Keep the Close Eye on Labels, Again!

By Heather Legg

The other day we were doing our Christmas food shopping and my girls wanted to make reindeer cookies. This consists of bird food mixed with brown sugar, flour, and milk, baked and set out for the reindeer. I thought it sounded like a fun idea, and thought we needed some bird seed anyway. So I grabbed a bag without thinking to check a label.

My mistake. When we began to make the “cookies” I noticed a big sticker on the front of the bag of birdseed. It said, “lots of pecans.” I just didn’t think tree nuts would be in bird seed, though come to think of it, I know there is a critter mix we used to buy that has peanuts in it. Well we made our cookies anyway, using lots of spoons instead of hands and still washing our hands a million times and wiping the area until it shone. Everything turned out just fine, even the cookies baked with my daughters’ made up recipe.

But it made me think again to be always careful with your ingredients, in things besides food. We have our school guinea pigs here at the house over the winter break and I should probably double check their food now that I think about it. If tree nuts are in wild bird food, they could very well be in pet food for birds or guinea pigs or hamsters.

Another place often forgotten while checking ingredients is lotions and bath products. A lot of shampoos have almond oils while some facial scrubs and products have walnut oils, even shells in them. Macadamia nut oil can be found in some products as well. I remember after my daughter had her NAET treatment I bought new shampoo and after getting it home realized it had walnut or some other nut oil in it. She was fine with it, but again, it made me realize more than just food manufacturers use allergens in their products. Milk is all over the place in cosmetics, milk bubble baths and milk based soaps. Now it may not be such a concern because usually these items aren’t ingested and it also depends on your sensitivities. If nothing else, it’s interesting how often these ingredients are incorporated into daily products.

Birdseed on the other hand, now that I know, includes the whole pieces of nuts. So check it before you feed your birds, or wear some gloves and make sure you wash your hands!

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