Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I turned to the front page of the Chicago Tribune today. They are featuring a special, ongoing report on food allergies.
Today's lengthy front page story discussed the increased incidence of food allergies--turns out now it's 1 in 25 kids. That's a lot of kids. Too many, in fact.
It also focused mostly on the whole issue of food labeling--something that has been discussed at length here and on other food allergy blogs and web sites. The article estimates that 30,000 Americans require ER treatment each year for food allergies. And guess which foods are the biggest culprits with regard to mislabeling and also incidence of reactions: cookies, cake, ice cream and candy. Note to all you moms out there who feel guilty when you don't let your food-allergic kids have the treats their friends are having--keep up the good work. This stuff can cause a reaction--it's OK to deny your kids if you're not sure about the product.
The link to the article is here, if you'd like to read the full story.
I really cannot tell you how thankful I am that this major newspaper has decided to run an ongoing investigation about food allergies. You know some of the online comments are gonna get nasty, but you know what--let's get it out in the open. This story is going to educate people and that will help dispel some of the ugliness.
I've written to the Tribune a couple of times regarding food allergy stories that they have run and usually the paper's bias was against people with food allergies. This time, it looks like our voices are going to be heard. We're being taking seriously.
1 in 25 kids. It's about time!
Let me know what you think of the article!