Just diagnosed with an egg allergy?
Avoiding eggs because they make you feel sick?
Or are you morally against egg consumption?
What’s your reason? My daughter falls into the first category since she has a severe egg allergy and needs to avoid them at all times. Me? I think eggs are divine! They, however, don’t seem to like me as much as I like them so I only eat eggs from time to time and we never bake with eggs so our daughter can enjoy the same foods we are eating. It’s hard to believe its been close to 17 years now since our daughter was diagnosed with an egg allergy.
That’s a long time!
No matter your reason, I’m here to help you navigate the often complicated world of egg-free living. In this introduction post we’ll look at the rise of egg allergies, hidden sources of eggs and I’ll even provide you with a list of ingredients to avoid if you have an egg allergy. In my future posts, we will look at the different functions eggs have in cooking and how to bake without eggs. It can be done!!
So stay tuned for these special posts!
The Root of Egg Allergies
Egg allergy is the second most common allergy in infants and young children, milk allergy being the most common. It is estimated that about 1.3% of children in the U.S. have an egg allergy. And most people think gluten is the most common!
Most baked goods in the U.S. are made with eggs so it is very hard to buy baked goods from any bakery or supermarket, unless they are certified vegan. Throw in an allergy to dairy and nuts and it is virtually impossible to find a commercially or bakery made- muffin or cupcake you can eat.
When we began our “eggless” journey more than 16 years ago, there were only a few egg replacement options people were using. Things have changed with the discovery of flax and chia seeds and now psyllium husks. What a wonderful world we live in!
People with egg allergies must avoid egg in all forms even though the egg white is the part of the egg responsible for allergic reactions. We avoid the whole egg because there is no way to remove the egg yolk with contamination from the other part of the egg. What a mess that would be!
Vaccines and Medication
Yep, check all your medicines too! If you are allergic to eggs, it is VERY important that to make sure all your doctors know you have an egg allergy since some medicine and vaccines may contain egg. The influenza vaccine contains a small amount of egg protein so if you or your child is allergic to eggs, check with your physician before you receive your next flu shot.
How to Read a Label for Eggs
Are you confused by the food labels?
Contains? May contain? On equipment that manufactures…? What does that mean?
If you haven’t been reading your food labels, now is the time to start. Always read the entire ingredient label to look for the names of egg (see list below). Any egg compound must be indicated on the list of the ingredients of all packages labels. In 2004, congress passed The federal Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires food labels to clearly identify “food source names” that are part of the eight most common food allergens in the U.S. So now all labels must list the ingredient and all must place a “Contains: Egg” statement beneath the list of ingredients.
Advisory statements such as “may contain egg” or “made in a facility with egg” are voluntary. These advisory statements are not required by any federal labeling law. While some people are able to consume products that are labeled “may contain” you should always consult your physician for their advice before purchasing these food items.
There are many foods and products that are not covered by the law, so it is still important to know how to read a label for egg ingredients. Products not included in the FALCPA Act include foods not regulated by the FDA, cosmetics and personal care items, prescription and over-the-counter medications and pet food.
The following ingredients found on a label indicate some form of egg. Please look closely at the following list even though some of these terms may seem foreign to you; these items still contain the presence of egg. Remember to read all labels carefully before using any product, even if it has been used safely in the past. Manufacturers have been know to change ingredients without letting you know. This has happened to us many times!
I know you are probably feeling a bit overwhelmed right now but I also think it is important to know there may be some hidden places eggs show up. Always assume any commercial baked goods contain some form of egg unless they are vegan or are not listed in the ingredients. Most homemade pasta contain eggs.
Some of these hidden sources include:
- Artificial flavoring
- Baked goods
- Egg washes
- Natural flavoring
Don’t worry, you’ll soon get the hang of egg-free living. You can now download my easy here list and soon you will be on your way to egg-free living. Remember always read your labels!
Stay tuned for additional posts on the function of egg in cooking and tried and true ways to bake without eggs.