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Peanut Harvest

My daughter has a sever peanut allergy and we have had to temporarily move out of our home since finding out that peanuts have been planted next to our home.  We put plastic on windows, covered some furniture and bought 3 true HEPA purifiers to run.  We plan to power wash the outside of our house once everything has been harvested and work our way inside.   It has been a true nightmare for us all!  Has anyone ever had issues with living near peanut fields?  My daughter has allergies, asthma and ezema.  Thanks!  

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  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Saskew3! That sounds tough and scary. Are they in the process of harvesting the peanuts right now, or are the peanuts in the growing stage?

    Could you guys talk with your allergist about the risks and precautions you could take?

    I'm from rural Georgia, so we have lots of peanuts grown around here. Some thoughts that may help you figure out your risk:

    • Peanuts themselves grow UNDER the ground, so they are encased by soil until harvest.
    • The peanuts are "green" when they are harvested, so they are more like peas or soybeans, although they do still have a hard shell.
    • Once they are harvested (here in Georgia, anytime between August and November), that's when they become exposed to air, but they are still green. They are typically harvested by machines — big tractor-looking things.
    • At that point, they are transported to a facility for cleaning, and processing — usually roasting here in the US. 

    According to at least :

    The methods of frying or boiling peanuts, as practiced in China, appear to reduce the allergenicity of peanuts compared with the method of dry roasting practiced widely in the United States. Roasting uses higher temperatures that apparently increase the allergenic property of peanut proteins and may help explain the difference in prevalence of peanut allergy observed in the 2 countries.

    I understand your concern. My DD has a life threatening allergy to corn, and we live in the heart of corn country in Georgia. However, she's never had a reaction to corn in fields — only one time to a minor reaction when she was at a friend's house, and they had fresh pulled corn piled in the floor of their kitchen. They had been putting up corn in their freezer.

    Not sure that it was airborne — it could have been that she touched a surface that had corn on it, then touched her eyes, nose or mouth. 

    It's good that you have the air filters/cleaners, because harvesting of any crop can stir up quite a bit of dust and any pesticide residue. 

  • saskew3

    Thank you so much for your reply!  The peanuts are in the harvesting stage.  My daughter has been having issues with occasionally feeling she can't get enough air, saying "I can't breath", for about 4-5 months now.  We had NO CLUE that there had been peanuts planted there!  My husband thought they were a bad crop of beans!  We asked our allergy office and they only recommended to keep the windows down and if she was outside playing for her to come in a take a shower and to go ahead and wash her clothes.  They did say make sure she doesn't miss taking her meds.  We just got the heck out of there!  It's scary not knowing if she will have a reaction.  It's scary that she is the only one who could have a reaction b/c of her allergy!  

    Our daughter is 11.  She began having crazy anxiety issues this summer.  Many of them are linked to her food allergies.  She has been retested with skin testing to help reassure her of exactly she is allergic to.  She has lost weight, been prescribed stomach meds and has started seeing a therapist.  All that before we found out about the peanut field!  

    I feel a ton better after reading your information.  We could find VERY little info on the subject of having a peanut allergy and living close to a harvested field!  I will add that peanuts have apparently not been planted in the area that we live in over 40 years.  Crazy that they would plant them 40 feet from my back door. 

    I bet a corn allergy is HARD to manage!  I'm so glad though that the fields don't give her any trouble!  Thanks for your help and concern!  

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs … unfortunately kiddos with food allergies can definitely experience anxiety. I'm glad you're getting her help with a therapist. That can really help!

    The Kids With Food Allergies division of AAFA has a great blog post and video resource about . And another great resource is .

    I really hate that your farmer neighbor decided to grow peanuts practically in your backyard! Is the farm land rented? Could you approach the land owner and request that they let you know what will be planted each year?

    And more importantly, how's she doing now that you guys have temporarily moved?

  • saskew3

    I'll check out those resources.  She is still anxious and grumpy.   We are living with her grandmother ( my mil).  It's hard being away from your own environment.  

    The land owners are a group of brothers and sisters.  They all live right there in the community.  The farmer who rents, told my husband when he initially called him, that they would plant peanuts every 2-3 years.  Everyone who we have spoken to about it says that doesn't sound like him.  The farmer lost his teenage son two years ago in a farming accident.  I know the man must have a lot of pain.  

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, my goodness, yes, being away from home is hard on lots of folks, grownups and kids alike. And living with someone else plus your parents means having two sets of grownups to obey, no matter how much you love everyone! 

    Do you think you guys could talk to the farmer? He very well could be sympathetic enough to at least give you guys a heads-up next year before harvest so that you could at least plan things better.

    Hugs … hope the resources help! They sure helped me!

  • Jen

    Hi @saskew3,

    Welcome.   My oldest is allergic to peanuts, so I certainly understand your concerns.  Does your daughter's doctor think her symptoms are more allergy or asthma related?

  • saskew3

    We have not really spoken about the breathing with her allergist because I always thought that was her overreaching to her anxiety.  I truly don't know if the peanuts being planted or pollinated had anything to do with it.  To my knowledge she has never breathed in peanut particles.  She can touch someone or something that has touched a peanut and have a skin breakout with maybe some wheezing.  She most definitely cannot ingested a peanut!  We give her Benadryl if she has a contact reaction and of course would go to the epipen if she ingested peanuts.  She has never had to use the epipen.  She doesn't come anywhere near nuts, have anything to do with someone who may have eaten a nut, or eat anything that may be processed in a facility with nuts.  This girl practices safety at all times . 

  • K8sMom2002

    @saskew3, how are things going now? Did the farmer give you any idea how long it will be until all the peanuts are harvested? 

  • saskew3

    Updating on peanut harvest:  We are still living with my mother-in-law.  They harvested the peanuts last weekend, but are still working on the hay portion of the harvest.  To be safe, we hope to wait until the field is plowed under before going back to clean.  The air purifiers are still doing their thing keeping the air clean.   It has been a crazy long month of living out of a suitcase and homeschooling.  We are looking forward to being safely back in our home.  Thanks!