Time to get over your fear of peanut butter (Opinion)
I miss the days when the big controversy was whether a school had the right to "ban" peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You remember, right? The reported spike in peanut allergies led to a massive campaign against the American staple lunch go-to. Many voices were heard throughout the PB&J crisis. Some are clamoring for a lockdown on peanut butter so that proper distance could be kept between kids with allergies and the creamy legume spread.
Some experts agree that part of the problem is the fact that so many people are obsessed with over-sanitizing themselves and their space that natural immunity against certain things has waned over the decades. Plenty of people talk about "eating a pound of dirt" as a kid which paves the way for natural strength and limiting allergic reactions.
In classic fashion, big government takes an isolated problem and reacts through lockdowns and bans. According to research, there are two things that we know, first that there are an estimated 4-5% of people that may have a food allergy. The second thing we have learned is that allergies have some of the highest false positives when being tested. So the number of actual people with a serious allergy to peanuts is likely very, very small. That said, in an unprecedented move, big education came crashing down on healthy kids by banning a high protein delicious lunch food.
What we should have done instead of practiced focused peanut protection and allowed for isolation and choices for those few kids who could have an adverse reaction. To my knowledge, there is no available vaccine for peanut allergies so we are left to fend for ourselves in a legume dominant environment. The good news is that most younger, healthy people, at least 95% of us according to studies, have nothing to worry about.
Of course, even if you are not allergic, make sure to consume plenty of milk while eating the sandwich as it could get stuck in your throat and you'll choke to death. Lactose intolerant you say? There's a pill for that so don't worry.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.