What I Eat (and Use)

I've only listed what I eat/use here.  For a more complete list of corn-free possibilities, see the Corn Free Product List here.  And read the ingredient label every time you buy something - they change frequently and without notice!  You can also stay up to date on safe products at the Facebook Corn Allergy and Intolerance Group here.  There are so many sources for gluten free information these days - just enter "gluten free ______" and you'll find loads of sites on what you're looking for.

You can find a list here of ingredients always or often sourced from corn.  This site has a list of food that corn is used in and the Ontario Corn Grower's Association had a list, but apparently they took it down!  And this article by Bethany Hubbard gives a good beginner's overview of the problems trying to avoid corn.

Some foods have specific brands listed.  That means that I've checked with the manufacturer about possibilities of corn or gluten contamination or corn-derived ingredients and they're okay OR it means I've tested them out on myself and have not reacted.

Also -- be aware that with corn allergies, there seem to be differing levels of sensitivity. I eat as free from corn as I know how to, but won't guarantee that you'll also be fine with products I am fine with! Trial new foods carefully.


Note:  Many people allergic to corn react to Bob's Red Mill ground gluten-free products.  After talking with Bob's, this appears to be because they have two product equipment lines - one for gluten-free grains and one for gluten containing grains.  Corn is run on the gluten-free line and some remains even after cleaning, leading to it sometimes causing cross-contamination.  This may also be a problem with other companies' products if corn is also processed in their plants.

I'm currently avoiding sorghum and millet because of cross-contamination problems with corn - it's often grown in the same fields in rotation. 

White rice - brown rice is higher in histamines
  Make sure the rice is NOT enriched as the vitamins will likely be corn derived.
  I use Lundberg Organic and Trader Joe's jasmine rice, basmati rice, and arborio rice.
  Note:  If you're grinding rice to bake with, jasmine rice is far superior for baking than is basmati rice.  With jasmine, everything holds together - with basmati, it all falls apart!

Organic whole golden flax - after cross contamination problems, I'm now grinding my own flax.  I use the Tri-best personal blender, but any bullet blender type of appliance works well.  The golden flax gives nice golden baked goods.  I use Bob's whole organic golden and sift through to make sure there are no other grains.

I only use rice flour I've ground myself.  I use a Nutramill Grain Mill.  I grind it much finer than the rice flour you can buy - this gives a nicer texture to baked goods.

Sunflower seeds - Trader Joe's no salt, not from a facility that processes nuts
Sunbutter brand sunflower seed spread - organic only

Quinoa - TruRoots regular and sprouted, Ancient Harvest Kosher for Passover only

Trader Joe's Brown Rice Pasta
Annie Chun's rice pad thai and maifun noodles
Jovial Rice Pasta

Baking Products:
Spectrum palm shortening - I use this for shortening and for recipes that call for butter when you don't want it to be melted, such as in frosting.

Olive oil -Trader Joe's Spanish EVOO

Coconut oil - Tropical Traditions or Trader Joe's Organic

Baking soda - Trader Joe's
Baking powder - make your own.  For each teaspoon of baking powder, instead use 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar (Penzey's) and 1/4 tsp. baking soda

Vanilla - my homemade vanilla only.  Pint jar filled to about 1 inch below the top with Ciroc grape vodka, two vanilla beans halved and split open, cover, leave for several weeks, shaking occasionally.  Some people have been having problems with Ciroc after they introduced flavored vodkas - I'm currently searching for another grape vodka.  I order my vanilla beans from Arizona Vanilla Company.

Spices/herbs - ground spices are often run on equipment that corn derived products run through.  Cornstarch is often used to "clean" out the equipment between runs.  I use dried herbs from Penzeys Spices.  See Herb list for histamine safe ones.

Trader Joe's saffron

Pepper - black pepper is higher in oxalates than I'm currently eating, so I use Penzey's ground white pepper or whole white pepper with a grinder.

Salt - Sea salt with no additives.  Some table salt and all iodized has corn derived products added to help prevent caking and to bind the iodine to the salt.  I use Trader Joe's sea salt in the grinder, kosher or sea salt from Penzeys, and Paragon Australian Sea Salt from Saltworks.

Sugar - I use organic cane sugar only - C&H organic or Trader Joe's organic cane sugar.  Powdered sugar contains either corn starch or tapioca starch.  I grind my own in my personal blender - 1/4 cup granulated sugar at a time, whirl, stir down, and whirl again.  It's slightly gritty, but works fine for me.
Organic maple syrup - make sure it has no added ingredients or corn-derived defoamers.  I'm fine with Trader Joe's Organic maple syrup.
Wholesome Foods Blackstrap Molasses
Plantation Blackstrap Molasses

Boyco Foods raw honey - I get this in Portland, OR at the PSU and Hillsboro farmer's markets.  I talked with the bee keeper and no corn syrup is used during winter feeding. Their phone number is 503-646-5138.
Local beekeepers - talk to them and ask what they feed their bees during the winter (the best answer is a blank stare and then, "why honey of course!") and ask how their jars are sterilized.  Some use no-rinse sterilizer - bad for us.  Some people react to honey from bees that live near corn fields, so ask about the nearest corn field also.

Arrowroot - I use this for thickening sauces and gravies and to replace cornstarch, potato starch, or tapioca starch in baking.  I buy mine at Penzey's.

Frozen Fruit/Vegetables:  Many frozen veggies/fruits are treated with citric acid before freezing.
Trader Joe's frozen mango chunks - cooked before serving
Trader Joe's frozen organic green beans
Trader Joe's frozen organic broccoli
Trader Joe's frozen baby brussel sprouts
Trader Joe's frozen asparagus - not the grilled one

Fruit, fresh:  I use organic with fruits that have a spray residue history.  Carriers used in the spray are often made with corn and/or soy based products so wash well.  I also need to make sure the fruit has not been waxed. 

Organic apples
Organic blackberries - not with a liner on the bottom of the basket, though
Cherries - moderate in histamines, I can usually have a little of the moderate category foods every few days
Ocean Spray organic or Trader Joe's organic cranberries - same as cherries. You can buy a bunch of them in the fall and stick them in the freezer
Coconut milk/cream - Trader Joe's (some corn allergic people have problems with this - I don't) or Aroy-D
Black Mission and Calmyrna figs
Organic green grapes
White grapefruit juice - fresh
Lemon juice - fresh
Lime juice - fresh
Mango - cooked
Organic pineapple - cooked, not Dole or Del Monte, see cherries for histamine
Plums - see cherries
Organic pears
Organic raspberries - not with a liner on the bottom of the basket

Fruit, dried:
Bare Fruit baked dried cherries, plums, and Fuji apples
Made In Nature sun dried, unsulphured black mission and Calmyrna figs, plums

Vegetables, fresh:  I use organic with vegetables that have a spray residue history.  Carriers used in the spray are often made with corn and/or soy based products so wash well.  I also need to make sure the vegetables have not been waxed or pre-washed (such as packages that say "triple washed")

Bok choy
Broccoli, boiled
Brussel sprouts, boiled or roasted
Cauliflower, boiled or roasted
Garlic, cooked - Trader Joe's, homegrown, or farmer's market
Green beans, boiled
Morel and chanterelle mushrooms, fresh or dried (Fungus Among Us) - may not work for low histamine
Mustard greens, cooked or raw
Olives - Trader Joe's canned green or Santa Barbara canned black - olives, sea salt, and water are only ingredients
Organic onions - cooked
Organic red, yellow, or orange peppers - Trader Joe's, homegrown, or farmer's market
Banana peppers - farmer's market or homegrown
Rutabagas - not the ones with a parrafin coating
Shallots, cooked
Sweet potatoes - organic, unwashed, unwaxed, and no sprout retardant- Trader Joe's, homegrown, or farmer's market

Spices and herbs are often run on equipment that corn derived products run through.  Cornstarch is often used to "clean" out the equipment between runs.  Penzey's spices have been working for me. 

Bay leaves
Fennel seed
Ginger, fresh or ground (Penzey's)
Juniper berries
Mustard powder

Nuts, Legumes:
Cannellini beans - organic, made from dried beans or Eden's canned
Pinto beans - organic, made from dried beans or Eden's canned
Almonds - Trader Joe's blanched raw (not from a facility that also processes peanuts and other nuts).  I eat these soaked and roasted.

Trader Joe's Goat Gouda from Holland, not the one with honey - not low histamine
goat chevre - Mitica de Cabra or Portland Creamery - not low histamine
Mitica Drunken Goat Cheese - not low histamine
Mitica Naked Goat Cheese - not low histamine I'm not sure this is being imported any longer due to raw cheese restrictions

Two things to keep in mind:  1) Most meat is cleaned with something that is usually a corn based or derived product - citric acid, vinegar, lactic acid, ...  I avoid those meats.  If you buy a whole grass fed beef or lamb you can specify that you want the meat washed in water only.  If you buy chicken or turkey from a small poultry farmer, they may use water only (different USDA rules if you're small time) or may be able to process yours that way.  The soaker pads in packaged meat are usually treated with a corn derived substance such as citric acid.  2)  Meat needs to be very fresh or the histamine level rises.  Buy meat that has not been aged (presents a big problem for beef) and that has at least 5 days until its "use by" date.

All meat goes immediately in the freezer - even if I'm using it the next day.  All meat gets thawed in the refrigerator or microwave only - this takes planning ahead.  That includes leftovers that contain meat - right after cooking, I divide the meat onto the plates and immediately put the rest in the freezer.

Wash (cool water) all meat before cooking.  Dry (with safe paper towels or a cloth towel) if you're frying, roasting, or browning the meat.

I am not currently eating fish (except the tuna below) as I need to challenge an allergic test result first.  However, fish is usually washed in citric acid or another corn derived product before freezing, may be kept on what is called "slurry ice" (corn based)  and is also problematic from a histamine stand point as it begins breaking down immediately after being processed (it's okay to eat if it's gutted, cleaned, and eaten or frozen immediately after catching).  You can often find Alaska salmon at farmers' markets that has been frozen immediately with water cleaning only. 

Smart Chicken
Empire chicken and turkey products are washed in salt water.  I buy these at Trader Joe's.
When I lived in Phoenix, I bought whole lamb and cuts of beef  from a Phoenix area rancher:  J Holbrook. (The beef may not work for those eating low histamine) and chicken (all year) and turkeys (fall only) from a Southern Arizona farm:  Chiracahua Pasture Raised Meats.
Here in the Northwest I use Cascade Farm for beef and pork or the grassfed lamb and beef from New Seasons Markets
Anderson Ranch and Atkins Ranch lamb
Heidi's Hens ground turkey meat - I get this at Whole Foods
Frozen King or Dungeness crab - crab is flash frozen immediately after cooking.
Freshly steamed clams
Trader Joe's tuna in the pink can (water, no salt).  This may not work for you if you're very histamine sensitive.

Broth - homemade only, frozen immediately after making.  Thaw in the refrigerator or microwave.  Several ways:  1) save bones from roasted poultry, cover with water (I used bottled for this), cover and simmer for a 6 to 8 hours.  2)  Put a whole thawed chicken in a large pot, cover with water, add herbs, gently simmer for about 45 minutes.  Remove chicken meat (this is poached chicken and really good in salads, pasta dishes, risotto ...), return bones to broth and simmer for 6 - 8 hours.  3)  When cutting up a whole chicken, save the neck and back, cover with water, cover pot and gently simmer for 6 - 8 hours. I also add about a cup of white wine to help break down the bones a bit more.

Coffee/Tea:  I can drink one or two cups a day without problems.  If you're watching oxalates/histamines, you'll need to see how you react.

Some coffee beans are polished with dextrin (corn derived) and paper coffee filters may contain corn products or use cornstarch in the manufacturing process.  Avoid any flavored or spiced coffees. If you drink decaf coffee, use Swiss Water Process decaf.  Other processes use chemicals that may be corn-derived.

The Organic Coffee Company Gorilla Decaf

Tea bags may contain corn ingredients.
There are not any teas I am currently drinking

Water/Bottled Water:
A lot of mine fields here!  Added ingredients and enrichments are likely corn based.  Some companies are using bio-degradable bottles and/or lids made from corn.

Trader Joe's Spring Water
Fuji Water
Crystal Geyser Natural Spring Water
Arctic Sol
Whole Foods 365

Many water filters (counter top and in-refrigerator) have corn derived products in them.  I don't use them, so I don't know which ones are safe - contact manufacturers or do a blog search.

When in Phoenix, I used bottled water for all cooking and for drinking.  Our tap water was the usual yucky tasting desert water and was also quite high in sodium and had something in it (most likely citric acid to lower pH and a corn carrier for the added fluoride) that caused me to get hives.

Paper Products:
Trader Joe's paper towels and toilet paper
Bounty paper towels
If You Care paper baking cups
If You Care or 365 baking parchment

Vitamin D3 drops from Seeking Health
Maine Coast Kelp Granules for iodine
I had histamine problems with the probiotics I tried, so I avoid these.

Watch your use of this if you're avoiding histamines.  The ones I can drink are lower in histamine, so a glass or two works okay for me.  It may not for you.

Ciroc Grape Vodka - I also use this to make my own vanilla

Most Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Roses are made without malolactic fermentation (this is a secondary fermentation that results in higher histamines), but not all, so check.  Sauvignon Blanc can go either way and Chardonnays are usually maloed.  I also avoid any wine aged in oak because my husband needs to do that and it's more fun to drink the same wine!

Pinot Gris:
Apolloni, OR
Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, Italy - I have not questioned them on this wine, just tried it several times and it worked
Elk Cove, OR
Erath, OR
Kings Estate, OR
Oak Knoll, OR
Sterling, CA
Wine By Joe, OR
Underwood, OR

Pinot Blanc:
Apolloni, OR
Elk Cove, OR
Wine By Joe, OR

Sauvignon Blanc:
Geyser Peak, CA
Sterling, CA

Apolloni, OR
EcoVino Chardonnay, CA
Four Vines Unoaked, CA
Layer Cake Virgin, CA

Apolloni, OR
Charles & Charles, WA
Elk Cove, OR
Toad Hollow Eye of Toad, CA
Wine by Joe, OR
Underwood, OR

Dr. L, Loosen Brothers, Germany- have not questioned them on ingredients/processes, but it works for me
Kung Fu Girl, Charles Smith Winery, WA

Personal Care:
Refresh Plus Lubricant Eye Drops
Squiggle toothpaste
Desert Essence tooth floss
Savonnerie castille bar soap, liquid soap (they're also fragrance, casein, soy, colorant and corn free)
100% Shea butter for moisturizing and dry lips

Cleaning/Household Products:
Trader Joe's or Bounty paper towels
Ziploc plastic bags
Saran Wrap or Reynold's Wrap
If You Care or 365 Parchment Paper
Charlie's Soap laundry detergent (I buy from Amazon or Whole Foods)
Trader Joe's powdered dishwasher detergent (not the pod ones)
Clorox unscented bleach
Libman Freedom mop (available through Amazon) - it has a refillable solution container so I can clean the floors with plain water

Lazzari lump mesquite charcoal

Nothing with scents, especially Febreeze - it's a killer for me and most corn allergic people!