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What history can tell us about food allergy

November 27, 2015

Excerpt from an OUPblog article, published on 20th November, by Matthew Smith, Senior Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Another Person's Poison: A History of Food Allergy, which is now available on Columbia Scholarship Online (CUSO).

Another Person's Poison: A History of Food Allergy

"What can the history of medicine tell us about food allergy and other medical conditions?

An awful lot. History is essentially about why things change over time. None of our ideas about health or medicine simply spring out of the ground. They evolve over time, adapting to various social, political, economic, technological, and cultural factors. If we want to know anything about the health issues that face us today and will face us in future, the very first thing we should do is turn to the history of such issues. This is particularly important if we are dissatisfied with current ways of thinking about and treating particular conditions (as I have argued in the past with respect to ADHD or hyperactivity) or if we are bamboozled by the causes and deeper meaning of other conditions, such as food allergy. Otherwise, we are uninformed and highly likely to repeat the mistakes of the past."

Read more about food allergies in Matthews's article 'What history can tell us about food allergies'. The introduction of Another Person's Poison is now available for a limited time. Get access to the full text of this book, as well as hundreds of Columbia titles, by recommending UPSO to your librarian today.