Corn AND gluten-Free?! Give me strength!

Corn Corn Corn.  Not only are we gluten free, but corn is a HUGE issue in our house.  (for my children).  Before I get started here, let me say that corn is sprayed with pesticides and when it isn’t, it’s hard to find.  Do you notice that?  I can find organic frozen or canned corn, but fresh organic is very difficult to locate.  Message me where so I can get myself a treat!  I’ll never forget the organic corn I picked up in Arizona.  It looked amazing, especially the big FAT worm that came with it. Oh well.  I guess you have to grow it yourself and use natural methods to keep bugs off.  I must find the time and read up.  I have a bit of my father’s green thumb, but need more info.  My father grew up on a farm and he said they sprayed the corn heavily and that farmers in New Jersey still do, and must.  Ick.  He and I didn’t always agree about organics and such, and maybe he was wrong about farmers in NJ.  However, what he said stuck in my head.  Plus, if I start talking about GMO’s I’ll start pulling my hair out as I stand on my soap box. That’s a separate post.  Let’s move on with this post.
Corn CobCheck out this terrific bit of info from Jane Anderson-” A 2012 research study indicates that the immune systems of people with celiac disease may in fact react to corn in a way that’s similar to how they react to gluten.  Here’s more from the article.  The study, published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, looked at the amino acid sequences in corn and compared them to the sequences found in gluten molecule. The researchers found some similarities between the amino acid sequences in the two different grains.  Next, they performed a computer analysis to see if the corn amino acid sequences might bind to the IgA antibodies produced by the body when gluten is ingested. They found evidence that this might happen in people who carry either of the two “celiac disease genes,” HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8.  This finding “may be of paramount clinical relevance,” the authors concluded. “The use of maize [corn] in the formulation and preparation of gluten-free foods must be re-evaluated in some cases of celiac disease.”  So does this mean that people with celiac disease should avoid corn as well as gluten grains? That’s not clear — the study itself is extremely preliminary and hasn’t yet been duplicated by other researchers. But it definitely shows that it’s at least possible (as many people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity have reported) to have a glutening-type reaction to corn.  However, if you already know you react to corn as well as to wheat, barley and rye, this study certainly gives you another reason to avoid it.”


Corn is hidden in so many foods that are gluten-free.  Whether it’s corn starch or syrup, the result is the same in our house.  Since the corn may be crossed contaminated with wheat in the fields, plus the interesting similarities listed above about the amino acid sequences, gluten-free foods may need to become “corn free” as well.  Things would be easier for us if this change happened because when we order out, gluten-free isn’t always easy to find and when we request no corn starch/syrup ect, it’s extremely difficult!
Reading that article made me feel better about the situation with my children.  It explains why they struggle with corn.  Sadly, some people don’t take food sensitivities seriously and will assume eating it one time is ok.
No this isn’t an allergy (yet) in our house, but there is a huge sensitivity issue.  Feeding my children corn products creates MONSTERS.  Monsters people!!!!  … and the monsters hang around the house for a good week or so.
We purchased some delicious GF cupcakes recently.  They were AMAZING!  However, the icing, while it was GF, and didn’t have corn syrup in it, did have a hidden source…. CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR.  Commercially, you can find that corn starch is used in the sugar to keep it from caking. See this interesting link here.    Corn-Derived Food Ingredients.  
Some families sit confidently (like I did), thinking food isn’t creating a mess in the house.  I sat on my high horse thinking that as well.  Heck, we ate HEALTHY!  However, that doesn’t mean your body can process everything you put in it. … at least not well!
Try an elimination diet (follow your doctor’s guidance please).  Take one possible item out for many weeks.  Then after a few weeks, add it in and see what happens.
In our house, adding an accidental corn starch/syrup, even gf, brings about mood swings and whining and tantrums that people might casually blame on temper tantrums, or exhaustion, or (cringe) on my parenting!
Good luck in your food explorations!  Food is FUN, and when you eat the best foods for your body (unprocessed whole foods), I bet you’ll feel better!  We do!  …. but we aren’t perfect, and accidents happen.
Photo on 7-1-13 at 8.29 PMPhoto on 7-1-13 at 8.27 PM
~HeatherPhoto on 7-1-13 at 3.12 PM #2

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