Corn on Food Labels
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The Amount of Corn and Allergies:
GMO corn has been introduced into the American, and worldwide, food systems in an overwhelming way and it’s obvious that it has effected people and their tolerance of it.
My sister is highly allergic to corn. I mean, it’s serious; no playing around. Through her, I have learned just how prolific the corn invasion is, and the amount of corn on food labels that is hidden. Various aspects of corn and its starch and sugars are listed in many different ways on labels. You cannot just look for the word “corn” and know you’re safe. You have to be fluent in Corn Lingo (Just another reason to cook from scratch).
Names for Corn on Food Labels:
- corn syrup
- high fructose corn syrup
- maltodextrin, dextrin
- malt, malt syrup, malt extract
- excipients – a binder in pills
- GDL – glucona delta lactone – often found in cured meats
- mono-glycerides, di glycerides
- MSG – Mono-Sodium Glutamate is often derived from corn
- sugar – if it doesn’t say beet (which is mainly gmo now), or cane
- corn starch, starch, modified food starch
- sucrose – though this used to be from cane sugar, some labels have been found to read “from corn”
- Carmel flavoring or coloring – though it can be made from cane or GMO beet sugar, it is often made from corn syrup
- Vegetable oil, vegetable broth, vegetable protein,hydrolyzed vegetable protein, vegetable mono or di glycerides.
- xanthan gum – a thickener often grown in corn media
- zein – a fiber made from corn
- and other names…
Common Foods with Hidden Corn:
- Vanilla Extract – Even many “Real” or “Pure” vanilla extracts have some form of corn in them
- Baking Powder – a lot of baking powders not only have aluminum, but also corn starch, though some use potato starch so check your labels.
- Powdered Sugar/Confectioners Sugar – In order to stretch powdered sugar, corn starch is added. You can make your own at home in the blender (though it is loud). There are some expensive organic powdered sugars without cornstarch out there.
- Brown Sugar – if it has carmel coloring, unless stated you can assume that the carmel is derived from corn syrup.
- Iodized Salt – yes, even some salts have dextrose added – as a non-caking agent I’m guessing.
- Semolina flour is sometimes mixed with corn
- Fruit Juice Concentrate – Read the labels. Some concentrates have corn syrup added
- White Distilled Vinegar – usually made from corn!! I know!! Frustrating!
- Honey – This was a big one for me. Not only is there a mixture of corn syrup in a lot of honey on the shelf, but most have the pollen refined out of them so you cannot tell where they came from. This is dangerous since many places like China and India have tried to sell honey full of antibiotics and heavy metals. In 2011, Food Safety News took over 60 samples from over 10 American States and 76% of them from grocery stores were without pollen. 100% of those from pharmacies were without pollen. (Food Safety News) There is also a risk of contamination from pesticides used by the bee keeper. So, buy local and talk to your bee keeper about their practices.
- Yeast – Many yeasts were made with corn sugars as food for the yeast. Red Star Yeast claims to be corn free.
So, it’s no wonder that our bodies are being overwhelmed. If you have eliminated processed foods and are very careful about the products that you buy, then you can seriously limit your intake. It is only then that I felt comfortable re-introducing non-gmo organic corn back into our diets in the form of corn chips, corn bread, etc. It’s also no wonder that farmers are producing corn to such a degree. With so many companies using it to supplement their products in a major way AND it being subsidized by the government, it is a big temptation for farmers trying to make a living in today’s economy. The problem is, it is quickly destroying our health.
Linked to some of these great blogs.