Why Your Grandparents Didn’t Have Food Allergies, But You Do!

Think about your grandparents and ask yourself if they had food allergies? The answer is probably no.

And, there’s proof behind the rare occurrence of allergies back in the days- the US CDC noted that food allergies in youngsters have increased around 50 percent between the period of 1997 and 2011.

Now, every 1 in 13 children in the US has an allergy or every 2 students in a classroom.

Estimates also show that more than 17 million Europeans have some food allergy and that the number is on the rise.

More than 90 percent of allergies stem from 8 foods, i.e. milk, peanuts, eggs, soy, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and wheat.

However, the question is, why didn’t our grandparents have these problems and why the allergy rate has upped by 50 percent in the period of 14 years?

Several Reasons Why Our Grandparents Suffered from Allergies less

The hygiene hypothesis

In the last 20 to 30 years, we’ve been living a much cleaner life, that’s for sure.

We clean our homes often, we take antibiotics, and we get vaccinated. With this happening, our immunity has fewer challenges than in the past.

However, this has made it hypersensitive to things that are practically harmless. Sometimes, being allergic to a peanut or ragweed makes no sense at all, explains Dr Susan Waserman, an allergist and clinical immunologist.

On the other hand, our grandparents didn’t have such a strict hygiene as we do now-they would spend more time in the great outdoors, socializing, exercising, and travelling.

Their regular exposure to sunshine and fresh air and their high physical activity made sure they have strong immunity.

So, their parents didn’t care if they got dirty while playing outside.

Home cooked food

In the past, there were little or no processed foods. Our grandparents didn’t have much convenience in terms of food and they used real ingredients and used them to make meals on open fire or in the oven and stove.

Babies were only fed with breast milk which is known to lower food allergies and they had no microwaves (their food wasn’t changed by electromagnetic radiation).


GMO has been on the American market as of 1994; however, this wasn’t the case back in the days when no labels for organic food were necessary-all of it was organic.

And, unlike today with modern large scale farming, they needn’t use herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers commonly linked with allergies.

Since there was no processed food, they didn’t intake preservatives, additives, etc.

Natural Remedies

When our grandparents got ill, they took care of themselves using the knowledge they received from the generations before them.

Rather than popping an antibiotic, they took nettle, mullein, and other natural remedies. They drank a lot of water and rested when they needed it.

Also, back in the days, going to the doctor’s was something for the more serious cases like bone fractures, stitches or other life threatening problems.

Nutritious and seasonal food

Up until the 50s or so, food was locally sourced or home grown, i.e. it wasn’t shipped on long distances and there was no need of chemicals to prolong their duration and their shelf life.

Most of our grandparents had their own gardens and got the things they needed for their meals from there. This is why they had fresher foods without additives.

Plus, it was more nutritious- today, because of modern farming, the soil has become deficient of nutrients.