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One of the things that I tried desperately to eliminate from my diet when I realized that the sulfites in wine were bothering me was high fructose corn syrup. I learned that it contained sulfites in the processing of it and therefore it was something better avoided for me. Today results of a study were released which indicate that nearly 50% of tested samples of high fructose corn syrup contain mercury — which is yet another reason to avoid it. The press release in full can be found here.
According to the release, 55 brand name food and beverages containing high fructose corn syrup as the first or second ingredient were sent in for testing. “Nearly one in three products tested contained detectable mercury. Mercury was most prevalent in HFCS-containing dairy products, dressings and condiments. The brands that were tested included Hershey’s, Kraft, Smucker’s, Manwich, Nutrigain and Yoplait.
When I started looking to avoid high fructose corn syrup, I was amazed to find that it was in foods that I never would have suspected – like breads and believe it or not it was one of the leading ingredients. Do we really need it in breads?
How might you ask does one get mercury in the high fructose corn syrup? Evidently from what I’ve read it is a byproduct of the manufacturing process whereby the corn syrup is extracted from the kernel. Read here for more information and a complete list of the products tested and their levels of mercury.
Pretty scary stuff….our food is definitely going to kill us sooner or later. Another reason that I will ramp up my efforts to avoid it, not only for me but also now for my family.
Well it has been well over a month now that I have been girl-chemical free for the most part. No more hair styling products, just baby shampoo. No more triple blade, softening strip, fancy-shamancy razor, just a single blade super sensitive cheapie razor and Cetaphil soap. No more make-up. No face lotions or Nozema to clean my face, just Cetaphil soap and water. New deodorant that does not contain whatever makes an antiperspirant an antiperspirant. New toothpaste that does not contain sulfites and God only knows what else that I am sure that I do not need.
Overall, I have to say that I really don’t miss much of it. Okay, I must admit that I don’t take my hair out in public anymore until it is secured in a ponytail for fear of repeating the dreadful TurtleBack Zoo experience of 2nd grade (for those of you who know me well). No one has fallen over when I raise an arm above my head so the fragrance free Liquid Rock deodorant that I switched to must be working just fine. I do admit that sometimes when we go out to dinner it would be nice to put on makeup, eyeliner and lipstick (or even lipgloss, something with color and shine) but I have grown accustomed to not wearing it and so far no one has covered their eyes in fear of my makeup-less face. I do have to admit that I really miss dying my hair because counting gray hairs when you’re bored can really make you cry, but I don’t think that I am that brave to conquer hair dye again just yet (even following the allergy patch testing in the directions on the box).
So, I guess that my general amazement is that out of all the things that I have reduced, eliminated and changed, I have learned that most of them I really can do without. This has however caused me to want to be more girl-y in my wants since I can no longer rely on the girl-y things like makeup, perfume and hair styling. Amazing what marketing can make us think that we need and cannot live without. So far though no one has run from me in fear, screaming from my appearance, so I guess that is a good thing.
So, the frustration continues. My leg and now my arm are both flared up and have been for several weeks. They seem to be getting worse instead of better and I don’t think anyone understands how so very frustrating it is. I want to know what it is that is making my body react this way. We originally though some type of food allergy….had allergy testing done and that was not it. Then we thought it might be sulfites since wine and vinegar set me off particularly fiercely. Did my research and over the past six months have been doing an admirable job of attempting to exclude things with sulfites from my diet….no wine, no high vinegar, molasses, dried fruit, high fructose corn syrup (now, there’s one to give you a real challenge) and instead of getting better, it has actually gotten worse. It has been so red, raw and itchy these last few days that I really just want to cry. Last night we tried bleach compresses based upon an article that I read, which has offered some relief. Today’s trip to the doctor was particularly neutral. She agreed that it looks awful so much so that wearing shorts or capri pants almost inevitably leads to someone asking me “what’s up with your leg?” attractive, right? She agreed that it seems like more than eczema and sympathized with me that the meds I am taking right now are not working, but no real answers. I have blood work scheduled along with a trip to the dermatologist (which surprisingly is going to happen next month, rather than 3 months from now which is what happened the last time when I still lived in NJ). She strongly suggested a biopsy since “that really doesn’t look good” (no kidding- you should see how it feels).
So I am now on the hydrocortisone cream, the zyrtec, the antacid and Elidel. The saga continues…..