There are HUGE variables in Corn Allergies.
Corn-Lite- These folks avoid obvious corn. Like corn syrup, corn meal, corn starch and some also avoid commonly corny things like citric acid, waxes and vitamins.
Corn-Tween-(in between lite and extreme)- These folks are like Abby. Most need to avoid not only corn-lite but also more of the hidden corn and cross contaminated hidden corn. Things like water(yep corny!), packaging, airborne, skin products, need to use a compound pharmacy for all medications. Almost no vitamins are safe. Some react to even what meat is rinsed with after butchering. Some seem to react more to airborne or soaps or food but don't always react as strongly to all. Often this group have "building" reactions where they can handle a trip to the grocery store if they can come home and be absolutely clean, but if they go to the grocery and drink unfiltered water and then brush their teeth with a corny toothpaste they will react. Abby does better with eggs and chicken that has not been fed corn. Some in this category can eat chicken or their eggs when they have been fed corn.
Corn-severe- Extremely sensitive to ALL corn no matter how minute. Stores,homes, foods, airborne- all very dangerous-this population MUST practice extreme caution, even to what fertilizer is used in growing veggies and fruit. Manufactured products that are produced on the same lines or even same plant are dangerous.
The products I use are always at least corn-lite, and more and more Abby is more in-between so we have been more careful. Often many of the things I make would NOT be safe for the most Allergic population and even half of the in-between population- USER BEWARE!
As awareness to corn-allergies is growing I have noticed a huge increase in blogging about living cornfree.
Unfortunately, due to the overall lack of awareness that almost everything is corny at some level I have found bloggers are not making it clear that often they are only corn-lite at best. Not their fault since Drs. aren't teaching this either. Also our American population in general are realizing finally how dangerous GMO foods are and doing what they can to avoid GMO products in their diet. Avoiding GMO is very different then being allergic. Like the Celiac population the corn allergy sufferers are struggling to define the difference between intolerances,allergy, sensitivity, and those who avoid because they believe corn is evil(it is!)
Products like Bob's, Enjoy Life, Namaste many in the middle group like Abby often react to, even some corn-lite react. I don't know of 1 person in the severe corn allergy group that can eat any of it or many in the middle group like Abby. These are great products don't get me wrong and if you are just corn-lite you may tolerate them fine. If we were just Gluten-free my pantry would be packed full of Bob's- they have never said or marketed their products as corn free and if you write them they are very knowledgeable about their products. Some where along the line someone said Enjoy Life was safe for the corn allergy sufferers. If you read the ingredients it is pretty obvious that it is high risk for hidden corn. I know Abby is not alone in reacting very badly to their products. Namaste has been safe for some in the corn-lite crowd, but the in-between folks like Abby have reacted to a few of their products- Abby is not alone in reporting reactions. Does it mean that Namaste is bad? No. They follow the laws to the T. But does it mean it is safe for Abby- No.
Products like Hains baking powder,and Domino's sugars are deemed safe "usually" for many of the in-between crowd like Abby. Seem to be very well tolerated by the corn-lite. However, there is an exception to every rule. Some product that even 80 percent of the in-between crowd tolerates might not be tolerated by you. It is an insane allergy. What I am trying to say, is that are few to no absolutes with this allergy.
Please, as you start your corn free journey, make sure that you don't just take another corn allergic blogger's word that a product is clean enough for you. Unfortunately, there are very few things that are safe for all 3 groups. Double and triple check.
I have started buying many products at the Asian Market- I cannot stress enough that this is a high risk group of products. When we started eliminating corny foods and products last year I would have NEVER tried these.
Now that Abby is clean enough, she can try a new product and tell me quickly whether it is worth trying again or if she noted a reaction right away. Children cannot always tell until it is too late, full avoidance is the safest method and recommended method when it comes to food allergies. When we first started this corn-free journey Abby wasn't able to tell what was corn contaminated as she was so reactive and so sick she could not tell the difference.
I cannot recommend enough, that as you find blogs like mine, or other well meaning bloggers that you MUST double check that the products being used are safe for your allergies-
There are a number of terrific product lists available through various corn-allergy groups on facebook. Delphi has a corn allergy group that is the authority on being corn free. There are two great corn free groups on facebook where the members are from all different levels of reactions and they have a tremendous amount of information to share. Hands down, others with a corn allergy have been far more helpful to Abby then any Allergist or other Dr over the years.
Many manufacturers do not understand how citric acid, or glucose or stevia or medications or any other number of items can be made corn contaminated through the production process- so I do recommend double checking with the corn allergy population. There are now thousands suffering from corn-allergies from newborns to Seniors. It is frightening the rate that even folks who have never had an allergy before are now suddenly developing allergies to corn.
What I make for Abby is safe for Abby, and maybe for you, but don't take my word for it! I have noticed a few blogs now claiming corn-free that I would never try the ingredients they recommend, please proceed with great caution as you search for products that are safe for you and your variables with allergies. Food Allergies can kill-