Faculty Writing: On Purity and Food Allergies

Danya Glabau wrote “Necessary Purity,” a piece in which she discusses situated needs for material purity, the nature of scientific facts, and the challenges of living with food allergy.

“Rising rates of food allergies seems to validate the menacing sense that the postindustrial world is inimical to human health. It is even tempting to regard food allergy as the signature disease of modernity, as historian Mark Jackson has suggested. Some speculate that people with food allergies may be canaries in the coal mine, their hypervigilant bodies warning us all about the eventual dangers we’ll face from exposure to the pesticides and industrial additives of the unclean modern world. If so, a return to pure, clean living — avoiding pollution, pesticides, the hustle and bustle of modern life — would seem to be the solution.”