I wish I were a wine drinker. It seems grown-up, and slightly fancy, to enjoy a glass of wine with appetizers on the deck. But I’m not very fancy, and wine gives me a killer headache. As most of us know, that isn’t an uncommon reaction to red wine because of the sulfites.
But guess what, sulfites aren’t found only in wine. There used as a mold inhibitor in yeast, dried fruits, processed meats, bread, beer, and even as a color preserver on fruits and vegetables- ever wondered how produce traveling half-way around the world can still look “pretty?” Ever wondered why conventional potatoes don’t sprout “eyes?”
Although in the late 80’s the FDA banned the use of sulfites on lettuce used in salad bars, sulfites are widely used today.
Unfortunately, for many people with sulfite sensitivities, sulfites in our food & beer can have stronger adverse affects than just a headache.
Week #3 ingredient of concern… Sulfites
What is it? Additive used to slow the growth of bacteria, reduce the browning of produce and/or seafood, and dough conditioning.
What’s the big deal? Although deemed safe, sulfur dioxide and sodium bisulfite can lead to strong reactions for those with sulfite sensitivities. Reactions can include headaches, nausea, difficulty breathing, red/itchy skin, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, rashes, asthma attacks, and anaphylactic shock.
What do I look for in the ingredient list? Sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, sodium sulfite, potassium bisulfite, and potassium metabisulfite are most common.
Where can you find it? Wine, beer (though never in German beer), pizza, dough, bread, dried fruits, seafood, pie crust, maraschino cherries, processed meats, bottled lemon or lime juice, molasses, frozen potatoes, crackers, instant potatoes, grape juice, and even some medications.