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Japanese restaurant, Tower Bridge Road

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Tuesday 3 April 2012 10.58am
lucysalisbury wrote:
When did people start becoming allergic to basic things like wheat and milk? You didn't hear of it even 20 years ago, and I'm sure restaurants wouldn't have had a clue back then

I'm perhaps going to be a bit controversial here, so let me start by saying that I don't know Tigerbright's friend so I make no comment at all about his or her medical history.

I think that the huge increase over the last few decades in the number of people reporting food allergies is due to a number of factors including:

1. Developing understanding of food allergy and intolerance amongst the medical community, and better diagnostic tools. So in the past symptoms caused by food allergy or intolerance may have been wrongly attributed, or not diagnosed at all.
2. Confusion between food allergy and intolerance.
3. Self-diagnosis based on "junk science" information gleaned from magazines, TV programmes and/or web sites.

We could all speculate on the relative numbers, but my personal prejudice is that category 3 is very significant and perhaps even dominant. Also I wonder whether GPs sometimes humour deluded self-diagnosers where the delusion is fairly harmless, rather than burdening the NHS by requiring them to undergo tests the results of which might not anyway be believed.
Tuesday 3 April 2012 10.59am
In case of milk it is rarely an allergy, rather an intollerance and it is mainly due to the decrease of the enzyme lactase in our bowel. It is a natural decrease that we all have with age, and it is more severe if we stop drinking milk. But for some is irreversible.

As wheat is concern is not related to the product itself but many times to the additives that are used to glue the bloody thing together like gluten and synthetic polymers.
Pasta and bread were done using different, longer and laborious methods, implying bronze crafting (in the case of pasta) and natural rising for bread. Today these methods have mostly gone lost because of the process of industrialization.
(Fish wasn't loaded with lead and mercury as it is now, as the sea was rather healthy.. for example).

Have a look at what is Monsanto doing in the last decade or so, by producing modified vegetable resistant to a chemical and at the same time selling the chemical, itself.. Have you noticed we don't see butterflies or other insects that were so common years ago? Also those chemicals build up in the plants and then in cereals and finally in our bodies..

Regarding Lucysalisbury point, there are two major factors playing here:

Knowledge and the use of new additive to prepare food.

On the one hand we simply know more. Irritable bowel syndrome, chron disease or rare genetic illness they were referred as "very bad tummy" or "he ate something really bad" and treated as possible. Now we have better way of investigation and markers (blood tests, endoscopy, and ELISA).

The use of "artificial" ingrediants is the second and one should try to find as much as not refined products as possible, but if we eat in subways we can forget about this struggle...

The point made by Ledge is only partially true. Exposure (specially during childhood when the immune system is formed) can minimize future reaction but for some product the more you expose yourself to the more damage to your body you make.

So I guess is better being informed regarding modern ways of processing food and hope our body is prepared to what it comes next.

Enjoy your next meal anyway!

PS: also important. food poisoning is NOT allergy and one should know what the case is.
Tuesday 3 April 2012 11.01am
longlaner wrote:
They know what the ingredients of a dish are, but not necessarily what the ingredients contain.
A case in point: most soy sauces contain wheat.
I disagree - I worked for a sushi place sometime ago, and teh chefs were very knowledgeable not only of what ingredients tehy used but what was in them as well. They had to to create the best sushi. They even knew the difference between certain types of rice vinegar and why one would go better with a certain rice than others. In teh brief time I spent there I picked a few interesting bits and bobs myself, and that's what I based my earlier post on. I am no expert, but someone who is could be expected to know these things.
Tuesday 3 April 2012 11.50am
I'm with you, Edward.

I'm not expecting chefs to be doctors, but I'd imagine that (a) someone who works with food could reasonably expected to be interested in it, and hence know something about the ingredients, and (b) in a world where it's becoming ever more common for people to have/identify themselves as having food allergies/intolerances, I'd expect that anyone in the food business would have considered what dishes on their menu might be suitable for people who suffer from at least the most common intolerances.

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 7 August 2012 3.32pm
fantastic meal from Wawa on Saturday night....

we had a rainbow roll, veggie katsu curry; various vegetables; gyoza; soft shell crab inside out make, prawn tempura and a few others that I can't remember - absolutely delicious

the staff were friendly and at the right level of attentiveness

Will definitely be going back!

(no connection, just well fed)
Wednesday 8 August 2012 11.30am
I would like to second this: we have eaten here last week and thought is was excellent and very reasonable. I feel they need some more clientele, as the place often looks rather empty. That is a real shame, because the food is lovely, service friendly and prices low.

I have no connection other than that I am trying to support local businesses as much as I can.
Wednesday 8 August 2012 12.04pm
Same here! We went yesterday evening following ruthf's prompt, and had a really excellent meal. But the four of us were the only customers in there, and there were five staff. It's a real shame for the area if good independent places like this have to close.
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