Meat lovers living in the central and southern regions of the country might be opting for a vegetarian lifestyle if meat comes with an unwanted side of a life-threatening allergic reaction. The Texas tick inhabiting these regions is the primary reason for a dangerous allergic reaction to a substance called "alpha gal" in meat.
"Alpha-gal" is a sugar carbohydrate found in red meats such as beef, pork and lamb. Positive alpha-gal rates are 32% higher in lone star tick population areas as compared to other regions. The central and southern regions of the United States have the highest rates of alpha-gal sensitization.