The Corny Truth Series: Distilled White Vinegar

Like most others, when I found out that I was corn intolerant, I had absolutely no clue what foods were “corny” and which were safe. There is much to learn, and man was I lucky to have found some amazing websites, blogs, and Facebook groups to help me. If it were not for searching for information online, I would not have any clue what I was doing, and trust me, doctors have not been much help by way of corn avoidance either.

One of the many things that I learned, after repeatedly corning myself until I finally “filled my bucket” and had a complete meltdown one particular day…. was that white distilled vinegar is made from corn. I never actually though about white vinegar and where it came from. Oh, see that bottle over there? Notice anything missing in the picture? I was pretty sure that I never saw a picture of corn on it, so why would I assume that it was made from it?

Now, let’s take a moment to think about what all white distilled vinegar is in.

  • mayonnaise
  • mustard
  • ketchup
  • barbecue sauce
  • hot sauce
  • tomato sauce
  • salsas
  • mozzarella cheese
  • prepared meats
  • marinades
  • chips/various snacks
  • pretty much most fun condiments of any kind
  • pickles, relishes and specialty olives and such
  • and much, much more!

Yeah, that pretty much wiped out 1/2 of my entire refrigerator, and made me really, really sad that I could no longer make my delicious maple mustard cream sauce that I had been obsessed with, which was what gave me the corn meltdown. Sad, sad day indeed.

There are some options out there for some of those things that I listed above, but they are unfortunately very limited. To this day I have not found a safe ketchup. I tried to make my own, but realized about halfway through the process that it was way too much effort for the tiny amount of ketchup rendered… and so not worth it.

I have done well with the soy-free Vegenaise, which also uses cider vinegar, but I have heard tales of reactions by some, so tread carefully there. I personally believe that soy can cause the same reaction as corn in some, which is why I prefer to stick to the soy-free one. They do make quite a few varieties, so there is room for sampling. As for homemade mayonnaise – I love it, but I do not trust it because eggs are really iffy for us. We react to most of them, and I just plain do not trust them. If it works for you, though, give it a whirl! It is mighty delicious.

The other day I had a glorious mustard find at a local store – yellow mustard, dijon, and dark brown mustard, all made with apple cider vinegar! Glory be! So, try not to give up hope for safe condiments. Check every label you come across! You never know when you will hit the golden ticket.

As for the rest of the foods, all I can say is check every label diligently, and remember to look for vinegar. If it doesn’t specify what kind of vinegar, it is distilled white vinegar. Even if it is organic distilled white vinegar, it is usually a no go for us corn intolerant. I react to all kinds of corn, organic, non GMO or not. Only you will know what works for you!

Be sure to follow this blog if you would like to keep updated in the world of the corn intolerant, and learn some of the tips and tricks that have worked for me in my own journey through these rough, corny waters.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. What a brutal allergy to have in today’s day and age where corn is in EVERYTHING. Curious though, the distillation of white vinegar doesn’t remove the “corn essence”? Do you also have to avoid dextrose and maltodextrin?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is pretty brutal! And unfortunately the distillation process does not seem to make a difference for anyone I have encountered with this allergy. :/ and yes, we also have to avoid dextrose and maltodextrin. If you are interested, there is a complete list of the corn derivatives we must avoid here :
      It is a nuts-o world in the food industry for me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear ya! I recently discovered I have a problem with gluten so I too am learning how to survive in this ultra-processed world! Wishing you the best of luck with it all 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Fingers crossed for you as well! ❤


      3. Wow. That list is terrifying.


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