Why do we worry so much?

When I was young and out trick-or-treating, there were a dozen homes in the neighbourhood we would make sure to stop at.
Mrs. Newman on Second Street always made the very best candy popcorn balls while Mrs. Skinner had the shiniest red candy-coated apples.
And there were other mothers in the neighbourhood who took the time to make Hallowe’en treats.
Today, I wonder if anyone still makes those special treats? Or does everyone totally rely on store-bought candy?
And would parents even allow their children to eat those homemade treats?
A recent survey in the Globe and Mail found that 50 percent of parents would never allow their children to eat homemade candy handed out on Hallowe’en. Only six percent of parents would feel comfortable permitting their children to eat homemade treats without any hesitation.
We have become a world of fear. If candy and sweets were not made in a factory or a commercial kitchen, society would have you believe they are not safe to eat.
At the United Church here in Fort Frances, there is a notice that reads: “Consume food at your own risk.”
For decades, churches and not-for-profit groups relied on the donation of baked goods, sweets, and sandwiches to raise funds. Yet gone today are many of the fundraising barbecues and outdoor food events that once thrived around the district.
Health regulations today prevent those activities since cooking raw meat over a family-style barbecue is frowned upon.
Would we post a similar notice on the front and back doors of our homes to warn us about the danger of having home-cooked meals? I think not.
Christmas is coming, and we will be attending lots of gatherings with family and friends. If anyone has seen me, they will notice that I’ve never been a person to shy away from food. I seem to have an addiction—and at Christmas everyone seems to go all out to tempt me.
We will lay out spreads of our very best. Our very best baking, our very best hors d’oeuvres, and our very best stuffing and turkey will grace our tables. Friends and families will bring gifts of food to add to our plenty and we will indulge.
Will we worry that the cranberry relish was made by Aunt Harriet in her own kitchen, or the Christmas pudding provided by Uncle Garnett came from an old-time historic family recipe and was steamed on his stove?
Will we worry that the shortbread was not made in a commercial kitchen? Will we worry that our friends and family cooked the food?
Not a chance in the world. We will try everything.
Will we encourage our children to try new foods and tastes at the table? Of course we will.
So why do we worry less about eating food prepared by family and friends in their homes than we do about our children enjoying homemade Hallowe’en treats prepared by those same family and friends?

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