According to a 2010 WebMD article, peanut allergies have tripled from 1997 to 2008 in US children. Peanut allergy is one of the most prevalent food allergies and can be severe or even fatal.
One reason for the increase may be because we have become an ‘overmedicated society’. In other words, as a result of today’s available medications, our immune systems are now more prone to attack harmless proteins found in many foods.
Because of this increased risk, should schools only sell peanut-free candy bars?
High Candy Bar Consumption
Candy bars are one of the most popular school fundraisers. It is estimated that the average person consumes 22 pounds of candy per year. According to a recent CNN article, the United States alone consumed 20.19% of the world’s cocoa from 2008-2009.
Why Sell Candy Bars with Peanuts?
Even though peanut allergies are still fairly rare in children, should schools risk selling candy bars that contain peanuts? Many schools have made concerted efforts to create ‘peanut-free’ zones on their campuses, but what about everywhere else? Since candy bars are being sold out in the community, anyone can make a purchase, not just the students.
Sure, people can make their own food choices, but what if they are unaware that they or a family member may have an unknown allergy? Is it really worth the risk when peanut-free candy bars are available?