Thursday 6 February 2014

The Baby Carrot Reprieve (For Now)

Talk about confusing. So I did the carrot test last week, I cooked the carrots in the gravy but I didn't eat any. Still had a reaction. So yesterday I cooked the carrots in a separate pan and just had the Boiled Bacon (with shallots instead of onions) and gravy. Big reaction.

Aside of the meat and shallots the only other ingredient (minus the carrots this time) are 2 Stock Pots and I know it isn't them because I use them all the time and this is the one remaining meal giving me problems since removing other things from my diet.

So what is it?

There's only one thing it can be, the meat. Really though? So I do a search for pork allergy and yup, sure enough it's a thing. But then I come to my senses and realise that I eat ham, pork fillet, ribs, all manner of pork products with  no problems, so I can't be allergic to pork can I.

(Nothing surprises me with intolerances these days though)

Then I look at the ingredients of the Smoked Gammon and I see worrying things; Pork (87%), Water, Salt, Dextrose, Stabilisers (Sodium Triphosphate, Sodium Polyphosphate), Preservative (Sodium Nitrate).

Sodium whaties?
"Sodium triphosphate (STP, sometimes STPP or sodium tripolyphosphate or TPP,[1]) is an inorganic compound with formula Na5P3O10. It is the sodium salt of the polyphosphate penta-anion, which is the conjugate base of triphosphoric acid. It is produced on a large scale as a component of many domestic and industrial products, especially detergents. Environmental problems associated with eutrophication are attributed to its widespread use."
An ingredient in detergents???!!!!

When looking up the second nasty I land on the same wikipedia page as the first. Sodium Nitrate I'm familiar with as Saltpeter - this kind from Chile and Peru - the stuff that my mum and hers before her used to salt beef with. I knew that there was something up with Saltpeter as it had became hard to buy, something about bomb making if I recall (!), yeah, lovely stuff it turns out:
"Sodium nitrate is a white solid which is very soluble in water. It is a readily available source of the nitrate anion (NO3), which is useful in several reactions carried out on industrial scales for the production of fertilizerspyrotechnics and smoke bombsglass and pottery enamelsfood preservatives, and solid rocket propellant. It has been mined extensively for these purposes."
WHAT?! Solid rocket propellant??? In. My. Food?

So it seems the mystery is somewhat solved, it's one (or possibly more) of these nasties that I get the reaction from. Those poor baby carrots, falsely accused and demonised, I thought they were pure evil for making me feel so sick. The fact that I was having reactions when just eating the carrots in gravy prior to the main meal seems likely that the gravy was 'contaminated' by the nasties in the meat. Of course I could still be reacting to the carrots as well, but that's another test needed. Great.

Gosh it's complicated, and when I started out on my gluten free journey I thought that was tough. And it is but you know what? You learn so much about what goes into your food by having to follow a restricted diet, a real eye opener. I'm thoroughly appalled by this discovery, I've been eating and loving Boiled Bacon since I was a kid, had I known the rubbish that was in it I would have stopped way before now.

As I mentioned, this is the last meal that was giving me trouble, by eliminating this and not eating anything new with Sodium Triphosphate, Sodium Polyphosphate and Sodium Nitrate in, I should - please let this be the case! - have no reactions to anything.

It's worth noting that Sodium Triphosphate is also known as E451.

If anyone has any more info on this please let me know.

On a totally unrelated note I got a comment the other day, it was on an old post and it left me a bit speechless, hence why I haven't replied. I can think of nothing but sweary words to say to it. Apparently, "gluten free is a con" and we're "jumping on a bandwagon".

It's here if you want some red mist to appear before your eyes. Of all the bandwagons I could have jumped on I can safety say that one that makes my insides fall out and gives me immense pain is the most fun I could think of.

*eye rolls*

Some people.

Have a wonderful Thursday :)

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