When my youngest was first diagnosed with allergies, I went through my cabinets and was astounded by the fact that almost everything in a package contained some sort of soy additive. I cleaned out the pantry and went shopping at the health foods store, looking for foods with shorter ingredient lists and no allergens. Guess what, there aren't many foods that fall into that category. "Organic" and "Natural" foods have ingredient lists that are just as long. Snacks and baking ingredients have a lot of allergen warnings. As a result, I find the few brands that work, and stay very loyal, and make a lot of homemade foods.

Not too long ago, I was shopping with the Wise Old Owl and came across a new product in the refrigerated section--flax milk. I read and re-read that label for 5 minutes, in disbelief that we had found a safe new product. It contained canola lecithin, not the egg lecithin or soy lecithin or sunflower lecithin that seems to be in 99% of packaged foods on the shelf. While I am irritated that almost everything seems to need lecithin, I was excited that this flax milk actually used a safe variety. I bought it and spent quite a lot of energy convincing the Owl to drink it, and I drank a lot of it myself since it is so tasty. Well, about 6 weeks ago, my son refused to drink it anymore. I felt frustrated that this new food had not lasted long in his diet and I kept buying it and trying to convince him to drink it. Today, I just happened to look at the label, and guess what is in it--sunflower lecithin!! When did that happen? Must have been recently because the company's website does not yet list that ingredient, but the package clearly does. I went on a mission and started reading all kinds of packages to verify nothing else had changed. Turns out that our hemp milk had been updated, too. One box was OK but a newer box did have sunflower lecithin.

Seriously, why do you need lecithin? I'm paying a premium for a "natural" product--organic and without chemical additives. Why are all of these derivatives of foods needed??? I'd guess that 95% of Enjoy Life products have sunflower in them. I heard recently about a new cookie line being launched and everyone is raving about it, of course they have sunflower lecithin in them. Let's get creative people! I am starting to think that sunflower is harder to avoid than soy!

I am not opposed to the existence of sunflower in foods, but I just wish there was a little more variety. The food industry seems to be stuck on a short list of common ingredients that are added to everything. Cheap oils, lecithin as a flow agent, soy flavor enhancers. How about real food, not modified food?? That is my dream...

On a related note, I noticed that the California Baby Super Sensitive shampoo & body wash formula changed awhile back. While still safe for my son, it now contains hydrolyzed quinoa protein. Really? How is that natural? Anything that says "hydrolyzed" should not be in a product labelled "natural." I might as well just buy the Aquaphor baby wash at less than half the price!

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