With new allergy diagnosis this year, and as we have embarked on the journey of living a full life with 9 allergens for my son, and 6 allergens for my husband – we have found that sauces, marinades, dressings and spice mixes are the hardest! Not to mention all the other things they sprinkle allergens in!
“Natural Flavors” and “Spices” in Labels
My son was allergic to peanut and shellfish since he was a baby, but this last year added: pecan, walnut, shellfish (crab), oat, garlic, sweet potato, watermelon and pear. Garlic is the hardest of them all, even harder than peanut! It’s in everything! And that’s just the things that list it as an ingredient outright. It’s also hidden in many things under the pretense of “natural flavors” and “spices”.
Allergens Hidden in Ingredients | Mustard, Onion, Sesame and Garlic to Name a Few
My husband is allergic to: avocado, mushroom, pea, mustard, onion, sesame and Lima bean. Of his allergens, mustard, sesame and onion are hard and can be likened to garlic in that they are added to many things for flavorings and then additionally hidden under that same guide of “natural flavor” and “spices”.
For many, MUSTARD, is a huge problem allergen hiding in many ingredients. Who’d have thought it’s an ingredient in PLAIN mayonnaise?! Nevertheless, it’s in many brands plain mayonnaise along with sesame, onion and garlic!
I recently interviewed Dave Bloom of Snack Safely where we break down the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) as well as the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021 (FLMA).
Loopholes in Label Laws
The problem with current labeling laws is that there are loopholes for manufacturers to hide ingredients under proprietary and other forms of grey area loopholes. This is a Russian Roulette of sorts with those in the food allergy community as we must know exactly what is in our food.
Top 9 Allergens and Issues with Other Allergies
32 Million Americans have food allergy. 5.6 Million are children. While 90% of all allergens consist primarily of: peanut, tree nuts, sesame, wheat, soy, dairy, egg, fin fish and shellfish; many individuals have multiple and/or other allergies in addition to the top 9 that are hidden or not disclosed. Such as with mustard, garlic, and onion for my son and husband.
Advocacy for Transparency in Label Laws
While advocates and legislators work this out, and you yourself can get involved by signing THIS PETITION, I’ve got some amazing recipes to cover us in the meantime. https://www.change.org/p/strengthen-the-food-labeling-modernization-act-to-protect-the-allergic-community
Best Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe
Enter my BEST RANCH DRESSING EVER!!! Seriously, once you make this and try it – you won’t even want store bought ever again! It is seriously THE BEST ranch I’ve ever had!
Free From Peanut, Tree Nut, Wheat, Soy, Egg, Sesame, Fin Fish and Shellfish
Just 8 ingredients, and can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes! Note that this Ranch Dressing is not only missing common ingredients to a Ranch Dressing of onion and garlic. It is also missing Mayonnaise and that is not an oversight. Mayonnaise contains onion, garlic OR “natural flavors”.
Allium Free Ranch Dressing | Onion & Garlic Free
- 1/2 Cup Sour Cream May sub vegan
- 1/2 Cup Buttermilk May sub any vegan dairy
- 2 T Lemon Juice
- 1 T Dried Parsley
- 2 tsp Dried Cilantro
- 1 tsp Dried Dill
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, whisk together until well combined, serve chilled with your favorite vegetables, or as a salad dressing.
*Note that this recipe does not use a common ingredient of Mayonnaise because even PLAIN Mayonnaise contains either garlic OR “natural flavors”. Read every label, every ingredient, every time.