Bellicose | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

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Recent Comments

Re: “Soft on Seoul

I think there is a good chance that there was some ground pork in the shumai mix. I must admit I have been a bit curious/skeptical regarding your pork allergy in the past. I hate to ask, but what symptoms do you experience when you consume pork? If the reaction is limited to gastrointestinal issues, then there is a chance that what you suffer from is not a true allergy. It is very unusual to find someone who has the scary, life-threatening type of allergy (anaphylaxis) to pork.

As a healthcare professional, I have found it extremely common to encounter patients who erroneously believe they have a particular allergy. It is easy to misinterpret certain symptoms or reactions and attribute them to allergy. Some even believe they have certain allergies because of incorrect or unclear information that was communicated to them by a health care worker or family member.

KAT: In truth, what I have is a pork intolerance. I do know there's quite a difference, but trying to explain to a restauranteur that even pork gravy can cause extraordinary gastrointestinal bleeding and put me off my feed and work for three days at a time gets wordy (and unsavory).

I developed this intolerance when I was 19. For the most part there's no hystemic reaction, except when large amounts of pork are served (the two occasions that come immediately to mind are the Dixie Stampede and the Memphis in May BBQ Festival, both of which cause me to wheeze and have difficulty breathing). Still, my last bad bout was with a rogue piece of pepperoni at a holiday party last December... and I have no desire to repeat that performance.

I don't actually believe it's pork itself that bears the allergy, but what our pigs are being fed or being immunized with these days. I have no issue at all with wild boar (when it is truly wild and not domestic run-off). I've been able to enjoy ham from Spain that was certified to be acorn-fed. The fact that I had no issue at all with pork as a child leads me to believe that something either changed in the way we produce pork in the early 1990s or that my body changed in some strange way. When I first encountered this issue, virtually no one I knew had the same issue. These days it's not uncommon for me to find others who can't ingest pork without issue. There are more than half a dozen people in my current circle of friends who have similar issue.

So, no, not a true allergy, but bad enough of an intolerance that I choose to present it as such when ordering food. I have no problem discussing it more in-depth with those who ask.

Posted by Bellicose on 04/27/2011 at 4:44 PM


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