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Tag: soy lecithin allergy

Additive-free Cooking Spray Oils

I used to love using spray-cans of cooking oils because they were so easy and convenient, and they spread the oil so evenly over the surface. In fact, during the years I was developing recipes for my cookbook I couldn’t have imagined cooking without an aerosol spray can of cooking oil with which to lubricate my cookware.Chosen Foods oil spray

But then I discovered through the MRT results that my son is very sensitive to soy lecithin, an emulsifier made from the residue of soy sauce manufacturing. Particularly when that soy lecithin is applied through a cooking spray. Even the smallest bit of oil like the amount that rubs onto a rice krispie treat that has cooled in a pan sprayed with an aerosol can of cooking oil would be enough to make him dizzy and nauseated.

Soy lecithin makes things slippery and is added to compounds including rocket fuel and fracking liquid. Although lecithin occurs naturally in eggs and corn, the soy lecithin is an additive that is added to our foods. Many who are sensitive to soy lecithin don’t have a problem with natural sources of lecithins. Unfortunately, soy lecithin may not be the only additive in that cooking spray either.

So I stopped using an aerosol can of spray and tried using a refillable pump to spray oil into Dutch ovens for my Glorious One-Pot Meals. Alas, the pumps seem to clog and break frequently for me, and they do not create an even sheen of oil. I found the pumps so unsatisfying that I abandoned the idea of spraying oil altogether and resigned myself to simply wiping the oil into the pot before cooking.

Then today I learned that Chosen Foods has come out with a series of additive-free cooking sprays and I am so excited to share the news that I’m writing about them before I’ve even tried one! Let me know if you try it out!

Soy lecithin: healthy or toxic?

The additive soy lecithin is everywhere in our processed food supply, but what is it really and why is it used?

When food sensitivity testing showed my son was highly sensitive to soy lecithin, I started looking for it on labels. And I found it everywhere: in creamers, infant formula, almost every chocolate candy or bar, peanut butter, margarine, spray oils… Soy lecithin is a darling of the food industry because it is an emulsifier that helps keep creamy things from separating.

Pam olive oil spray
Even organic spray oils typically contain soy lecithin.

And its cheap because it’s the byproduct of a stinky sludge left over from making soybean oil. Yep, this is a similar story to that of the corn industry who hired scientists to find more uses for products based in corn, which is how we came to have such ubiquitous — and cheap — products in our processed foods such as high fructose corn syrup.

Decades earlier, by 1939, scientists hired by the soybean refining industry had cooked up more than 1,000 new uses for soybean oil byproducts. Nowadays, soy lecithin’s slipperyness makes it a useful ingredient in compounds like rocket fuel and fracking liquid. It’s also one of the top ten commonly used additives in processed foods.

Although the soy protein should have been altered by processing so as not to be allergenic, some people with soy allergies may still react to lecithin. Others, like my son, are non-reactive to actual soy products (he can easily eat a bowl of Edamame without a problem) but react strongly to soy lecithin.

Misto oil sprayer
I usually fill my Misto oil sprayer with olive oil.

If you’ve read my cookbook, Glorious One-Pot Meals, you know that I was an avid user of spray oils to coat the inside of the pots used with my recipes. Now I can see that even the small amount of a spray oil containing soy lecithin, like PAM, used to grease a baking sheet for making cookies, is enough to trigger an inflammatory reaction for my son.

Do not fall for any bogus health claims pertaining to soy lecithin by keeping in mind that it is a chemically-manufactured substance derived from the waste from other processes. Our bodies have not evolved to be deficient in soy lecithin: you do not need to supplement with it to achieve a healthy state.

Now when I’m looking for a non-stick effect, I might use a refillable Misto spray bottle, or simply wipe an oil directly on the inside of the pot, rather than use a commercial spray oil canister containing soy lecithin.

If you are suffering from migraines, mood swings, ADHD, or even arthritis, you might be reacting to the soy lecithin in your foods. You can try simply eliminating soy lecithin from your diet to see if it helps relieve your symptoms. Of course, the only way to know for sure what foods or additives cause inflammation in your own body is to take a food sensitivity test like the MRT.