My daughter’s preschool class has created a store, a play store that they stock with recycled cracker boxes and juice bottles, a cash register, and more. It’s great fun for them and my youngest loves to restock the store with her family’s castoffs. Today, as I was washing out a cranberry juice bottle for her to take, my older daughter asked me, “Do you think they’d let us bring in a peanut box?”
I immediately knew why she was asking. Peanuts, poor innocent little peanuts, have become taboo in preschools and on elementary school campuses. So she was not surprised when my reply, was “No, they wouldn’t let us bring in a peanut box.”
I recently discussed this same topic with some friends over dinner. When did the peanut allergy epidemic hit? What has changed? What’s so dangerous about peanuts?
This post it not meant to offend anyone who suffers from, or has a family member or close friends with peanut allergies. I know they are real, and very serious.
But when did this happen? How did it become so prevalent?
I asked my friends around the dinner table, “How many of your friends had a peanut allergy when you were growing up?” Admittedly, there were only 6 of us around the table, but not one of us knew ANYONE with a peanut allergy.
Someone suggested that maybe it was just under-diagnosed back then and that when a child died back in the 70s of unknown causes perhaps it was due to a severe peanut allergy.
So you know what my next question was……. “How many kids do you know that died in your elementary school?” There was a flippant remark of “Seven.” But in reality, again, not one of us knew of anyone dying of unknown causes in our elementary schools.
Obviously something has changed. These allergies are real. But what is it? And doesn’t it worry you a wee little bit?
Is it environmental? Is it mothers eating peanuts while pregnant (which they’ve always done, btw)? While breastfeeding (again, not new)? Is it soy formula? Is it something else?
I have no earthly, obviously, or I would not be throwing this out there. But I wish to hell someone would figure it out, because I love peanuts – in the shell at the ballpark, in my PB&J, in my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, in my trail mix, by the handful out of a bag.
I’m sick of Mr. Peanut playing the bad guy.