A sudden allergy to tomatoes in your twenties? Is that even a thing? According to Ariana Grande it is, as the singer was forced to postpone a pair of Sweetener World Tour shows in Florida this week due to "an unfortunate allergic reaction to tomatoes" that she said closed up her throat and made it feel like she was swallowing cactus.
To find out more about this unusual condition, Billboard spoke to board-certified allergist/immunologist Katie Marks-Cogan, who specializes in food allergies. Speaking as an expert with no direct knowledge of Grande's case, Marks-Cogan says that while food allergies are more common in children, you can develop food allergies at any age. "A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association based on a survey showed that 10 percent of adults likely have a food allergy and about 27 percent of them never had a food allergy as a child and only developed one as an adult," she says, noting that the figures were a bit higher than experts expected.
"We know that you can develop a food allergy at any time and that plenty of adults eat foods their whole life but then develop an allergy," Marks-Cogan adds. She says those seemingly sudden allergies could be caused by environmental or hormonal factors, or caused by something called Pollen Food Syndrome, which occurs when the immune system gets confused and thinks proteins in fresh foods and vegetables look like pollen from trees and grasses.