A new study has revealed a disturbing trend in New Orleans that shows king cake babies are being deserted by their parents in record numbers.
According to a five-year study, about 750,000 king cake babies are orphaned every year in the Greater New Orleans area. It also shows nine out of 10 people who get the baby in a king cake choose not to keep the child, often abandoning it to countertops, drawers, and even trash cans.
“The data indicates that the majority of people who unexpectedly get the baby feel they aren’t ready for the responsibility of having to buy the next king cake, so they toss the baby and hope no one sees,” said Samantha Fields, Director of King Cake Babies International, a non-profit dedicated to rescuing orphaned king cake babies around the world.
“What’s even more alarming is today’s young people are eating king cake far sooner than their parents ever did, often without knowing the potential consequences of having to purchase the next one if they end up getting the baby. Most of them don’t even know anything about that tradition.”
King cake abstinence is clearly the only foolproof way to prevent getting one of the plastic babies, said Amy Nommeaux, a local baker who takes her job way too seriously. But she is also a realist who knows that most people eat a lot of king cake.
“It breaks my heart to see people not take getting the baby seriously. I teach each of my customers the tradition and can only hope they do the right thing when the time comes.”