Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Corn is Overused

It can be so hard for a parent to come to terms with this allergy. It's just so shocking to realize that there are so many products out there that will make our kids sick and no one else seems to have to worry about them. Avoiding any food because of allergy can be difficult, but when the allergen that needs to be avoided is corn, the problemS can seem insurmountable.


None of us knew that meat, veggies and dairy were making us sicker every year because we didn't realize that corn was used in processing every one of them. Our government has been busy keeping corn a major economic powerhouse and industry has been busy looking for ways to replace expensive products and processes with cheap corn substitutions. That wouldn't be a problem except that we took it to extremes. Now, more and more people are starting to react to corn every day, but it's too late. Our economy is dependent on corn and most products would not make it to the store shelves without corn of some kind now.

Corn allergy is very much like any other allergy except that corn is overused in our society. Most nut allergic individuals cannot tolerate even breathing in the dust from nuts. People allergic to bees can't take six stings before they start reacting - they react instantly to the first sting. Dairy allergic kids can't eat some cheeses but avoid all milk......they can't do any dairy products of any kind. For some reason, people would rather categorize us as crazy, extremist, hypochondriac conspiracy theorists instead of thinking about our allergy the way we are all taught to think about peanut allergies. Why is it so far-fetched that we can't tolerate any corn at all?

If you don't believe that corn is in everything, just a tiny bit of research on food manufacturing is all it will take to convince you. Wild ocean-caught fish is generally iced down below deck immediately in citric acid-laced ice. That's corntanimation before the fish even reaches the shore! What about the glue that holds any safety seal to the top of a jar? What is it made from? Maybe it's corn just like all the other adhesives out there (especially any adhesives that will be used near food). How much of a pre-ground spice would have to come into contact with that residue on the top of the jar before it caused a corn reaction? How much corn do I come in contact with when I open a cardboard package from Amazon? How much corn is in my house that I still don't even know about yet? It's to the point that I truly dread researching something because I always find corn involved somewhere down the line.

For further reading, the helpful people in the corn business have several publications online that will give you a better idea of how prevalent corn is in our society.
Uses for Corn from the Texas Corn Producers
National Corn Growers Association Corn Uses Poster
Corn Refiners Association pamphlet about "Tapping the Treasure" that is corn.

More information about the myriad ways corn is hidden in our food and other products can be found at Glenda's new Hidden Corn blog.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this. I have a corn allergy, and the allergist thinks I'm extreme when I say I can't have certain(most) things. It's become impossible for me at this point and I just feel overwhelmed. I have other allergies as well - so it is just exasperating. It makes me angry to think how they've incorporated corn in everything imaginable. How do I protect my children?

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  2. I know a lot of us are called extremists, but it is truly frightening the extent to which corn has insinuated itself into our daily lives. People believe that corn is like every other allergy, but it just isn't. If you want help and support, follow me over to the Avoiding Corn Forum......they changed my life.

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