Teal pumpkins offer an alternative to Halloween candy

Hanalei Pham, Scot Scoop Editor

Halloween means trick-or-treating and receiving candy like Reese’s Cups, Butterfingers, and Snicker Bars– but sometimes people with allergies can’t have any of these.

Allergies to nuts or ingredients in chocolate means that Halloween is a season of restrictions rather than indulgence. This year, families who are offering non-allergy alternatives on Halloween are placing a a teal-painted pumpkin on their doorstep.

Launched by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), the Teal Pumpkin Project is meant to “promote inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season,” according to the FARE website.

Some kids with allergies have become accustomed to the limitations on what they can eat.

Sophomore David Chong, who is allergic to nuts, eggs, and dairy, said, “On Halloween, and just in general, there are lots of foods that are excluded from what I can eat, but for me its just normal.”

According to the FARE website, it is estimated that 18 million Americans suffer from allergies, and approximately 1 in 18 children under 18 have allergies. At Carlmont, that means roughly two students in every classroom have allergies.

Food allergies can cause reactions of varying degrees of severity, ranging from mild swelling or itchiness to anaphylaxis, a potentially life threatening reaction.

“Having allergies makes you more aware of and conscious about what you eat,” said Samantha Owyang, a sophomore with nut allergies.

Started in 2014 by FARE, the Teal Pumpkin Project encourages understanding toward those with food allergies. It hopes to allow everybody to enjoy the festivities and make Halloween to be a fun holiday for all.

Families from all 50 states and 7 countries participated in the movement last year. Over 100,000 households have pledged to provide non-food goodies for this year’s Halloween, according to the FARE website.

Sophomore Joshua Camerino, whose younger brother is allergic dairy, eggs, nuts, butter, and pork, said, “Many kids have allergies, and allergies are an important issue in today’s society. I think that the Teal Pumpkin Project is a great project that will help spread awareness.”