Safe-for-Me Products: The List of What I Use

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Last updated Jan 2022

I have been hesitant to publish a list of what I use.  Sensitivities vary so wildly and there is no such thing as a list of foods that will work for everyone with a corn allergy. For that reason, I’ve erred on the side of being overly cautious to avoid causing someone a reaction. But PLEASE try any product with caution, no matter who is recommending it. The first trial should be only a very small amount and always with rescue meds and other safety precautions prepared, including someone around to help in case of reaction.

This is a product list with some hints at how I locate safe produce. For the specific list of what kinds of produce I can eat, see my “What I Can Eat” post.

Makeup

  • Bellaphoria– all of these products are corn safe, but their foundation colors do not match my skin tone- they seem to work best for those with cool undertones and lighter skin.
  • Alima Pure Cosmetics Loose Powder Mineral Makeup – Check ingredients. I only use their powdered (not pressed, loose powder) products, and not even all of those are free of corn derivatives. But the Satin Matte loose powder foundation and the loose powder highlighter, bronzer, concealer, and contour have worked well for me and not caused any acne issues.
  • Coloresciece Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Powder – This now contains mannitol. I have another powder sunscreen identified to try, but have not tried it yet. It’s La Bella Donna Womens’ SPF 50 and is a powder containing only titanium dioxide, bismuth oxychloride, zinc oxide, and iron oxides.
  • 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara– The mascara is the only product I know is corn safe. It is *not* gluten free but I don’t seem to react to gluten near my eyes, only ingested.
  • Concrete Minerals – eye pigments only. The mineral shimmers and the matte have slightly different ingredients lists, but the company has confirmed that the magnesium stearate in the matte colors is from palm. I am also able to use the eye primers, which have petroleum products and candelila wax but no corn-derived ingredients that I can see. The lip colors contain tocopherols which they cannot guarantee are not from corn.

Environmental Trigger Protection Products (Gloves and Masks)

  • Powder-Free Nitrile Gloves – Many brands may work but those are the exact ones I use. I wash my hands with safe soap after the gloves are on to get any  possible manufacturer residue off. I prepare food with these gloves on and have never reacted to the food because of it. Update 2014: The Costco brand powder free nitrile gloves work fine too, and are WAY cheaper.
  • I Can Breathe brand carbon filter mask. Update 1/27: I am now reacting to the new removable coconut-based filters for these masks. I now prefer the VogMask both for appearance and function.
  • VogMask n99 CV and Vogmask N99 C2V. I wear size Medium.  More info on sizing here. You can gently handwash these masks, but I personally don’t think sending them through the washing machine is a good idea.  Some people need to let these masks air out for a week or two before using. The filter portion of it is fine for me out of the box, however the cloth strip around the edge that holds the whole thing together makes my face itch, and sometimes the material of the outside of the mask “smells funny” to me. To deal with the itchy cloth, I get a faucet running and hold the edges under the stream and scrub at it with my fingers, then hang it on a doorknob to dry. Once it’s dry,  I stick the whole thing in my back jeans pocket and walk around like that for a day, the warmth of my butt removes any chemical smell from the mask. This works with everything except those velvety ones that just smell weird to this day. Yes, I did just recommend using your butt to *remove* scent from an item. Any other way you have to get it warm but not too hot for several hours should work fine, I just find my back pocket convenient. Here’s a longer explanation of why I use this particular one and what it does and doesn’t help me with.
  • 3M Half Facepiece Respirator with  the  3M 60926 Multi Gas Filter Cartridges. I got this for heavier chemical & allergen exposures than the vogmask n99 can help with, however I have not used it for this purpose to see how much more effective it is. I got this product from someone who is MUCH more chemically reactive than me and believe that it will help far more than the vogmask, I just so far choose to avoid anything that the vogmask can’t handle.  I needed to air out the respirator portion of this for weeks before being able to put it on my face, it smelled strongly of plastic to me. Now that it’s been wiped down and aired out, I can wear it and the filters without having reactions to the mask or cartridges.
  • For extremely sensitive latex allergies, the 3M 60923 Organic Vapor/Acid Gas cartridges have been vetted to be latex free by the community. They filter fewer things than the ones linked above, so i would use the 60926’s unless you’re in the extreme latex sensitivity camp.
  • I now use the 3m “rugged comfort” half facepiece respirator instead of the one listed above. It’s safe for me but has not been vetted as 110% latex free by the highly latex sensitive community. 3m’s website says the facepiece does not contain latex, but I am not sure about the elastic band. Do research if you are highly sensitive to latex.

Personal Care Products

I make most of my my own body products. Recently, when I say that I mean that I buy actual raw cosmetics ingredients from cosmetics suppliers. To get an idea of what this looks like, check out the blog and youtube channel from Humblebee and Me. That’s about what I’m doing, but in a more disorganized manner and with a lot more questions to the suppliers about the exact source of products.

Below are some raw ingredients that I still use. I am additionally using cosmetics supplies from MakingCosmetics, LotionCrafter, Formulators Sample Shop, and many other places. Sorry I’m not ready to blog about this in detail yet as I’m still determining what works and is safe. But my hair looks waaaaaay better than before lol.

  • Karlin’s Finest Baking Soda (for ingestion and personal care, bought at my local co-op)
  • Desert Essence Tea Tree Tooth Tape – waxed with bees wax. I don’t react.
  • beeswax pastilles from Mountain Rose Herbs
  • NOW brand jojoba oil
  • NOW brand castor oil
  • NOW shea butter
  • Mountain Rose Herbs shea butter
  • Mountain Rose Herbs cocoa butter (topical only though it is food grade)
  • Mountain Rose Herbs tamanu oil
  • Young Living and Rocky Mountain Oils essential oils (check to make sure they are steam distilled, not solvent extracted.) Other oils may be safe, those are just the ones I use. NOTE: These oils can be triggers for anyone with scent sensitivity including those with mast cell disorders. Try with caution and please be aware that others around you may react to the scents if you wear them!
  • zinc oxide powder- non-nano only. I ordered some random stuff that I didn’t do any research on other than to know it did not contain nano particles, so I’m not saying which brand because I don’t trust it necessarily.
  • titaniuim dioxide powder – I ordered some random stuff from Amazon and it seems fine, but not linking it because I did no research.
  • Amazing Herbs Black Cumin Seed Cold-Pressed Oil (topical only)
  • Bentonite Clay – Detox Clay Powder from Living Clay Company

Cleaning Products

And of course, I also make a lot of my own cleaning products.

  • 20 Mule Team brand Borax (for cleaning only)
  • Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder (contains coconut)
  • Charlie’s Household Cleaner (contains coconut)
  • Arm & Hammer brand washing soda (this is different from baking soda, and you *can* make your own)
  • any brand of isopropyl alcohol: Note, as of 2021 some isopropyl is now made from corn alcohol. Most drugstore brands of isopropyl are all made at one factory that is still using petroleum. I would trial new brands carefully and check with other corn allergy patients via support groups to see what’s being tolerated.
  • Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (only for cleaning- I react to it ingested.)
  • Molly Suds Laundry Detergent – Powder only. The liquid products contain corn derivatives.
  • Mama Suds Castile soap– Note, some people who are fragrance sensitive find that the unscented batches have mild cross contamination with the scented batches. I have not noticed this but have heard from others who have.

Household supplies

  • Paper Towels: unpaper towels, and also the Kirkland brand of paper towels from Costco
  • Kleenex: handkerchiefs
  • Napkins: cloth napkins
  • Cotton balls: reusable cotton rounds
  • Toilet paper: Scott Tissue 100, regular (not extra soft)
  • Trash bags: Glad tall kitchen drawstring bags. (I don’t react to those but doubt they are safe for everyone). Also the Kirkland *heavy duty* kitchen trash bags. The “regular” ones changed to have a noticeable fragrance when they started producing a fragranced variety- presumably cross contamination in the facilities.
  • Q-tips: store brands have all been fine for me so far
  • Cookware: Glass, stainless, and enameled cast iron. I want things that will come completely clean if unsafe food comes into contact with them.
  • Bakeware: I don’t do much baking these days due to having no safe flours, but I have been using pyrex and anchor hocking glass baking dishes and silpat and fox run brand silicone baking mats.
  • Aluminum Foil: I am using the Reynolds brand heavy duty and regular foil successfully and daily. I have gotten a couple from Costco that were contaminated with some kind of fragrance but they eventually off-gassed and I was able to use them safely.
  • Utensils: Silicone.
  • Blender: BlendTec -There are a number of high powered blenders out there. This is the one I got,but if I had to do it over again I might go for the much cheaper Ninja. Suffice it to say that I really do think that with this allergy you are going to WANT a blender that is capable of more than your average Oster. Here is a brief overview of the options out there.
  • Pressure Cooker/All-in-one cooker: Instantpot. I have three sizes and I use them ALL regularly. Please note that the air fryer lid comes with a teflon-coated liner and that is not safe.  Just the regular stainless liners and pressure lids.  (The Ninja Foodi air friers seem to all be ceramic coated- I haven’t tried one but it sounds like it’d be safe.)
  • Pots and pans: So far any brand of stainless pot or pan has been safe for me, although I have not tried every brand. Stainless not intended for high heat has been hit or miss due to what I think must be coatings- some of them I am able to eventually use if I scour them and rinse them enough times, others remain unsafe forever.  I am also so far able to tolerate every brand of enameled cast iron and ceramic cookware.

A note on silicone: There are some questions about the safety of silicone bakeware. The conclusion so far is that it seems relatively safe but there just haven’t been many studies done.  With respect to a corn allergy, one thing you’d want to worry about would be whether the cheaper silicone items could have corny fillers and dyes. Additionally it is important to note that silpats (which I use and happily)  are actually fiberglass coated in silicone, so you might want to avoid using a pizza cutter or sharp knife on your silpat.

Food Storage

I try to go with glass over plastic and when I store in glass I try not to let the food touch the lids.

  • Anchor Hocking TrueSeal Glass Storage
  • Pyrex Bake & Storage Glassware
  • Mason Jars- for fridge, shelf, and even freezer. I also eat soup out of mason jars.. I’ve found that many beer coozies will stretch to fit over a mason jar, so I freeze my soup in the jars, then microwave them still in the jars and slip a coozy over to insulate while I eat it.
  • Mason jar lids:  the bpa-free Ball brand canning lids contain a corn-contaminated resin and are NOT safe. I personally have been able to store non-canned foods using these lids so long as I don’t boil the jar and melt the resin, but this is a dangerous game. Some options for storage lids are:
    • Eco Jarz stainless storage lids (I haven’t tried this brand, so please do your own research)
    • Ball plastic storage caps (NOT water tight!)
    • Turning the regular canning lids upside down so that the resin doesn’t touch the food. (This only helps if you don’t react to touching the resin, which some do.)
  • FoodSaver brand vacuum bags – other brands may safe but have not been vetted by anyone. Anything made from plastic can be dusted with corn starch or made with corn-derived plastic.
  • Ziplock Brand Bags – UPDATE: Recently Ziploc released a new “easy open tab” on all of their bags, and when they did this, the plastic of the bag itself changed texture. A couple of the *most* sensitive people have reported reactions while many are still using them safely.
  • Ziplock brand “slider” bags.  Storage and freezer, all sizes. These are working for me still but reactions have been reported.
  • Hefty brand “slider” bags. All sizes. Note that these have been identified by the latex allergy community as being cross contaminated with latex.
  • Cling film: Berry Plastics “Omnifilm” 12″ roll, 5000 ft. Item # J820340.  Box E0452, UPC 709411 27245 6 – I do not buy this for home although I’m going to try soon, but the shop I buy cheese from uses it and it’s the first I’ve found that I’ve not reacted to.
  • Aluminum foil: I have only ever tried good old Reynolds brand, and it works for me and many others. There are totally possibilities for aluminum foil to be corny, so try cautiously.

Packaged Foods

I can’t believe I’m even writing this section. I never thought it was possible. I’ve been doing some protocols for settling my mast cells down that I’ll write about someday, but not today.  I don’t know for a fact that any of the below would not have worked for me before, but i was not brave enough to try them before.

  • Hu chocolate gems and bars – simple/unflavored only.
  • Once Again crunchy almond butter and unsweetened sunflower butter. The creamy almond butter was a very slight buildup reaction, and the cashew butter was not safe at all.
  • Bali Raw Cashews from Natural Zing – only in the clear 2.5lb  plastic bags. I think the bags for the smaller sizes are paper lined with something corny since I reacted to them.
  • Whole Cacao Beans from Natural Zing – the nibs and powder were moderate reactions for me. I have not tolerated any nibs or powder from anyone, not even Wilderness Family.
  • Peruvian Dried Olives from Natural Zing – I think the herbed ones are okay too but i haven’t eaten them much.
  • Purple Botija Raw Olives from Natural Zing – these are lactofermented in a salt brine solution. I still react to many kinds of water and most salts, but somehow those things together are fine in this product.
  • Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin – I buy the plastic tubs, I’ve never tried the packets.
  • Aroy-D Canned Coconut Milk – cans only, not the aseptic cartons. All sizes seem to be safe for me.

Cooking Fats

Flours/Grains

  • Otto’s Cassava Flour – Confirm with the company which size of flour is being hand-packed as the factory-packed ones share a facility with corn products. Usually the 15lb is the right one, though.
  • Lundberg sushi rice – 2lb bags- This took a LOT of washing to finally be safe for me. In general short grain rice takes more washing than other kinds to remove the excess starch and create the best results in cooking. But for my allergy tolerance, I also needed to really wash it for like more than twice as long as I would longer-grain rices.
    There are probably a lot of ways to wash rice but all the  ways I see from Asian people including the Thai side of my family involves putting the rice in a bowl and filling with water and then swishing around while scrubbing at the grains a bit, then draining the water and repeating until the water is clear or nearly clear. I do this with a nesting mesh colander that I lift out, but you can also just kind of tip the bowl and use your hand to strain.  The first time I tried the rice, I was rinsing and scrubbing for so long I gave up once the water poured into the bowl was clear without agitation. It turns out what I needed was for the water to be nearly clear even after I scrubbed and agitated. I’m told by a Japanese friend that you want to stop short of the water being completely clear if you would like the final product to be a bit sticky such as for making onigiri or sushi. However obviously if you need to wash it more for tolerance, there’s no choice about that.

Spices/Herbs/Condiments

For the most part I try to use herbs that are fresh from specific vendors at the farmers market or my own garden. I dry and store them for the winter. I can’t reliably tolerate dried spices from any particular vendor so far.

  • Himalayan pink salt, bought in large blocks intended for salt-plate cooking. I rinse them under water for 3-5 minutes then let them dry, then use a very HUGE mortar and pestle intended for making guacamole to whack off chunks and break them up into grinder-sized pieces. I have eventually reacted to every pre-ground salt, so this is how I have to do it.
  • Red Boat Fish Sauce – just the unflavored fish sauce, not any condiments but so far any variety iof unflavored, including the unfiltered has been safe.
  • Coconut Secret Coconut Vinegar – NOTE, Nutiva just bought this company and I have NEVER tolerated a product from Nutiva so I may remove this product soon. 😦
  • Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos – Same story as above. Works for now, have no idea if the next batch will work. I also tolerated the coconut crystals and coconut flour, and those have been completely discontinued.

Vegetables/Fruits

At this time I am am *mostly* eating fruits and vegetables from specific local vendors at the farmers market. These are vendors that I have talked with and determined that they use practices that work for me allergywise. (For ideas on what questions to ask, reference Where’s the Corn in Foods? and this awesome list of questions.) I do have just a couple of grocery store items I can eat, and then there are a couple of items I mail order away for because it is easier than finding them safe locally. There are also just a few items that I have discovered I can eat only if I grow them myself, mostly root vegetables, because the  organic fertilizers that folks are using are problematic for me. Not sure if that is for corn reasons or what.

General advice about asking questions of farms: Check about the spray status of *each* crop, as different plants will have different possible issues. For example,  in my area squash,pole beans, and eggplants have powdery mildew issues and may be sprayed with a certified organic spray for that. Brassicas (like broccoli) may have pest issues during the hot months that will decimate a crop in a day, but do not have these issues in winter, so cabbage from the same farm may be unsafe in summer but safe in winter, or may be intermittently unsafe in winter since they are selling a mix of new plantings and heads that were planted in summer. On the other hand, some crops like peppers that are resistant to these issues may not be.  To complicate things more, the microclimate may vary between farms even if they are relatively close together, so they may face different issues and use different methods. Ask about sprays a few different ways- Often people are accustomed to answering questions from the perspective of toxicity or general safety, and will reply that they don’t “do anything” to a crop, when they mean they don’t do anything *toxic* to it.  Something that works for me is to just ask them about whether a specific plant is pretty hardy or if it’s susceptible to blight or pests, and how they deal with that.

Mail Order Fruits & Veggies

  • Chaffin Family Orchards – Citrus fruit and raw/uncured olives to cure yourself. The pre-pressed olive oil is NOT safe.
  • Rancho Charanda Citrus Ranch –  So far everything I’ve tried from them (citrus, dragon fruit, cactus fruit) has been safe for me.

From Local Farms

Note that these foods are subject to seasonal availability, so it is very important that I buy extra and preserve while they are available. All items must be spray free. Fertilizer seems to only matter for items that grow below the ground our touch the ground. Items that are co-grown with corn are a problem for me, and during corn harvest season anything that is even transported on a truck with corn I react to. As much as possible, I avoid farms that also grow corn.

  • Leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, pole beans, peas: Spray free. Fertilizer does not seem to be not a very big problem with items that grow above the ground.
  • Pomme Fruits (apples, pears, quince)- Mineral/kaolin clay is okay for me if I peel them, but not others. My first-safest vendor uses poultry to control bugs on his apples. My second safest vendor is not organic but sprays once before the fruit buds and not again later. The certified organic folks often spray their organic pest repellents several times throughout the season, coating the fruit in the corn-based solvent/coating agents used to make the repellent stick. If the fruit itself has been sprayed with anything, organic or not, there is usually an issue.
  • Stone Fruits (peaches, apricots, plums, cherries) – Similar to above, but these fruits are very prone to mold in our area, especially cherries. >Late in the season, bags may be used to line the fruit boxes that are either dusted with corn starch or have an antimicrobial coating.
  • Berries – Spray free. U-pick if possible because the packaging can be corny. More info here. 
  • Mushrooms, grown on sawdust. More on how mushrooms can be corny.

Grown Myself (Curently this should probably be read as, “stuff I *could* eat if I didn’t suck at gardening.)

  • All root vegetables.

I seem to have an unusual amount of troubles with foods that grow below the ground. I believe this is because the certified organic fertilizers many farmers use contain corn based preservatives like citric acid, and those that simply use animal manure still feed their animals some corn. I am still working out what the parameters are for safety for myself. So far using NO fertilizer results in root vegetables I can eat, but very low crop yields. Like, my last attempt I got about as many potatoes as I planted.  (boo) But they were safe. (yay)

From the Co-op or Natural/Organic Grocery Store (all items organic, unwaxed, and not packaged in any kind of plastic bags or wrap, however I may be getting lucky with if and what kinds of sprays or fungicides are being used. Your mileage may vary depending on your sensitivities and the suppliers for your particular store)

  • grapefruit (organic, unwaxed, ungassed, from California)
  • tangerines and mandarins (organic, unwaxed, ungassed, from California) – somehow not navel oranges, but I don’t know if this is a corn problem or not
  • Equal Exchange brand bananas. Organics Unlimited brand bananas.
  • Somehow, don’t ask me how, but every organic mango I have ever tried from my local food co-ops has been safe for me?
  • Covilli brand organic Oaxacan Gold pineapple, Pink brand organic pineapple (from Jade Produce), La Patrona brand organic pineapple (from Pao Organics)

Meat/Protein sources

  • Chicken (custom processed, not corn fed)
  • Beef (custom processed, not corn fed)
  • Lamb  (custom processed, not corn fed)
  • Shellfish (local, pulled direct from the water and only kept on ice)
  • In-Shell Walnuts from a private distributor.   Sorry, I am working on a new publicly available mail-order source but currently do not have one. I have reacted to in-shell walnuts from many orchards that claim don’t spray, and have reacted to all shelled nuts, ever.  I keep the walnuts in the freezer until I eat them so they don’t mold. Yes, it takes up a lot of freezer space. Yes, cracking them is labor intensive. I do it anyway.

Sweeteners

  • A few local honeys. (questions to ask)
  • Honey from Sunny Honey Co – ONLY the 12 oz sizes and larger as the smaller jars are sanitized with unsafe cleaners. I reacted to the raspberry blossom and sweet clover. I have tried and done well with: moses lake wildflower, fireweed, buckwheat blossom, maple blossom, blackberry blossom, coriander blossom. I reacted to pumpkin blossom but believe it is corn safe as others have tolerated. I am allergic to pumpkins.
  • Maple syrup from Patterson Farms. The defoamer is heavy cream.
  • Maple Syrup from Sugar Maple Farms. They use no defoamer at all.  I have only tried the plastic jugs not the glass jars, and do okay with them.

Beverages

  • Tea- I am tolerating the teas from Mountain Rose Herbs in the 4oz cellulose packaging. The larger packages are in craft paper bags lined with corn PLA and I react to those. I personally can only do the black and oolong teas (except the Kumaon variety, but don’t know why) but I think this is a separate sensitivity and has to do with how black vs green tea is processed. I have not been able to do any herbal teas from MRH and I don’t know if that’s corn or another sensitivity.
  • Coffee – I mainly buy from Dancing Goats Coffee. They’ve been very responsive to production and packaging concerns and have clear information on how each  of their single origin coffees is processed. I seem to do slightly better with coffees that are not wet-processed or washed, but honestly all the roasts I’ve gotten from them have been safe, including the blends. I do find that I do better if I rinse the coffee beans in water and then dehydrate them- when I do not I eventually start having interstitial cystitis symptoms which I’ve recently realized cease when I take antihistamines. So it’s a build-up reaction.  Their foil bags are lined with poly plastic. Their “biotre” paper bags are actually made from wood pulp, but I still try to stick with the foil bags because packaging changes are scary.
  • Z Street Coffee has also been safe for me. Their black poly-lined bags have been safe for me for packaging. I haven’t spoken to them in some time, but the owner has a relative with corn allergy and is aware of our concerns to some degree and happy to answer questions.

Dairy Products

Deli Counter Cheeses

NOTE: Packaging is a HUGE problem with cheese, especially cut and wrapped cheeses. Many/most plastic wraps are either dusted with corn starch or in some other way are corny and cause a massive reaction. Additionally the surface cleaners and disinfectants that many shops will use will contaminate cheese. I happen to have completely lucked out and found a local shop (Metropolitan Market in West Seattle) that uses products that are okay for me. The same chain but a different shop (Bellevue) is NOT safe for me. So finding the cheese itself is only half the problem. Less than half. For items like the Herve Mons Emmental, the wheel is something like 150-200lbs, so ordering the whole wheel is probably not reasonable unless you have a HUGE group buy.

Generally speaking when I’m choosing a cheese to try I try to look for something that is very traditionally made. Name-controlled cheese like the French AOP or Italian DOP/PDO designations seem to have a good rate of being safe. I also look for cheeses that do not contain extra ingredients like “enzymes”, various spices/flavors, or egg egg lysozyme,  although once in a while these have been okay for me. I do  avoid the specific ingredient anatto as that is derived from corn more often than not. I have not yet tolerated a microbial or vegetarian rennet as these are typically fermented on corn dextrose, so I tend to only bother to try cheeses that use traditional animal rennet.

Do note that many of these traditional cheese are very pungent and “moldy” and are not to everyone’s taste. Fortunately I was a stinky cheese fan “before” corn allergy. They are also incredibly expensive.

  • Kirkland Isigny St Mere brand grass-fed Brie. This cheese is grass fed in summer but the cows are supplemented with grain in winter, and the grain surely contains corn. I still do great with it. NOTE: I have pulled this due to an intolerance reaction- I do not think the cheese is corny but I think it may be soy or gluten contaminated.
  • Herve Mons St Nuage cheese – It’s very ripe and VERY rich. It does not have the “stinky” bite like the camembert below but it’s still a bit more ripened than the Isigny brie.
  • Monte Enebro goat cheese from Spain. – This, like the other cheeses other than the Isigny, is very expensive.
  • Herve Mons Camembert– This one smells a bit like feet, so if you are not a stinky cheese fan, stay away. 🙂
  • Herve Mons Emmental –  This is a hard cheese, similar to Gruyere or a very aged swiss in flavor. Note: You MUST find someone who can cut and wrap this for you safely as the whole wheel is over 100 lbs!!!
  • Vallee d’Aspe Ossau-Iraty raw sheeps milk cheese. This is a semi-hard aged cheese, think gouda more than extra sharp cheddar, with a very rich creamy, somewhat nutty flavor. I do not buy it from the seller I just linked, I get it locally.
  • Grana Padano cheese, any age, from Ambrosi or Agriform. This is one that contains egg lysozyme so avoid if you have an egg allergy.
  • Delice de Bourgnone triple-cream soft cheese – If you don’t have a safe option for cut-and-wrap,  the whole wheel of this is a lot (4.4lb) but more reasonable to buy than, say, a wheel fo Herve Mons emmental.
  • Époisses cheese.  This is sold in a whole wheel in a manageable 8oz size, but it’s also banned from French public transit because it smells so bad. If you like a stinky cheese, this is the one for you.
  • Fromi Colommiers Cheese –  I don’t remember the actual size of this, but the whole wheel is probably 2lbs or less. It’s not as smelly as Epoisses but it’s very ripe.
  • Delice De Mon Sire triple creme cheese. This one is a pretty mild brie, to me anyway. Not super moldy or stinky. I think a whole wheel of this is 2.2lbs.
  • The plastic wrap they use that is safe for me is: Berry Plastics “Omnifilm” 12″ roll, 5000 ft. Item # J820340.  Box E0452, UPC 709411 27245 6

Packaged Cheese and Dairy

  • Bellwether Farms Whole Milk Basket Ricotta – The sheep ricotta has corn ingredients, the linked item does not.
  • Bellwether Farms Creme Fraiche – note that the fromage blanc from this same company is not safe, and I suspect that the crescenza would not be either. I think it is most likely the starter cultures used as those frequently seem to contain corn ingredients when I look at the starter cultures available for individuals/hobby cheesemakers to buy.
  • Ferndale Farmstead cheese– So far, everything I have tried from them is safe for me: Fresh Mozzarella, scamorza (including smoked), asiago, and caciotta. I do not know if you can buy this brand outside of the Pacific Northwest

Milk and cultures for home cheesemaking

I’ll list the actual milks I’m buying below, but if you don’t live near me that won’t likely be helpful. Here’s what i learned about finding milks I tolerate:

  • Plastic containers were an issue for me until I started doing some MCAS protocols to reduce my non-corn sensitivity. I am very certain this was not a corn issue. But if you also cannot tolerate plastics, what I had to do for some time was get people to put their milk in my steam-sanitized mason jars.
  • Sanitizers on the containers, lines, and  any pails and tanks are a BIG big problem. For some people the only possibly safe sanitization is steam/hot water. It’s been okay for me for them to use pure bleach (just sodium hypochlorite and no other weird additives) and then let it completely dry, then rinse and completely dry again.  What is NOT ever, ever okay is any kind of no-rinse sanitizer. They *all* contain corn. Star-san tablets contain actual corn starch. The stuff made wit peroxyacetic acid sounds like it’s oxygen based, but the acetic acid part is corn based. And then it’s not rinsed off so that causes even more of an issue.
  • And then of course feed is an issue, to varying degrees. For me it seems okay as long as the animals don’t get fed corn as their main diet, and a small treat during milking time or some vitamin supplements with corn derived vitamin c, do not cause an issue. That may be a problem for others.

Milks Tolerated

Cheese, Sour Cream, and Yogurt Making Supplies

I buy all of these from New England Cheesemaking as I have found their website to disclose all necessary ingredients information without me needing to call them about things. But you can certainly buy many of these from elsewhere. I made cheese a lot for like, 6 months and then kind of stopped because, well, it’s a lot of trouble.

Grilling Supplies

More info on grilling safety. 

Supplements

I dump almost all of these into liquid and drink rather than swallowing the capsules. This is mostly because I have poor esophageal motility, but it also means I don’t always have a good idea how safe the capsule is, just the filler.

  • Jarrow Pantothenic acid.   Cellulose is derived from pine; mg. stearate is palm; gelatin is beef-derived.
  • Jarrow Mag-Mind.  Cellulose is derived from pine; mg. stearate is palm; gelatin is beef-derived.
  • Jarrow B-Right.  Cellulose is derived from pine; mg. stearate is palm. Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose is from pine. Good news for those with MTHFR: Jarrow has updated their formula to ONLY contain quatrefolic rather than a mixture of quatrefolic and folic acid.
  • Integrative Therapeutics N-Acetyl Cysteine – Note that many products from this brand have obvious corn derivatives. This is the only one I use currently.
  • Jarrow Acetyl L Carnitine
  • Dr Ron’s Quercetin and Bromelain – This is the ONLY quercetin supplement I can find that is not derived from a plant in the legume family. The quercetin is from red onion, the bromelain is from pineapple, and the bioperine is from black pepper. It is extracted with petroleum ether.
  • Dr Ron’s Vitamin D3
  • As of May 2018, I have removed all Pure Encapsulations supplements from this list. Nestle bought this company and then a few months later the label changed and I began reacting pretty severely to all of their supplements. I believe they must have switched filler suppliers, although I can’t confirm this.  I do not know how many other people are reacting to this, but my reaction was strong enough I just can’t recommend it to anyone.

Medications

  • Compounded diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Compounded hydroxyzine Hcl (atarax)
  • Compounded cromolyn sodium (gastrocrom)
  • Compounded levocetirizine (Xyzal)
  • Compounded ketotifen fumarate.  This med is one that takes 11-16 weeks to show effectiveness and has some difficult effects during ramp up (fatigue/sedation). It can only be compounded in the united states as there is no major brand name manufacturer distributing it here.   Reference 1 – Reference 2 –  Reference 3
  • Compounded ranitidine (Zantac) – as needed

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57 thoughts on “Safe-for-Me Products: The List of What I Use

  1. So – cough – sorry for leaving five million posts all at once. I just think I’m going to be reading you a lot over the next few days.

    Just wanted to say thank you for the list – I think I might be able to have some of them, which is tremendously exciting for me to find something new I might be able to use. I’ve been looking for a quercetin powder I could use!

    And re: utensils. I have had some success finding woodworkers who work with tree wood rather than processed or treated wood, and having some wooden spoons made where they didn’t oil them afterward, so I could use my own oils to preserve them. 🙂 Found the woodworkers at a craft faire.

    Oh, and I didn’t know if you’ve come across this yet (I’ve seen it, but still have to make some):
    http://www.mommypotamus.com/diy-reusable-food-wrap/

    It’s basically a reusable beeswax-and-cloth version of plastic wrap. Looks interesting.

  2. Thank you so much, to put it as mildly as possible. My oldest has instant death allergies, and my youngest has slow death, guinea pig allergies. (we all get migraines) For your hours of life and research made gloriously useful to the rest of us, I salute you!

  3. Thank you so much for this post. I have been looking so many places for a corn free zinc supplement, thanks for the tip on the Pure Encapsulations Zinc 15. Not anaphylactic, thank goodness, just intolerant to corn. Can’t believe how many vitamins etc they put corn/maize into. Thanks again 🙂

  4. This is awesome of you to list this important information. I have leaky gut and due to that I have developed so many sensitivities to so many things. Corn goes way back in my history as an offender…Corn is in Everything it seems. Does anyone know of a iron supplement that doesn’t have corn or Carmel color which is corn I just learned last night. Thank you!

  5. Just checked out the Tattler canning lids website and there was a notice that they had changed the lids. Does this change their safe status? Curious what you know. Thx!

  6. I do buy royal oak charcoal but was wondering how say Kroger brand natural lump would not be safe

    1. Hi Brittney,

      That brand may be fine. When I post a brand that I have found to be safe I am not saying that it is the only brand that is safe or that it is safe for everyone.

      As for how a lump charcoal could be unsafe, the issues would be:

      1) Quality control
      2) Packaging

      Typically lump charcoal “should” be just fired wood, but depending on the source of the wood lots of other stuff could end up in there. Check out this FAQ about lump charcoal:

      http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumpfaq.htm#funnystuff
      ” Since making lump charcoal is often done under somewhat crude conditions, it is normal to find a few rocks or pebbles in lump charcoal. However, a few other oddball items have been found like a mouse, human hair, a tootsie roll wrapper, varnished wood, and black shiny objects commonly referred to as moon rocks. Personally, in over two years and hundreds of pounds of lump charcoal, I’ve found 3 rocks and a tootsie roll wrapper. It shouldn’t be a great concern.”

      Even if one isn’t concerned about allergens, that’s just kind of gross.

      Then after that, it could be possible that the facilities are shared with something allergenic or whether the bags might be dusted with corn starch or made out of plant fiber or lined with corn plastic (PLA).

      One could call and ask about all of these things, but I just guinea pigged. With store brand lump charcoal it may be that they are buying from many suppliers and may not be able to answer that question, or it may change suddenly. Or it may be fine. Just depends on your sensitivity and reactivity whether you’d like to take the risk.

  7. I can not thank you enough for an updated post! I’ve been going more and more corn free over the past year as my reactions have caused me to. I’m looking into TP and other girl products and there are so many posts from years ago now! So thanks for keeping an updated list 🙂

    1. Hi Meghan. To keep up to date on safe products I would definitely join the Facebook group. You can find it linked in the right bar on browser and on mobile it will be at the bottom of the post.

  8. I want to thank you, as stated above – for all your time, effort, willingness to be a guinea pig for the rest of us! it is comendable 🙂 and we all appreciate it!
    i am having an issue with salt – so i tried ordering a salt plate and think i am reacting to it as well….can you share the company you purchased from, so i can give it one more try and see if it is a cross contamination or just salt itself ?
    thank you so much & have a great day 🙂

  9. Dear CAG

    The Pure Encapsulations D3 supplements have VIT C in them derived from corn dextrose? Is this true and if so is there another non corn derived supplement brand.

    Many thanks

    Sam

    1. Hi Sam,

      The pure encapsulations D3 that *I* use does not. The two products I linked in this post are what I have used safely, and both list only the following ingredients:

      each vegetarian capsule contains:
      vitamin D (as cholecalciferol)(D3)10,000 iu
      other ingredients: hypoallergenic plant fiber (cellulose), vegetarian capsule (cellulose, water)

      I definitely do NOT do well with any of the pure encaps supplements that contain vitamin c, it is definitely corny. Whenever possible I provide the link to the exact item I’m okay with.

      One very nice thing about Pure Encapsulations is that on each product information page on their site, they have a link to a PDF that explains the source for every single ingredient in the supplement. Unfortunately often that involves an ingredient derived from corn, but at least you know right off the bat without having to call and get the runaround.

  10. I can not say thank you enough for all of the amazing information that you provide for us. I can’t even begin to estimate the hours you have into this site or the number of lives you have literally saved and changed. THANK YOU!

  11. Hi! It looks like the link for Maxi-flav pure quercetin powder no longer works. Since I only have a couple of bottles of Twinlabs Quercetin left, I’m checking with my compounding pharmacy to see if getting it through them is an option. Are you still using this product? If so, do you have any more information on the product? Thanks!

    1. I’m so sorry, I didn’t even realize that was still up there. That company went out of business due to repeated warnings from the FDA. http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2014/ucm425163.htm

      Health claims aside, it was the purest source of quercetin out there. I’m using the Jarrow brand now. It works better for me than the twinlab because the c in the twinlab was always too much for my bowel tolerance and the quercetin would move through me before it could do any good.

  12. Hi! So grateful for your site. I wanted to add an update to this list: Dr Bronner’s baby unscented Castille soap. I’ve posted this in a number of boards but would be useful to update there too. This information is confirmed as of December 2015. My son reacts to trace amounts of corn and is doing well with this soap for all dishes, baths, etc. The response from dr bronner’s customer service is below:
    “Thank you for writing to us! As far as our citric acid goes, this is currently sourced from non-gmo sugar beets although in the past it has come from non-gmo corn and non-gmo tapioca root and the source can change depending on the supply and availability of raw materials.

    Lastly, our tocopherol is sourced from non-gmo sunflower oil. Please let me know if I can be of further help!

    Kindly,

    Crystal Bartleet
    Customer Service Representative
    1-844-WeRAll-1

    1. Thanks for following up on this! that is great!!!!!!!! I’m gonna give it another shot soon and if it’s safe, stock up. Because honestly, who knows when they will change again.

      I’ll probably contact them myself and find out the date on which they made the switch and ask for how to tell based on labels which ones will be the correct ones.

    2. Hi there. Unfortunately they are still using corn, or using it again.

      Hello, hello! I am so glad you reached out, but quite disappointed to share that, due to issues of availability and supply of sugar beets, we are no longer using them as a source for our citric acid and xanthan gum. We use non-GMO corn instead.

      I am so sorry for the inconvenience and that this prevents you from being able to use our products. I’ve shared your concern with our product development team and we will continue to look into alternatives.

      -Stacey

  13. you suggested adenosyl/hydroxy b12 pure encapsulations but it says that it is corn derived. Just wondering if you were able to take this. Thanks.
    Paulee

    1. From about two bullet points later, a different Pure Encapsulations B12 supplement: “The B12 is still grown on corn glucose, but the inactive ingredients are corn free. I am getting away with it corn-wise.”

      There don’t seem to be any B12’s that are NOT grown on corn, so I’ve had to settle for no *other* corn. It’s okay for me so far. I have reacted to other b12’s that looked like they did not contain other corn than the b12 growth medium.

  14. Do you have any experience with Alima Pure cosmetics? Their eyeshadows are made from mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides (different ones depending on what colour) and ferreric ferrocyanide. Should that be ok? I’ve been ok with them so far but I’m certainly not as sensitive as you and wouldn’t want to gift them to someone with more severe allergies than myself if you see anything that is obviously wrong about them (looking for gifts for family).

    I was also wondering: I keep having reactions to mepore band-aids. Their ingredients are: viscose non-woven, polyethylene/polypropylene and polyacrylete. I’ve been trying to search around to figure out if it coule be corn related. Do you know if any of these are corn-derived or if it’s just the “many corn allergic people react to adhesives”?

    Thank you for your website! It’s helped me immensely!

    1. Hey Esther. I don’t have any experience with that line, no, although I am always on the lookout for better makeup, so i may give it whirl and let you know. 🙂 Nothing about the eyeshadows worry me ingredients wise.

      Bandaids are almost a universal problem for corn allergy. I’m willing to say that the adhesives in them are corny in varying degrees. It’s likely the acrylate polymer in the mepore bandages were made using ethanol. I would probably not suspect an additional adhesive allergy in your case without more evidence.

      1. Thanks so much! I’ve used their stuff in the past with good success but I was still ingesting a lot of corn-derivatives at that point and so probably wouldn’t have noticed as much. They have eyeshadow and blush with the same formulation I mentioned + (satin matte powder) foundation in the same formulation with the addition of zinc oxide & eyeliner (powder-based) with the same formulation (no zinc) but with the addition of ultramarine. They have great customer service and with all your knowledge you probably know the best questions to ask well! 🙂

        Thank you for the information. Are there any remotely safe band-aids on the market? My emergency kit is woefully small since I don’t live in a country that has compounding pharmacies, don’t have any safe band-aids, no safe painkillers etc. I was wondering though; I’ve found an antiseptic ointment that only has: cetylpyridinium chloride, macrogol 400, macrogol 3350 and purified water. Should that be ok to test? Thank you again for being so helpful!

  15. Hi, I’m gluten sensitive myself and need to stay away from all grains. All grains have gluten. Corn contains a gluten called zein. I use supplements from the gluten free society’s site. They have a wide range of different supplements that all grain free and could suit your needs too.

  16. Red Apple Lipstick has corn free products like lipstick, gloss, eyeshadow, mascara and blush. Kiss Freely has top 8 free lipstick, balm, lotion, scrubs, bath bombs and even face paint for Halloween. They also exclude coconut, sesame and quite a few other allergens from their line! Alima Pure is the best I have found for foundation.

    1. Unfortunately other than the Alima Pure powder foundations, every item you just mentioned contains multiple ingredients that is either usually, or always, from corn: phenoxyenthanol, capyrlic acid, ceterayl alcohol, glycerin, glycerols, other alcohols.

      For more information on how these items may contain corn, you can cross-reference the ingredients list of any product with this derivative list:
      http://corn-freefoods.blogspot.com/2017/11/corn-allergen-list-corn-derivatives.html

  17. Warning. Unsolicited advice…
    Have you considered acupuncture for allergy elimination? I highly recommend NAET, I’ve been able to eat gluten and dairy and corn again! My husband doesn’t have seasonal
    Allergies anymore! My son doesn’t have massive tantrums anymore. My daughter doesn’t get weird skin irritations that turn into Mersa anymore!
    I was actually searching your list for items not containing titanium dioxide because I haven’t been treated for that yet.
    Very informative- Thank you!

  18. Bless you Corn Allergy Girl….my son is allergic or actually intolerant to Gluten, Corn, Soy, almonds, walnuts, shellfish…he plays baseball…I noticed that afterhe accidentally ingested corn he became very uncoordinated. Frighteningly so…he went from having a 900 batting average and passing by half of his travel team to NOT BEING ABLE TO HIT THE BALL and UNABLE TO CATCH. His coach did not understand and became very angry with ME…Kicked my son off of the team but only after he humiliated him…he was only 12 years old. I wish more people knew about how bad corn is….I want to know about toothpastes, I only just found your site so I havent navigated through all of it yet….

  19. Greetings, First, Thank you for this website, info helps so many including my family to overcome and live better. Im wondering about What do you recommend as substitute of cough Syrup or Cough Medicine. Mucinex is the only my Pedi recommends and mess up with my 4 year old tummy and mine. We are gluten and corn free as much as we are learning and taking precautions. But medicines are so complicated and Im learning about that on this website. Im using always natural honey and lemon, but sometimes we need stronger medicine to prevent bronquitis. Im reading articles here and learning so much and I don’t know if Im missing the info about medicines. I have the list of medicines but so far can’t find an option. (Im also doing my best with English :D) Thank you for your help and Kindness

  20. This is great! Thank you for sharing. My 4 year old has many sensitivities, including corn. I do have a question regarding cheese. We do Goat’s cheese due to dairy sensitivity but I know all contain salt as a preservative. I have not found a table salt that does not contain dextrose which contains corn. Are these cheese products without salt or does salt not bother you? Thanks again for your time!

    1. I definitely react badly to dextrose in table salt. I react mildly to most salt that doesn’t contain dextrose due to cross-contamination in packaging and processing.

      *Most* salt used as an ingredient in foods rather than packaged to be stored on a kitchen shelf isn’t iodized and therefore does not contain dextrose. In fact I haven’t actually found a food yet that uses iodized salt yet. That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible, and that doesn’t mean that salt cannot be somehow otherwise cross-contaminated. I have reacted to some cheeses and not others that contain salt, and I couldn’t tell you whether it was the salt or not. There would probably be no way to tell.

  21. I love this website. Great information.

    For those looking for corn free, vegan, non-GMO, gluten free …etc. supplements, I am quite positive that the company/website: https://shop.eidon.com/single-minerals/ sells lots of minerals and, possibly a B-complex, that are GREAT !!! Note: you might notice that the %DV is quite small. However, don’t let that put you off ’cause the bioavailability is AWESOME !! You actually don’t need much to notice the product working and getting into your cells. You can buy silica, iron, potassium, electrolytes, calcium, zinc, boron, lithium, copper, magnesium, sulfur …etc. No fillers. No junk …… all natural from the earth !! It doesn’t get much better than this.

    Another website that sells very clean products is: Global Healing Center — I actually think that they specialize in being Corn-Free — But, it’s ALWAYS best to telephone them and ask.

    Hope you enjoy these links !!

    Shawna

  22. Here are some more supplements that look to be corn free:

    #1 — Nettle Quercetin — Brand: Oregon’s Wild Harvest (they might have other corn-free products)
    #2 — Paradise Herbs & Essentials (they might have some corn free products) — I use Siberian Eleuthero Root and have had no side effects. I telephoned them and specifically asked about corn.
    #3 — The website: http://www.pacificbotanicals.com/ looks to sell/grow excellent quality herbs & spices …etc.
    #4 — Maybe wild caught halibut would be good too (from Alaska — bought directly from fish catcher) —

    Myself, I’ve A LOT more food restrictions than just corn — I’ve been eating just plain white Asian rice (rinsed with filtered water about 5 times before cooking), with rice bran oil, for the past five months. Yuck. The salt I use is: Real Salt — you can also buy Real Salt in bulk (in a big paper bag). I like this salt because it’s mined from beneath the earth and likewise, there is no plastic in it (from contaminated oceans).

    —— Well, that’s all for now —–

    1. #1 — Nettle Quercetin — Brand: Oregon’s Wild Harvest – I react to everything from this company, but am not sure it’s a corn problem.

      #2 — Paradise Herbs & Essentials (they might have some corn free products) — I use this brand. Not all of their products are corn free. MOST of their extractives are extracted with water but some are not soluble in water and are extracted with ethanol. You have to email them to confirm for each supplement, and I’ve sometimes had problems with them getting back to me, which is a bummer. I plan to add the specific ones they’ll confirm are corn free soon.

      #3 — haven’t looked yet

      #4 — I don’t have a halibut source but I get salmon from this person: http://nerkasalmon.com/ . She freezes her salmon at sea, glazed seatwater only and then bags them in a poly bag that at least is not dusted in corn starch. I buy the salmon in these bags whole with heads and guts removed, but move the salmon to a safer bag to thaw them because I’m concerned that as they thaw, osmosis will transfer some allergens from the bag into the fish. I do have to filet them myself which is freakin terrible but what are you going to do. Safe fish. She doesn’t do mail order so you would need to either come to her cold storage facility in Washington State, or somehow get in on the shipment she does each year to the Wedge Co-Op in minneapolis, or maybe buy enough quantity from her that she might consider doing a shipment somewhere else. If you wanted to buy her fish from The Wedge as a retail option you would need to work with them on safe handling as they filet her fish and resell it in cuts and that cutting and fileting and packaging would contaminate it.

  23. I recently had a massive reaction to Dr. Carolyn Dean’s brand of mineral and magnesium supplements. Foolishly, I didn’t inquire about the citric acid. But I thought I was okay for a few weeks because corn only gives me a skin rash. I thought. After three weeks, I started having trouble breathing at night! This is the first time anything like this has happened with any product. Without your site, I wouldn’t have linked the citric acid in the mineral supplements with my breathing, so sending huge thanks!! And I hit your tip jar 💗

    Say, I wanted to share a link for rice, Kokuho, as they mill their own rice so it is not contaminated with other products,
    https://www.kodafarms.com/our-branded-products/

    I have had good luck using the rice to make amazake with Rhapsody brand amazake culture. Highly recommend for digestive help and extra B vitamins.

  24. Yep, unfortunately skin rashes are still in the “allergic reaction” pathway, and your reactions can escalate suddenly at any time. I went from mainly having systemic/delayed symptoms to anaphylaxis literally overnight, and it was a wild ride for me. Sorry things took you by surprise.

    Koda farms rice has a decent track record with the corn allergy community. Obviously no one product is safe for everyone. I seem to have MCAS issues with anything that is processed on equipment, and that includes all grains since they must be threshed and husked, so I haven’t bothered to try any rice. Amazake sounds amazing- unfortunately for me specifically, anything with even a small alcohol content is too dangerous for me to try as it could trip my metabolic disorder and result in hemolysis. HOWEVER I strongly encourage just about everyone to explore ferments for gut healing!

  25. I was horrified when I googled hemolysis. Sending good wishes your way!

    Tonight, I logged on to share that I have had good luck with miso, tamari, black rice sesame crackers, and some other products from goldminenaturalfoods, you can get their miso on amazon, but I’d rather have them ship it to me directly from CA, not the moldy amazon warehouse.

    I have had success with cru sauvage chocolate, btw. It is a wild cacao, dried professionally on site, no extraneous ingredients.

    Japanese kokuto sugar also works for me.

    I am not surprised coconut here doesn’t work for you, the large container imports are stored, bounced around, handled, etc. Mouse or cockroach droppings could also be causing problems. When I am in Thailand, the coconut is a godsend. Stateside, it’s so so.

    Corn allergy girl: are you still doing the Maryland concert travel? If so, let me know if you want to try camping in my converted car hauler or in the field. I think you have my email from the tip jar link earlier?

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