Cybele Pascal has found that her experience working in restaurants for fifteen years has reaped some unexpected benefits. In 2001 it was discovered that her son had severe food allergies.
Cybele chose to tackle this challenge head on, by learning all she could about allergen-free cooking. She has since published two allergen-free cookbooks to help other people faced with the same dilemma, and has been determined to make this method of cooking chic and sought after.
(Transcribed from interview)
How common are food allergies in America?
People are having a hard time figuring out who has a food allergy and who has a food intolerance because a lot of people with food intolerances believe they have a food allergy.
According to medical professionals and according to studies that have been done, right now in the United States about eight percent of children – that’s a lot of kids, that’s two kids in 25 – eight percent of children have food allergy in the United States. Again, that’s two kids out of every 25 children and somewhere a little below five percent of adults have a food allergy and that’s a lot of adults too.
So if you break it down, it’s millions and millions and millions of people. It’s somewhere between 12 and 17 million people. If you do it just by those percentages, that’s about 17 million people. It’s a lot of people.
I think it’s epidemic to be honest with you, and I think it’s only growing and I think that we need to figure out; we need to put more money into research not just about how to diagnose and cure but about why. Why are so many of us allergic to the foods that are the staples of the western diet? What’s happened?