Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Keeping abreast of food allergies in a modern world

I came across some great advice today, from Jenny Connors at The labeling laws don't help her all that much, since her allergen(corn) isn't one of the big 8. I think corn is one of the little 52, or maybe it's one of the medium-sized 112. These allergens just aren't as popular, sadly. It's the big ones that get all the press, the glory-seeking jerks. They get all the rules made about them.

Other allergens get left out in the cold.

Obviously, this makes it harder to find information on corn-derived ingredients. Because corn is sneaky. It hides in the shadows, like some superhero's nemesis. Since I suffer from the same issue with a lot of the foods I avoid (they're part of the not-quite-so-big 207), I was eager to see what Jenny had to say on finding some of the more cunning allergens.

I wouldn't mind finding the shy ones, either - they don't curse as much when they answer the door.

After reading her site, I thought she had some great advice for keeping on top of the ever-changing world of food: ideas on how to find information about ingredients. Her advice is completely adaptable to all my family's food problems.

I... do regular Internet keyword searches for, say, corn or corn products every few months. For example, since corn is hidden in lots of ingredients, a common search I use is corn + derived or corn + source.

So easy to use this with sugar cane, potatoes, tomatoes, etc.... Simple, and yet I never do that. I look up ingredients, and then my research zig-zags through the internet for nearly an hour before I find what I need.

Not like I wasn't aware that I have 'search issues.' I had a clue that I was not the most efficient researcher when a search for sugar cane sources ended with my having knowledge about factory floor rules, the pineapple trade in Hawaii, and some girl named Candy who had something to show me.

I think Jenny's method is going to work better.

Glad someone had a clue. And doing it every few months? A very, very smart idea. My natural laziness is already slowing down the research. I'm sure new information would have waned to a trickle over the following months as I focused more on cooking and less on what foods to use.

I mean, really - I know everything now, right? I am the god of food information, the guru of grains, the Grand Vizier of vegetables. I don't need to know anything else, ever... as long as the food industry stagnates into uniformity and nothing ever changes from this moment on. Please.

Sigh. I think I'm going to need to put 'hit up the internet for more info.' on the calendar next month.

Hopefully, Candy will have found someone else to show her stuff to by then.

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