Canadian Study and Portlandia’s New Season Take On Food Allergies

Attention, college grads: A new new food-allergy study conducted by a team of Canadian researchers finds that "a higher educational level may be associated with an increased risk of food allergy." In other words, smartypants are more likely to breed peanut-allergy sufferers. Why? Because well-educated people keep pouring Purell on their hands while people with less book learnin' apparently just don't care that much about germs. (It's basically the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests, in part, that high antibiotic usage and increased sanitation — especially in children — may have unintended, eventual consequence of lowering a person's immune system.) Hence, in theory anyway, the recent rise of food allergies. In fact, the problem is so widespread that IFC's Portlandia is taking on the issue.

Awareness is crucial to understanding any topic, so it's a good thing that the show's new season has gone ahead and hosted an Allergy Pride Parade, seen below. The preview of Friday's episode has got the full spectrum, too: a stilt-walker does some interpretative, shellfish-induced anaphylaxis dance while soy-allergic punks chant "Oi Not Soy!" There's also a float carrying the Pok Pok Players, who take issue with peanuts and shellfish, and wheat. "I'd like to see a day, maybe twenty years from now." says Fred Armisen, as parade host Marc Gemmer. "When, uh, an allergy sufferer will be, uh, sitting in the White House."

The downside of a good education: food allergies [National Post]
Portlandia: Allergy Pride Parade [IFC]

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