Dear “Feeling sick on Lecithin”…
I got your note today in response to my blog post on soy lecithin being added to tea (where it clearly doesn’t need to be and doesn’t belong in my opinion), and it is also showing up in more and more products, including some organic products now.
Not being a medical doctor, I can’t say why you are feeling sick whenever you eat products that contain soy lecithin, but if you check into the links I included in my previous blog post you’ll notice that there is a complicated fermenting process used to create a powdered form of soy called “soy lecithin” from the unusable parts of the soy plant. Of course, this process often uses CHEMICALS to create the soy lecithin.
It may be that you are allergic to soy, or you might be sensitive to the chemicals used in the fermenting process. Either way, this stuff is everywhere right now in our food supply, especially because soy is cheap and subsidized heavily by the U.S. government. In a quick search, I noted several websites that link peanut allergy to soy allergy, so I’d check into that too!
I’m not sure that it will always have to be legally disclosed on the food label when they use it “to clean the equipment” (since it technically isn’t part of the food), as manufacturers claim to use it as a non-stick, no caking or no separating agent when mixing products in large batches.
According to researchers from the United Soybean Board, soy lecithin, “is extracted from soybean oil and is generally used as a natural emulsifier or stabilizer in various food applications (http://www.soyconnection.com/soyfoods/pdf/Soy-Lecithin-Fact-Sheet.pdf, p. 1).
Image from: http://www.ambujagroup.com/soya%20lecithin.asp
Here are some articles about soy allergy:
If you’re looking for a more academic research article click here to learn more:
The Mayo clinic recommends that you also look for hidden sources of soy in products. Here is a list of ingredients that may actually contain soy:
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
The product label also may simply say, “contains soy”.
I hope that this helps you and helps others who are not realizing that the ingredients on products they’ve been using for years may have changed now that soy is flooding the food market and is so cheap to add to everything.