Well, I guess if you go into any store at this time of year, it becomes glaringly obvious that Halloween is just right around the corner. In the most recent issue of Mary Jane’s Farm magazine, I noticed an article that caught my eye. It was titled “Teal Pumpkin Project”, and it covered a fact that I haven’t given much thought to before now. Even though my brother is allergic to chocolate (horrors!), and my children are both lactose intolerant, I never gave the possible allergens in Halloween much thought. My family members didn’t manifest their allergies until they had outgrown Trick or Treat. Teal pumpkins are representative of an international awareness campaign launched by the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) (https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project). According to FARE, “Food allergies are a life-altering and potentially life-threatening disease, and a growing health issue. …a tiny amount of their allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction…Many Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, egg, soy, or wheat, which are some of the most common allergens in children or adults. Additionally many “fun-size” versions may contain different ingredients then their full-size counterparts, and some may not have labels, so it is difficult for parents to determine whether these items are safe for their children with food allergies. Non-food treats provide a safe, fun alternative for children with food allergies and other conditions for whom candy may present a problem.” I know that if my brother is exposed to just the tip of a chocolate chip he gets violently ill for days and has to take steriods to recover. I knew a little boy several years ago who had a milk allergy that was so severe he had to sit at a separate table from the other children at lunch so that milk wouldn’t accidentally get spilled on him. I still think about how lonely that must have been for him. While we haven’t officially started decorating yet, I went online and ordered a teal pumpkin to set outside our front door for Trick or Treat. It comes with a sign to let kids know that at our house they have their choice between candy (treats) or toys (tricks). I also went to a site online which is known for their prizes and toys and ordered a selection of toys. Next, we will have our yearly spirited discussion about what kind of candy to get. That is always interesting.
September is also Hunger Awareness month, so drop off a can of soup or tuna at your local food bank or shelter. Think of it as a hug that you can give to someone who needs it.
Love you all,
“The biggest lie we tell ourselves everyday is that we have nothing to give. It only takes a moment to be of service to someone else.” Josh Denny