Gotta read the labels every time!

Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with allergies, you’ve got to read labels all the time… and not just once, but every time. We almost learned that the hard way today.

We had found an inexpensive pasta sauce from Little Italy Foods that didn’t contain soybean oil. There were 3 or 4 flavors and all of them were soy free. Which is another thing you need to look out for: Just because one flavor is soy free, it doesn’t mean that every flavor from the same manufacturer is soy free.

Well, imagine our surprise to open a jar today and realize that there was soybean oil in it. On closer inspection one flavor was “Traditional Pasta Sauce” and the other was “Traditional Flavor Pasta Sauce”. When I picked ’em up at the store, it never registered that they were different “flavors”. Well guess what “Traditional Flavor Pasta Sauce” has soybean oil in it, where the “Traditional Pasta Sauce” doesn’t (at least they had the decency to label soybean oil as containing soy).

In some ways I’m embarrassed that I didn’t catch the different label at the store, but the real problem is when the ingredients change and there’s no other indicator. With companies retooling for profitability, with companies getting purchased by other companies, there’s really no guarantee that what you’re buying now is the same as what you bought last time.

This exact problem is one of our biggest concerns at restaurants. Just because things checked out last time, there’s no guarantee that every ingredient of every component of every dish is exactly the same as it was previously. Carrabba’s has changed things recently, and Spaghetti Warehouse has yet to give us a consistent answer.

Gotta keep reading those labels!

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Close enough to the same, or so we thought.
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“Traditional Pasta Sauce” — Soy Free
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“Traditional Flavor Pasta Sauce” — contains soybean oil

 




I'm trying to track allergen information for every restaurant that we eat at. With my son's soy allergy, each time we eat at a restaurant, it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out what he can eat. Especially since most restaurants don't accurately represent their usage of soy.

We're tracking what soy free (including soybean oil free) foods our son can eat at all restaurants we go to. If you've got a soy allergy in your family and have any information you can share, please contact us.

Soy free junk food at Aldi

These items intrigued me. They were next to the soy free bread at Aldi. So I happened to look at them. Our kids can never have any junk food because it all has soy in it. Well, imagine my surprise to find that these two items did not contain soy. Usually anything with bread/cake/cookies or anything with any kind of filling has soy in it (our kids have never had an oreo or a twinkie, sad isn’t it?). Tragically both of these items are on equipment with peanuts (more obvious for the PB&J rolls) so our kids still can’t have these, but I offer these up to my non-peanut-allergy readers as store-bought junk food that is actually soy free.

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Strawberry Shortcake Rolls
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Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortcake Rolls



I'm trying to track allergen information for every restaurant that we eat at. With my son's soy allergy, each time we eat at a restaurant, it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out what he can eat. Especially since most restaurants don't accurately represent their usage of soy.

We're tracking what soy free (including soybean oil free) foods our son can eat at all restaurants we go to. If you've got a soy allergy in your family and have any information you can share, please contact us.

Some of Aldi’s bread is soy free

Aldi’s never ceases to amaze me. Not only have they started carrying organic items that are only about ten cents more expensive than the non-organic offerings. I’ve now discovered that Aldi has 8 different types of soy-free bread in their stores.

I was stunned. I’ve been in other grocery stores and have looked at every loaf of bread in the entire bread section, never to find even a single loaf from a single manufacturer that was soy free, and here Aldi has 8 different offerings.

Interestingly enough, none of their “normal” bread is soy free. All of their regular loaf bread (white and wheat) and buns (hot dog and hamburger) all have soybean oil in them. So, skip right past all of the traditional bread, and go for the more exotic stuff.

Two of them are gluten free breads — which is never a guarantee to be soy free, but sometimes gluten free products also avoid other common allergens. Most of them are not traditional sandwich / bun types of bread, but it’s amazing how creative you can get when you can’t just go to the store and buy bread.

And the really crazy part: Not a single loaf of this bread cost more than two dollars. That sure gives the artesian bread a run for its money.

The soy free breads of Aldi:

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Live G Free Gluten Free White Bread
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Live G Free Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread
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Ciabatta Rolls
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Multigrain Ciabatta Rolls with Honey
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Pane Turano Italian Bread
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French Baguette
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Italian Bread
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French Bread



I'm trying to track allergen information for every restaurant that we eat at. With my son's soy allergy, each time we eat at a restaurant, it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out what he can eat. Especially since most restaurants don't accurately represent their usage of soy.

We're tracking what soy free (including soybean oil free) foods our son can eat at all restaurants we go to. If you've got a soy allergy in your family and have any information you can share, please contact us.

Soy free chocolate chips from Guittard

Thanks to alert reader Sam for letting me know about Guittard’s Real Semisweet Chocolate Chips. They seem to be about two dollars a bag cheaper than Enjoy Life’s Chocolate Chips. Now the big question becomes: “how easy is it to find the Guittard’s?” We can get the Enjoy Life chocolate chips from a number of establishments  near us. It’ll be great if we can find the Guittard’s.

 




I'm trying to track allergen information for every restaurant that we eat at. With my son's soy allergy, each time we eat at a restaurant, it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out what he can eat. Especially since most restaurants don't accurately represent their usage of soy.

We're tracking what soy free (including soybean oil free) foods our son can eat at all restaurants we go to. If you've got a soy allergy in your family and have any information you can share, please contact us.

Carrabba’s started using soybean oil

I can’t remember the details off the top of my head, but the last time we went to Carrabba’s, our son was extremely disappointed to learn that things have changed at Carrabba’s, and now he can’t have their lasagna because there’s soybean oil in it now. I can’t remember what all things changed, but there were some pasta dishes that the kids were still able to have. I’ll have to dig out my notes and share them, but be warned, things have changed for the worse!




I'm trying to track allergen information for every restaurant that we eat at. With my son's soy allergy, each time we eat at a restaurant, it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out what he can eat. Especially since most restaurants don't accurately represent their usage of soy.

We're tracking what soy free (including soybean oil free) foods our son can eat at all restaurants we go to. If you've got a soy allergy in your family and have any information you can share, please contact us.

Spaghetti Warehouse

Well, this should be my 3rd or 4th post about Spaghetti Warehouse, but I keep getting different answers every time we visit, so I’m always hesitant to post anything here.

Our most current visit tells us that Spaghetti Warehouse (like most Italian restaurants) put soybean oil on their just-cooked noodles to keep them from sticking to each other.

It seems like every other time that we go to Spaghetti Warehouse, we get a different answer, so I’m not  sure if they’re really changing their processes that often, or if we’re getting bad information.

Due to all of the pasta having soybean oil on them and (if I recall correctly) some of their pasta sauces, Spaghetti Warehouse is pretty much off-limits to our kids. They are always very helpful there, but it ends up being about the only thing the kids can eat there is when they steam up some non-marinated chicken or shrimp and broccoli. As good (and healthy) as that can be, it’s really hard for the kids to watch us eat a 15 layer lasagna in front of them.

Spaghetti Warehouse
510 S Main St #33, Akron, OH 44311
(330) 374-0025
www.meatballs.com




I'm trying to track allergen information for every restaurant that we eat at. With my son's soy allergy, each time we eat at a restaurant, it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out what he can eat. Especially since most restaurants don't accurately represent their usage of soy.

We're tracking what soy free (including soybean oil free) foods our son can eat at all restaurants we go to. If you've got a soy allergy in your family and have any information you can share, please contact us.

Idlewild and SoakZone 2015 allergen and ingredients list

We haven’t made it to Idlewild and SoakZone in Ligonier, PA yet this year, but a very helpful Kristie Schroyer emailed us the current ingredient list for the park for this year. Continue reading Idlewild and SoakZone 2015 allergen and ingredients list




I'm trying to track allergen information for every restaurant that we eat at. With my son's soy allergy, each time we eat at a restaurant, it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out what he can eat. Especially since most restaurants don't accurately represent their usage of soy.

We're tracking what soy free (including soybean oil free) foods our son can eat at all restaurants we go to. If you've got a soy allergy in your family and have any information you can share, please contact us.

Where I can find soy free bread and pizza in my area?

Miss Green asked: “Where I can find soy free bread and pizza in my area?”

Unfortunately, we can’t be a lot of help when it comes to bread, as it seems that pretty much 100% of all commercially available bread and buns have soybean oil in them. We pretty much have to depend on my wife baking bread or visiting a local artesian bakery to get bread or buns that the kids can eat. Update 6/22/2015 — Aldi’s actually carries 8 different types of bread that are soy free.
Pizza is almost as hopeless, but there is one nationwide option: Donato’s Pizza has a gluten free pizza that uses Udi’s gluten free crust which is conveniently also soy free. So if there’s a Donato’s Pizza in your neck of the woods, head on over there right away. Aside from Donato’s, every national chain we’ve researched uses soybean oil in their crust and often in their sauce.



I'm trying to track allergen information for every restaurant that we eat at. With my son's soy allergy, each time we eat at a restaurant, it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out what he can eat. Especially since most restaurants don't accurately represent their usage of soy.

We're tracking what soy free (including soybean oil free) foods our son can eat at all restaurants we go to. If you've got a soy allergy in your family and have any information you can share, please contact us.

Bizarre form of entertainment

Okay, I must be getting jaded. I think I’m starting to experience twisted pleasure when I destroy a restaurant owner’s perception that they are soy free.

A week or so ago, we went to a Greek fast food-ish restaurant. I asked the owner if they had an allergen list as my kids were allergic to soy. He proudly stated that there was no soy in their restaurant at all.

Cue sarcastic smirking and let the enlightenment begin!

After explaining some of the common locations for hidden soy, I started having them check some of their ingredients. Lo and behold, their gyro meat, pita bread, hummus, and hot dogs all had soy in them. So the kids got Arby’s from across the street, and restaurant owner got an education in soy.




I'm trying to track allergen information for every restaurant that we eat at. With my son's soy allergy, each time we eat at a restaurant, it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out what he can eat. Especially since most restaurants don't accurately represent their usage of soy.

We're tracking what soy free (including soybean oil free) foods our son can eat at all restaurants we go to. If you've got a soy allergy in your family and have any information you can share, please contact us.

Chipotle is (for all intents and purposes) Soy Free!!!!

Thanks to Angela for reminding me of the wonderful news: Chipotle is finally (mostly) Soy Free! We were in a Chipotle a couple of weeks ago and were pleasantly surprised to find out Chipotle now uses canola oil in their tortillas. That makes everything we care about 100% soy free at Chipotle. They do ?now? ?still? offer a tofu concoction as an alternative to meat, but if it’s been there for a while, I’ve just ignored it.

So the tofu concoction is the only thing with soy in it in the entire restaurant. Our son was so ecstatic to finally be able to eat a Chipotle burrito again. It was one of his favorite restaurants before we found out about his soy allergy, and now he gets to go back!




I'm trying to track allergen information for every restaurant that we eat at. With my son's soy allergy, each time we eat at a restaurant, it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out what he can eat. Especially since most restaurants don't accurately represent their usage of soy.

We're tracking what soy free (including soybean oil free) foods our son can eat at all restaurants we go to. If you've got a soy allergy in your family and have any information you can share, please contact us.