The Milk-Free Kitchen

Living Well Without Dairy Products

Beth Kidder

Henry Holt and Co.

The Milk-Free Kitchen
Living with Allergies
People with allergies live in a somewhat different world from the ordinary. Whereas a heart patient can have occasional small amounts of saturated fat without any ill effects, someone who is allergic to a food will know soon and painfully if he or she ate the wrong thing.
Living with food allergy implies a whole different way of looking at food. Constant vigilance becomes second nature. People with food allergies have difficulty at buffet meals and learn either to eat beforehand or else contribute a dish. Scrutinizing salads and examining unfamiliar stews become automatic.
If you are sensitive to nuts and you mistakenly eat some, your reaction to this accidental dose will range from a mildly upset stomach to something that sends you to the emergency room and might even kill you. Milk presents essentially the same problems as nuts do, except that milk is more widely used in western food than are nuts, and once food has been stirred the milk disappears from sight. I have learned these things as the wife of a man who is severely allergic to nuts and as the mother of two children who became severely allergic to cows' milk in their late teens, and it has colored the way I think about food.
With most allergies all you need to do is avoid the offending substance--eliminating nuts or chocolate from your diet, or keepingaway from dogs, or staying indoors during ragweed season, isn't going to hurt you. However, in our culture milk is the main source of valuable nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus (not getting enough of them will hurt you) and you must find out how to deal with this. You will probably need to take calcium pills. It is important for you to get advice from a physician or dietitian.
Copyright © 1988, 1991 by Beth Kidder