How Real Is the Peanut Allergy Threat?
When I was a kid there were never any restrictions on what we could or could not bring to school in our lunch. Nor had I ever encountered or even for that matter heard about an allergic reaction to say peanut butter. So here is the question . . . Are peanut allergies real?
According to studies of the 30,000 people who are hospitalized each year for purported food reactions only 2,000 are actual allergic reactions, with 150 people dying from a severe anaphylaxis shock.
As a point of reference, this is the same number of people killed by bee stings and lightning strikes combined.
In fact, a greater risk to our children is head trauma injuries due to their participation in organized sports for which 10,000 people are hospitalized every year. I wonder if organized sports will be banned in the not too distant futureÉ
In short, and according to experts, the real culprit behind the peanut risk is what is referred to as being “mass psychogenic illness,” otherwise known as hysterical reactions grossly out of proportion to the level of real danger. A danger, experts contend that has been fanned by media sensationalism.
So . . . is the peanut as much of a threat as we think and, are we ultimately paying premium prices for goods which bear the no peanut insignia for a risk that is less of a threat than being struck by lightning?