Great news! A hypoallergenic peanut is on its way! And all the peanut allergic people rejoiced!
My son just shook his head. An emphatic “NO” from him. Phew.
So, someone is trying to find a way to get peanut allergic folks to be able to eat peanuts. Because there isn’t enough food in this world to offer good quality alternates?
Last week, Heather shared about the progress made by researchers in North Carolina, and how they have found a way to reduce the allergic protein of two strands (of 13 recognized) in peanuts—the Ara h1 and Ara h2—almost completely.
They’ve reduced the allergic protein of Ara h1 to undetectable levels and Ara h2—one of the proteins closely correlated with anaphylactic reactions—by 98%. So, there’s only 2% of the allergic protein left in the peanut.
I can hear all the world’s positive thinkers out there saying, “Only 2% chance, that’s so great! No need to worry about 2%!” I submit to you there is great need to worry about 2%.
Think of it this way:
You and I are standing with your child next to a busy street. I blindfold you and give you noise-canceling earphones. Then, I patiently wait until I am confident your senses are dulled and that you can no longer time traffic. Next, I give you the pre-arranged signal to push your child onto the road next to us. Oh, before I blindfolded you and gave you those special earphones, I explained that there is only a 2% chance a car will be driving by when I give you the signal to push your child into the street.
Would you do it?
Two percent gives false hope. Two percent does not offer safety. Two percent can still land a severely allergic person in the hospital—or worse.
For the time being, we will swap out our Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for Sun Cups and we will continue to find alternatives to make our favorites adaptable to the allergies in our family. Our quality of life is not diminished because of these exchanges. And I love a good challenge in the kitchen.
This research has a long way to go before it makes it to the general market. Even then, we likely will avoid “allergy safe” peanuts when they are available. I wonder if there are others that would give them a shot. Would you try them? Share your thoughts in the comments below.