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I was sitting in the train on my way to one of my very early morning shifts. I can’t eat breakfast so very early so I usually have my cup of tea and then take along either a muesli bar or something else I can nibble on while on my way. On that specific morning I had a bag of almonds with me.

At this time of the morning there are usually not many people on the train. Not that this is of any relevance but it makes me watch who gets on and off and who is actually traveling with me. And maybe because of that I suddenly thought of nut allergies.

Here I was, eating nuts on a train. A public place, where all kind of people go in and out. And I eat something so many people are highly allergic to.

Many years ago a mom told me during a play date in a park that she never uses the public barbecues that are everywhere here. I thought she had the same reason I do. I simply think that they are not clean and I just can’t deal with the idea that I prepare my food on “left overs” (even if I clean it thoroughly myself) of someone else. But she had a very different reason.

Her daughter was highly allergic to nuts. All kind of nuts but especially peanuts. And she explained to me how only the slightest trace of nuts can cause severe issues for her. She explained to me why schools have such strict policies in regards to certain food types, especially nuts. Only a handshake of someone who just ate nuts can cause a severe reaction.

So there I was, with the nuts in my hands, on the train. And I suddenly felt bad. Even though I didn’t make a mess while eating them I most likely had traces of them on my hands. And while I’m for sure not running my fingers over the seats on the train I do touch certain things on my way out. I really don’t know why the thought had come up. I don’t know why I felt guilty in that sense. But I did. Guilty for eating something that causes problem for others. Guilty for eating it somewhere where it could affect others. I thought about the aftermath my action could have for someone who just goes their way, making sure they stay away from the product that has the potential to take their life. Guilty for this tiny possibility that was there for my action to cause a probably very unlikely reaction in someone.

While I was thinking about what my appetite for nuts could potentially cause I also started wondering if there were people back in the days when I was a little kid who had issues with nuts. If I look around and see how many of the children our kids interact with actually have allergies I’m pretty sure that the numbers were not even close back when I was their age. None of my friends had any issues with any food groups. The first time I actually heard of a food related allergy was when I was about 20 and from someone who had celiac disease.  I wonder if people simply didn’t talk about it and just made sure they avoided it as much as possible. But then there would have been an issue with the things we brought along to eat during recreation.

There were always all kind of nuts in our house, especially during the winter months. Peanuts were typical for the Christmas time and so were walnuts. It was one of the go to snacks together with dried fruit. It was something we snacked on when friends were over. And the only reason for little kids to not eat peanuts was that they could joke on them.

My daughter refuses to eat nuts. Not because she doesn’t like them but because when she was little two of her friends had a severe nut allergies. I think she is simply worried it could get to her too. I know she has no issues (I tested it, believe me). But I can’t convince her that she’ll be right.

I know I shouldn’t have felt guilty because I could as well eat a banana and cause issues for people. There are so many allergies out there. I will keep taking my nuts along and enjoy them. But I might stay away from eating them on a train…

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31 thoughts on “Aftermath

  1. I agree with you .. when I was a child we had never even heard of nut allergies.. And would never give them a second thought..
    It makes one wonder why it is that these allergies along with many more now are so more frequent.. Is it due to all of the various additives and E numbers added into foods?.. I do not know the answer.. but we shouldn’t feel guilty..
    It sounds as if you were very conscious of others and took great care..

    Keep enjoying your nutty nibbles.. and have a super weekend when it arrives..
    Sue x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too agree. I never heard of so many allergies until I was in my late twenties. I remember the doctor telling my mom I can not tolerate Penicillin. I know that we always had fresh vegetables, went to a butcher for our meat and my mom baked the bread we ate but we still used to go to the candy store and buy candy bars and such.
    Nice post, thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a father of a girl with a nut allergy, I’m happy that you at least had this thought. So many people don’t really care. Parents complained about the nut ban in our girl’s classroom because their kid likes peanut butter crackers. I get that. My daughter likes to breathe.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I really think all the allergies are due to all the things we add in food now. Its not like it was so many years ago. We add things to the soil and everything. Supposed to make things better, but I definitely question that.
    I think it shows your caring heart when you were questioning yourself about eating peanuts on a train. No you shouldn’t feel guilty, but you had good points, that is one allergy that can have such serious consequences. You are a sensitive soul!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much. I just imagined how it would feel as a parent of a kid with allergies. Not even having one myself but seeing your child struggle to breathe. I don’t want to be the one causing it.


  5. Being the parent of a child that has severe food allergies, it is not your responsibility to be aware of my daughter’s allergies. Eat what you want and enjoy, we can only be responsible for ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I appreciate this and yes, but I also don’t want your kid to have issues just because I don’t think twice. A bit of give and take from both sides always helps. But thanks for this, I appreciate it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I was thinking about this the other day on an International flight where I was given an egg sandwich. I know so many people who have an anaphylactic reaction to eggs, I would have thought they would be the last thing a plane should serve. Who’d want to be stuck up there when someone has a reaction?

    Liked by 1 person

    • True… I wonder what an airline does when someone informs them prior to the trip… But then.. how hard must it be to cater for everyone. A friend of mine is highly allergic to chicken meat! So where do you start and where do you stop?


  7. I think that the base of nutrition has changed so much over time that it does seem as if the more advanced the world becomes the more health challenges multiply. Now that I think of it, I can barely recall a child hood friend of mine with allergies back then.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There is a peanut ban in my son’s entire school, not just the classrooms where the allergy is present. I don’t remember anyone I know growing up having a food allergy. These days kids can be allergic to absolutely anything. One little boy I met is allergic to nuts and seeds, dairy, wheat, and eggs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Times published the results of a study a few months ago that found that withholding nuts from young children actually caused nut allergies (the kids didn’t get a chance to develop tolerance for them). Ironically, the scientist who conducted the study had done just that with her own children: withheld nuts, thus causing them to grow up nut-intolerant. I am very tolerant of people with nut allergies, but I do eat little baggies of nuts just about everywhere I go — and refuse to feel the least bit guilty.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Sunday Share: Week 2 | All In A Dad's Work

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