Hi. If my son is allergic to peanuts, does that mean we should avoid all tree nuts?
This is a great question. Your son is allergic to peanut, which is actually a legume (think beans and lentils), and not a tree nut. It’s a common misconception likely derived from the fact that “nut” is in the name. Tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews, and pistachios, are a different category of food, and not the same as legumes.
It’s entirely possible to be allergic to peanut and still consume tree nuts safely. In your son’s case, you’ll need to make sure his allergist has tested for tree nuts and that you’re in the clear before trialing them. Additionally, know that many tree nuts are processed in the same facility (and usually on the same equipment) as peanuts. You’ll need to source tree nut products truly safe for him to consume.
You should also educate yourself on is how peanuts are used in agriculture. It’s a cover crop often used with plants such as hibiscus. In fact, some stores have a warning on loose hibiscus flowers. It’s sometimes used as a cover crop for other legumes as well. Depending on his level of sensitivity, you’ll have to ask companies about this.
If you’re looking for a peanut free almond butter to trial, Spread The Love is a good brand. Double check that nothing has changed, but last I checked, their almond butter was made in an almond only facility.
This is a great article to read as it will talk more about peanuts and legumes.
Hope this helps.
~The Allergy Chef
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