Remember peanut butter sandwiches? Once upon a time, school lunches meant a brown bag or colorful lunchbox with the requisite peanut butter sandwich, carrot sticks or fruit, juice box or thermos, and whatever dessert was most heavily advertised on TV.
Sadly, our kids will never know the delight of the peanut butter sandwich in their school lunches. Many schools, including the one where the Things have their Sunday program, are peanut-free. My darling little Things go to their Sunday program with cream cheese sandwiches.
Now, I am aware that some people have peanut allergies so severe that even being in the same room with a peanut-based product will cause that person to go into anaphylactic shock and die. But for the love of Planter's, how many people are like that? And if peanut allergies are truly on the rise, how much of it is our fault?
Years ago, I knew someone who avoided peanuts during pregnancy. Her rationale was that she didn't want her kids becoming allergic in utero. Well, I took the opposite approach. Not only did I eat peanuts and peanut butter while pregnant, I gave my kids peanut butter when they were toddlers. Guess what? Neither of them has a peanut allergy.
In a way, I think the hysteria fuels the rise. Our environments are so sterile that everything becomes an allergy. By avoiding peanuts, we may be turning them into a pathogen through lack of exposure.