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Thread: Macadamia Nut & Tree Nut Allergy

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    Default Macadamia Nut & Tree Nut Allergy

    Can somebody tell me what other plants the Macadamia nut is related to?

    I have an adult-developed tree-nut allergy. Cashews and Pistachios in particular, are very unpleasant. I've never been hospitalized or anything, but there's certainly some unpleasantness.


    Other nuts I need to have absolutely no aversion to. I can eat almonds or pine nuts all day long without any problems.


    Can somebody tell me where Macadamia nuts lie? I used to eat them all the time. I started noticing that I'd have what felt like a minor minor reaction if I ate a lot of them, so I basically stopped altogether.

    I'm wondering if I'm allergic to macadamias too, or if I'm getting cross-contamination as Macadamias are often processed with Cashews.

    (and please no need to warn me about the dangers of allergies. I've had the reactions. I know the unpleasantness and I know it can be much worse! I'm just trying to learn more...)
    Ryan

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    Default Re: Macadamia Nut & Tree Nut Allergy

    delete me ot .id delete it my self but i cant see it any where im blind today sorry
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    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

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    Default Re: Macadamia Nut & Tree Nut Allergy

    Ryan, I hope you find your answer. I was reading that there have been unprecedented amounts of people suffering from nut allergies in recent years, I wonder why that is so?
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    Flashaholic ypsifly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Macadamia Nut & Tree Nut Allergy

    I'm a chef and while I don't have any hard data to back it up I would say that food allergies in general are becoming more common. Every year I get more and more guests that are either allergic to nuts or can't eat anything containing gluten.

    One thing you should keep in mind is that you can stop eating nuts yet get a reaction from "safe" foods because one or many ingredients were made in a facility that processes nuts. It should also be noted that the number of actual food producers has shrunk and many foods are coming out of fewer facilities. It used to be that you could get peanut butter from many different sources around the country, but many of those independent producers have been bought out by larger corporations who then centralized production into fewer yet larger factories. That's how a nut factory in Georgia was able to contaminate a large portion of the country's peanut butter (and related products) supply. Something goes wrong at one factory and everybody everywhere can get sick.

    Another thing to consider is that restaurants can't really promise that you won't get an allergic reaction after eating anything on the menu. In my kitchens, we use nuts on an almost daily basis which no matter how hard we try to avoid it, cross contamination is a real possibility. If I'm processing hazel nuts in a robocoup, that can kick some nut dust up in the air and who knows where it will land. Some people are sensitive enough to have a reaction from just a micro pinch of that dust landing on their salad which is being made on the other side of the kitchen. That's what I tell my guests. I can promise my food is safe from salmonella, listeria, botulism...etc but I can't promise that it may or may not have been exposed to a potential allergen.

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    Flashaholic* lctorana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Macadamia Nut & Tree Nut Allergy

    The Macadamia is in the same family as Banksias, Grevillias, Proteas and Waratahs. All trees with spiky-looking flowers.

    It is a tree nut, as you say, but not many of the other family members are edible. I don't know of any related nut.

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    Default Re: Macadamia Nut & Tree Nut Allergy

    Allergies always fascinate me - my father in law has a nut allergy to only certain nuts and mangos...
    ...as for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me, in a fine state, fat and flourishing, a true hog of Epicurus' herd...
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    Default Re: Macadamia Nut & Tree Nut Allergy

    Quote Originally Posted by lctorana View Post
    The Macadamia is in the same family as Banksias, Grevillias, Proteas and Waratahs...
    Thanks for the info. I googled around a little, but couldn't quite figure it out.



    Quote Originally Posted by ypsifly
    I'm a chef and while I don't have any hard data to back it up I would say that food allergies in general are becoming more common....Another thing to consider is that restaurants can't really promise that you won't get an allergic reaction after eating anything on the menu...
    Yeah, too much exposure to a food, especially when a child is growing up, can cause an allergy...as can no exposure at all. It seems that it's important to feed kids a diverse diet! They also say that keeping our houses spotlessly clean, no allergens, with NSF-certified dishwashers, HEPA-filtering vacuums and such can actually lead to the development of allergies. Of course living in a filthy environment can cause them too. Again...it seems like you need to have some allergens introduced into your system, but not too many.

    Yeah that's totally true. Fortunately for me the allergy is really pretty minor, on the scale of how bad allergies can be. I haven't had it formally tested...but like I said, I can eat Almonds all day long (A tree nut) or Pine Nuts (I'm having some now) but as soon as I have a Cashew I'm done for. Everything else in the middle I just don't know. I was eating a dish of Pesto once and got through about half the dish before I realized I wasn't feeling well. Did some investigation and sure enough, it was Walnut-infested Pesto. You can bet I'm a lot more careful about what pesto I eat now!

    Quote Originally Posted by bullfrog
    Allergies always fascinate me
    Yeah me too. It seems like there isn't a whole lot known about them. With environmental allergies they have treatment that can help you become "unallergic", but you just don't see that for food allergies. I'm guessing that this is because some people are so violently allergic that even a small amount of allergen can about kill them. There's no real way to accurately predict how somebody will react to an allergen and with repeated exposures they can become immune...or much more sensitive.
    Ryan

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    Default Re: Macadamia Nut & Tree Nut Allergy

    Within the last week or so, I recall reading a news article regarding the potential for "cure" of food allergies, namely peanut. Duke University is/was conducting a study, and seems to have had some promising results involving children. Don't know if would extend to adults, and/or tree nuts.
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    Default Re: Macadamia Nut & Tree Nut Allergy

    I've been severely allergic to most kinds of nuts for my whole life. Up to the age of 25 or so, I could detect even the smallest traces of various nuts. My reactions include constriction of the airtubes (bronchial?), numbness of mouth, swelling of lips, and stomach ache. Cross contamination in restaurant kitchens is a frequent issue. I once had a reaction eating gumdrops which really confused me until my roommate told me he used the scoop from a candy bin contaning nuts. I tried to categorize by tree nut families, but I guess I'm not suited to be a botanist. By trial and error over the years, I pretty much know what I should avoid.

    Allergic: macadamia, pecan, walnut, cashew, pistachio, almond, hazelnut, and probably some others

    Non-Allergic: chestnut, pine nut, peanut, coconut

    I'm 35 now and the last 10 years have seen a slight improvement in my sensitivity, but this is not necessarily a good thing. Whereas before, I could just lick a single prong of a fork or chopstick an immediately know if there were nuts, I now have to eat a small amount and wait a few minutes to know if it is safe. The allergic reaction is only about 75% of what it was before, but I end up getting poisoned much more frequently than before.
    Last edited by brucec; 03-26-2009 at 09:44 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Macadamia Nut & Tree Nut Allergy

    My aunt (who sadly died in '97) was severely allergic to Macadamia nuts. Even one, and she'd be praying to the porcelain god.

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