UPDATE as of 4/29/17: Amy’s website no longer offers a search feature for soy free meals. It does offer allergen information for each product, but it does not offer customized search options for specific allergens.
I was really excited to see a new book dedicated to soy allergies on Amazon! It’s called Food Allergy Guide to Soy: How to Eat Safely and Well Soy-Free by Bill Bowling. It’s available in paperback as well as a Kindle edition. I immediately started reading so that I could pass along my thoughts, and I believe this is a “must read” book for anyone allergic to soy. Even if you have been dealing with your soy allergy for a while, I believe there will be something new for you in this book that makes it worth the purchase.
Bill Bowling’s wife has been allergic to soy for quite some time, so this book contains a lot of great information based on research. The author refrains from “bashing” soy, and gives you an unbiased view on the history of soy and its relationship to our food supply. His ingredient information is thorough, although as we all know, it is almost impossible to list all soy ingredients and their derivatives. Glycerin and Citric Acid are two that I have personally dealt with that were not included in the book, but the list is more comprehensive than most I have seen. I believe it will be helpful to everyone.
There is a great practice section where you are presented with a real product and its ingredients, and you have the opportunity to test your knowledge to see if you can tell if there is soy in the product or not. Then the author explains the ingredient list and explores whether or not the product contains soy. This is a great section for those that are new to soy.
The author also includes discussions on soy in medications and non-food products, which are items that have been big issues for me. There is also a discussion on how it seems that once you find that you are allergic to soy, you start questioning the ingredients in all of your products. I have definitely found this to be the case for me, and it was reassuring to see that others were also shocked by the number of unknown and harmful substances in our food supply.
The final portion of the book contains a resource section on everything from helpful books to websites. I actually had an “Aha!” moment when the author mentioned the Amy’s website for food products. I had always loved Amy’s products, but had not had the time to research soy free options. Amy’s website allows you to search for a particular allergen and generates recommendations for you. I had one of my favorite Amy’s dishes for the first time today since my soy allergy diagnosis and it was a great feeling. I believe that the resource section alone makes it worth purchasing the book.
There are a couple of items that I would like to see in the next version of the book. In the Kindle version, there are some formatting and grammatical issues. I would also like to see more discussion about soy free non-food products and medications, and a mention that medications are not required to label for the top allergens (as I found out the hard way with more than one medication.)
Overall, this book was very informative, and yet it was a quick and easy read. If you would like to purchase, here’s the link to my Amazon Store.
Calling All Soyvivors: Are there other books about soy allergy that you would recommend?