The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook

200 Gourmet and Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family

allergy cookbook

Monday, August 07, 2006


Dear general readers, Kate and/or Anonymous:

Below is an email from Spectrum, regarding the much debated Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening, that I use and highly recommend. Due to the accusation that I am "Lying" to people about this product, I have procured the following official statement. For anyone who still has questions (or wants to threaten legal action) please contact the manufacturer directly. Additionally, I tracked down further info on Crisco Canola Oil, and Wesson Oil, for which I have also provided contact numbers.

"Spectrum's Organic Shortening is produced and packaged in Columbia. Anyone that is saying that our shortening is packaged in the US alongside our other oils are making erroneous assumptions.

The label does indicate "Product of Colombia" and with good reason. Spectrum has to follow very strict and auditable product and raw material chain of custody guidelines and document them all, has to register as a company with various regulatory authorities, has to verify employment eligibility of personnel, has to comply with intermodal guidelines, consumer product safety guidelines, etc. As a handler (trader) of food, we fall under the jurisdiction of several key regulatory Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) titles which include: FDA (21 CFR), USDA (7 CFR), Bureau of Customs and Border Protection/Homeland Security (6 CFR), Aliens and Nationality (8 CFR), Commerce and Foreign Trade (15 CFR), Commercial Practices (16 CFR), Custom's Duties (19 CFR), and Transportation (49 CFR). Also the Kosher certification "KSA" is yet another independent certification that this product is manufactured for Spectrum in Colombia following strict dietary guidelines.

In addition to this, the process to make shortening is quite involved and requires very specialized temperature controlled equipment not only to process the palm fruit but to get it to the nice creamy non-grainy texture the consumer receives (I can give you a brief summary on this if you need it). Remember shortening is actually a fat (solid at room temperature) and not an oil - completely different equipment not only to produce the shortening but to package it. The equipment is specialized to specific packaging types to gain production efficiencies and minimize product cross contamination. One does not and cannot use the same production line to produce shortening in a plastic tub and oil in a glass bottle.

We comply with all the regulations as well as police ourselves, to ensure the integrity of the product and make it as safe as possible for all consumers - including those with allergies.

To the best of our knowledge there are no peanut or tree nut products manufactured at this plant.

Ellen Markham
Spectrum Organic Products
A Division of the Hain Celestial Group
v. 503-289-1082
f. 503-289-1081

I called consumer relations re: Wesson Oil, which Anonymous had obscurely referenced as "Mrs. Brady", saying it was manufactured and bottled in a peanut-free, tree-nut free facility. I'm sorry Anonymous, but this just isn't true, and you are now guilty of doing exactly what you accuse me of -- spreading around misinformation. Wesson Oil is manufactured and bottled in a facility with Peanut Oil, and Soy Oil. Consumers, please feel free to check this by calling 1 800 582-7809, and following the menu through till you actually reach a person. Their recorded allergy information won't tell you about cross-contamination, you have to speak to a person.

But I've saved the good news till last. I stand corrected about Crisco Canola Oil (Sort of). I am wrong that ALL oil manufacturers also bottle peanut or tree nut oils. There is one that doesn't. Crisco Canola Oil is manufactured and bottled in a Peanut-free, Tree nut-free facility. However, it's NOT a Soy-free facility. So if you have severe soy allergies, please be forewarned. For more info on Crisco products, call 1-800-766-7309.

I am very happy to have discovered this about Crisco Canola Oil for the peanut and tree-nut allergic, and thank you to Anonymous, for this info. Next time, just tell me, without going on a tear. We should all be trying to help each other, we're in this together, let's not be divisive.

Happy baking and cooking to all of you!



  • At 7:31 PM, Blogger ngallen8 said…

    kudos to you for all you do....every person needs to remember that they have to be their own advocates...and you are just helping all of us thank you...............

  • At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Katy said…

    YAY. I am so glad we have settled the oil dispute of '06. Again, thanks for everything Cybele. And don't let cynical post-ers get you down. Keep doing what you're doing! We appreciate it!

  • At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Jenny said…

    My little brother has bad Eczema and I was wondering if there were any foods that he should avoid. Also, are there any foods, that a 10 year old would like, that help with Eczema at all?

    PS: I saw you on Martha and those cookies looked really good. I think I'm gonna make some soon!

  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger Nancy said…

    Hi Cybele,

    I'm vacationing in Nova Scotia and my husband tried to get nuts on his chocolate sundae at a restaurant.
    They told him they can't give him nuts because of the whole "peanut allergy thing". I'm not sure what the rules are up here but they seem really sensitive to food allergies everywhere we've gone. Very nice...

    Alas, it is raining and I'm vacationing on the internet :(


  • At 3:18 PM, Blogger Cybele Pascal said…

    Hey everyone:

    Thanks so much for the support. I've gotten a lot of nice emails, and I appreciate it greatly.

    Jenny, has your brother gone to an allergist? He should be tested for food allergies (and other allergies) by an allergist. I can't advise you to have him stay off certain foods, because it might be unecessary avoidance. However, foods like eggs, dairy and wheat are often linked to eczema and rashes in children (and adults!). In terms of foods that can help with eczema, foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to help with eczema because they reduce inflammation. Foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids are flax seed oil, cold water fish, canola oil, grass fed meats, and walnuts. But Walnuts and Cold Water Fish are both on the list of the top 8 food allergens, so certainly clear these foods with a doctor before you brother starts eating them. Hope that helps!!


    That's really cool about Nova Scotia. I, meanwhile, can't seem to get my son Monte's preschool to understand that no dairy means no butter. And when I first said, "no dairy", they were like, "so no eggs?". We've got a long way to go....

    Rain can be nice. Enjoy your vacation.


  • At 9:29 PM, Blogger Amy said…

    hi Cybelle! I just wanted to add that I REALLY appreciate that you actually list foods by their brand names.. it really helps in grocery shopping, expecially when you are first shopping and shopping for MULTIPLE food allergies... we know we are our own advocates and we should ALWAYS read the label everytime we buy the product even if it has always been safe... so thank you for listing brands!! BTW... the recipes in your cookbook just keep getting better... we seriously haven't found one we disliked... our recent favorites have been the Tomatoes Stuffed with Italian Pork Sausage and Rice (RAVE Reviews), Four Bean Stew (second time around I added ground turkey and pasta for fun) and Thai Chicken Curry. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You are still and always will be a THE FOOD GODDESS to me and my family!! As my daughter grows out of the multiple food allergies she has, I know I will still make your recipes!

  • At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Really interesting blog about antioxidant supplement. In a similar vain to antioxidant supplement, I've found the richest, purest omega-3 EFP fish oil supplement on the market. My health has improved dramatically - both physical and mental. I've been taking MorEPA now for about 6 months and I cannot emphasize how much this supplement have helped me to cope with anxiety and depression. The supplements can be ordered from ****. I'd also recommend daily exercise.

  • At 5:50 PM, Anonymous lori said…

    Thank you for your post! I have a son who has behavioral reactions to a great deal of foods, and sometimes I just can't figure out what he has eaten! He's been hyperactive lately and I was tearing my hair out trying to figure out what it might be...I just bought Crisco canola oil a couple weeks ago, and if it has traces of soy in it, that's enough to cause him to react. I'll stop using it immediately! Thanks so much for the information!

  • At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said… - save your receipts and recipes online for free!


Post a Comment

<< Home