This is the one word on an ingredient list that causes me the most frustration followed a close second by "natural flavorings" and "fruit and vegetable juice". Requiring companies to list the 8 common allergens is a start but it's not enough. There are so many of us out there with allergies that don't fall into the common category. I've met people allergic to beans, beef, chicken, oranges, sesame and all sorts of things. Requiring ALL ingredients to be clearly listed on labels would help those of us with allergies to make safe choices and it might also make everyone who reads labels more aware of what goes into their food. At this point, even without the allergies, I don't think I would want to eat many of the things they are putting in our food.
I've spent a few years dealing with this and am compiling a list of companies, brands and products that provide hard to find items that are Nightshade Allergy Safe. Please ALWAYS double check labels and trust your instincts. This list is based on my personal experience. I am not an authority, doctor or nutritionist. These companies may change their formulations or recipes at any time. Take responsibility for your health and read the label EVERY TIME!
This find made me so ecstatic! I love Asian food but usually have to cook it myself to make it safe or stick to steamed rice and veggies at restaurants. These are found in the frozen section. I love making a quick soup by tossing a few in Swanson's Chicken Broth.
Other Asian Treats are:
* almost always list "spices" on the label. Here are some that have clear labeling and are Nightshade free at the time of this blog post.
Anne's is one of my favorite companies because they clearly list the ingredients. The 3 dressings listed above are the only 3 I've tried. There may be more options. Read your labels. They also offer an Organic Dijon mustard that has no Paprika! That is like finding gold!
Beware of boxed broths. Many use green peppers in the chicken stock and a variety of nightshades in the veggie stock. I haven't yet found a safe veggie broth so I usually stick with Swanson's Chicken Broth. Pacific Foods Beef Broth is also safe at the time of this post.
Have you discovered Nomato Pasta Sauce yet? I found this treat at a specialty store in Woodbury, MN. I was so happy I almost cried. You can make pasta or pizza! It's not the same but it is close enough to keep me from feeling sorry for myself when my kiddo and husband have pizza or pasta. Go ahead, do your happy dance! You know you want to! This product does list "herbs" on the ingredients. Normally nightshades would fall under the heading of spices rather than herbs and I haven't had any trouble with this product but if you're unsure you can always contact the company. I emailed them about their other products; Nomato Ketchup and Nomato Barbecue Sauce and confirmed that the Ketchup does NOT contain nightshades but the barbecue sauce DOES contain cayenne pepper:( Oh well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad and I always appreciate it when a company responds.
Another product that lists "spices" is Reed's Original Ginger Ale. I contacted the company and they confirmed it's safety. It has pepper, not peppers. Bonus points to them for responding to my email within 24 hrs.
Here starts the "Boo" List - those companies that do not clearly list their ingredients and are unwilling to provide information. Most will not give you detailed information but are willing to at least tell you if their product is safe or not.
*Early into my diagnosis I picked up a bottle of Blue Goodness. After having a severe reaction in which my tongue swelled and I went to the ER I contacted the company to see if there was nightshade in the ingredients. It was early into my diagnosis and we still hadn't figured out exactly what I was reacting to. If there was no nightshade I would know that I needed to look for other possible allergies. I explained the situation and also that I didn't need to know details - just if any of the following items were in the smoothie & listed the nightshades. I was told they could not give me any information on the ingredients and that if I suspected I was allergic to their products I shouldn't use them. Done. I recommend you don't use them either.
If you have found other hard to find products or have had experiences with other companies please comment below. I will continue to update this list as I find more resources.