Why We're Going Nuts Over Nut Allergies

Food allergies are very real, and those involving a certain high-profile legume are especially troubling. But have we overblown the peanut problem?

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Susan Fradin has nightmares about Cheerios. Specifically, the Honey Nut variety. Her son Noah is allergic to peanuts and almonds, and her nighttime torment began during his first trip to sleepaway camp, when he was 9. Fradin, a former publicist in Los Angeles, worried that her son would eat cereal he shouldn't and go into anaphylactic shock. "I woke up in the middle of the night thinking, What if he eats Honey Nut Cheerios thinking they are regular Cheerios?" she says.

Yes, Fradin is one of those incredibly anxious parents who would prefer that her son never so much as lay...