Yes, I am allergic to beef. Many people don't believe me when I tell them that, and even less people believe me when I tell them that it is the result of a tick bite.
But it's legitimate. So legitimate, in fact, that The Guardian reported on it Friday:
People living in tick-endemic areas around the world are being warned of an increasingly prevalent, potentially life-threatening side effect to being bitten: developing a severe allergy to meat.
The link between tick bites and meat allergies was first described in 2007, and has since been confirmed around the world.
Sufferers of “tick-induced mammalian meat allergy” will experience a delayed reaction of between two and 10 hours after eating red meat. Almost invariably, they are found to have been bitten by a tick – sometimes as much as six months before.
Due to the role of cofactors like exercise, alcohol consumption and other medication in allergic reactions, and the risk of death that comes with anaphylaxis, many often follow vegetarian or vegan diets.
Sufferers are also advised to prepare their food at home, as fish and poultry are often combined with mammalian meat products such as stock, and to avoid cross-contamination between utensils and cooking surfaces.
Pearce has cut out all meat bar poultry and seafood, and eats dairy in only limited amounts after developing an allergy in late 2012.
The possibility of a third anaphylactic shock, she said, was “too scary” for her to take the risk of eating red meat again.
I feel validated. Thanks, Guardian.
p.s. Once I heard a great joke about The Guardian -- what is The Guardian guarding? Neoliberalism.