Soy allergy? Bummer. Soy is a plant-based protein that food companies have managed to add to tons of products, even ones you wouldn’t suspect. The reason? $$. Soy can be easily made into a stabilizer (soy lecithin) that can help products stay on grocery shelves longer than you thought possible. Actually it kind of freaks me out when foods that have fat and protein (mayo and chef boyardee meatballs, I’m talking to you) can be sitting on a room temperature shelf for months. That doesn’t seem natural.
Soy allergy is quite common. It’s one of the 6 main allergies found in children alongside wheat, milk, eggs, seafood and nuts. When babies are allergic to cow’s based formulas it’s not recommended to switch to a soy based formula because if there milk allergy, there is a higher chance of a soy allergy. A lot of kids “grow” out of their food allergies, while others discover theirs later in life. My good friend only recently discovered her soy allergy after 25 years. She struggles with soy being EVERYWHERE.
Lucky for you since 2006 FDA’s (Food & Drug Administration) allergen labeling laws demand companies state “contains soy.” But unlucky for you soy is in SO many products and there are some foods that are not covered by the law, so label reading is key. Especially in some Asian products whose ingredient list may be foreign.
What sparked this post was last week I picked up Celestial Raspberry Zinger tea on my way to work. Reading labels is habit for me, but I wouldn’t think to look at tea’s label. I quickly glanced at it and look what I found
Here’s some “hidden” sources of soy or soy derivatives. If you see these on the label, steer clear:
Hydrolyzed soy protein
Kyodofu (freeze dried tofu)
Okara (soy pulp)
Soy nut butter
Soy protein, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate
Textured soy flour (TSF)
Textured soy protein (TSP)
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Yuba (bean curd)
May Contain Soy:
Hydrolyzed plant protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
Soy oil and vegetable oil derived ffom soy are generally regarded as safe to those with soy allergies and are NOT required to be labelled as a soy allergen. Also be warned there are no labeling laws on non-food items like cosmetics, lotions, supplements, soap, dish soap, so definently check the labels.
Great resources for food allergies: Kidswithfoodallergies.org