I've been quiet for a while. While I've had plenty to say, it hasn't felt appropriate for a public forum. Why? Because I am cranky. Having a food allergy is not easy, particularly one where that food protein is not broken down when it is fractionated for industrial uses (glue, cleaning chemicals, fragrances) so that you always need to be on guard. It is not easy to avoid these things, particularly if you 1. Work 2. Socialize 3. Go to school 4. Leave your house.
Right now I'm in the car outside of a funeral home. I'm going to the outdoor service but avoiding the jammed together with perfume and makeup wearing people part of the day. Hugs and kisses will be bad enough for my over active immune system. There is only so much you can do to change the behavior of elderly relatives who wear powder, perfume and lipstick and give you a big smooch on the cheek when the see you -- I'm happy to see them no matter what the occasion and as long as I'm not turning blue and flopping around on the floor, I'm ok with the fact that I'm going to have a hard time breathing for a few days after I touch them. Que Serra. There is only so much you can control.
What we can control, as food allergic people and food allergy parents is the food we eat and feed to our children. I've been both worried and dismayed by the number of people 1. are willing to "cheat" or regularly eat "corn lite" and admit to eating/feeding things they know are not safe to their children 2. . seem confused and surprised by how reactive and generally ill they are 3. spend a great deal of time and money on substitutes for "normal" food.
This is not just a corn allergy phenomenon, Ira Glass did a intro segment on This American Life with clips of people with food allergies who regularly wind up in the ER because they knowingly eat food they are allergic to -- repeatedly. Holy Flying Monkeys People! IT'S JUST FOOD! Living without a single food is not going to kill you, eating it just might.
With the corn allergy, I'm constantly exposed to blind tests where I will react to something in the air or on my skin. At this point, I can't imaging willing eating a handful of popcorn or biting into an ear of corn on the cob -- even though I can remember how good they tasted.
It's just food. I'm not starving. I really like breathing. I live in the US, I have access to locally grown corn-free organic fruit and veggies that I fortunately can afford to buy (instead of expensive shoes). Why should poison my food just because I'd like some mayonnaise on my tomatoes? I just don't know.
Seriously? It's just food! Have a food allergy? Do the hard sleuthing to find out what is safe for you. Eat that.
Please don't poison yourself knowingly. Is there something you love to eat that makes you or your child sick? It is poisonous to you/her/him. Poison. Period.
Be healthy. Live long. Prosper.