My Painful, Corny Awakening Part 3: It Gets Tricky

Ok. So I had figured out what in the world was wrong with me. It was corn all along. And after researching the living crap out of corn allergies, I learned that all I could possibly do is avoid it. Sounds easy enough, right? Nope. Not that easy. Of course it’s not… why would it be that simple?

Truthfully, of all the allergies or food intolerances to have in the United States, corn takes the prize as the most difficult to avoid. You know all those “preservatives” and “additives” found in ALL pre-packaged food? Yeah. Those are derivatives of corn. And not just any corn. Those derivatives always come from the bottom of the barrel of Monsanto’s finest, unless, of course, they are listed otherwise. But then those organic, non-GMO foods usually always contain other GMO derivatives of corn such as Citric Acid (vitamin C), Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C), or mixed Tocopherols (vitamin E). Those come from corn too. People with a corn allergy have to stay away from any foods that have been enriched with any vitamins – that includes milk with vitamin D added.

Do you like to eat condiments? Did you know that white distilled vinegar is made from corn? Now, go take a look at all of the condiments in your refrigerator. So far, I have found one tiny jar of pre-made mustard made with apple cider vinegar that cost me around $8.  Now I get to make all of our condiments from scratch. And tomato sauce. No using canned tomatoes! Because canned tomatoes often include those same derivatives I listed above, or if they are in a BPA lined can, that can cause issues as well.

How about cheese? Sometimes, they dust the inside of the cheese packaging with cornstarch to keep it from sticking to the cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is out – they add cornstarch to keep that from sticking together.

Salt? Have to be careful with salt. If it is regular ol’ table salt it could be iodized, and that is corny. You can have sea salt – but read the label! Sometimes they add “silicas” to keep from clumping, and those come from corn. Baking Powder is another baking essential you have to make from scratch, because all store brands have cornstarch in them. So, even if you are not gluten intolerant, you still would not be able to eat any baked goods from a bakery. Ever.

Now, let’s talk about why the corn intolerant person has to eat organic everything. You know all those pesticides people go on and on about? What do you think those are made out of? Yep. You probably guessed right. Corn. The vegetables are not only coated it in, they absorb it. But, while we are on the subject of organic fruits and vegetables… you still aren’t in the clear, because they are usually coated with a corny wax. One must hope to be surrounded by some farm land to have fresh fruits and veggies available at farmers markets. Oh, and forget about bananas. Organic or not, those sucker are repeatedly gassed with ethanol gas in transit from whatever tropical country they are coming from to keep them from ripening before they reach their destination. That is corny too. I have repeatedly reacted to bananas, and have finally given up on them.

Meat has to be grass fed and grass finished. And you have to hope to God they didn’t spray it down with vinegar during processing, or use cornstarch in the packaging. Conventional eggs are out – not only do they force feed the hens with nothing but corn and soy, but the eggs are actually given a vinegar bath. Eggs are very porous and absorb whatever is outside of them – resulting in corny eggs.

The scariest part about all of this? The FDA does not require corn to be listed as an allergen, nor do they require packaging to list it as an ingredient if it is used in the finishing process. It is literally hiding in everything. And the chances of this changing are slim to none, because of (a) limited funds for research and court fees and (b) how much money the food industry makes off of the usage of it’s largest cash crop. Even if they were able to prove all of this scientifically, if funds were miraculously available to do so, I am sure those would be locked away somewhere just as all of the research in the dairy industry has been. You won’t hear about it.

To quell your curiosity of what all of the corn derivatives actually are, and what you have to avoid, this is a list that I have gotten from here.

  • Acetic acid
  • Alcohol
  • Alpha tocopherol
  • Artificial flavorings
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Ascorbates
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Aspartame (Artificial sweetener)
  • Astaxanthin
  • Baking powder
  • Barley malt* (generally OK, but can be contaminated)
  • Bleached flour*
  • Blended sugar (sugaridextrose)
  • Brown sugar* (generally OK if no caramel color)
  • Calcium citrate
  • Calcium fumarate
  • Calcium gluconate
  • Calcium lactate
  • Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA)
  • Calcium stearate
  • Calcium stearoyl lactylate
  • Caramel and caramel color
  • Carbonmethylcellulose sodium
  • Cellulose microcrystalline
  • Cellulose, methyl
  • Cellulose, powdered
  • Cetearyl glucoside
  • Choline chloride
  • Citric acid*
  • Citrus cloud emulsion (CCS)
  • Coco glycerides (cocoglycerides)
  • Confectioners sugar
  • Corn alcohol, corn gluten
  • Corn extract
  • Corn flour
  • Corn oil, corn oil margarine
  • Corn starch
  • Corn sweetener, corn sugar
  • Corn syrup, corn syrup solids
  • Corn, popcorn, cornmeal
  • Cornstarch, cornflour
  • Crosscarmellose sodium
  • Crystalline dextrose
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Cyclodextrin
  • DATUM (a dough conditioner)
  • Decyl glucoside
  • Decyl polyglucose
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose (also found in IV solutions)
  • Dextrose anything (such as monohydrate or anhydrous)
  • d-Gluconic acid
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Drying agent
  • Erythorbic acid
  • Erythritol
  • Ethanol
  • Ethocel 20
  • Ethylcellulose
  • Ethylene
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Ethyl lactate
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Fibersol-2
  • Flavorings*
  • Food starch
  • Fructose*
  • Fruit juice concentrate*
  • Fumaric acid
  • Germ/germ meal
  • Gluconate
  • Gluconic acid
  • Glucono delta-lactone
  • Gluconolactone
  • Glucosamine
  • Glucose*
  • Glucose syrup* (also found in IV solutions)
  • Glutamate
  • Gluten
  • Gluten feed/meal
  • Glycerides
  • Glycerin*
  • Glycerol
  • Golden syrup
  • Grits
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Hominy
  • Honey*
  • Hydrolyzed corn
  • Hydrolyzed corn protein
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose

*Items marked with * are not always corny, but under very many circumstances can cause reactions. They just have to be researched as to where they are derived from.

So, as you can see. The waters are very tricky to navigate in the world of corn intolerance. One must always have constant vigilance, and scrutinize every morsel of food eaten.

It was not easy at first, but I will admit that it became easier and easier as time went on. Now I don’t mind that I have to cook three meals a day with my own two hands, it is just part of my new life. I finally trained myself to get out of the negative mindset that I had associated with it, and looked at it as positively as I could, because I knew that it was what I had to do in order for us to survive.

  • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose pthalate (HPMCP)
  • Inositol
  • Invert syrup or sugar
  • Iodized salt
  • Lactate
  • Lactic acid*
  • Lauryl glucoside
  • Lecithin
  • Linoleic acid
  • Lysine
  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium fumarate
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Maize
  • Malic acid
  • Malonic acid
  • Malt syrup from corn
  • Malt, malt extract
  • Maltitol
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Maltose
  • Mannitol
  • Methyl gluceth
  • Methyl glucose
  • Methyl glucoside
  • Methylcellulose
  • Microcrystaline cellulose
  • Modified cellulose gum
  • Modified corn starch
  • Modified food starch
  • Molasses* (corn syrup may be present; know your product)
  • Mono- and di- glycerides
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • MSG
  • Natural flavorings*
  • Olestra/Olean
  • Polenta
  • Polydextrose
  • Polylactic acid (PLA)
  • Polysorbates* (e.g. Polysorbate 80)
  • Polyvinyl acetate
  • Potassium citrate
  • Potassium fumarate
  • Potassium gluconate
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pregelatinized starch
  • Propionic acid
  • Propylene glycol*
  • Propylene glycol monostearate*
  • Saccharin
  • Salt (iodized salt)
  • Semolina (unless from wheat)
  • Simethicone
  • Sodium carboxymethylcellulose
  • Sodium citrate
  • Sodium erythorbate
  • Sodium fumarate
  • Sodium lactate
  • Sodium starch glycolate
  • Sodium stearoyl fumarate
  • Sorbate
  • Sorbic acid
  • Sorbitan* (anything)
  • Sorbitol
  • Sorghum* (not all is bad; the syrup and/or grain CAN be mixed with corn)
  • Splenda (Artificial sweetener)
  • Starch (any kind that’s not specified)
  • Stearic acid
  • Stearoyls
  • Sucralose (Artificial sweetener)
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar* (not identified as cane or beet)
  • Threonine
  • Tocopherol (vitamin E)
  • Treacle (aka golden syrup)
  • Triethyl citrate
  • Unmodified starch
  • Vanilla, natural flavoring
  • Vanilla, pure or extract
  • Vanillin
  • Vegetable anything that’s not specific*
  • Vinegar, distilled white
  • Vinyl acetate
  • Vitamin C* and Vitamin E*
  • Vitamins*
  • Xanthan gum
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast*
  • Zea mays
  • Zein


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