Monday, May 14, 2012

Greener Clean Sponges are safe!

I was kind of hesitant to use the new Scotchbrite sponges for fear that they were made with coconut fibers, but no worries, they don't have any coconut in them. Phew!
Here is the note I got when I wrote to them:

Thank you for your inquiry on the Scotch-Brite(TM) Greener Clean Scrub Sponges.

The Natural Fiber non-Scratch Scrub Sponge scouring side is made of 50% agave plant and 50% polyester.  The sponge is made of 23% recycled office paper and 77% cellulose from wood pulp.  The product does not contain any coconut fibers or pulp from any coconut trees.


Shawn O.
3M Home Care Division

Saturday, May 12, 2012

All kinds of things made from coconut! AAGH!

Karen at "Avoiding Allergens" sent me links to a list of a bunch of non-food items made from coconut on her Chemurgy and Allergen Blog posts.

 Non Food Items that Contain Coconuts
Cleaning Products Made From Coconuts

 Insect Repelants Containing Coconuts

Laundry Detergent Made From Coconuts

Air Filters Made From Coconuts

Instruments That Have Coconuts in Them

Candles made From Coconuts

Soap Dishes Made From Coconuts

Furniture Made From Coconuts

Monday, May 7, 2012

How To Eat at Baskin Robbins and live

I thought I'd give you my dialogue for surviving going to ice cream with the kids and actually eating something.  I have done this about four times at three different scoop shops and it works GREAT and I've never had a problem at all.  You can read the allergens right on the counter, or go online and read all ingredients before you go in.  My husband sometimes calls them to make sure they have my favorite flavors that I can eat before we go in (we can always go to a self serve yogurt place instead).

B&R EMPLOYEE:  What can I get for you?

ME:  I'll have chocolate fudge in a cup.  But, I'm allergic to lots of stuff besides chocolate fudge.  So, it would be really awesome if you could help me out so I don't have an allergic reaction.  It's really easy, don't worry.  If you could first wash off the scoop for me using the sink instead of the bucket.  Then scoop a scoop in an area that has never been scooped and put that in a cup for my son.  Then, scoop a second scoop from the exact same spot and put it in a cup for me.  That would be so perfect. I would love that.

B&R EMPLOYEE: Sure, no problem. 

------2 minutes later------------- (I watch him/ her rinse the scoop under the faucet and do 2 scoops in a row)

B&R EMPLOYEE: Okay, this scoop is for your son, this one is for you!  ( big smile)

ME: You are the best ever.  (leaving tip in tip jar)


If you don't have a kid, you can ask them to scoop a scoop and set it aside to get down to the virgin ice cream level.

We are not alone!

Hello everyone!  I just moved to another state where I have to figure out what restaurants are safe to eat at. I had to explain to all the new people I meet why I am having nothing but ice water (LOVE that yummy ice water) at last night's dessert party my family was invited to.    I was so happy to get a little note from a blog reader named Whitney.  Her first coconut allergy was movie theater popcorn, just like me (and mine was when I was about 26 years old), years later I started finding out more things I'm allergic to.  We are like twins born apart!  LOL!   It reminded me that none of us are alone. No matter how many things we end up being allergic to, we can always be grateful for the things we are not allergic to.  For example, I can still eat chocolate.  Sure, it has to be pure chocolate not processed on the same equipment as anything I'm allergic to, but I still have that and many other foods left to eat.  This is just one example of the many sweet letters all of you send to me, so thanks, readers, we're all in this together.  I just wish I had more answers about the perfect shampoo for all of you. Oh, and I can't even begin to talk about makeup. . . last time I experimented with mascara it felt like my eyelids were being peeled back over the top of my head.  In any case, you'll like hearing from Whitney:

Dear Becky,
My name is Whitney and I am allergic to a lot of foods.  And as of Easter this year- I can add coconut/coconut oil to my list.  I went to the movies and had movie popcorn (for probably the first time in a very, very long time) and my tongue swelled up so badly that it was impossible for me to speak without being in a huge amount of pain.  My tongue also turned really white and looked almost like blisters on the side.  I had no idea what was going on- other than that I needed benadryl (and my mom!) right away.  I knew that something was wrong just because of the other allergies that I've developed in the past 7 years.  (I later called the theatre to see what the popcorn was made in to confirm the allergy- I would have never thought!!!).  I am turning 27 pretty soon, and when I was a sophomore in college I became allergic to nuts. One day I could eat them, one day I could not.  I was to avoid all nuts from that moment on.  I am always developing new allergies now... sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, all nuts, some raw fruits and vegetables.  I had always avoided coconut in the past because I wasn't sure if I was allergic or not.  But now I know for sure that I am.  Even last week, I picked up some veggie burgers at the store, cooked one, took one bite, realized that I hadn't checked the back of the box for ingredients.  Within a few moments my mouth was tingly and I had to take a benadryl... the ingredient?  Coconut oil!! 
Last week I started my research on this new allergy that I have, and came across your blog.  I wanted to say thank you, because I learned a lot about new foods to stay away from (cool!) and that I am not alone with this allergy.  I have days where it doesn't bother me (my allergies in general), and others where I just break down in a "why me" kind of fashion.  I have to be thankful that I am still able to eat eggs, wheat, dairy, gluten- which so many others are not able to.  Your blog was a breath of fresh air, and I wanted you to know how much it meant to me to see something written about some of the issues that I am constantly learning about. 
All the best, and thank you,