I just read the recent article in The Washington Post by Petula Dvorak entitled “Until peanut allergy cure is found, it’s not unreasonable to mind our PB&J’s”. I recommend that you read it as well. The writer begins the article in the typical don’t infringe on my right to eat peanut butter stance but the author, to her credit, visits with some families in a new peanut free area at a Washington Senators baseball game to see the other side of the story. What she came away with was a new perspective on how taking precautions and accommodating those with food allergies can make a big difference in their quality of life. She even equates it to some other precautions people often take,
“We take precautions every day to minimize risks, however remote, to ourselves and our children. Isn’t that why we have the kids in car seats, bike helmets and crosswalks? Why we take aspirin to help our hearts and avoid the golf course during a lightning storm?
Until a real cure is found, maybe it’s not so unreasonable to ask us to ditch our PB&Js.”
As always, the comment sections of news articles on food allergies are where two classes of people really shine: the uneducated and the uncaring. I’m always amazed at the comments claiming that food allergies are psychosomatic. This means my just-over one-year-old daughter (at the time of her first allergic reaction) had the mental capacity to have a psychosomatic reaction. I find that hard to believe. Next thing you know, they will suggest that she eat some dirt and suck on some pennies. Oh wait, they did suggest that.
Regarding the uncaring comments, I always enjoy reading the ones that spew statements about restricting their right to eat what they want, when they want. You know what, they’re right. At times, I do want them to make a concession that trades their right to eat a specific food if doing so might protect my child’s life. The way I see it. If Christ was willing to sacrifice his life and die for someone as sinful and undeserving as me, shouldn’t I be willing to sacrifice something as minor as what food I am eating if it means that it could protect someone else, especially a child? Independent of religion, sacrificing things for others in order to protect them is a way for us to show that we care about them. If a person isn’t willing to make a sacrifice that might protect the life and health of someone else, what does it say about that person?
On a side note, kudos to SunButter (Twitter @sunbutter4life) for mentioning this article on Twitter even though the author states she hates sunflower butter. SunButter is a great product that too often is cast as a substitute for peanut butter when it should just stand on its own as great tasting product.