Its during the months of October through December that my husband and I rehash our plan of relocating to Canada. It always comes up in passing, but we actually semi-seriously consider it at this point in the year.
Why would we consider defecting to another country you ask? Easy. Besides knowing some great people there, Canada also has great food allergy policies for making their candy in facilities free of cross contamination. Just look at the back of this Canadian Kit Kat.
Besides the ingredient translation in French instead of Spanish, do you notice that there is no warning about the item being made in a facility that processes peanuts or tree nuts? That's because they aren't. They're made in a dedicated nut free facility. What a shame the US doesn't have more of those!
So any candy that comes into our house gets divided into piles of the following; pure evil, okay for consumption by family members, and Scootch safe.
Pure evil means it contains nuts or peanut butter, and noone can eat it around Scootch. Even if they're willing to abide by the 5 hour rule of avoiding contact with Scootch and any of his eating utensils and glasses until the aforementioned time limit is passed to be assured the nut traces can't be transferred, there is still the risk of dropped nut pieces, or the danger of him coming in contact with the wrapper, etc. Just too much to worry about, so its easier to just plain ban it from the house. The second category of candy is free from nut ingredients, but is usually processed in a facility that has a problem with cross contamination. That means Scootch shouldn't eat it, but if other family members do, he shouldn't be in danger of accidentally being exposed to any allergens. The third category of candy is my favorite. This is the stuff we can leave out and not freak about when he decides to sneak out of bed in the morning and pilfer it from the pantry himself. Unfortuantely almost all of it has to be shipped to the house since noone carries Canadian Nestle or Vermont Nut Free chocolate in their stores. I mean, only one Shoprite out of the 4 in our area carry Sunbutter on their shelves. I think it would take a miracle to get allergy-free candy mainstreamed into the consumer marketplace.
So back to our relocation discussion. I go to bed and dream of living in a country where nut and egg free baked goods are sold in the bakery section of the supermarket. Where you can pick up a candy bar in the checkout aisle and it be free of cross contamination. Where allergy friendly ice cream cakes are available everywhere instead of just the local ice cream shop. I dream of all that happening here since I know we probably will never find the guts or the money to make such a move happen.
Who knows. Maybe Scootch will grow up and make it happen here.