Why Does Everyone Have Food Allergies These Days?

It's not your imagination, food allergies are really on the rise. One recent study found that severe allergic reactions to food have increased by more than 300 percent over the past decade. And they don't just affect Americans or kids—they're on the rise in adults around the world. Even pets are getting food allergies. So what's going on? Why would your body decide that food—something that's actually essential to keeping you alive—needs to be attacked like a dangerous invader? And why would we evolve a defense mechanism that can end up killing us? This episode, we've got the history and the latest scientist on food allergies: what they are, what causes them, how they're different from food intolerance and sensitivity, and what we can do about them. Join us on a wild journey from ancient pharaohs to the future of medicine, via jellyfish, Calvin Coolidge, and "rose fever," as we figure this all out.

Episode Notes

Theresa MacPhail 

Theresa MacPhail is a medical anthropologist and the author of Allergic: Our Irritated Bodies in a Changing World, as well as an associate professor at Stevens Institute of Technology.


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