Tuesday, July 13, 2010

plaCes t O Read iNgredients

I checked a book out of the library that was all about purchasing organic foods. The bottom line was that home cooking from scratch was the best way to avoid additives and preservatives.... Well of course but for those of us with a corn allergy even home cooking from scratch can cause allergic reactions.

This means I'm the one parked in a corner at the grocery store carefully reading all the labels before anything gets placed in my cart. Organic does not = corn free. 100% organic means that in the labeling not much can be hidden under the ambiguous "spices" or "natural flavors". Corn is ubiquitous. It is used as a sweetener, lubricant, thickener, adhesive... and on and on...

Home cooking from scratch is basically all we eat. But chicken is sometimes packed with "broth". Even the whole chickens or the chicken breasts packed separately. Veggies are coated with wax to help prevent bugs and make them look prettier... and that wax often contains corn. One can see where I am headed with this.

I wish that corn and corn products were only found in food items but when I shop I have to read the labels on detergents, soaps, deodorants, household cleaning products, dog shampoos, toilet paper, medicines and so on. We have friends that have an allergy to wheat. I wish David had an allergy to wheat. Avoiding wheat is much more common. Individuals and families avoid wheat not just for allergy purposes but as a diet preference. It is easy to find "gluten free" items at the market in every aisle. I've only found one item that specifically says "made with out corn", but then it's in a list that also includes: soy, wheat and so on. That's ok, I'll take it.

Prior to corn allergy discovery (PCAD) I cooked from scratch for fun and because that's what my mom did. When time was of the essence however, I would occasionally pick up short cut meals such as frozen pasta with sauce in a bag and in the summer I purchased all our bread (we live in Texas and I made all our bread from scratch in the cooler months but hated running the oven in the summer heat). PCAD one could open the pantry, the fridge or the freezer and find these shortcut items. Now my pantry contains two short cut items that I purchase regularly and never make from scratch BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE TO. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is corn free. (Who-da-thunk??) I've emailed Kraft and have had a response. Ingredients do change in products but David has not had a reaction to this product so we continue to purchase and eat it. And of course Kitchen Basics products.

Happy label reading!! Be diligent even with safe products as companies do change ingredients from time to time.

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