I am a very fortunate Mom. The only allergies my kids have suffered from thus far are just from antibiotics. Thankfully we have no peanut, seafood, dairy allergies. I do not have to check labels in order to protect my children. I don't have to worry if I drop my child off at a play date whether or not I remembered to tell the parent that they have a food allergy. I am one of the lucky 92% of the population whose children do NOT suffer from a food allergy. There are, however that *8% (5.9 MILLION kids) of the population whose children have to sit at a special table at lunch because they have a food allergy, they are not allowed to eat the same things that other children may be eating at most play dates, birthday parties, or school functions.
I read an article today that sparked my curiosity about food allergies and made me realize just how lucky our family is that we don't have to deal with this. There are parents in the 8% who have children with peanut allergies that are not happy that Cheerios is catering to the 92% of the population who do not have allergies. Making peanut butter Cheerios puts their children at a higher risk for accidental ingestion of peanut butter or cross contact.
I do see their point. As a Mom I know it's hard to keep your kids from sharing with other kids when they have a bag full of their favorite snack. If I send my 3 year old kid out on the playground with a peanut butter flavored snack and she chooses to share with another child her age who doesn't know any better, this kid could be at risk for a serious allergic reaction from the snack. So, the solution to this would be to make my child eat her snack by my side so that I can ensure that she doesn't share, right? Well, what if she happens to drop said peanut butter flavored snack on the ground and we don't spot it? Later on, another mother sits in our spot and her child grabs the snack and gobbles it up before she even knows. This child is now at risk all because of us!
As a Mom I do sympathize with the 8% of the population who have to live their lives on pins and needles because of food allergies. But, in the same token, I ask should the 92% of the population have to suffer as well? I think that General Mills is marketing to the majority of the population as most companies do. There is no way that every single person will like their product, but if the majority of the population do, then they will be successful.
General Mills had this response for concerned parents:
Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter contains PEANUTS. Cheerios has a commitment to allergen management. We can say with complete confidence that MultiGrain Peanut Butter Cheerios will not cross-contaminate other Cheerios varieties. Currently, Honey Nut Cheerios, Banana Nut Cheerios, and Oat Cluster Cheerios Crunch contain ALMOND. Only Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter contains PEANUTS. All other varieties, including original Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, and Yogurt Burst Cheerios, do not contain nuts. As always, If you’re concerned about allergies, we highly recommend that you always consult the allergen listing and the ingredient label on any product you may consume.
What's your take on this subject? Do you have a child who suffers from food allergies? Will you boycott the product? My inquiring mind wants to know.