Previously on This Just In…
Culinary no-no #170
Posted by Kevin Fischer on June 13, 2010
Peanuts are dangerous.
This is Culinary no-no.
So you’re expecting a joke.
A punch line.
None is forthcoming.
Peanut allergies have become a concern. But possibly, too much of a concern.
In late July 2008, while filling in for Mark Belling at Newstalk 1130 WISN, I devoted a segment to what could be a baseball promotion first. Busch Stadium in St. Louis that particular week designated an entire section a peanut-free zone. Only fans with peanut allergies and their families were allowed in Section 328 in the outfield the first base line, just behind the foul pole. Comments ran the gamut.
Some viewed the promotion as a wonderful, thoughtful idea. Others wondered where you draw the line on special accommodations for fans.
Several callers made the valid argument that parents are taking a serious risk bringing their peanut allergy suffering kids to the stadium because in order to get to their seats, they have to pass many areas where peanuts are still being sold, consumed, and dropped on the ground.
My view: Nice PR, I guess, but overall, a bad idea. What about the row in the peanut-free zone that is right next to a row that is not peanut-free? How do you propose to get your allergic child to his/her seat without passing all kinds of areas where peanuts are served and eaten? What if a fan in the peanut gallery tosses a shell in the area of the no-peanut zone?
And here we go again.
I swear the Obama administration sits around, attempting to invent ways to intrude upon our lives. Witness the latest exhibition of brilliance from the Obamessiah, as reported by the Wall Street Journal:
“The DOT may effectively ban peanuts from flights to protect travelers with peanut allergies. The agency said it would solicit comments on three options: banning peanuts from flights, requiring airlines to offer a ‘peanut free’’ flight if passengers on a particular flight request, or creating ‘peanut-free zones’’ on flights for passengers with allergies. (Peanut-loving Southwest Airlines says it already offers alternative snacks and can halt all peanut service if requested by a passenger who has an allergy. Southwest also recommends that passengers with peanut allergies travel earlier in the day before peanut dust builds.) “
Dr. Anthony Jennings is director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at SSM St. Joseph Hospital West in Lake Saint Louis. At the time the St. Louis Cardinals decided to set aside peanut-free zones, Jennings wrote in the St. Louis Post –Dispatch:
“I suppose I could be considered middle-aged, yet I don’t recall such measures ever being an issue during my childhood. Kids at school freely ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and I don’t remember a single classmate going into anaphylactic shock. So is this a new phenomenon? And, if so, why?”
Chad Smith, DO, a family physician with SSM St. Charles Clinic Medical Group in Warrenton and on staff at SSM St. Joseph Hospital West in Lake Saint Louis provided an answer:
“There’s been some investigation into the apparent increase in severe peanut and other food allergies in recent years, but very little scientific evidence to point to what’s causing it. Shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, milk and eggs are among the most common food allergens. For some people, even a minute amount of the allergen can cause a reaction. In many cases, that reaction is no more serious than a rash, runny nose and itchy eyes. But some individuals have dangerous allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis, which causes tissue swelling and problems breathing. Some apparent food allergies are really just food intolerance. They may upset your stomach, but they don’t cause the immune reaction that’s the hallmark of a true allergy. Only about 6 percent of American children are thought to have food allergies.”
So when and where does it stop? Airlines excel in horrendous customer service. You better be choking pretty good to get some H20. Now the ubiquitous peanuts might be gone?
Get rid of free peanuts because you have proven you can’t run your business effectively and costs are killing you, but not because some folks have allergies.
—This Just In, June 13, 2010