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geoff (2013)

  reversethis-{gro ... om} {ta} {ffoeg}

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Journal of geoff (2013)

Tuesday February 05, 2002
08:40 AM

perl mongers

[ #2663 ]
Well, after about 3 years of putting it off, I finally managed to make it to my local perl mongers for a social meeting. while I should have been tackling my continuing drywall project, they were having italian, so... overall it was a pretty nice time. there were only 6 of us at the restaurant in total, so it was fairly quiet, but they seem like a nice bunch of people (although there was this inside joke about a tree octopus that I really didn't get). I was thinking about giving a technical talk on mod_perl there, and they seem interested in having me, so I thought that I might meet everyone first.

As I was a bit early to the meeting, I ventured off to the Fresh Fields around the corner and got some supplies. amongst my purchases was a jar of soy butter. why? well, my daughter has an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts, so any exposure to peanuts is potentially life threatening. since finding out about her allergy (the hard way) both my wife and I have removed peanuts from our diets entirely, so we thought that soy butter would be a good way to introduce additional protein into our daughter's diet. well, we open the jar and tasted it, and both were almost physically ill. not that it tasted bad - it really tasted exactly like peanut butter, which was the problem.

Having a toddler with a peanut allergy is incredibly stressful: you can't go over to someone else's house without asking them to vacuum under the sofa cushions first; you can't go to the zoo without worrying that she will pick up a stray peanut shell and put it in her mouth; you can't buy anything without reading the label first; you can't bring them to a bakery, ice cream parlor, or many different types of restaurants; and you always have to carry an Epipen everywhere you go (try getting on an airplane with that these days). So, the thought of having something that even tasted like peanuts in our house was enough to make us ill, invoking all those feelings of horror the first time we brought our daughter to the ER because she was having trouble breathing.

My life would be that much easier if people followed one basic rule: never offer or give a child food without checking with their parents first.
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  • Almond butter is really delicious. I haven't tried it but I bet cashew butter is good too. Just be really careful when reading the labels to make sure they don't say anything about "trace ingredients may include peanuts...". A lot of these places obviously make all their nut butters using the same machinery.

    Anyway, in a few more years (what, 10?) she'll be old enough to ask what's in food she's offered before eating it.
    • yeah. unfortunately, even though peanuts aren't really nuts at all, most doctors say to avoid other nuts as well, so we've pretty much removed all nuts from the house. many manufacturers are getting better about their lables, but it's still a gamble with just about everything. Ritz crackers are a known risk, but you wouldn't think it and the lable doesn't mention that they are made right next to the Ritz peanut bits crackers.

      when she's older things will get better, but there's always that story about t
      • You should talk to an allergy specialist. Your average doctor doesn't necessarily know much about various specialty areas and will give you a very conservative answer. This is a good thing (better than killing people!) but I suspect that if you go to a specialist you'll get a more specific answer.

        Yeah, manufacturers are not all that good about stuff. Hey, what's a few deaths when it would cost money to prevent them? Never trust corporations to look out for your welfare.

        As to the bully story, I haven
        • yeah, I meant our allergist. I'm all for specialists, and it doesn't cost us anything additional so we use them alot :)

          my old kenpo instructor ran a class for children that was really good ("get away from me bully!" and other such expletives) I think I still have his card somewhere...
  • "Having a toddler with a peanut allergy is incredibly stressful: [...] you can't buy anything without reading the label first; you can't bring them to a bakery, ice cream parlor, or many different types of restaurants"

    I have two food allergies (to shiitake mushrooms; and to rennet, which is used in almost all cheese production) and mercifully neither cause life-threatening reactions in me (instead, a feeling like someone sticking a fork in my back), but I can definitely tell you, you can't trust restauran