It's hard adapting to ever-increasing food allergies. First they stripped away peanuts, tree nuts (bad reaction to pistachios), and milk from me. Then my first substitute for peanuts and tree nuts, sunflower seeds. More and more foods started attacking me, until my allergy laundry list resembles most peoples' grocery lists, including wheat, fish, eggs (including duck eggs), shellfish, most seeds including canola/flax/grapeseed, beef, pork, tomatoes, and odd spices like cloves and black pepper (but not, oddly, paprika.)
And don't even get me started on my contact allergies, like latex and some perfumes ... the things I'm cross-allergic to, like bananas and kiwifruits ... or my pollen allergies, which have been so bad this year I honestly thought I might be dying.
So what can I eat? (That's the most common question I get in real life and on here.) Well, not a lot. I'm not independently wealthy, so I subsist on the cheapest stuff I can get, which usually consists of soy or coconut milk, plenty of coffee, rice, chicken, turkey, corn, and so on.
At least, I thought I could eat these things. Now, with this new Consumer Reports study on arsenic in rice, I'm not so sure! What can I do now?
As I said, I'm not independently wealthy, so I can't afford to go out and buy all new things to eat. My morning cereal is (of course) a gluten-free rice cereal that was on sale. All the "pasta" I have is brown rice pasta. I have a bread substitute that is (what else?) rice-based.
Now, the FDA site doesn't seem too concerned about the issue, but given all that we know about regulatory capture and underfunding of government agencies, I tend to give Consumer Reports the edge. Also, there's this excerpt from the CR story that turns my stomach in more ways than one: "But scientists warn of complacency. “We already know that high concentrations of arsenic in drinking water result in the highest known toxic substance disease risks from any environmental exposure,” says Allan Smith, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley. “So we should not be arguing to wait for years until we have results of epidemiologic studies at lower arsenic intake, such as from rice consumption, to take action.” His studies of arsenic in public water in Chile and Argentina helped show that it causes lung and bladder cancer and other diseases." (emphasis added)
So I guess I have two choices before me right now...starvation, or killing myself slowly, until I run out of the rice things I have already and can get other substitutes. Or continuing to eat as well as I can in light of my major disability and lack of funds and risk giving myself or my husband cancer, and breaking our family's heart by dying that way, as my mother-in-law did earlier this year.
What would you do?
Seriously, what would you do? I have no ideas right now.