Schools, it seems, are becoming dangerous places; and we’re not talking about gun violence, here.
Anaphylactic shock due to a nut allergy, shellfish, and other allergens is becoming a nerve-wracking reality for a growing number of parents and their allergic kids.
Thankfully, schools are trying to keep up with the threat, much to the eye-rolling exasperation of parents whose kids don’t have life-threatening allergies.
Still, for reasons largely a mystery, the threat is very real. And now there’s a new threat to add to the list of classroom no-no’s: gluten.
In fact, so many schools with gluten-sensitive students have banned anything with gluten that major toy manufacturers are revising their gluten-containing toys to remain classroom-friendly.
The Wall Street Journal reports that gluten-free modeling clay sales have increased 67% in 2012 alone, and new gluten-free finger paints and stickers are on the market, too.
Gluten-free toys are the new reality, but still, they’re only a symptomatic approach.
No one is addressing the more important question of “why” so many kids are gluten-sensitive and/or have life-threatening allergies to food.
As far as gluten sensitivities go, one reason may be that North American grains have up to 10 times the amount of gluten as they used to, according to research by Dr. Alessio Fasano.
In other words, after centuries of crossbreeding to create palate-pleasing tastes and textures, we have inadvertently created grains with gluten levels exponentially higher than those used to make bread back in Jesus’ day, for example.
The good news is that celiac disease and gluten insensitivities are hot topics right now, and that means there will be plenty of research conducted in the near future.
Interesting findings are already surfacing, including “probiotics as a new therapeutic approach” to celiac disease. Stay tuned!