Where do peanut allergies come from?
Dr. Miller readily admits that the root cause of allergies is still under some debate. "We can understand the reaction, on a micro-biological level. But still, we aren't sure why these reactions happen," he said.
He describes allergies (in a biological sense) as our body seeing something it should be able to handle, but instead reacting to it as something that needs "protecting against." It's kind of like punching your dad in the face in the middle of the night as he's rooting around the fridge because you think he's a home intruder.
"So, no one knows where allergies come from, frankly, and that includes peanuts. What we do know, is that they are becoming much more common," Dr. Miller said. "I had this little experiment: whenever I went to a restaurant, for a little while, I'd ask the server how many customers report serious allergies before they order. The most common answer was about one-in-four... which is a whole lot, really. Even when I was a kid, allergies were not nearly as common as they are now. And the science backs this up."