04/05/2014 at 2:39 pm #63634
My brother has a peanut allergy. At the time, it was considered fairly serious and his friend was worse – he’d die if he ate one peanut. These days, those are about middle of the pack (and there are epi-pens now which helps). There are folks who will have an anaphalaptic reaction just from smelling peanuts. I’m certain that sitting in Five Guys while they are frying would make my brother feel ill (along with the throat inflammation, it also triggers an asthma attack – he suffers from life threatening asthma). However, he would read the sign and consider himself warned. There are other places to get burgers. It would indeed suck if every place used peanut oil, but they don’t. Back in the day, every place used to dip their veggies (including fry potatoes) in Spud White, aka sodium bisulfite. If you asked the fast food place, they would be ignorant and say “No spud white on our fries.” I don’t think we ever finished a fast food meal as a kid, we would always have to leave halfway through because my brother had half a fry and was getting sick. One day a kid died and that practice finally ended. We never ate KFC after my brother noticed my bro would get sick just from smelling the air. My mother figured if just smelling it made him sick, the rest of us probably shouldn’t ingest it.
As for the soggy fries, that is entirely operator error. Soggy = low oil temperature. In fact frying them in peanut oil should help them be crispy because they can be fried at a higher temperature – that’s why people use peanut oil. I’d use it myself for my high temperature wok cooking except that some day I would want to cook my bro a meal in that wok. The peanut oil would add to the nice seasoning on the wok and thus would stick around for a long time. Maybe it wouldn’t make him sick, but I sure wouldn’t want to explain to my brother in the ER that *I* was willing to take that chance.
Cate: I am really glad you made it. It feels like gambling to me whenever I eat out and I don’t even have a true allergy. I’d be too terrified to eat out if I knew every time I was gambling on whether I’d be spending the night in the ER (or worse). I wanted to say that I do tell a restaurant that I have a milk allergy because I want to be taken seriously. I won’t die from ingesting milk, but it can effect my system for up to two weeks and cause me to stay home (missing work or school), very uncomfortable because I don’t feel I’m breathing well. I suspect it triggers a continuous asthma attack. I don’t want a restaurant to feel that it’s my lifestyle choice to not drink milk so hey, what we don’t tell her won’t hurt her. However, I do know this is not a true allergy, but merely an intolerance (it’s the casein that causes the issue). I just wanted to explain to you why I might tell a restaurant it’s an allergy. Food workers still get me confused with a vegan, saying “well, there’s eggs in it,” or “Umm.. there’s meat in there,” even when I specify “milk-products” and not “dairy.”
BTW, I recently had the low end “deluxe” burger at Red Mill – it was full of veggies and delicious!
OGBC: It’s puzzling to me when people jump on the gluten-free bandwagon because they think it is magically healthier or they’ll lose weight (!!!). I say this having followed a gluten-free diet myself for a year to see if it would help with a specific issue that could potentially be caused by a gluten or wheat intolerance. Not only was that not it, but I found that diet aggravated other issues. I just don’t understand the “magically healthy” aspect that some people apply to a GF diet. It’s like avoiding peanuts because since someone else is allergic to them, they must be slightly toxic so I’ll be healthier to not eat peanuts. What?04/05/2014 at 6:36 pm #63642
Totally a fad, Phoo. pisses me off because my beautiful grand niece is one of those rare individuals with a diagnosed Coaelic condition that requires a gluten- free diet. In a way it is a good thing because it gives her such a great choice of foods that wasn’t available years ago, but when I hear about these donkeys that just get all involved in it for no reason it somehow is an affront to those that need it, if this makes me a bad guy then so be it!
BTW, I too was diagnosed with a similar condition but refuse to give up my insatiable desire for bread of all kinds, so I get a tummy ache, so what?04/05/2014 at 11:48 pm #63643
The thing about these food allergies is that they never used to exist–they’ve appeared roughly within my lifetime, which is the same timespan as the existence of processed foods. I’m a big believer in the idea that the food allergies/sensitvities are directly related to processed foods, and there’s science to back that up.
I was mad as hell when my parents put that goddamned hippie whole-wheat bread in my lunch, but the good thing is, I never developed a taste for that garbage, and I’m healthier for it. I have exactly one sensitivity, and it’s to toluene, which is a neurotoxin. Pretty happy about that.04/06/2014 at 5:10 am #63646
Oh no Cate. Glad you are OK. That’s definitely very scary.
Agree with Allison here. I kind of wonder why so many more people have asthma now than when I was growing up oh so many years ago. Same goes for allergies to foods. Are we better at detecting asthma and allergies now? Or did folks die early on and we just didn’t hear about it? Or is there something in the environment making us sicker?
In my late twenties soon after I met my late husband, I saw him nearly die during a meal before we got him to the ER. They gave him epinephrine. The docs said it was asthma. It wasn’t until a couple of years later we knew what caused the reaction. It was a few more years and a couple of more incidents, and we realized that he was allergic to abalone (the first instance) and other shellfish (the others). By that time he had an Epi-pen (had a different name then, but same thing) and had used it once. The docs then conducted a massive allergy scan (grid on the back), confirmed that he reacted massively to shellfish.04/06/2014 at 10:28 am #63649
There’s been a growing rate of childhood-onset Type I diabetes (the autoimmune kind) over the past hundred years in developed countries with good public health and resulting reduced infectious disease. This seems to be true for other autoimmune diseases as well, and of course allergies are wrongly overactive immune system events.
One plausible theory is that “the devil makes work for an idle immune system” — we’ve evolved immune systems in an environment where until 50 or 100 years ago, we were constantly getting infected with all sorts of diseases, and many died as a result, especially in childhood. Our disease exposure is now much reduced, but we’ve still got immune systems evolved for the high-threat environment of the past, so perhaps they occasionally go postal.04/06/2014 at 10:55 am #63656
I don’t know if it’s processed foods per se, or just less exposure to many of these foods at an early age, as well as too little bacteria in our guts from the hyper-clean environment we live in.04/06/2014 at 12:44 pm #63657
I am with you on the bacteria thing. It’s not bad to eat a little dirt, so to speak.04/07/2014 at 12:07 am #63705
Yep, especially with people being prescribed antibiotic treatments but no probiotics afterwards to re-establish their gut bacteria ecosystem. I had my first antibiotic treatment in years last year, and tried about 3 weeks of daily probiotics afterwards. My gut has been a happy camper ever since.04/09/2014 at 11:17 am #63887
The burgers here are pretty good. Not great. Also, they use those weird sweet pickles. . .04/10/2014 at 11:47 pm #64108
Actually re: gluten sensitivities have probably increased because not only is gluten used as a filling and thickening agent in anything like sausage & medications, but because a higher protein content of wheat means a higher price for the grower, so the strains grown contain more protein than they did 50 years ago.
It might not cause more problems for you than a stomachache indicating you are having trouble digesting, or after years of low grade inflammation that interferes with absorption of nutrients you might find that you have something as severe as osteoporosis despite zero other risk factors.
Ask me how I know.
It is a thing – its not a fad.
However, once you heal your insides, you may be able to tolerate risky foods occasionally just as long as you also give your gut a break from what it is sensitive to.
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