Food allergy is not to be confused with food intolerance . The first is a reaction from the person’s immune system, the latter is a metabolic disorder. An example of a food intolerance is Lactose intolerance.
Sooner than later, we will encounter a person that suffers from food allergies; consequentially, we might be in the position to have to provide food for such people. What to do?
Although we may encounter individuals who are allergic to the rarest of ingredients, 90% of food allergies are caused by: milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.
Believe it or not, it’s relatively easy to avoid reactions due to foods. Just avoid the offending ingredient and watch out for cross contamination (i.e. using same spoon to serve fish and salad).
Unfortunately, some ingredients ( like soy) appear in the most unexpected places : burgers, mayonnaise, chocolate, gum, even tea! It is a healthy and inexpensive ingredient and renders to many uses: emulsifier, adds texture, etc.
However, with a bit of label reading, and proper preparation we can make great meals without sacrificing taste for these special people.
Here are some tips to avoid hidden soy:
Use canola, corn or olive oil to cook instead of vegetable blend oil.
Avoid foods with Crisco or other vegetable shortenings, since they may contain soybean oil.
Get OLD FASHIONED chocolate : not the one with lecithin, but the one made with cocoa butter.
Avoid food with Texurized or Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, guar gum, gum arabic, margarine.
Avoid mayonnaise and mayonnaise based sauces and dressings, since most commercially produced mayo contains soybean oil.
Note: some companies make safflower and canola based mayo, these have the same taste and texture as the others.
Tips to avoid hidden peanuts:
Of course a person allergic to peanuts knows not to eat peanut butter and mixed nuts, but did you know that ther are hidden peanuts in other foods?
Because cold pressed oils still contain some of the protein that causes an allergic reaction,
Use Canola, corn ,or olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
Read ingredients in all fried foods such as potato chips, French fries, and fried chicken.
Be watchful of and baked foods such as pies.
In some countries, peanut oil is labeled as Groundnut oil, please avoid at all costs!
Chocolates. energy bars and candy bars: carefully read label as it might contain ground peanuts.
Health bars : peanut might be the main source of protein, please be careful
“Thai” food: although spicy peanut sauce are not typical of Thai cuisine, peanut sauce and satay sauces are readily available in North America, please avoid these
This list is NOT all inclusive, please read labels and then read again. When in doubt, it’s better to err on the safe side.
We sorted our recipes noting food allergens to help raise FOOD ALLERGY awareness and promote food allergy safety. ENJOY!