August 19, 2010

Canning and Food Allergies


Last week I talked about the "why should I can" and also why you should try it again if you had a bad experience. You can find that here.

Today I've been thinking about another really important reason to can....food allergies.

Do you have food allergies? Do you know someone that does?

Did you know that:
  • Food allergy is a growing public health concern in the US
  • More than 12 million Americans have food allergies. That’s one in 25, or 4% of the population.
  • The incidence of food allergy is highest in young children - one in 17 in children under 3
  • About 3 million children in the US have food allergies
  • The CDC reported that food allergies result in over 300,000 ambulatory-care visits a year among children
  • Eight foods account for 90% of food allergic reactions in the US: milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish
  • There is no cure for food allergies
  • Food allergies are life-altering for everyone involved and require constant vigilance
Now how do you know what you are eating and if it contains something you are allergic to? The easiest is to read labels and federal laws require that companies clearly identify the eight main allergens on their labels. Ok, but what about the other 10% of food allergies? Do you know how to find out if what you're eating contains those?

For example...my nephews are allergic to a whole host of things. Most of which I have a hard time remembering so I clear anything and everything I feed them with my sister first. Most of the time I joke that the only things I can feed them are mac&cheese and hot dogs because they are the only things I know they can eat.

These little guys aren't allergic to normal things. They can have milk and eggs and wheat, but are allergic to strawberries, nuts and cinnamon.

Seriously...one of them is allergic to cinnamon! That is one ingredient that you WILL NOT find on a label. It's hidden in the "spices" listing. The only way to know for sure is to call the company that makes it and even then they aren't always sure. Recently we discovered that Lawry's Seasoning Salt has cinnamon. Would you have guessed that??

So how can you guarantee that these foods aren't coming near them? Home canning.

When you can your own food, you know for sure what's in it. I can make applesauce that has only apples and sugar or soup that only has real veggies, beans and farm raised meat. How about spaghetti sauce that is only tomatoes from your own garden, basil, oregano, onions and garlic? Doesn't that sound heavenly?

With these home canned foods I know exactly what has gone into their making and can feel comfortable feeding them to people with food allergies. You can do the same.

No more reading labels all the time. With home canned foods you can have a pantry filled with choices that you know are guaranteed to work with your allergy restrictions.

6 comments:

  1. Following via Thursday blog hopping
    PLEASE follow me back at:

    www.smileadaygiveaways.blogspot.com

    also stop in during our READY FOR BABY blogging event AUG 23-28th for
    40+ reviews and giveaways! We have some awesome sponsors!

    ReplyDelete
  2. GREAT POST!! I'm hosting "Canning Week" on my blog next week. Monday's post will be about why we can. I'd love to have you join us!

    jen @ messhalltobistro.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is an excellent post and a clever idea for anyone whose children suffers from allergies b/c like you wrote you know exactly what is going into your food. Plus its fun to can foods you feel a sense of accomplishment of "i made that!" : )

    Looking forward to reading more.

    Kerri
    NewParent.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fabulous post! I've never canned before...but I want to learn how!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want to learn how too!!!! This is the best - I feel inspired to try :) Our little boy also has food allergies and we have to read labels so so carefully. Then there's all the hidden things like spices - ugh! It can be hard to trust unless we make something from scratch!

    He even had so many food intolerances too that caused him to have severe eczema. No one had any answers to help him and his allergist just kept giving him steroids and potent meds and creams. We knew we needed something healthy for his little body and we are so happy that we found Belly Boost children's chewable probiotics. They have helped him so much and his skin has looked great for over a year and he can eat lots more foods (even though we still avoid his allergens). Anyway - maybe this would help you nephews?

    Thanks for the ideas on canning...I really would love this and am going to go check out your other post on it! Thank you so much :) Come visit me anytime at smilinggreenmom.com :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post! My DD has food allergies and we've struggled for years to find good healthy foods she can eat. I've never even thought to try canning, but will def. give it a shot after reading this! I'm following from the Follow Me, Chickadee bloghop and would love a follow back @ www.ttowntiffany.blogspot.com. Thanks, Tiffany!

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