Modified food but not GMO! I like this. Of course there may be reduced nutrient value but nobody lives on peanuts (do they?) Anyway, I think it will save lives. We just have to see how it checks out in practice.
According to MedScape, the U.S. Department of Agriculture blogged the fact that researchers at North Carolina A&T State University have found a way to reduce peanut allergens by 98% to 100% by focusing on certain proteins that can trigger food-related anaphylaxis.1
Food and nutrition researchers at NC A&T’s School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences found that, by treating peanuts with a protein-breaking enzyme, the allergenic proteins were reduced 98–100%.
Now the university has signed an agreement with Xemerge, a Toronto-based firm that commercializes emerging technologies in food and agriculture, to research the marketing potential of hypoallergenic peanut products.
The Xemerge spokesperson, not surprisingly, was lyrically positive: “It checks all the boxes: non-GMO, patented, human clinical data, does not change physical characteristics of the peanut.” Here’s hoping.
Apparently, the treatment is effective whether peanuts are whole, broken into pieces or ground into flour, according to USDA. It has also shown promise with wheat, one of the most troubling food allergens in the world, and tree nuts (brazils, cashews, filberts, etc.)
Well, it’s logical. One of the treatments for food allergens I’ve been writing about since the early 1980s (William H. Phillpott was a passed master at it), is giving the patient copious digestive enzyme supplements to take along with meals. That digests the food protein, so it has little or no allergenicity remaining.
I see no reason why the same principle can’t work outside the body, before swallowing the food!
The process consists of pretreating shelled and skinless peanuts with a food-grade enzyme. Doing this does not change the peanut’s shape or cause lipid oxidation – a key consideration when determining a product’s shelf life.
And yes: it’s been checked. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine performed skin-prick tests to validate the research results on human test subjects. It really is true that the peanuts were rendered safe.
As you know, peanut allergy is very dangerous. It kills up to 200 people a year in the USA alone. Unfortunately, peanuts are increasingly used in food products today, which make it difficult for the allergic individuals to avoid accidental exposure.
Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School, bless him, thinks it’s all B*S* and hysteria. He asserts that recent increases in peanut allergies, and the measures taken in response, show elements of mass psychogenic illness: hysterical reactions grossly out of proportion to the level of danger.2
Tell that to the parents of kids who died or kids who are developing dangerous reactions to what is, essentially, a junk food (peanuts are pasteurized until they have little micro-nutrient value or alternatively treated with propylene oxide, which remains as a contaminant residue).
The average U.S. consumer eats more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut products each year, according to USDA, with more than half of that in the form of peanut butter. Peanuts consumed in candy and as snacks are also popular.
I don’t have figures for Europe and the rest of the world, but the amount of peanut butter eaten in the United States each year could wrap the Earth in a ribbon of 18-ounce jars one and one-third times, according to the National Peanut Board.
Yeah… if the Earth was allergic to peanuts, we’d all be in a bad place!
Who Is The Real Founder Of The Paleo-Diet?
I few weeks ago I bought Viv a Paleo Cookery book. The dishes are delicious, I must say. For over 30 years I have been promoting the Stone Age diet and it’s virtues; sometimes called the “Caveman” diet. It’s posh name is the paleolithic diet (paleo, as in very old and lith is to do with stones or rocks).
Paleo is all the rage today. In Australia, recently, I was pleased to see Paleo restaurants opening up. Takes me back!
Time was when my first wife and I had a manila folder full of recipes that we had pioneered and collected. Patients were very kind at sharing their ideas and experiences. But it was primitive: photocopying and hand-written sheets. This was long before desktop publishing.
I’ve shared the fact that back in the 1980s I was in and out of the press and TV as the doctor with these exciting, amazing recovery stories, just by eliminating food allergies. Lifelong diseases would disappear, almost overnight. Journalists started calling me for a story!
In the 1980s I was even christened “The Stone Age Doctor” by several newspapers and one TV presenter. One TV show had me on with guys in fur suits, carrying clubs! I used to joke, “Not fair, I only have a few gray hairs…”
Of course it’s another, “I told ‘em!” Everything I spoke about to the press and on radio and TV has since come true… in spades. Once again, I was 30 years ahead.
So imagine my annoyance then, when searching the word paleo- for Vivien (we ritualize dictionaries in this house), up popped a claim that this nobody Loren Cordain is calling himself the “founder of the paleo movement”. My God, his earliest book was only a few years ago, not decades! He would be nearly last in line!
This sort of cheesy, self-aggrandizement, poop yourself all over the sidewalk marketing is what people seem to do in the USA. Never mind the truth, never mind the real pioneers, never mind respect for integrity or honesty, just grab a slot, start lying and hope some of it sticks.
I hate phoneys.
Of course the real founders of the paleo diet lived 30,000 – 100,000 years ago! You can still dig ‘em up in peat bogs and frozen tundra. Their healthy flesh and tissues are testimony to how good that diet really is.
But even in modern times, surely Albert Rowe (senior and junior) would take precedence. The concept of the elimination diet was first proposed by Dr. Albert Rowe in 1926 and expounded upon in his book, Elimination Diets and the Patient’s Allergies, published in 1941.
Also in 1941 (coincidentally), Dr. Warren T. Vaughan published a book I have on my shelves called Strange Malady in which he presented the multiple manifestations of food allergy and the interplay of food reactions with other environmental exposures and concealed excitants.
After that Ted Randolph, Michael Zeller and the man who discovered the whole secret mechanism of hidden food allergies, Herbert Rinkel would be my nominations for GIANTS of progress in health, not self-serving squeaks. Their book Food Allergy is an all-time classic of clinical medicine.
I am so used to Americans ignoring other people and races and treading all over those they hold inferior. But the irony of this is that all the truly great pioneers of Stone Age eating virtues were all Americans: the Rowe(s), Vaughan, Randolph, Zeller, Rinkel… and let’s throw in Arthur Coca, who wrote the great little book The Pulse Test… we’re all US physicians.
If anyone could claim to be founders of the paleo movement, it’s any and all of these heroes. I for one don’t want to see them bypassed and ignored by a me-too grabber of the limelight.
Listen: we (that’s me and a host of others) suffered years of contempt and abuse from colleagues and disciplinary bodies. We FOUGHT for the right to people like Cordain to even be allowed to recognize the merits of the Caveman diet. We were the pioneers. He’s grabbed the name and had the audacity to trademark the term “The Paleo Diet”.
Well, I hope he gets indigestion with it.
Oh, and one more guy to mention, very special: a British psychiatrist called Richard Mackarness. He wrote a book called Not All In The Mind (British title) or Eating Dangerously in the USA. That book changed my life more than any other I have read. His name rightly belongs in the Paleo Diet Hall Of Fame, along with the others I mentioned.
Cordain? I wouldn’t let him past the door…