It’s not often that you are able to identify without a shadow of a doubt a person that changed the world overnight. Becky, a single mom of two, did just that.
In 2012, she decided that in order to help food allergy families during Halloween, she’d put out a teal pumpkin on her doorstep to signify that she had treats available that were safe food kids with food allergies.
According to Allergic Child, “It was in the fall of 2012 that Becky Basalone, the director of a local food allergy support group, first had the bright idea of painting a pumpkin teal, the color of food allergy awareness, and handing out non-food items. What she didn’t know was that her green-blue pumpkin would become a nationwide symbol for Halloween food-allergy awareness. In fact, it’s even taking off in Canada and Britain.”
Needless to say, the idea took off. Today, food allergies impact 1 in 13 kids and send someone to the emergency room once every three minutes in the United States.
We’ve got a problem with food, and we need solutions, and Becky’s idea is just that. She created the Teal Pumpkin Project as a way to let trick or treaters know that a house offered non-food treats like stickers, bubbles, glow-sticks and pencils to hand out.
Last year, the Teal Pumpkin Project™ was wildly and widely embraced by parents around the country. We loved it. It was smart and easy and practical. The idea has now been trademarked by FARE (Food Allergy and Research Education). FARE licenses its use out to food retailers and food manufacturers at Halloween and restricts its use.
We never want to lose sight of the mom in Tennessee that is behind this brilliant idea.
She is one of our absolute favorite Food Heroes over at AllergyKids.
Meet Becky, the incredible mom and visionary behind the Teal Pumpkin Project™ (you can learn more about how to license its use here).
Civil Servant and Founder/Director of the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET).
Your Blog/Website/Twitter Profile:
Your Go-to food that you cannot live without:
I’ve learned that there is no food product that I could not live without – I typically adjust well when it’s necessary – BUT I’d be grumpy for a while if I had to give up chocolate.
What characteristic do you most admire in a person?
Integrity – there are so many good qualities that may be directly related to this one characteristic in a person.
What do you most deplore?
Selfishness, dishonesty and rudeness
What is your best trait?
I’m having a hard time answering this so I’m going to say that my best trait is that I’m extremely humble.
Which person living or dead would you most like to have a meal with?
I’d like to meet my paternal grandmother. She died many years before I was born.
What would you serve?
A whole buffet of her favorite foods (our family recipes).
What trait do you most deplore in our food?
It is disgusting that we have a food system full of chemicals that actually cause cancer and other health problems/conditions.
If you could deliver five words to Congress what would they be?
Clenched fists can’t shake hands.
If the USDA asked you to replace the word “organic,” what would you use? I would say “authentic” or “real” but unfortunately we know that those words have been misused and adulterated by the food industry much in the same way as the term “organic.” Ideally, it would be awesome to see a food system in which the chemically-laden and processed junk food needs its own classification and not the other way around.
If you were a piece of food, what would you be?
This question makes me laugh because it reminds me of a saying, “If I were a vegetable, I’d be a radish because I’d like to think I’m kind of rad.” No, but really, those little vegetables are bright, somewhat shy, strong, resilient, grounded and never pretend to be something that they aren’t. I like that and would like to think that description also sums me up pretty well. (Please see the best trait question above)
What is your current state of mind?
What is your motto? I have a few mottos that I try to live by each day: 1. Just keep swimming (ha!). 2. Nothing is impossible. 3. Do all things in the Glory of God.