Peanut Butter and Jelly, a timeless school-lunch favorite. The rich, creamy peanut butter coupled with the tangy, gooey jelly is enough to make any adolescent smile with delight. Unfortunately, some students are unable to consume the better half of this classic sandwich, the peanut butter, because of their allergy to it. As of this past year, the peanut butter-filled sandwich is no longer served in the WCA cafe so that only the alternative, sunbutter and jelly, takes up the tray. Despite the allergy, PBJ should make a comeback in school lunch cafeterias.
Starting in seventh grade, kids are old enough to manage their allergy, especially if it is a serious peanut allergy. With that said, the rest of the student body should not be liable for each of these students who could potentially be affected by the serving of it at Westminster.
At Westminster, safety is the first priority. So, for the avoidance of as many allergic reactions as possible, Hollyberry has wisely replaced the PBJ with sunbutter and jelly.
Of course, safety is, and should be, the ultimate concern when it comes to students. Plus, the risk of cross-contamination is quite imminent. On the other hand, the option of bringing lunch from home, with the nutty sandwich in it, is also a possibility and has been since the lunch favorite was invented.
“What is to stop kids from bringing PBJs to school? My friend brings one everyday and has never run into an incident with anyone at the table allergic to it. Plus, the tables are cleaned after each lunch, so that the next cycle of students is not affected by any residue,” said Lily Duda, junior.
Though it seems contradictory that the sandwich can be brought from home, it is only because the peanut butter brought from home cannot be mixed with the food prep at home. Besides bringing the peanut butter sandwiches to school from home, the standby option at school, sunbutter, is not much of a comparison regarding taste. Though it was intended to be for the allergenics, some peanut-loving students, who crave a similar taste to peanut butter, claim that it is a far cry from the smooth legume.
“The sunbutter and jelly tastes like I’m eating out of a bird feeder. I know I can just bring my own PBJ from home, but it would be convenient if it was served at school already, and it doesn’t help that the sunbutter doesn’t taste good, ” said Katie Hobaugh, junior.
It is a shame that the simple sandwich has such serious consequences for some unlucky kids. However, the peanut industry has not slowed down because of this limitation of the nut butter in schools.
“Peanut product sales have not declined as the rate of [peanut] allergies have increased. In fact, sales of peanut butter… have shown excellent growth over the past decade,” said Patrick Archer, President of the American Peanut Council.
With that said, peanut butter is still booming, so young peanut butter and jelly lovers should not be discouraged that it is no longer served in school. Thus, students should feel free to eat peanut butter and jelly the safe and affordable way, from home in a sack lunch.