Lunchtime poll - the peanut butter ban
September 28th, 2010
11:00 AM ET
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We pay an awful lot of attention to what our commenters have to say, and so we took note of an argument that cracked wide open yesterday amongst the readers of our piece on packing healthy kid lunches.

By the way, re: peanut butter allergies in the schools... this might sound harsh, but other people's weaklings aren't our problem. Until the last 50 years, this would've been part of natural selection. Now we want to coddle everyone. If your kid can't handle peanut butter, keep them locked up in the house for all I care... but don't expect everyone else to have to "accomodate". - Joe

The problem with your horrible comment is that your kid's wayward peanut butter at lunchtime could kill a child with a peanut allergy. I have a son with a peanut allergy, & I assure you, he is no weakling. Allergy to peanut products has been on the rise & can be mild to deadly – no need for you, who has been blessed with such a healthy child, to be so vicious about it. Geesh! - JT

We're eager to hear what you have to say, especially in light of CNN Health's report on food-allergic kids suffering bullying in schools.

Say some smart, insightful stuff, and we just might feature your comments in an upcoming post.

Editor's note: all week, CNN Newsroom, Rick's List and Eatocracy are teaming up to take a look the effects our dining choices have on our minds, bodies and wallets. Tune into CNN Newsroom daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET for on-air coverage and join in the discussion here on Eatocracy. ALL COVERAGE

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Filed under: Allergies • Buzz • Health News • Lunchtime Poll • Peanuts

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soundoff (2,284 Responses)
  1. Jake

    I'm a vegetarian, my main source of protein is peanut butter. What am I suppose to do? Starve?

    August 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
  2. Parker Cornes

    I just tried to watch a National Geographic video on YouTube to find a message saying that the copyright holder had blocked me from viewing it because I'm not in the USA.. . Similar to HULU, and Comedy Central.. . Why?.

    May 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
  3. personal training Long Island

    All you need to do is stick all the kids with food allergies in one lunch period.

    January 21, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
  4. melanie

    I agree with joe why should I have to send my kid to lunch with something other then her favorite pb&j lunch just because a few kids have allergies? Why not have a room not in use during lunch that is a nut free i dont believe that this makes them weak its not their fault and theres not much they can do about it. But i sure as hell wouldnt expect everyone to change just because of my kid,and i am going down to my school this week and letting them know to figure something else out for these kids because wheather they like it or not i am sending whatever my daughter wants to eat for her lunch that day unless they plan on paying my food bill.

    August 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  5. this is a test

    wow! many thanks for that amazing piece of writing. I really beloved it to your main. Hope you retain putting up these wonderful content this is a test

    February 28, 2013 at 6:03 am |
  6. Loan Rohn

    I ought to say, youve got one with the best blogs Ive noticed in a long time. What I wouldnt give to have the ability to generate a blog thats as interesting as this. I guess Ill just have to keep reading yours and hope that one day I can write on a subject with as significantly information as youve got on this 1!

    November 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  7. Babster

    Regardless of which side of the issue you come down on, you *must* read the article entitled "Why your child can't bring peanut butter to school (and what you can do about it)":

    November 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  8. peanut devil

    First lets look at the outcomes of financial stress that the schools will be put in, if some one dies from eating peanut
    based products at the school. I hate paying taxes but our free Country forces us to. Know lets consider a law suit
    against the school for endangering some ones child and or the death of the child. Your taxes will receive a hefty hike and no one is going to come out ahead. Also do we segregate children of different race, gender, religion and or family preference. I know some ignorant people still do segregate but lets get real we are in 2011. The laws state that segregation is unethical and morally wrong, so who are you to say all children with allergies should be segregated. Would it be OK for me to say because your child has freckles they have to ride a separate bus, eat at a different table, or be victim to genocide to meet my needs. That would be ridiculous wouldn't it. Lets also look at the ADA Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 which insures that no person can be discriminated against based on illness or disability.

    April 23, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  9. Life!

    Geez! These parents are 'egocentric'. Can't you americans spare a life just for once and stop the 'me' talk?
    This is not about 'parenting' skills people! Get a grip, I mean you all need a pep talk on 'understanding' and 'compassion'.

    Where is the sense of 'community' here? If it's a life-and-death situation, then give way! To have another day of life is way important than a 'peanutbutter fantasy' of a child!

    These parents are sending the wrong message to their kids!

    March 25, 2011 at 12:59 am |
  10. Pissed Off

    This week my 12 year old (whom is peanut allergic) was bullied in the lunchroom. The kid smeared peanut butter on
    his face and clothes. Needless to say, not only was it extremely scary but a very close call. Luckily he got the Epi-Pen
    in time and the ambulance came quickly. We spent 2 days in the hospital. We can press assault charges if we want. But,
    we are letting the school handle it for now.
    So, for you negative (nay-sayers) on this site. SCREW YOU, My kid almost died this week.
    Unless you can keep your unruly bullies under control. There should be no Peanut Butter in the lunchroom.

    November 5, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • PA Mom

      As a PA Mom I beg you PLEASE press charges we have to send a message to everyone that this is attempted MURDER! I am pleading with you to do so, us other PA parents will stand behind you 110%. Don't let this kids get away with torturing your son.

      November 15, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  11. Meredith

    There was a student in my elementary school who was deathly allergic to peanuts. There was one instance where he caught a wiff of peanut butter and was sent to the ER. My school did accommodate his needs by allowing whatever grade he was in the first round of lunch. Also, there was a two table boundary set up for those who did bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like me. So I either sat in the middle or at the other end of the table from him. It is what it is, young students go with the flow.

    October 12, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  12. tungfork

    To the guy who posted a link trying to assert that people can be allergic to water, please read the contents before posting links, so you don't look too ignorant.....

    "While the exact cause of this condition is uncertain, some investigators suggest it is a result of extreme skin sensitivity (but not allergy) to an added ingredient (chlorine, fluoride, others) or mineral present in the water."

    Nobody is allergic to water, we ARE mostly water.. Some people, however, are allergic to chemicals that can be found in municipal water supplies.

    I know people who have terrible reactions to sunlight. Perhaps it is time to ban the sun. Who cares that the sun gives warmth and life to billions. It makes a few people sick.

    We need to build an opaque sphere around the Earth so those unfortunate few with sensitivity to sunlight are not inconvenienced with such things as sunblock, parasols, and staying out of the sun.

    October 12, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  13. MomOf3

    Ultimately while a peanut ban may be wonderful for those who suffer from a peanut allergy, it only solves one of the problems of food allergies. In the USA we recognize 8 top deadly allergens; peanut, tree nut, soy, shell fish, fish, egg, wheat and dairy. The children who suffer from life threatening allergies to the other 8 allergens will not benefit from the ban. There should be a comprehensive policy on managing the allergens per child's needs. It's not easy but it's now life as we know it. Individuals with food allergies has tripled since 1997 and the numbers are only going to rise. It's time we look at it seriously and start managing this epidemic.

    October 11, 2010 at 11:10 pm |
  14. Teacher

    I'm a teacher in a small private school with three children who have anaphylactic reactions to peanuts. This means that if they ingest even traces of peanuts, their throats will close up and they will go into respiratory distress and potentially die. The parents of these children know that the world at large is not nut-free, and it's unreasonable to try and put these children in a bubble. They (and we) are giving them the skills to manage their own allergies so they can be responsible adults. This does not mean a nut-free school, nor does it mean a nut-free table, because those things are virtually impossible and they set these kids apart from their peers in a way that's unhealthy. What is does mean is that these girls make sure that they wash their hands with soap and water before and after they eat. When there are parties that involve food, they bring their own. We keep the peanut butter in the back of dining hall so that there's little to no chance of cross-contamination. And most importantly, these girls keep an Epi-pen on them at all times, just in case.

    I recently took two of these girls on a two day retreat with a sleepover. I carried an extra Epi-pen in the pocket of my pants, as did one other teacher. The chances of a reaction are not particularly high, but they do happen, and the shot of epinephrin will save their lives. Children with severe food allergies need the skills to get along in the world, and keeping them in a nut-free bubble as children deprives them of the chance to develop those skills. It also gives other children the opportunity to develop a sense of compassion and empathy, and to learn how to deal with crisis situations. Everybody wins and no one has to be a selfish douchebag about it.

    October 10, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  15. Leania

    I think a combination is in order. School should stop serving it, however a nut free lunch table should be designated for the kids with allergies, and any friends that want to sit with them have to accommodate. If the severity is the child cannot be in the same room, then perhaps a separate lunch room or lunch time then. Its not right to tell a parent or child they cannot eat something because of someone else, rather look for a solution that will be pleasant to all.

    October 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  16. Kate

    This poll is so biased. I would never say "tough luck" to anyone. However I believe strongly that peanuts should be allowed in schools. It's the bullying that needs work. You might compare this issue to gun control. We have a right to own them, but no way do we have a right to mis-use them. I believe that we all have equal rights to buy and eat the foods we want. We do have laws that guarantee those freedoms, thank goodness. But we also have laws that punish bullying, thank goodness. You might also compare this issue to contraception in schools. We can provide education, condoms and even demand abstinence, but we can't keep girls and boys from having sex, even with laws in place. The peanut allergy issue is so emotional, I believe, because people don't like to admit to the truth: The truth being: 1. It's not fair to limit what others eat, and 2. Kids will continue to bully. I don't have a solution, only the belief that we can't take away freedoms, and that we need new solutions to enforce bullying laws.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:53 am |
    • Kelly

      Kate – your comparison to gun control is dead on. Guns are a leathel weapon and therefore need to be handled with care and controlled by laws. As a society we have decided children are not capable of carrying loaded weapons into a school building, ever, even if they are trained to used the gun properly. But we allow every child to carry peanut butter with them to school, without any training about the leathel properties of peanuts – why is this acceptable?

      September 10, 2011 at 7:50 am |
  17. mike

    Home-school everyone. Schools are just disease reservoirs that make the entire community sick. (They are also the preferred hunting ground for bullies and predators.) If all the kids were home-schooled, they would also be safer. Isn't safety the most important thing?

    October 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
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