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Managing a Corn Allergy With Education

Corn AllergensEducation should be the easiest aspect to managing an allergy to corn, but it is made difficult by the laws in this country. Keeping abreast of the new corn derivatives is tough (even in this golden age of the Internet) due the lax packaging and disclosure laws. Without learning enough about corn and its derivatives, however, corn cannot be avoided properly. I rely very much on the Delphi Forum and the information provided there, as well as communication with others who also avoid corn.

I also do regular Internet keyword searches for, say, corn or corn products every few months. For example, since corn is hidden in lots of ingredients, a common search I use is corn + derived or corn + source. If I have a reaction to something or need to know about an ingredient, I use the keyword source and the ingredient I'm researching. If it's a medicine, I'll use the name of the medicine + inactive to find out the inactive ingredients. Also, I always look at the links pages of websites I find to find more information. Not everyone comes up in searches, and links often provide immediate information.

Corn AllergensA fortuitous benefit of having a corn allergy/intolerance is a healthier diet. Many people actually lose weight when they stop eating so much prepared foods. An overlooked aspect of this allergy is the sociological and community benefit. I highly recommend Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser for an admirable analysis of mass food production in this country. If I were not already eating the way I am today because of my allergy, I would have altered my habits after reading this book. By researching and educating myself about the consequences of my food choices, both those that occur in my body and those that occur in my community, I am more convinced that my eating habits are principled and ethical, not just simply safe for me. We as a society really need to step back and question whether foods such as Lunchables are even necessary!