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It was just a Sandwich

It was just a Sandwich

I made a peanut butter sandwich today for my kid to take to school.  It was what he wanted, and it was a regular go-to food item in our house.

And I got in shit for it.

I got in shit for feeding my kid because it might hurt another kid. There are allergies all around us now and I can’t help but wonder how this happened.

I am not a big worrier. I am that Mom who let her babies explore the world of bacteria by crawling on the dirty floors.  I have been lucky enough not to have children who could die from an accidental morsel of nut. It just makes me wonder why there are so many that could.

And as a strong, healthy woman, who bore strong healthy children, I know not everybody has my situation – or my genetic profile.  It is luck of the draw. But I have to admit to being frustrated at all the stuff we can’t have anywhere anymore. No peanuts on planes, no PB&J in school? 20 years ago did all the allergic kids just stay home?

Now it is gluten, and strawberries and milk products. And epi pens. Do that many kids actually have Celiac’s disease or are there just so many parents wanting a highly paid homeopath to solve their kid’s behaviour problems or gas by removing bread?  And what does “intolerance” mean? If it is an Anaphylactic allergy, ok, fair ball.  But intolerance? We have to change our lunch boxes in case your 9 year old steal’s my kid’s strawberries?

Seriously. What the hell is going on?

All my kids want is peanut butter. They love it, we eat it and it’s a yummy. We aren’t sugar free/gluten free/ nut free/ flavour free in our house and I am wondering what I can feed my kids when they go to school. We like food. REAL food. Not processed crap that costs a fortune to cover the cost of the “Made in a Nut Free Environment” stamp on it.

I feel terrible for the parents who have to constantly worry about their kids’ when the world is scary enough without common food being a danger. I feel bad that I forgot and let a verboten food go to the school. It just makes me wonder why this is so common now.

I’ll think it over as I eat my  peanut-butter-shellfish-sandwich on white bread…

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13 comments

  1. Hmm… Think the situation may be exaggerated a bit much. I’m celiac and have a tonne of allergies, but need nothing more than to not have shared food. I dont require a wheat and apple free environment. Kids who get anaphylactic from the mere presence of nuts have my sympathy and I think its not actually a stretch to accommodate. And this is coming from the mother of a child who will scoop pb out of a jar and directly into her face.

    If schools are busy planning all the junk I can’t eat instead of just things that are really deathly risky, then that’s an inability to properly mitigate risk, not a result of me all all the other hypochondriacs

  2. That peanut free stuff doesn’t cost extra, maybe you should try wow butter, or pea butter, and those of us that do and did have allergies aren’t any less less healthy or weaker than others, there are just certain things we can’t or couldn’t eat.

  3. This is certainly a hot topic these days and rightly so. Allergies today effect us all, even if it’s not us that have them. I have allergies. My daughter has allergies. Thankfully nothing that requites an epi pen although they are hell on her asthma which is serious enough.

    I can see both sides of the fence here. We don’t want to harm other’s people’s children. We really don’t. But we long for the simple days when we could throw a protein rich, reasonable nutritious sandwich in our own kid’s lunchbox.

    And for some people peanut butter is one of those things they can actually, sometimes afford to put in their kid’s lunch that they feel somewhat good about feeding them and that will help their kids get through the day. I know, I know, their is bologna. People love to pull that one out as an affordable protein alternative. Here’s the thing – the only way bologna is as affordable as peanut butter is if you buy it in large packages AND, here’s the rub – it needs to be kept in the fridge. Well easy right? Nope. Do you have any idea how many low income families don’t have things like a properly running fridge? LOTS. Seriously lots. Probably just as many as those families who have kids with dangerous allergies. Well let’s be honest, more actually.

    But, I am NOT putting that out there as an argument against not sending peanut butter to school. Not at all. It’s just one of those things that people ALSO need to consider when we think about what’s best for not just our own kids but everyone else’s kids too. Because it really does take a village.

  4. I heard somewhere that the peanut allergy comes from the ground in which the peanuts are grown. Some of these fields used to be cotton fields, and the amount of heavy pesticides and such needed to keep the cotton healthy until harvest has contaminated the earth where the peanuts grow. So it’s not so much the peanut that the allergy is, but the pesticides that it has absorbed. Just what I heard, no evidence at the moment to back it up. There’s also this theory : http://documentaryaddict.com/The+Sick+Story+of+Genetically+Modified+Organisms-11287-documentary.html

  5. Anne Radcliffe

    I’m actually with Kathy. My son’s severely allergic to peanuts, nuts and dairy, though I thank any god that might be listening that he’s not airborne anaphylactic. The whole situation of his allergies really ticks me off, and I went hunting for answers. Why me, why my son? How could this happen?

    I didn’t find any–nothing concrete, anyway–but I found some disturbing coincidences. As you say, allergies have skyrocketed in the last 20 years… But only here in North America. What happened here but not everywhere else? We made some pretty major changes to agribiz… HFCS was adopted by the major cola companies in the mid 80s, Monsanto brought out a succession of RoundUp Ready crops through the 90s, and a decade later, the USDA began approving the incorporation of anahydrous ammonia in pink slime as a GRAS human food additive. Sure looked possible that we were poisoning ourselves with food. Ironically enough, it’s why I started cooking more, even when I could find things that were safe for my son, and now here I am blogging about the whole darn thing :)

    • Magnolia Ripkin

      That is absolutely the bigger question isn’t it? Why is this happening? Is it a logical biological over reaction to the stead stream of toxins in everything? It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the guys in white lab coats eventually make the connection to pesticides, preservatives, GMO or whatever.

      Just think about this… deceased humans used to decompose at a much faster rate after death 100 years ago than they do now. We eat preservatives… a lot of them, so we stay “intact” longer in our box in the ground.

      TO which I say EEEWWWW!!!!!!

      • Anne Radcliffe

        I think I heard somewhere that one is an urban legend, but I also saw the pictures of the fossilized McDonald’s food, so I’m still right there with you on the whole EWWWW thing :-)

  6. I knew someone who served popcorn to friends forgetting that it was made with peanut oil. Her friend died that night. She never got over that she contributed to her friends death. Can you live with causing the death of a child? It’s your choice.

  7. I’ve written posts like this and scoffed at all these seemingly faux-allergies. My kids have eaten sheep poo and dust and cat hair and all sorts of germy crap from the garden, and we’re certainly not the sort of family that consults with a homeopathic quack. Anyway, then we realise my son has CMPI (Cows Milk Protein Intolerance) – turns out that’s why he screamed night after night after night for 9 months. So I’m a little more sympathetic these days, and that’s just with a regular ol’ intolerance. Can’t imagine what it’s like having an actual allergy in the house.

  8. I am sorry for kids with allergies of all kinds but isn’t it up to parents to teach their children safety? If my son was allergic to peanuts I would explain what is safe and what isn’t and how to protect himself! How can u protect your child from air born allergens unless they wear a mask or something 24/7?
    Grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants? All of these places still carry peanut items… What do u do call ahead and have the place emptied of nuts for your child?
    Also what about kids who eat peanut butter toast for breakfast and don’t properly wash their hands? isn’t this another possible avenue of contamination? Should we have hand wash stations at the door of the schools like hospitals to prevent the spread of things!?
    Where is the line between protecting children or causing the world to conform to a few kids out of 100’s?

    • Anne Radcliffe

      Us allergy parents do try to do that, Desiree. My 5 year old can read labels and knows the less common names of dairy products that he has to be wary of (whey, lactose, casein, etc.).

      We are sorry that asking you to avoid bringing peanut butter to schools is inconvenient, but I don’t recall anyone insisting that bakeries and grocery stores ban peanut butter. Those are optional places that our children do not have to go if we don’t feel that it’s safe to take them. The situation you described with the kids eating peanut butter toast and not washing their hands is why schools tend to ban peanut butter altogether. Even if they have no airborne anaphylactic kids to protect, it tends to smear and get everywhere.

      It’s also no longer a few kids out of 100s… the last report I’ve read suggests that between 6 and 8% of children now have some form of food allergies, which means that statistically every class of 30 could have a child or two that may have severe food allergies. Combined with the number of adults who have or are developing chronic food intolerances and allergies (or adhere to dietary restrictions to protect loved ones), we’re no longer a tiny minority.

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