Meat can be a painful, touchy subject for a corn allergic person. Most people need meat and would like to consume meat to help balance their diets. Unfortunately most butchers and meat processors who are USDA certified spray carcasses with lactic acid or citric acid during processing (before hanging to age). During processing the equipment and/or cuts of beef may be sprayed with citric acid to kill E.coli. Once it is processed into individual cuts or ground, it will be packaged on a styrofoam tray with a citric acid saturated soaker pad underneath and wrapped in shrinkwrap or plastic wrap, that is dusted in corn starch to keep the meat from sticking. The citric acid and lactic acid are both derived from corn. (http://forums.delphiforums.com/avoidingcorn/messages?msg=9634.11)
Consuming meat that has been processed in a such a way can bring about an allergic reaction. It definitely does for me.
Then enter the food additives. Food additives are 100% legal and bad business if you have an allergy or sensitivity. There are labeling requirements for food additives, unfortunately corn does not fall into the realm of “Top Allergen” so corn or additives derived from corn WILL NOT be labeled. There are a few safe meat sources available from conventional grocery stores and at least one online vendor (at Passover only). I recently purchased a chicken and some eggs from the local farmer’s market. I haven’t been brave enough to try them as of yet but after speaking with the farmer I feel as though the meat specimens are safe. The chickens are pasturized and processed with nothing but water. That being said, there is a small threat of corn-tamination in the “store bought” ice, the water softening process and in any disinfectant that might be used, water with pinesol or white vinegar diluted into it (http://cornallergyaid.blogspot.com/2011/06/chicken-processing.html). I was assured they only use water….nevertheless, the bird is in the freezer.
Below this post you will find information on food additives. The only additive that is labeled as corn is the corn syrup however many more of the additives could very easily be derived from corn. Always call before consuming any meat product.
“What is a Food Additive?
“Food additive” is defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as any substance used to provide a technical effect in foods. The use of food additives has become more prominent in recent years, due to the increased production of prepared, processed, and convenience foods. Additives are used for flavor and appeal, food preparation and processing, freshness, and safety. At the same time, consumers and scientists have raised questions about the necessity and safety of these substances.”
“What are Labeling Requirements for Additives?
The statutes and regulations to enforce the statutes require certain information on labels of meat and poultry products so consumers will have complete information about a product. In all cases, ingredients must be listed on the product label, in the ingredients statement in order by weight, from the greatest amount to the least.
Substances such as spices and spice extractives may be declared as “natural flavors,” “flavors,” or “natural flavoring” on meat and poultry labels without naming each one. This is because they are used primarily for their flavor contribution and not their nutritional contribution.
Substances such as dried meat, poultry stock, meat extracts, or hydrolyzed protein must be listed on the label by their common or usual name because their primary purpose is not flavor. They may be used as flavor enhancers, binders, or emulsifiers. They must be labeled using the species of origin of the additive, for example, dried beef, chicken stock, pork extract, or hydrolyzed wheat protein.
Color additives must be declared by their common or usual names on labels, e.g., FD&C Yellow 5, or annatto extract, not collectively as colorings. These labeling requirements help consumers make choices about the foods they eat.”
“Glossary of Commonly Used Meat and Poultry Additives and Terms
ANTIOXIDANT - substances added to foods to prevent the oxygen present in the air from causing undesirable changes in flavor or color. BHA, BHT, and tocopherols are examples of antioxidants.
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), TOCOPHEROLS (VITAMIN E) - antioxidants that help maintain the appeal and wholesome qualities of food by retarding rancidity in fats, sausages, and dried meats, as well as helping to protect some of the natural nutrients in foods, such as vitamin A.
BINDER - a substance that may be added to foods to thicken or improve texture.
BROMELIN - an enzyme that can dissolve or degrade the proteins collagen and elastin to soften meat and poultry tissue. It is derived from pineapple fruit and leaves, and is used as a meat tenderizer.
CARRAGEENAN - seaweed is the source of this additive. It may be used in products as binder.
CITRIC ACID – widely distributed in nature in both plants and animals. It can be used as an additive to protect the fresh color of meat cuts during storage. Citric acid also helps protect flavor and increases the effectiveness of antioxidants.
CORN SYRUP - sugar that is derived from the hydrolysis of corn starch. Uses include flavoring agent and sweetener in meat and poultry products.
EMULSIFIER – substance added to products, such as meat spreads, to prevent separation of product components to ensure consistency. Examples of these types of additives include lecithin, and mono- and di-glycerides.
FICIN - enzyme derived from fig trees that is used as a meat tenderizer.
GELATIN – thickener from collagen which is derived from the skin, tendons, ligaments, or bones of livestock. It may be used in canned hams or jellied meat products.
HUMECTANT - substance added to foods to help retain moisture and soft texture. An example is glycerine, which may be used in dried meat snacks.
HYDROLYZED (SOURCE) PROTEIN – flavor enhancers that can be used in meat and poultry products. They are made from protein obtained from a plant source such as soy or wheat, or from an animal source, such as milk. The source used must be identified on the label.
MODIFIED FOOD STARCH – starch that has been chemically altered to improve its thickening properties. Before the starch is modified, it is separated from the protein through isolation techniques; therefore, the source of the starch used is not required on the label. Most common foods used to make modified food starch are corn, potato, wheat, and tapioca. Out of these four foods, only modified starch made from wheat needs to be labeled. Corn does not.
MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (MSG) - MSG is a flavor enhancer. It comes from a common amino acid, glutamic acid, and must be declared as monosodium glutamate on meat and poultry labels.
PAPAIN – an enzyme that can dissolve or degrade the proteins collagen and elastin to soften meat and poultry tissue. It is derived from the tropical papaya tree and is used as a meat tenderizer.
PHOSPHATES – the two beneficial effects of phosphates in meat and poultry products are moisture retention and flavor protection. An example is the use of phosphates in the curing of ham where approved additives are sodium or potassium salts of tripolyphosphate, hexametaphosphate, acid pyrophosphate, or orthophosphates, declared as “phosphates” on labels.
PROPYL GALLATE – used as an antioxidant to prevent rancidity in products such as rendered fats or pork sausage. It can be used in combination with antioxidants such as BHA and BHT.
RANCID/RANCIDITY - oxidation/breakdown of fat that occurs naturally causing undesirable smell and taste. BHA/BHT and tocopherols are used to keep fats from becoming rancid.
SODIUM CASEINATE - used as a binder in products such as frankfurters and stews.
SODIUM ERYTHORBATE - is the sodium salt of erythorbic acid, a highly refined food-grade chemical closely related to vitamin C, synthesized from sugar, and used as a color fixative in preparing cured meats. (Note: Erythorbate is NOT earthworms. Perhaps the spelling or pronunciation has contributed to this misconception because the Hotline receives many calls related to this concern.)
SODIUM NITRITE - used alone or in conjunction with sodium nitrate as a color fixative in cured meat and poultry products (bologna, hot dogs, bacon). Helps prevent growth of Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism in humans.
SUGAR (SUCROSE) – used as sweetener in an endless list of food products.
TEXTURIZERS/STABILIZERS/THICKENERS - used in foods to help maintain uniform texture or consistency. These are substances that are commonly called binders. Examples are gelatin and carrageenan.
WHEY, DRIED – the dried form of a component of milk that remains after cheese making. Can be used as a binder or extender in various meat products, such as sausage and stews.”
Jan 2012 Update: Even with the instructions, the beef we purchased in September 2011 was contaminated. We did eventually find a safe source.
KOL Foods should have safe beef and lamb soon.