Monday, January 4, 2016

Corn is in Everything

Brisbane recently tested positive for a corn allergy, which didn't seem like a big deal at first. I already feed mostly grain-free foods, and high-quality dog treats tend to be corn-free and wheat-free anyway. I would just have to stop playing catch with popcorn, right?


Wrong. I already read ingredient labels for everything, and almost immediately I discovered that corn is in everything. It may not be in the form of "ground yellow corn" or "corn gluten meal" as found on the labels of low- and mid-quality dog foods, but corn has many forms. Some flavors of Starmark's Everlasting Treats contain cornstarch. PetSafe's Busy Buddy no-rawhide treat rings are also made from cornstarch.

Corn Has Many Names

I have heard people complain that nearly all processed human food contains corn, and that the word 'corn' is not always part of the name of a corn-derived ingredient. With this in mind, I googled "corn allergy" and immediately found www.CornAllergens.com. From there I learned that seemingly-innocuous ingredients like alcohol and citric acid can be derived from corn. Food manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients of their ingredients though, so nearly anything can contain corn. Zukes Genuine Jerky contains natural flavors, those might be corn-derived. Their Lil' Links contain glycerin, citric acid, and sorbic acid, any of those could be made from corn too! Zukes Z-Bones contain lecithin, which is also in a whole bunch of dog foods. Lecithin can also be derived from eggs, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and quite a lot of other things. 

When a dog food manufacturer says their products are soy-free or corn-free, does that include lecithin? I'm not sure. I do know that Brisbane isn't nearly as sensitive to corn as the person who made the Corn Allergens site, thankfully. I can't imagine going through life worrying about sneaky corn in my shampoo.

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