Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Love Canada

because it seems easier to find packaged cookies that carry the label "made in peanut free/tree nut free facility."

Since my DD is allergic to peanuts and treenuts, I do not buy products that contain them or that are labelled "may contain." I also don't buy products made on shared equipment. I'm not quite sure what to do about labels saying "processed in same facility." My allergist told me I need not avoid them because it's mainly a liability label, but I've learned from other moms that FAAN reported about a study that showed that items labeled with shared facility actually contained nuts more often then items labeled 'may contain.' What's mom to do? Not buy any of them.

The problem becomes more complicated because labels regarding same facility and shared equipment are not required. They are advisory labels. So, what if one company decides to share with me that the item was produced in a shared facility but another company doesn't have any indication of what kind of facility was used? Should I assume it's peanut free? That's a pretty risky assumption for me since my child could go into anaphylaxis. What do I do?

Well, recently, I've been buying Canadian. My selection isn't large at my local grocery stores, but there is a version of a malomar type cookie called Whippets by a company named Dare. Not only do I know it's from a safe facility, my daughter really likes them. And, she can learn French from the packaging. And, I love it, the cookies are not covered in chocolate as we Americans might say, they are "enrobed."

Riddle me this - I can find nearby Latino groceries and various Asian groceries, but why are there no Canadian grocery stores? I guess the two Canadians I know do not make a large enough population to justify the cost. Or maybe it's because Canadian food is pretty much the same, except for the nut free facility thing. husband goes to Detriot on business, I should send him with a shopping list. As I'm sure you know, the nearest foreign country south of Detriot is Canada.


The Solley Five said...

I miss you. sigh. When I read this I just pretend I'm listening to you tell it under the tree at park day. And then I put in a witty comment from Mona about Palin's hair relating to the peanut allergy and tying in a dirty joke so that our whole funny world comes back to us in one neat comment. Sigh. I miss you guys. We'll come for a visit next summer.

Marjorie said...

I miss you, too. Park day is not the same, though there is a lot of knitting going on.

Lisa said...

Hi Marjorie,

I found this post when I visited your blog and pulled up the allergy references.

We are Canadian, and I have a peanut allergic child. We are so fortunate to have good labeling laws here, as well as a number of local business that have made a point of providing peanut free products.

I thought I'd pass along the links to you. If you, and other Americans, push to find these products in your grocery stores, it is more likely that these business will thrive and flourish.

As well, it might make American manufacturers take note and start producing peanut free products there too.

You've already mentioned Dare ( I've noticed when travelling in the States that you only get a couple of varieties of Dare cookies.

They actually have a huge product line of peanut-free goodies -- cookies, crackers, candy, lunchbox items, etc. It's a great company -- family owned too (which is rare these days).

Another great company is Chapman's ( They are another family-owned company that makes truly wonderful ice cream and ice treats. They distribute across Canada, but I'm not sure about the States.

This last link is for No-Nuts Pea Spread ( I am a peanut butter lover, which is probably why my son has an allergy, as I ate it while he was in utero -- before I read that that was a bad thing :-(. After I had to give up peanut butter (we don't keep it, or any other "unsafe" products in the house), I tried various nut and soy butters, but they were uniformly horrible.

This stuff, however, tastes like the real thing. You can make PB & J sandwiches, or PB cookies without noticing a difference at all.

I don't know if you can get these things down there, or if you could lobby to have your grocer stock them. The first two companies are widely stocked here, but the pea butter is only available at certain grocery stores, even here.

Hope that helps!


Lisa said...

BTW, since my sign-in account didn't link my website, I'll post it here so you know who I am: (You visited me there recently, which is how I found your blog.)

Marjorie2 said...

Thanks! I'm sorry, my comments were going to an account I rarely check -- I've changed that and hope to be on top of things more.
May I take your comments and turn them into a post, giving you credit and linking back? You've provided so much great information, I don't like having it hidden in the comments.
Thank you!

Lisa said...

Sure Marjorie. Happy to help!