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#207169 - 09/02/10 04:33 PM Allergy Alert: Survival Food Bars and Corn Syrup.
sotto Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/04/03
Posts: 450
Just a heads-up for those with allergies (or intolerance) to foods with corn sweeteners.

I decided to freshen up my survival food bar supply today and searched around to see what was available. I discovered that the popular ER Bars and Mainstay bars both contain corn syrup sweeteners and corn starch, both of which I am very allergic to.

The Datrex food ration bars are sweetened only with cane sugar, so I ordered some of those for that reason.

The last thing I need in a survival situation is to consume emergency rations that give me a substantial bad physical reaction that lasts for days.

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#207171 - 09/02/10 04:48 PM Re: Allergy Alert: Survival Food Bars and Corn Syrup. [Re: sotto]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
You don't hear about corn allergies very often. That must be tough to navigate around day-to-day since even a single ingredient, like high fructose corn syrup, is seemingly in everything. That certainly makes food preps even more crucial for you since you can't rely on anything given to you during an emergency being safe for you.

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#207172 - 09/02/10 04:55 PM Re: Allergy Alert: Survival Food Bars and Corn Syrup. [Re: Arney]
sotto Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/04/03
Posts: 450
Arney:

Yup, I have to check everything, and a surprising number of things use high fructose corn sweeteners, even many salad dressings, ketchup, and bottled drinks (including Coke, Pepsi, and lots of fruit drinks). There is quite a backlash developing against corn sweeteners, right or wrong. I'm noticing a number of products on the shelf now, like Heinz Ketchup for example, that have versions that have emblazoned on the labels, "No high fructose corn sweeteners."

This, of course, is great for me. Ketchup is one of my essential food groups. Also, in this area, it's relatively easy to get Coke and Pepsi (and other soft drinks) bottled in Mexico, that are sweetened only with cane sugar.

Of course, my understanding is that corn sweeteners get broken down by the body into glucose and sucrose just like cane sugar, and the advocates of corn sweeteners with a financial stake are quick to point that out. However, they don't address the issue of allergic reactions (or intolerance) to the stuff.

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#207173 - 09/02/10 05:04 PM Re: Allergy Alert: Survival Food Bars and Corn Syrup. [Re: sotto]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Maybe it's because I'm in a lovely tropical setting, but when on vacation, having a Coke bottled in Hawaii made from cane sugar just seems to taste better. smile

I've noticed the food companies selling more products without HFCS, too. However, the Federal gov't still heavily subsidizes corn cultivation so all that corn has to go somewhere. If the anti-HFCS movement is making any sort of significant dent in the use of corn (and it may not be), I wonder where these corn supplies are going now... Well, ethanol, to some degree the past few years. Heck, the corn lobby will persuade Congress to start adding corn to the water supply somehow. crazy

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#207174 - 09/02/10 05:12 PM Re: Allergy Alert: Survival Food Bars and Corn Syrup. [Re: Arney]
sotto Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/04/03
Posts: 450
Arney:

Being from Iowa originally, and with family still there in agriculture, I'm familiar with the potential impact a corn sweetener backlash could have, and is starting to have, on their financial well-being.

I've also discovered that some corn allergies, which are not all that uncommon by the way, may really be an allergy to (or an intolerance of) a component of corn, such as citric acid.

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#207181 - 09/02/10 05:58 PM Re: Allergy Alert: Survival Food Bars and Corn Syrup. [Re: sotto]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Most true allergies are to proteins and some complex carbohydrates. It would be of interest that citric acid is a potential allergen. Do you have any citations?

Thanks-
Pete

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#207187 - 09/02/10 07:51 PM Re: Allergy Alert: Survival Food Bars and Corn Syrup. [Re: sotto]
sotto Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/04/03
Posts: 450
I got picked up for making an illegal left turn awhile back?

Sorry about that. No citations. However, thanks for the info about the proteins and carbohydrates. ;-)

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#207190 - 09/02/10 08:19 PM Re: Allergy Alert: Survival Food Bars and Corn Syrup. [Re: sotto]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
RE "no HFCS"
You of course realize that the reason companies are moving away from HFCS to sugar is the same reason that they moved TO HFCS

Money

When the Feds start subsidizing the mfg of eythanol, the price of HFCS went UP, because the demand for corn to make ETOH went up, so it's now as cheap/cheaper for them to use sugar
_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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#207193 - 09/02/10 09:01 PM Re: Allergy Alert: Survival Food Bars and Corn Syrup. [Re: KG2V]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: KG2V
When the Feds start subsidizing the mfg of eythanol, the price of HFCS went UP, because the demand for corn to make ETOH went up, so it's now as cheap/cheaper for them to use sugar

Interesting. I had assumed that demand for corn for ethanol had tanked as the economy tanked and demand for gasoline eased, but at least as far as HFCS prices go, I just looked them up and they continued to rise through 2009. At the end of 2009, the price was 50% higher than it was 5 years earlier.

However, I do see that HFCS prices have been coming down again in 2010, so we may yet again see more HFCS in our food products again. In any case, most of us eat way, way too much sugar, even if we don't really eat many "sugary" things.

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#207194 - 09/02/10 09:48 PM Re: Allergy Alert: Survival Food Bars and Corn Syrup. [Re: sotto]
sotto Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/04/03
Posts: 450
Well, I can remember when my father-in-law in Iowa was paid handsomely NOT to plant any corn at all (the "diverted acres" program). He was encouraged to plant something else instead. Millet or other similar stuff maybe. All I know is it resulted in the best food and cover for pheasants, and the best pheasant hunting ever.

Just to bring this back on topic, I don't know why necessarily, but I was surprised (and dismayed) to see that corn sweeteners had made their way into survival ration bar products, with the notable exception of the Datrex bars. It's comforting to know that I will at least be surviving without a lot of sinus drainage, malaise, and coughing, at least from what I'm eating.

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