Hide and seek is fun with kids, but not so much fun with food. It’s amazing what you can find hidden in your food, allergens where you don’t expect them.
I discovered while breastfeeding my third daughter that corn made her congested and ill, so I spent a year avoiding corn, until she (thankfully!) outgrew it. Avoiding corn is not just avoiding popcorn, corn syrup, corn on the cob, and corn tortillas, but corn as a “hidden” ingredient. If you haven’t read The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan, I can clue you in on the first quarter of his book – corn is in everything.
If you eat a lot of prepared foods, you are eating a lot of corn – and I think you’d be surprised at how much. Even if you don’t eat a lot of prepared foods, you’re still eating more corn than you think. Don’t believe me? Let’s try this experiment – go find 4 things in your pantry or fridge:
Make sure that you can find the ingredient information, we’ll come back to that in a moment.
Recently, there has been more awareness of high fructose corn syrup, so we are starting to see a move back to cane syrup (aka sugar) in juices. I was thrilled to buy a bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Grape, and see “no corn syrup” on the bottle! Of course, there was still “hidden” corn in the drinks, but avoiding corn syrup continues to be one of my goals, though it’s not always achieved.
This comes to mind today because I received two corn-related alerts. Melanie at My Little Patch of Sunshine is having a giveaway (enter by the end of tomorrow!) related to the new Pepsi Throwback, Mountain Dew and Pepsi made with sugar rather than corn syrup, available for 8 weeks. Meanwhile, Modern Mom’s “must have” for today is reusable and disposable plates & utensils for kids, made out of corn. Ack! I wonder if all the processing makes the corn no longer an issue for people with corn allergies… Definitely something to ponder, and given the rising prevalence of corn turned into eating utensils, yet another thing for the corn-sensitive to watch out for!
Now – back to your food, and the corn in it. Read the ingredients. See if you can spot the corn in there. Do you see corn syrup, corn starch? Quite possibly. In addition to those ingredients, I’m willing to bet that you have hidden corn in at least 3/4 of the foods you chose. Compare your ingredients to the 7 hidden corn words after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »