Is it harder to be American?

Posted on: Sun, 03/04/2001 - 5:52am
pdaisey's picture
Joined: 10/11/2000 - 09:00

pFrom reading your posts I often find myself glad to living in England. Peanuts seem to be everywhere in America, eg, in England it would be quite unusual for peanut butter sandwiches to be served at a childs birthday party or as a children's menu choice in a restaurant. We still have the problems with chocolate and oriental food etc. but not many children take peanut butter sandwiches in their school lunch box, and I have never seen peanut treats given out such as reeses cups etc. Even plain MMs are safe in England. I really wonder how you all cope, It is hard enough here where only one brand of peanut cookies is on the supermarket shelves and I have never even heard of peanut butter crackers. I certainly am thinking twice about taking my family to Disney because there are so many additional problems you all have to deal with. Is it the same in Canada?/p

Posted on: Sun, 03/04/2001 - 6:54am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pdaisey, although I do get myself into some difficulties when comparing Canadians and Americans on this site, I do believe things are a BIT better in Canada than they are in the U.S. I also believe I findly found out why, in my thread about How Large a Cash Crop Peanuts are in America awhile back. They are a huge American crop.
Canada doesn't have peanuts for a crop. We don't have lobbyists for peanut product manufacturers approaching our government.
I know that a lot of Americans have posted here that they have had a much easier time when they have visited Canada. For example, if you go to the Canadians thread, under Main Discussion, page 5, the last post on the thread, it's from a woman that had moved from the States to Canada and back to the States again. She really noticed a big difference, for herself, between the two countries.
I had wanted to reply with a cautionary post that even if we appear to be more aware as far as better labeling and other issues that concern PA people/parents, there are always going to be ignorant people no matter where you live. It is our day-to-day dealings with these people, be it school officials or non-PA parents that can make PA as frustrating for Canadians as Americans.
Also, from what I understand with regard to their schools, if you have a "good" 504 Plan implemented for your child, it is far better than the blanket school board policy most of us receive in Canada.
However, I certainly wouldn't dissuade you from visiting The States because of PA. You could almost, by posting on this site, set up a safety net for yourself and your family.
For example, if you are going to California, there are SO many people on this site posting from California. You could get in contact with them via e-mail and kinda sort things out for your travel.
I know that late last Fall, I was in correspondence with an American woman whose family was coming to Toronto for a family visit. I'm from Toronto and still have a Toronto telephone book so I was able to look up different restaurants' telephone numbers for her and she could call them, to check on ingredients, well before she left the safety of her home.
What I'm thinking is, if you knew the particular place you were going to visit, you could simply post and get help from people living in the area where you would be going, i.e., suggestions about how to deal with theme parks, etc. Actually, if I was to travel to the States, or anywhere else for that matter, that's what I would do.
I think it's really all relative and it's hard to say whether one country is "better" than another when it comes to dealing with PA. I truly believe that ignorant people know no borders and for this reason PA can be a struggle no matter where you live. It may just be a difference in the degree of struggle, I'm not sure.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Sun, 03/04/2001 - 9:16am
EILEEN's picture
Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

Great question.
I do agree that the US presents some unique difficulties in handling the pa issue (I have lived in the US, Canada, England and Asia, and have citizenship in more than one country so these are my personnal comparisons).
I think the US poses some unique difficulties in handling pa because (and I hope no-one gets too angry over this!)
1. Peanut butter appears to be as much part of the American culture as Disney (and is therefore above criticism).
2. School children in the US seem to spend at lot of time eating (often their pb+js).
3. In the US people have claimed that trying to stop a child from eating pnb (even to save another child

Posted on: Sun, 03/04/2001 - 10:07am
creek14's picture
Joined: 06/13/2000 - 09:00

It probably is harder here, but to those of us who have never lived anywhere else - well, we have nothing to compare it to. I imagine it would be much more difficult for those of you from Canada and the UK to come here than it is for those of us who don't know any difference.

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 2:13am
EILEEN's picture
Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

There is another thread (by Ryan's mom in the MEDIA section) that deals with the "March of Dimes" promoting pn for pregnant mothers that really illustrates some of the difficulties of living in the US with pa (namely we can't get away from the stuff!)
[This message has been edited by EILEEN (edited March 06, 2001).]

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 2:14am
Mom to Cayley's picture
Joined: 03/05/2001 - 09:00

I found something interesting that I thought I might contribute to this thread.
Peanuts are an important cash crop in the U.S.
Canola is an important cash crop in Canada.
Peanuts are promoted in the U.S. and are included in a vast array of foods.
Canola is promoted in Canada as a healthy "heart smart" oil and is included in a vast array of foods.
In the U.S., the American Celiac Association recommends avoidance of canola oil for those with a wheat allergy/intolerance.
In Canada, the Canadian Celiac Association makes no such recommendation, saying there is no medical reason why gluten-intolerant individuals should avoid canola.
U.S. - Peanuts = money
Canada - Canola = money
Nuff said.

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 4:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Mom to Cayley, excellent post! I had actually been trying to work into my post above that it would be very different in Canada if the product was canola. My soul, it took even me (I mean even me, being Canadian) awhile to figure out what the heck it was! Your equation is definitely right on!
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 8:47am
shannon's picture
Joined: 05/15/2000 - 09:00

Along the same lines as what Eileen said, there is a program in the US for low income families called W.I.C. (women, infants, children) they provide vouchers for "healthy" foods these include Milk, eggs, cheese, fruit juice, cereal, baby formula, beans and you guessed it, peanut butter.
My PA son is small, so I have had the county health nurse consult with me on his nutrition, she once brought a nutritionist/dietitian, who told me that in her opinion, the products offered are the ones with the biggest lobbies. She used the example that fruit juice is really not healthy but if they were truly concerned about providing the best diet for these low income families, they would provide fresh fruits and veggies.
Any way I guess I am trying to say it is so important that they give it away to get people hooked.

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 10:49am
EILEEN's picture
Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

Great posts on the lobby issues.
Caley's Mom and Cindy, I'm curious, is gluten added to canola oil or is it insufficiently purified?

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 11:53am
Triciasmom's picture
Joined: 08/03/2000 - 09:00

Is it harder to be an American? Well, it's kind of hard to know if you haven't lived in other countries. Though I must say that now we have a President who loves his PB. (Don't blame me. I voted for the other guy.)
But in my area, and I live about 20 miles south of Canada, I get weird responses from a lot of people when I ask them if they use peanut oil or products. Apparently a lot of restaurant workers in my area are unaware of the danger of peanuts to a PA person. But last week when I was up at the Greater Vancouver Zoo, I asked the man at the concessions if they used peanut oil or other peanut products. He told me that he couldn't guarantee the prepackaged goods. But he ran and checked and assured me that they use only canola oil.
Maybe I am just biased. But I think that Americans are obsessed with peanuts. I walk out of the grocery store and am assaulted by pleas from girl scouts to buy cookies (which of course are loaded with PB and nuts). It seems that there is a PB version of practically every cookie, cake, and candy bar. Every time I watch TV, there are numerous ads for PB Twix bars or Snickers or Reese's PB cups.
I try not to think too hard about it. Grocery store trips are very depressing to me.

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 1:03pm
Mom to Cayley's picture
Joined: 03/05/2001 - 09:00

Eileen - Here is more info on the gluten. I copied this from a Canola Information website:
Why is canola not recommended for celiac sprue or a gluten free diet?
Gluten is one type of protein that occurs especially in wheat, rye, oats, barley, and must be avoided completely by persons with Celiac disease. However, each type of grain contains other proteins that are also capable of initiating and allergic reaction. Pure oils are non-allergenic; however, if the oil is not completely pure, it may contain a small amount of the grain protein as a contaminant. *All pure vegetable, nut, seed, and fish oils are allowed in the wheat-free (gluten free) diet.
The Celiac Association in the United States does not recommend canola (we do not know on what this is based on); however, the Canadian Celiac Association does not substantiate this claim.
*Reference: Food Allergies and Intolerances, Client Information -Wheat Free Diet. Pp.155-166 by Janice Vickerstaff Joneja, 1995.
Hope this helps - for me, I just read between the lines and see the money lost by the industry if they actually did studies and found canola to be incompatible with a gluten intolerance. At least the peanut industry donates money to PA vaccine researchers! Dunno, I could be wrong - I tend to see conspiracies in everything! [img][/img]


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