Friday, July 22, 2011

Living corn free

Photo by Jeltovski
 
  Is pectin corn free? (depends on which you use. Read here about a Pomona's corn free pectin.) What about mayo, does it have corn? (in Hellmann's there is natural flavors and vinegar--- definitely making it suspect.)

     Having a corn allergy is one of the toughest allergies.  It seems to creep into foods that you wouldn't even suspect.

     When I found out my son had an allergy to corn, I was blown away by how much gluten free, dairy free food, egg free food still had corn in it!  Corn was a real buzz killer.

    Natural flavors are everywhere in products.  All possibly hiding the corn culprit.  Distilled vinegar is often made from corn.  Maltrodextrin is another one that pops up frequently, living right next door to the obvious and beloved high fructose corn syrup.  Powdered sugar, and egg replacer - corn lurking in the corners there too!  (Whole foods has an Organic Powdered Sugar with no corn by the way.)    Citric acid is another biggie, (Whole foods canned tomatoes have citric acid that is from corn.  I called on that one.)  However, I have called other companies and their citric acid is not made from corn.

     It is a bummer when you are standing in the store, reviewing a product and come across a possible offending ingredient.  No one has time to call the company in the aisles before making every purchase.  It would be great to have full disclosure on our labels, but for the moment that isn't our reality.

   One of the places I visited when I first learned of our corn allergy was the website www.cornallergens.com.    It provides an ingredient list for possible places corn could be hiding.  Calling the companies of products is still the only way I have learned to know if something really has corn in it or not.  But remember companies are changing ingredients all the time.  You have to be diligent in reading those labels and making phone calls.

    Best of luck in navigating the corn allergy.  Just remember you are not alone, we too are rowing in the corn filled lake.  

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