Food Allergy Experience

Nuts on a Plane

Before my Little Guy was diagnosed with multiple severe food allergies, I had no idea how very, very, very (can I add another very?) controversial the topic of nuts on a plane is. Now that I’ve been thrown into the world of food allergies, I’ve learned there are some people who are absolutely certain they will die without the package of nuts while on a plane. Ok, I’m being a bit sarcastic and over dramatic. But seriously, people read some of the comments on the bottom of  articles. You’ll see that people are adamant nuts continue to be served.

But don’t get me wrong the anti-nut people can be just as frustrating to me. Both sides have drawn a line in the sand and absolutely with no uncertainty will give. They will not cross over that line and offer peace. Or to say, we could work together. There’s usually a round of name calling and high emotions for both sides.

Then you factor in the airline’s opinion. They seem to care but don’t feel there’s much they can do. They’ve drawn their own line in the sand that says, “we care, but not enough to make the other side mad”. The flight attendants don’t have time to monitor what people eat. They have no way to guarantee the seats, tables, or blankets are clean (which I believe everyone should be grossed out by that….just sayin’).

I personally believe some the issue is we’ve equated flying to peanuts. So much are the two now connected, that many can’t imagine they are two separate things. You can be sitting on a plane and flying without nuts. And you can be sitting on a plane with nuts but not flying. Just because you’re eating nuts, does not mean you’re flying. You could be sitting on your couch. You see it is possible. The two don’t have to be connected. And until we disconnect peanuts from flying, we will have people on both sides of the sand line.

I also believe part of the issue is that we don’t want our rights taken away. We, in general, feel entitled to have what we want when we want it. No one else should ever ask anyone to give up any of their rights. Not even if that action cause someone (often time a child but not always) to die a very scary death.

I also think the anti-nut on planes people can be, well, snotty about it. It doesn’t help to call people uneducated or killers. Even if you think it, you should be kind about your redirection. I get it, I have a kid with severe life threatening allergies. I get it. My “mama bear” instincts come out. I want to shout out loud my child’s life is worth more than your 2.00 package of nuts. But, really it doesn’t get us anywhere. And it doesn’t help with the education of the masses who strongly feel nuts are a necessity of life.

I do believe eventually we’ll see nuts removed from flights. And all of this upheaval will be a distant memory. We’ll all vaguely remember when eating nuts on a plan was an option.

But until then, can’t we have some good conversation on how to keep everyone safe? I mean, after all, isn’t that the real concern? And if it isn’t, it should be. We should have some compassion for others. We should understand our actions (in this case eating peanuts on a plane) could negatively impact someone else. And we should care. Because if we don’t, I’m afraid of where our world is going.

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4 Comments

  1. You hit it on the nail. Just off a plane after a work trip and peanuts were everywhere. So were other top 8 allergens of every type. My daughter is allergic to most of them. Where do we prioritize? What is actually available for tired, hungry travelers to eat in the airport? Nuts. Things with nuts. I never accept the peanuts and don’t eat nut products on the plane, but my carry on still comes home covered in residue-goes in a trash bag to wait for the next trip. I’m not defending those horrible comments that make me lose faith in humanity. But I see both sides. I’m close to starving after running from a meeting, getting a taxi and finally landing in the airport. I grab food right after security and eat on the plane. I just don’t know. Thanks for going middle of the road on this issue. I’ve been on the other side as a mom flying with my daughter who has contact and inhalant reactions. I’m only sure that we should all have a bunch of empathy and accommodate as needed.

    • Thanks so much for replying! I have a couple of months before I’ll actually fly. I’d not thought about how to handle my carry on bag. I think since it’s a hard plastic, I’ll wipe it down really well and then put it up so my son can’t play with it. I’m lucky that at this time my son hasn’t demonstrated inhalant reactions but does have contact.

  2. Great post – totally agree x

    • Thanks for responding 🙂

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