Dear Jonny, Fake Diet Allergies?
It seems like half my friends are claiming they’ve developed all kinds of food allergies over the last few years. Suddenly they claim to be allergic to wheat or soy or lactose or rice or god knows what else. Very few if any of them have actually been to the doctor, but they’re claiming that they’ve just learned to feel better by avoiding certain foods. They say they can just tell they’re allergic to them now. What do you think?
I think they’re mostly full of shit. If they haven’t been diagnosed by a medical professional as having a legitimate food allergy, any sort of “I just know I’ve developed this allergy out of the blue” sort of speculation is generally ego-driven nonsense. When a large group of people suddenly claim that they must eat a certain way to avoid [imaginary] ill-effects, what they’re really doing is assigning themselves to a specific “elitist” group. Being part of that group makes them feel unique. Switching from cow milk to almond “milk” because they’ve convinced themselves that they’re lactose intolerant is another way of saying “I’m a different sort of individual with a different sort of needs.” Buying bread made from rice because they’ve reached the conclusion that after consuming wheat bread for twenty-five years it’s somehow upsetting their stomach, leaves them feeling inherently special. They can then get together with other special people and discuss their mutual special need for specially designed foods. Doesn’t that sound like fun?