FARE Allergy Awareness Month
It is the FARE Allergy Awareness Month, and I love the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxix Network because of all that they do for all of us with allergies. FARE is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to food allergy awareness, education, research, and advocacy, and provides information, programs, and resources about food allergies and anaphylaxis. I have spent so many hours of my life in the ER hooked up to benedryl-ish drips after receiving multiple epi-pens to save my life. It’s not a fun experience, I promise you that. No one wakes up and says, “Hey… I wish I had a food allergy!” It’s a complication in life that could lead to death and in fact did this last summer for that adorable 13 year old twin girl at camp. Just one mistake.
So why aren’t Food Allergies Taken More Serious?
Food Allergy Awareness Month Should Include Education for Everyone!
Two years ago I went past our local food coop, PCC Natural Market, to pick up some quick easy items for a field trip tomorrow, and they had a sampling of date muffins. I checked the ingredients and everything looked great. I let my daughter have one, which she put in her mouth and immediately spit out… “Peanut Butter, Mom! That has Peanut Butter in it!”
How on earth she knew that there was actually peanut butter in it I’ll never know, because she has been kept away from peanut butter her entire life. She just new. Divine Intervention is all I can tell you. The store staff didn’t seem to care. I gave them my name and number, but I highly doubt they will ever call to apologize. When you can’t even trust the coop…. who do you trust?
If stores are going to sample products, they should have to be educated on the proper practices. For instance if you are going to have to muffins that look similar, you have to have LABELING of some sort to show that half of those muffins contain PEANUTS! These are items that our products have to say, there for you need to label your demo items as well. You need to understand that a life can be gone in a matter of minutes from a food allergy reaction. Ask any parent, any spouse, and sibling that has lost someone from a food allergy reaction and they will pour their heart out to you on how important education and labeling is.
We had to stop going to Jamba Juice this summer because we had some sort of allergy to a smoothie that shouldn’t have contained anything we are allergic to. Now I will say that they do have postings… but I used to run six Jamba stores in the Pacific Northwest and contamination in one of these stores is from lack of education and sheer laziness and negligence.
Food Allergy Idiocy
I recently had a friend post on Facebook about how she didn’t mind if you were not of her religion, that was fine, but she hated when someone would go out of their way to belittle her belief system. One of her friends posted back that they “also didn’t care what your food allergy issues are but don’t force them on me”. This guy is an idiot. Plain and simple. He should be required to take latex proteins until he because sensitive to them and live the rest of his life dealing with the food and environmental issues of having an allergy for being just so off the mark. People can try to force their religion on you, and it won’t kill you. If you are the jerk that sends your kid to school every snack day with peanut butter crackers in a class where one child has a severe off the charts peanut allergy because “your kid loves them and that’s all that matters” … you need your parent card taken away. I get the mama bear attitude, I AM a mama bear and I will rip anyone to shreds that puts my child in harms way… but the difference is that taste preference should not prevail over LIFE! And most of these people are “Pro Life”… so what is the difference in the life of my child, and an unborn child? PROTECT them!!
Stepping off the soap box… but I had to share because it is just too important and hopefully this will save a life. Another think to consider is the upcoming holiday seasons. From Halloween treats, to Turkey Trots to the full month of December, they can be a very frightening thing for those with allergies. Don’t make potatoes with soy milk without making sure someone is not allergic to soy. Don’t bring peanut butter treats to school parties. And please have some allergy friendly treats for the goblins and ghouls coming to your home this year. Place a teal pumpkin near your front door to make sure folks know that your home is a safe home. Click on the pumpkin below to learn more…