This was in today's(1/11/06) San Diego newspaper.
Reason for allergy rise is a tough nut to crack
By Bruce Taylor Seeman NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE
January 11, 2006 Multiple choice question: Why are more American kids allergic to foods, particularly peanuts?
A) Their immune systems are confused by increasingly clean homes.
B) Nervous parents wait too long to feed their children peanuts.
C) We roast peanuts rather than boil them.
D) Maybe one of the above, and/or something else.
Unfortunately, the answer is "D."
But whatever biological mysteries are at work, U.S. children are more likely to be allergic to peanuts than kids in China, in Israel and in many underdeveloped nations, experts say.
One study estimates American children's rate of allergy to peanuts and tree nuts (such as walnuts and pecans)
On Jan 11, 2006
"It could be the hygiene hypothesis," Munoz-Furlong said. "It could be the way peanuts are processed. In China they boil them, and we roast them. Or, it could be how they introduce it; in this country, we wait until the third birthday. In Israel, it's typically before the first birthday."
They tell us wait 3 years now, but my daughter was 18 months old when she had her first pb&j. It was right around the time when she could chew a little bit of pb&j sandwich.