Don\'t assume butter is butter


Hi, I just returned from a trip that involved catered meals and eating in restaurants. In one restaurant, I ordered plain salmon, baked potato and steamed brocoli. It seemed safe to me. I was halfway through the baked potato when it occured to me that perhaps the butter wasn't REALLY butter. I asked - and sure enough - it wasn't. It was a cheapie margarine that fortunately had no pn products in it.

Just thought I'd warn everyone not to assume that butter is butter.

On Sep 17, 2005

I agree with this totally. My daughter has a PA and I have celiac disease... which means no flour, wheat, barley, rye, or oats for me, not ever. I have found out that when eating out you have to ask about every single thing. Some of these terms, like butter have become generic and people use them for margarine and what not.


On Sep 17, 2005

Butter or margarine has never been a concern for me to wonder about.

On Sep 17, 2005

Hi e-mom, Margarine is on many 'foods to avoid' lists. (unless you know the ingredients). I have yet to find a suspect ingredient in margarine, but I just stick to one brand at home and I haven't spent any time reading marg. labels in the grocery store. Perhaps some of the margarine warnings are because of the possibility of x-cont. with PB?

"Foods that may contain peanuts include: cookies, chocolate bars, chili, egg rolls, Thai dishes, Satay sauces, prepared soup (especially dried packaged soup mixes), prepared and frozen desserts, hydrogenated oil, candy, baked goods, chinese food, potato chips, fried foods, salad dressings, macaroons, icing paste, almond paste, vegetable burgers, vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, lard, margarine, rework chocolate from Europe and canned sardines"

On Sep 17, 2005

Okay, Adele, I hear what you're saying about not assuming that butter is butter - that it could possibly be margarine instead of butter.

But I'm with e-mom on this one and I have never worried about butter or margarine on this journey.

My margarine container is labeled as being 100% soybean and/or canola oil.

I appreciate the list that you posted above and I'm going to re-read it to see what else I, personally, don't worry about, but margarine, no. I'd go insane.

However, having said that, I have found some things along the journey that I wouldn't have thought to worry about and then *did* have reason to and posted about here - the allergy alert on a coffee in a coffee shop (TNA people) and also a vegetarian hamburger that contained walnuts (again TNA) and would therefore cross-contaminate any regular burgers ordered in the restaurant - they would be fried on the same grill.

Best wishes! [img][/img]

On Sep 17, 2005

Okay, the list. Where did you find it? Not saying that it is not okay. Simply curious and you know me with my ton of questions [img][/img]

"Foods that may contain peanuts include: cookies,

I only buy brands of cookies that I consider well labeled and never European cookies.

chocolate bars,

I only buy brands of chocolate bars that I consider well labeled and never European chocolate bars.


I would check in a restaurant, but it's not something I would order "out" anyway. The canned chili we have in the stores here I consider well labeled and don't buy them either. I make my own.

egg rolls,

Yes, definitely, because they might be sealed with pb - we have not had Chinese Food since PA diagnosis.

Thai dishes,

An obvious avoidance.

Satay sauces,

An obvious avoidance again.

prepared soup (especially dried packaged soup mixes),

Again, I have never had a problem with prepared soup not even dried packaged soup mixes. Is it because I'm Canadian and everything is extremely well labeled? I live in a neighbourhood where there are three Polish shops in our small plaza and I do not buy any of their packaged goods, because there are no ingredient labels in English and because I simply don't trust European products.

prepared and frozen desserts,

Certainly, have found a few of these that are "off limits", but no, don't avoid them.

hydrogenated oil,

In Canada, if the oil is peanut, it has to state that it is, so again, I don't worry about hydrogenated oil in products.


Always check the label, but again, we've found a lot of candy for the munchkins to ingest.

baked goods,

Okay, this is where my comfort zone is probably more relaxed than other people's. I do buy baked goods in my local grocery store because they do not bake with peanuts. The cakes that they bring in (that they don't make on premises) are well labeled and not okay for us to buy, but as far as birthday cakes, etc. I have been able to purchase them at the grocery store. I checked the cake form and the icing (before the cake was made) and made sure it was okay. The baked goods section of the grocer I had avoided for YEARS. Now, I don't and I haven't for a couple of years.

chinese food,

Definitely has always been off limits to us. Now, recently we were given a recommendation (with a lot of precautions when we do visit) about ONE we might be able to try.

potato chips,

Again, the labeling here is great and I have never found a potato chip that we've had to avoid.

fried foods,

Not totally off limits for us - I simply check to see what oil they're frying in.

salad dressings,

Store bought ones, I've never had a problem with - again, that wonderful labeling. In a restaurant, I would have to ask.


Not sure about these since I can't remember the last time I bought them.

icing paste,

Not sure about this because I don't think I've ever purchased it.

almond paste,

Would obviously avoid because of the almonds.

vegetable burgers,

Yes, because of what I posted above about finding walnuts in a vegetable burger in a restaurant (they were on the ingredient list on the menu - I didn't order one and then miraculously find walnuts).

vegetable oil,

Again, I just check the label or ask about whatever I'm buying.

vegetable shortening,

Don't buy it, but I assume it's stuff like Crisco and again, I would trust the labeling.


Same as with the vegetable shortening.


Have never worried about it - buy the same brand all of the time, for the most part, and when I don't, I check the label and again, I have never had a problem.

rework chocolate from Europe

This has always been definitely off limits because of the study Dr. Vadas did.

and canned sardines"

Well, I've never bought canned sardines or thought to buy them, so I'm not sure, but don't even know why they would be a concern unless they were packed in peanut oil.

Adele, can you see that I trust my Canadian labeling? I tend to stick to products made in Canada or for ones that are imported from the U.S., I make sure that they're "name brand" and I will check them out here if I think they are a food that there *might* be a concern about.

But honestly, *most* of that list does not concern me at all as long as I've read the ingredient label.

Best wishes! [img][/img]

On Sep 17, 2005

Okay, I think the operative words on that list are foods that "may contain". Completely understand that and it is probably true for *most* of the list - the possibility that they "may contain". Again, I trust my labeling and have never had a problem.

Best wishes! [img][/img]

On Sep 17, 2005

I have found a brand of margarine over here (UK) that has a nut warning one. I was surprised and a bit annoyed!! Just goes to show that we must read every label every time.

Good point on this thread, one I will remember. Thanks sarah

On Sep 17, 2005

williamsmummy, do you feel you have *good* labeling in the U.K.?

Because of your son's MFA, do you "eat out" often?

I did not mean to negate the post about butter not being butter. The day I see a margarine in the store with a "nut" warning, then that will be the day I ask in a restaurant whether there is butter on my potato or margarine, and, if it's margarine, I'll ask about the margarine.

I remember a discussion about canola oil a few years ago here. Someone had checked at a restaurant and was assured that they were not using peanut oil, but using canola oil.

Well, lo and behold, when I lived in the one horse town, a really inexpensive brand of canola oil had a "may contain peanuts" warning on it. So, I remember posting in the thread to the person that they should actually ask to see the container of canola oil "just in case".

When my son's then school switched pizza parlours to get their weekly pizza from, I went in and physically checked what canola oil they were using.

So, I'm sorry, Adele, I didn't mean to negate what you were saying.

It's just that for me, personally, I haven't seen a warning here yet, in Canada, and until I do, margarine or butter is not something I am going to begin to worry about.

I feel we have excellent labeling on Canadian products in Canada.

Best wishes! [img][/img]

On Sep 17, 2005

Hi all, Oh no - what have I started? The only time I would question margarine is when I don't know what's in it.

csc, I found the list of foods on this web site: [url=""][/url] (I think it's Canadian...) But I've found the same info on other web sites including this one: [url=""][/url] Just google 'margarine' + "peanut allergy" and you'll get a ton of them.

But then worchestershire sauce is also on many lists of things that may contain pn and I have yet to find anything questionable in it in spite of reading the labels on every brand of worchestershire sauce in Safeway.

I have a lot more to say on this subject but decided it belongs on Jason's thread, 'Do you ever wonder' because it boils down to the fine line between being careful and being paranoid.

On Sep 17, 2005

Adele, quite frankly, at your stage in the game, I feel you have the *right* to be paranoid (if you are). Although I don't suspect you are or I wouldn't have been cyber smacking your hand this week in another thread re a post of your's I read. [img][/img]

I think if you look at the thread I re-raised to-day about stepping out the door, you'll really get my position on things - not all of them. I mean things *can* change daily, KWIM?

I read another post to-day by Going Nuts and how her son is getting older (older than my guy) and going out more on his own and stuff and how that is really changing things for her and how she feels re PA (I think it's in triciasmom's thread).

So, although it might seem as though I have "the answer" (as if there is one) to-day, I may very well not have it tomorrow, KWIM? (btw, I hate, KWIM).

It's an ever evolving journey and that's really what I'd like people to try to understand, and hey, compared to a lot of people here, my guy is only nearly 10 - I still have a lot of years and situations to go through with him where it might be deemed that I'm being "paranoid" and that's okay.

I do think this post was valid (just as I believe mine about canola oil and veggie burgers in one restaurant were). I think it broadened out more into whether people worry about butter or margarine for purchasing for their own home use. But, as I said, the day I see a "nut" warning on margarine here is the day I'll have to begin to ask questions.

Best wishes! [img][/img]

On Sep 17, 2005


Originally posted by Adele: [b]The only time I would question margarine is when I don't know what's in it.


That's exactly what I gathered from your post-that if you're eating out there might be an ingredient that is not exactly what you think it is, and therefore you don't know what the ingredients for it is. It's just scary to eat out at all isn't it. I can understand people not worrying about margarine at home since they can easily read the label on it.

------------------ ============== [b]~Gale~[/b]

On Sep 17, 2005


I'm tired of dealing with PA. It can go away now. Whoever invented a stupid allergy where you have to worry about what the h*** is in margarine, for crying out loud. I want a Snickers.


On Sep 18, 2005

Adele,I have heard about the W sauce thingy, somethng to do with walnut contamination I think.

The margerine in question was from waitrose supermarket. Its been a long time since I went to my local waitrose, and when I did i wasnt happy with the limited choices I had.

CSC, I do consider our labeling to be Ok, its the tiny small print on everything that drives me mad. The warnings are there, on nearly everything it seems, but I do find the labels confusing. Its the long winded made in a factory ones, that sort of explain a lower sort of risk, but still leaves us, the consumer, in the dark as to how much of a risk. Obviously I want no risk as much as possible, and that severely restricts my choice. That said, since my boy has been able to eat products with cooked egg, it has been easier to find products for us.

There are always a wide selection of products for the food intolerant, as it seems to be a wide spread fashion for everyone to think they are intolerant to something. This is of course fantastic for the truely food intolerant, as long as they dont have classic food allergies as well!

There seems to be a strange belief that we are catered for by the supermarkets , when nothing could be further from the truth. We need the nut warnings, but we also need food and choice that is safe, and there is precious little of that. There idea of giving us huge books that list their 'free from' foods are wildly impractical, and often as labels change so rapidly are not worth dragging to a supermarket. I did try that once, with three boys and a pregnant bump, a shopping trolly, my shopping list, the 'free from' book and my handbag. Try flicking through a book, and reading a ingredient label and keep track fo three noisy boys! maddness! The only way in which I could do any shopping was to stick william in the trolley seat, give him a pen and the free from book to draw in!

The supermarkets control food manufactuers and farmers with a firm grip, producing food for us seems to be regarded as not profitable on a large scale.

There are small companies that I do buy from as much as I can, esp as many are owned by parents who have children with food allergy. If i buy for instance , a safe flapjack for my sons lunch box , all the other children want one, so I buy for all the family !


On Sep 19, 2005

I forgot to reply to cindys question about going to restaurants and williams allergies.

In the UK its pretty expensive to go to resturants, macs and burger king seem to be the only places we go to. Not that often either, apart from the unhealthy aspect of the food, only one child has a happy meal these days! so it still costs. For all of us(6) it would cost about

On Sep 19, 2005

williamsmummy, thank-you for answering my questions. [img][/img]

I can well understand why you don't go out to eat that often at the prices you're paying.

DH went with me to take the kids to McDonald's perhaps a month or so ago and he was shocked that for the two of them only (we ate falafels somewhere else) the bill came to $17.00. He's always shocked anyway by the price of things because he never really has to pay for them and even in the grocery store he can't tell you what something costs whereas when he was living with us, I could send him with a list with the $ cost of the food right beside it.

As far as going to films - I also hear you! The last time I went to the show with the kids, we went to a matinee, which is cheaper. It was $26.00 for the three of us.

Then, when I went to price the popcorn, it was like no way, I refuse to spend that much money on popcorn. They were also selling a hotdog and a drink for $7.00!

I was just having this discussion now because we want to go and see The Corpse Bride this coming week-end but I just read that it's only 74 minutes long. I'm going to pay $26.00 + for a movie not much longer than an hour on TV? I'm not too sure!

When we went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which I am glad we saw on the "big screen"), we came out and went into Chinatown where they were selling DVD's of it (bootleg obviously) for $5.00. The same film we had just come out from seeing! (I bought the DVD).

But it is for Em's birthday, so I probably will go, but I remember last year for Jesse's birthday, we went, his Father included and he brought a buddy, and I imagine we spent probably $100.00 that day. To tell you the truth, without wanting to sound like MEAN MOMMY, but perhaps MOMMY who knows how important money *can* be, it was not worth it.

Now, I am planning to take Ember to McDonald's tomorrow for her actual birthday day (I asked her about another place but she said no) and the only reason I feel okay about going right now, because as with your children, Sarah, both of mine have moved past the Happy Meal stage (I'm really pleased Jess has), is that I have coupons so I can get a meal for them at an okay price.

That was my complaint this whole summer about different things to do in the "city" and how costly it is to do things. It was NOT like this when we were children. It didn't cost perhaps your Father's half pay cheque to do something.

My SIL receives movie coupons for birthdays and Christmas from one of her in-laws (BIL) for her daughters and they've even found that the $50.00 they get in coupons doesn't cover the outing for three girls and two adults.

That's why I really like the second run theatre when I'm able to find a film there to go and see for a more reasonable price and even the popcorn is more reasonably priced.

Again, I don't mean to sound like MEAN MOMMY, especially because it is Em's birthday, but things keep adding up and right now, with their Father doing NOTHING to help financially, it *can* be a bit difficult and nerve wracking and then you do this soul searching thing wondering if you're a BAD MOMMY or what and just bleck.

Sorry for the rant (didn't I do one in this thread already? [img][/img] ). My apologies.

But no, I certainly understand why you wouldn't be eating out a lot Sarah, you have a few more mouths to feed than I do.

Best wishes! [img][/img]

On Sep 19, 2005

CSC, this is waaaaayy off topic....

"Ember" is a beautiful name. I've never known anyone with this name. Except... my eldest daughter's imaginary friend. I would try to correct her "you mean Amber". NOOOO EMBER!!

We always celebrated Ember's birthday and invited Ember to all of our celebrations. When Stacey grew and began to play with 'real' friends, Ember faded but never totally went away. We still 'see' her on rare occasions [img][/img]

Your post today of Ember's Birthday brought back some very lovely memories. Our Ember loved cake and lots of kool-aid!

Hope your Ember has a wonderful birthday!


On Sep 19, 2005

Aaawwww Adele, wish I could make it go away for you and everyone else, too. (((((BIG HUGS)))))

Cindy, your response to all the food items mentioned could have been exactly what my response would have been, all except for I think icing (I'm assuming you meaning like icing/frosting for a cake) I do buy Betty Crocker chocolate frosting. We've been using it for years without any problems.

Adele, we use Heinz Worchestershire Sauce. These are the ingredients: Distilled White Vinegar, Water, Molasses, High Fructorse Corn Syrup, Salt, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt, Sodium Benzoate as a Preservative), Natural Flavoring, Caramel Coloring, Anchovies, Polysorbate 80, Soy Flour, Garlic Extract

Keep in mind my son is [i]only[/i] alleric to peanuts.

Completely off topic but does anyone know if menopause would play a part with allergies? [i]I really hope I'm not offending anyone by asking this, I just know that it can be really whacky for some women's systems.[/i]

[This message has been edited by e-mom (edited September 19, 2005).]

On Sep 19, 2005

Absolutely not as advice, but only speaking for *my family*.

oh yuck. I [i]hate[/i] margarine. We are a 100% [i]real[/i] butter family. [img][/img] I love the [i]smell[/i].

[b]For us, there is no substitute[/b].


On Sep 19, 2005

mommabear, I agree butter is best, but after hubby giving small protest we have both.

Adele, yes menopause does get linked to allergies, shellfish allergies in women of menopause age , are being noted. esp if they have other allergies in the past or in the family. The usual stuff, asthma, eczema and hay fever etc.


On Sep 20, 2005

Until ds's DA popped up, we were a butter-only family too. Now we buy our diary-free stuff and take some with us when we go to family gatherings. Thank goodness I don't have to worry about peanut x-contamination there. (small positives!)

[b]Adele[/b], stop thinking about that Snikers bar (made me laugh). After I got done nursing my youngest, I went out with girlfriends for an evening of bowling, dinner and a few drinks. I had a Snikers bar during bowling bacause I was just dying for one. It turned out it wasn't as good as I remembered. Haven't had another once since. [img][/img]

------------------ [i][b]Peanut Slayer[/b][/i]