Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, MFA, MSW, LMSW, Food Allergy Counselor Speaking At Mylan Specialty / EpiPen Event (© Noel Malcolm 2013)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Peanuh, Peanuh Butter [Jelly]"

I’ve eaten peanut butter all of my life without problems. In the early years there was Jif or Skippy or the freshly ground one made at the health food store in East Hampton. There were fluffernutter sandwiches and Nutterbutter cookies.I was a lucky girl with the peanut love.

Whilst in college overseas, I fell in love with Neal’s Yard’s freshly ground peanut butter [the company has since become quite fractured into dairy, bread and home remedies so no great link to send you to] introducing the PB&J concept to any Englishman who would listen. Post-college and wanting to maintain the naturalness, I found a wonderful substitutewhose name I've completely forgot, it might have been one by Arrowmills.

Then, somewhere in the late 1990s, my PB world changed: “Peanut butter may contain trace amounts of cashews, almonds, and/or other tree nuts.” Oh the horror! I stopped eating it completely, not necessarily believing anything had changed from the day before [when there was no label] but I wasn’t going to take any chances. Little did I know that this was a serious labeling trend and thus a natural source for peanut butter has been difficult to come by.

Monday night standing in line at Fairway, I espied a pile of impulse purchase items near the counter and one was Smuckers All Natural Peanut Butter. I saw my chance and I seized it. Calling the Smuckers customer help line I was informed by “Becky” that they process their peanuts in a peanut-dedicated facility; they do process other nuts but literally in another factory in another state. Ok, so it’s not organic. And yes, it’s made by a big company i.e. Da Man. And no, I can’t have a peanut butter sandwich these days and no fluff for me but I can have PB on an apple or a rice cake and I’d really really like that. So Smuckers you get a gold star from Allergic Girl today.


Anonymous said...

If you can eat seeds, you should try Sunbutter, which is made in a tree-nut and peanut-free facility, is a direct 1:1 replacement for peanut butter, and tastes great.

Anonymous said...

So wait, you're allergic to all nuts EXCEPT peanuts? Interesting.

I've heard good things about soybutter and sunflower putter, which are available at Trader Joe's

Allergic Girl said...

Peanuts are actually legumes; i'm allergic to tree nuts. soybutter is great, i loved it! but then i think i over soy-ed and my tummy did a soy walkout, so no more soy. and did you see the TJs post? EVERYTHING they make is processed with tree nuts. sigh.

gaile said...

If you can do gluten free bread, there's a great mix put out by the Gluten Free Pantry - I've made it with rice milk and it's boss. great pbnjs

Allergic Girl said...

Thanks for the sunbutter tip--will look into that one.

And thanks gaile--will look into the bread. i'm doing yeast free at the moment which is why i think i didnt try it in the first place. but good idea to revisit. thanks!

irideout said...

Hello! I love your presence in the food allergy community!

I was wondering... Do you still eat Smuckers brand peanut butter? My son was diagnosed with both tree nut and peanut allergies, but his allergist has just recommended him for a peanut oral challenge! Surprisingly, I am having a very hard time finding information online about a tree nut free brand of peanut butter. Since this post was written almost 10 years ago, I'm just wondering if the recommendation for Smuckers All Natural Peanut Butter still applies!

For the record, I previously called Skippy and found out they do not have any tree nuts in their facilities at all, but their peanut butter includes added sugar, which I don't like.

I also called Smuckers, twice, and spoke with two different representatives, and both assured me that they would use "may contain" if a cross-contamination risk existed. When I tried to press to find out if tree nuts are in the facility at all, they said the facility is "not certified tree nut free by a third party". I guess at this point, I'm just curious about actual experience, if people with tree nut allergies DO safely eat Smuckers Natural without issue...

Thanks for your help!

Sloane Miller said...

Hi irideout!

Thanks for you comment.

Please note, everyone's needs are different.

As for speaking with Smuckers, I say call back and ask to speak to a supervisor or email them for clarification.

You can buy some and send it to be tested yourself. FAARP does analysis, for example:

Or ask the allergist if they have a brand they recommend for the challenge!

Best of luck with the challenge!