New products added 4/8/14. See items in orange.
The morning after my allergic episode with soy, I made my soy-free breakfast and thought, “why do I still feel like I am having an allergic reaction?” That’s when the gravity of what had happened started to hit me. I was washing my hands in soap containing soy, folding towels that had been washed in laundry detergent with soy, eating on dishes that can been cleaned with soy, getting ready go take a shower in products that contained soy, and had likely taken an antihistamine that contained soy. I was suddenly overwhelmed by the feeling that I was surrounded by a house full of products that were capable of producing a serious allergic reaction.
I started a stockpile in the middle of my living room floor of the following items:
- shampoo/conditioner/hair styling products
- soaps and body wash
- moisturizers and lip balms
- laundry/dishwashing detergents and liquids (including fabric softeners and scent crystals)
- over-the-counter medications and vitamins
- contact solution
- household cleaning products
- razor blades with moisturizers
Then, I started finding information on all kinds of other things containing soy that explained some of the reactions I had experienced over the years. These included:
- Pesticides (I couldn’t have my house professionally sprayed for insects without having to leave the house for days or weeks)
- Liquid Smoke (no wonder I can’t eat BBQ!)
- New Cast Iron Pans (seasoned with soybean oil)
- Plastic Bags and Bottles (including frozen fruits/vegetable packaging
- Canned goods
- Pet Food
- Craft Materials (glue, paints, candle making kits, etc.)
- Soy ink (found in magazines, newspapers, packaging, wrapping paper, fabrics, desk calendars, etc.)
- Cardboard boxes
- Carpets, Upholstery, Mattresses, and Cars
- Biodiesel fuels
- Soy dust from bakeries, the bulk bin aisle at the health food store, or shipyards
- Household cleaning products. Some even react just from being near smelly household products in a store.
- Some toilet paper and baby wipes
I began researching, calling manufacturers, and throwing away almost every product in my house that I could afford to replace. I found all kinds of information on websites that were completely outdated or just plain wrong. Since manufacturers change their ingredients whenever they choose, many of the recommended soy-free products listed on blogs either contained “hidden” soy ingredients, or they had begun producing the product with soy. After doing extensive shopping for soy free products, I would estimate that at least 90-95% of household and beauty products in my chain groceries and pharmacies contain soy or soy-derived ingredients, and in some product categories, 100% contain soy. How’s that statistic for one of the TOP EIGHT allergies in the United States?
I estimate that I have spent $350-500 replacing just my over-the-counter medications, household supplies and beauty products.
In upcoming posts, I will talk about products I now use as well as unbiased, unsolicited product reviews.
Calling all soyvivors: Are there other products that you have found that contain soy? Please share with us!