The time has come for airlines to face the unfortunate reality that food allergies are increasing at an alarming rate. More and more people with food allergies will begin flying. As food allergic passengers, we don't ask to have others notified not to consume nuts around us because we secretly desire unwarranted special treatment.
When my peanut allergic son was 5, he suddenly blurted out "Mom, don't worry about me, if I eat a nut by mistake and it kills me, I can just hit the re-do button and get another life, like in the video game." I became really scared that his child-like innocence prevented him from understanding the potential adverse ramifications of his own food allergy.
Explaining at the fourth of July barbecue why you won't be taking a hot dog from the grill or a fudge brownie from the platter can be anxiety-provoking. So can eating at that same barbecue, if you're unsure of the safety of the food for your particular diet. So how can we better manage anxiety in these situations?
After we RSVP-ed to your little girl's party, you called my husband on the phone, and told him how excited you were that my son was coming to your party. That you planned to hire someone to clean the house for nuts before the event, and that you wanted to know where you could buy a nut-free cake. Seriously? Who are you? The greatest person on earth?
I believe all consumers have a right to know what is in their food, so they can make informed choices for their families. For food allergic families, a lack of disclosure puts our children at risk for fatal attacks. Food allergic families need this information so we, or our well-intentioned friends, families and schools, don't buy something that has a surreptitious ingredient in it that can kill.