NYT :: A Cure for the Allergy Epedemic?

artwork by Celyn Brazier

This was a great article in the NYT last Sunday. Maybe not new news for some of you but it crystallizes the idea of farm living and beneficial microbes. At least it gave some of my ideas a good base to run on and it's possible when I see that raw milk in the grocery store next time I am probably going to give it a try. My sister has been all over this idea for years now, I remember when her girls were doing horse shows and she used to tell me to come along when I was pregnant and when my son was a baby because it was good for him to be in the barn and around the animals, even when he was in my belly - most importantly when he was in my belly!

read the full article here

Some of the ideas brought out in the article were the fact that Amish children have a much lower rate of allergies than any other group of children, where allergies are increasing in children in cities and rural areas the Amish children are not being affected. It's the daily routine of these people that provides an abundance of microbes, it's milking the cows, collecting the chicken eggs, tending the pigs, etc.. that feed their bodies system so that when they encounter allergens in the future they have an immunity.

I also found it very interesting that these same microbes are in their homes too (duh). Which is all part of living on the farm and the benefits of the farm air they breathe. There is evidence that has emerged that asthma is further exacerbated by dust in the home and if a home can better keep up with the dust and regular cleaning kids have less asthma attacks (listen to NPR article on the subject here).

But back to allergies - the answer lies... in the cow shed! The author of the piece, Moises Velasquez-Manoff (a science writer and the author of "An Epidemic of Absence") offers that maybe it's possible to use these microbes to come up with a solution for allergies -- the problem... is that there is such an array of microbes found on a farm, in the cow shed, and the solution lies in that abundant array. It is also suggested that raw milk (unpasteurized) that the Amish drink also carries microbes which are beneficial.

It's a VERY good article... read on...