9 comments to “An Adverse Reaction to Food Labels”

  1. Sheila

    I have been able to eat foods a long time, without regard as to what’s in them; but, I really didn’t like the taste of onions, and garlic was a bit strong for me, but I could eat it. The real shocker was when I became egg intolerant and I couldn’t eat Banana’s, my lips would swell (like cold sores), then my throat would tickle, then my throat would swell. Trips to the hospital started with eating Pecan’s or Walnuts.Throat would close up, had to have shots right away. Now, I have an Onion and Garlic Intolerance. I’m learning that these are in almost Everything! Its so hard! I have to learn how to make Ketchup, and taco seasoning, and everything that I normally eat, with the seasoning…but now I’m trying to learn how to make it myself without the onions and/or garlic. Its really hard since I’m not a cook! My back is bad and cooking is worse.

  2. Jessica

    I’ve just learned that I have an aspirin sensitivity…aka salicylates. Very few people know that aspirin naturally occurs in foods, particularly in yellow based spices…dye #5 can also add to the problem. A gene has been identified for aspirin sensitivity and it is therefore hereditary. Have a lot of headaches? Have dark circles under your eyes since you were little? Feel stuffy a lot? You could have an underlying aspirin sensitivity. Be careful too cause it causes polyps to grow in your sinuses. Talk to your allergist…must MDs will send you running in circles and tell you to pop more pills…which, btw, also likely contain yellow dye. A self- perpetuating problem.

  3. becca

    i have a spice allergy which i am still trying to pinpoint. the “spices” listing is really dreaded..because it makes it more difficult to do the detective work to find my allergen.if i called these companies and asked for their listing and was asked what my allergen is, i dont know it yet…so i really do NEED the whole list. currently my reaction is only mild lip swelling and itching around my nose and mouth…but i have been warned to be careful as these things tend to worsen over time…..i realy need companies to help me out here…blah

  4. Ahauchata

    I first read your article in “The Baltimore Sun” and myself being a very livid label reader, not as a result of any food allergies, mainly just because I am a vegetarian, and I am very particular on what I intake and I stay away from just about anything which contains ingredients such as; ‘high fructose corn syrup’ and modified anything, but to just discover that they use BUGS for color is just frankly shocking!! I hope to see more articles which are informative such as this one!

    Thanks!

  5. Cyndi

    Please don’t repeat the myth that the “top 8” account for 90% of all food allergies. That list accounts for 90% of IgE allergies diagnosed formally in the US. It is similar but not quite the same in other countries and it does not account for other true allergies like IgG, or does it account for non-allergic reactions that aren’t true allergies (don’t be fooled; they can be deadly too).

    Some very common food reactions that aren’t in the top 8 (and are often hidden in labels too) include gluten, corn, sesame, and citrus.

  6. Norma Ingalls

    I’d like to warn others about a relatively unknown allergy to paprika, one of those spices that’s added to thousands of food items. In my early 30s, I found out the horrible headaches I’d had my whole life were caused by eating whole wheat; a few years later I added paprika to my “no eat” list. Even later all red colored pills was added. I’m assuming there is some chemical basis for the three items.

    My first symptom is a headache that won’t go away. Over-the-counter medication is useless. If I continue to intake whatever is causing the problem, or eat more than usual in one sitting, my joints hurt, it is hard to think and function, and in the worst situation, I spent a whole day in bed throwing up. It takes at least 24 hours for the offending item to work its way through my system before I am pain free. Needless to say, that rarely happens any more as I have learned to read labels and not trust restaurants to know what is in the food they serve.

  7. Alison St. Sure

    Emily,
    A reader of my blog told me about this article. Great job! You raise really unique points. I did NOT know about the bugs — ewww! And I totally agree with your 3rd point about why companies hide behind the word “spices” — I believe shame really is the reason. I would love to see full disclosure on labels and have food companies own up to what they are feeding the public. Thanks for writing this article — I will send people over to read it!

  8. Noah

    Well done. I have a connection to these issues as well as do many in my family. Thanks for getting us more info on it!

  9. Myrna Kasser

    Great article and really informative! A friend has been allergic to beans and nuts his whole life. Once, while eating dinner at a friend’s, he went into anaphylactic shock and had to be rushed to the emergency room. Later he learned that the friend (who should now be designated as “friend”) had decided his allergy was psychosomatic; she determined to show him that if he didn’t know he was eating a forbidden food, he wouldn’t have any problems with it.

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