspective.

Batya said...

Statistically, the fatal peanut allergy is rare. I wouldn't be surprised if more people die from bee sting allergies or complications from asthma and cat allergy.
No other allergen has gotten such coverage.

More serious for great numbers of people is the "hidden" dairy and wheat in all sorts of foods.

What has happened to peanuts, once the poorman's protein?

Anonymous said...

Even if the fatal allergy is not that common, shouldn't the lives and welfare of all allergy-sufferers be given due credence?

Peanut allergies are just matter-of-fact; people are used to dealing with them here. No one is preventing people from eating those foods outside of school, but what other solutions are there for dealing with populations comprised of allergy sufferers? Just dealing with the problem and not making a big deal out of it is a good way to handle the situation. I haven't heard anyone complain about such regulations in years.

It feels just like instances when people dismiss the complaints of asthma sufferers who are forced to breathe in irritating fumes (smoke, strong fragrances, etc.). Just being near someone who has recently smoked can make it nearly impossible for these asthma sufferers to breathe - this comes from personal experience. Not being able to breathe is one of the most terrifying experiences I can recall.

Allergens are much more clearly identified on food labels here now. There are also many more substitutes available for those who suffer from various food allergies.

Batya said...

All of these allergens should be treated the same. smoke, dairy etc.

And there are complaints. To declare an entire school peanut free is a bit much.

Back to my big question. What has been done to peanuts that wasn't done decades ago?

Anonymous said...

So just as many places are now smoke free, peanut free sometimes must occur - when necessary.

It's very easy for such an allergen to spread in a school; when mistakes happen, the results can be deadly. Don't kids deserve a safe environment in which they can learn?

If the entire building isn't safe, then what are the children with these allergies supposed to do? It's not exactly their fault. They can't change the fact that they have peanut allergies. The kids have to carry around Epi Pens in case of an allergic reaction. They cannot share food with anyone - if the food contains even a trace of peanuts, an allergic reaction can occur. One kid could touch something with peanuts and then come into contact with another kid...the possibilities are endless, but the result could be the same.

Batya said...

t' you're terribly hung up on the peanut panic. It's not the most common allergy in the world or in America. I'm sure that more people die each year from incorrect medications, bee stings etc. For those kids allergic to lactose/milk, and not allergic to peanuts, it's a shame they are forbidden peanutbutter. Why can't they eat in a "secure room?"
Have doctors and nutritionists stopped recommending a glass of milk after every meal and tsk tsking kosher parents who refuse?

Anonymous said...

The peanut allergy in general doesn't get press here nowadays. It's just that having family members with serious allergies makes you more aware of the dangers.

Allergies to dairy are not the same as allergies to peanuts - neither are the methods of dealing with them.

There are too many risks associated with brining allergens into schools with kids who are severely allergic. That said, peanut-free zones aren't very common, either.

The diet recommendations now are usually focused on common sense - balanced diet, basically.

Batya said...

t, I'd still like to know what has been done to peanuts to turn them into the fatal snack. Or did this form of the allergy always exist?

GreenMachine said...

The peanut allergy was manufactured to bring about the financial collapse of the peanut industry which was supposed to ensure the Carter family didn't become a political dynasty.

Batya said...

Interesting; as long as it's bad for Jimmy Carter, I like it.