Just Plain Nutty

Since I was a young boy, I have always loved nuts. Yes, you can make you jokes here. So you can imagine my shock to hear that airlines are actually considering removing this delicious little snack from planes altogether.Their reasoning behind this is the difficulties faced with food allergies. New studies prove that food allergies are on the rise in children today, and show no signs of slowing in the future. The only question I ask is, well, why?

In previous generations, peanut butter was a staple of children's food. Peanut and gluten allergies (Celiac Disease) were nearly nonexistent. When I was in grade school the almighty peanut butter and jelly sandwich was offered to any student who wanted a different meal or had just forgotten to bring something. Now certain schools won't even allow it onto the menu out of fear of cross contamination and a student having some sort of reaction. I tried to do a little research to figure out why allergies are on the rise and the saddest part about them is that I couldn't find any definitive reasons.Scientists have studied the rise for the last 30 years and are still baffled as to why they continue to worsen.

Personally speaking, however, I have an idea as to what may be a distinct reason for the rate climb. It is in my own opinion, that since we have started genetically modifying foods, pumping meats and proteins full of antibiotics and generally tried manipulating the amount of output of crops, the rate has climbed higher. I don't believe in the genetic modification of foods, and that it only leads to fake food. Next time you get a chance hold an organic grapefruit up next to a ruby red one. You tell me which one looks like it spent a weekend at Barry Bonds house, juicing on steroids. As chefs we need to make the next step in understanding allergies, for protecting our consumers is of the utmost importance. Still, is it really necessary to take them off plane rides? I just don't think this is the right way of doing things, instead of finding on the cause of the problem we’re merely allowing band-aids to be put on them. I'm still going to devour honey roasted cashews when I see them, regardless of any airline.

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