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Allergy assessment

(article, Culinate staff)

This week's issue of the New Yorker features a look at the surprisingly nebulous state of research into food allergies. Ten years ago, for example, new parents were told to avoid giving their babies anything that might cause an allergic reaction, such as milk, eggs, shellfish, and peanuts. Now, according to Jerome Groopman's article, scientists are suggesting that parents should do just the opposite. 

The biggest mystery of all, of course, is twofold: Why do food allergies exist in the first place, and why have they increased so much in recent years? (According to Groopman, the U.S. rate of peanut allergy has doubled in the past decade.) For these questions, science as yet has no answers.