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Peanut Allergies

Lifestyle & Opinion

By Madeleine Latimer

Allergies have been a growing problem for humanity over the last thirty years. Peanuts are one of the largest growing allergies. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is a sandwich for the ages. It is a ‘household staple’ to some families. It is easy to make sandwiches and snacks with and it is chalked full of proteins, nutrients, and it tastes good to most people. Peanut butter was said to be created by George Washington Carver, but the Aztecs used to make a peanut paste way back when. “The actual invention of peanut butter, its process of manufacture and the machinery used to make it, can be credited to at [a few] doctors [and] inventors. In 1884 Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Canada patented peanut paste, the finished product from milling roasted peanuts between two heated surfaces. In 1895 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg…patented a process for creating peanut butter from raw peanuts…. In 1903, Dr. Ambrose Straub of St. Louis, Missouri, patented a peanut-butter-making machine. In 1922, chemist Joseph Rosefield invented a process for making smooth peanut butter that kept the oil from separating by using partially hydrogenated oil.” 1

“The prevalence of peanut allergy among children in the United States has risen more than threefold, to 1.4 percent in 2010 from 0.4 percent in 1997, according to a study by food allergists at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Many people with an allergy to peanuts are also allergic to one or more tree nuts, like walnuts, pecans or almonds.” 2 Companies have sprung up in many places that create nut-free foods. They stay away from cross contamination and keep things safe for those with the allergies. Many parents are afraid of sending their children who have severe nut allergies to school because of the risk of their children playing with another child who has eaten peanut butter and their child goes into anaphylactic shock and possibly die. Many schools have become ‘nut-free’ so that all of their students can be safe.

Recently, doctors have been trying to create a cure for peanut allergies. Only 20% of children grow out of their peanut allergies. In February of 2018, the results of a test for a ‘cure’ were released. “Slightly more than two-thirds of the 554 participants ages 4 to 17 could consume 600 mg of protein powder (equivalent to about two peanuts) without incident by the end of the yearlong trial. Some people could consume nearly twice that amount: 1,000 mg.” 3 This treatment is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration but people are hopeful that it will help ‘cure’ peanut allergies, or at least lessen the risk when cross-contamination may happen.

Curing an allergy is a pretty big deal. If doctors and scientists can take something that can kill a person in tiny doses, and make it so that they do not have any kind of reaction to it at all, then science is amazing. This information can lead to many other types of cures to diseases and more complex medicinal science.


  1. Daily, Kitchen. “Who Really Invented Peanut Butter?” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 31 Aug. 2012, huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/22/peanut-butter-history_n_1222585.html.
  2. Brody, Jane E. “As Peanut Allergies Rise, Trying to Determine a Cause.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Feb. 2014, well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/03/as-peanut-allergies-rise-trying-to-determine-a-cause/.
  3. Brody, Jane E. “As Peanut Allergies Rise, Trying to Determine a Cause.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Feb. 2014, well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/03/as-peanut-allergies-rise-trying-to-determine-a-cause/.

Header photo from Psu.edu

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