Monday, February 21, 2011

Peanut Allergies, Spring and Gardening: Beware of Mulch and More

Spring felt like it was coming to Chicago last week for a fleeting moment, which got me thinking about gardening, bird feeders and much more. I've also had some recent questions and comments from blog readers about the "nutty" stuff they are finding in both bird seed and gardening items.

Non-edible food items frequently contain tree nuts or peanuts, and they are not regulated in the same way as foods are with regard to labeling. Always read the list of ingredients when buying gardening or lawn items and also birdseed for your feeder. It's surprising how many non-edible items will contain peanut or tree nut ingredients like shells or other matter.

Gardening items can be dangerous because, obviously, the go into the ground and young children will have access to them. If you have young kids, you know everything that looks edible (and even a few things that don't) will go directly into their mouths. So have fun with your spring garden, but be cautious!

Items to watch out for include mulch, plant food, enriched dirt for planting and of course, bird or small animal food.

A couple of years ago, a gardening item at Target stores called Buzzy Bee had peanut and tree nut allergy warnings. This is rare, however. Most of the time you need to read the labels and call companies if labels are unclear. Now, Spring can hurry up and arrive--just be prepared!

The book giveaway winner for Sloane Miller's "Allergic Girl" will be announced Wednesday after a random drawing, so come back on Wednesday and find out who won!


Jane Anne said...

Great reminders! I was reminded yesterday to be aware of what a neighbor's pet may have eaten. My son was playing with my neighbor's dog and his rope tug-of-war toy, when my son broke out in hives. The dog? He loves peanut butter. The tug-of-war toy was not peanut free.

bethy said...

Did you know many ant traps are full of peanuts? I didn't! I called the company of the traps we were using because my dog ate one. I was worried it would poison him. The lady on the line told me, "Oh, don't worry! It's 99% peanuts!"

I would rather have ants, than peanuts in my house!

Please let your readers know. Your blog is fantastic, by the way. I am glad I found it.

JenNYCMom said...

Local Squirrels have buried peanuts in our community garden plot. The shells have decomposed into the soil over the winter. A mom with a PA child is worried that her son cannot eat any of the veggies (strawberries, tomatoes) grown there. Thoughts?