If you have a child with a peanut allergy or know someone who does, this is so important and is worth knowing and sharing.
A recent local news story broke about ‘Beyond Meat’ which is a plant-based meat substitute sold in grocery chains across the country. While the label reads “peanut free” there is an ingredient called “Pea Protein Isolate*.”
The * on the package indicates there is a warning about that ingredient and yes, the label does have a warning in fine print:
“People with severe allergies to legumes like peanuts should be cautious when introducing pea protein into their diet because of the possibility of a pea allergy.”
What most people don’t know is that Pea Protein Isolate is made by grinding dried peas into a fine powder and it is a known legume. This is important because some people who are allergic to peanuts (which is also a legume) are also allergic to this ingredient.
So, technically while it may be peanut-free, and while you think you aren’t allergic to peas, this label is a misleading because people can still have a reaction to the ingredients in this meat substitute.
The other issue is that, as someone who has a nut allergy, I typically look at labels to have bolded ingredients that may contain that allergen. I’d never think to know what a specific ingredient is or have to read an additional disclaimer.
In fact, I am sure that is what happened when a woman had a reaction not knowing what the ingredient was.
“KUTV 2News Investigative Producer Naida Pflaum has had a peanut allergy all her life but says she’s never had an issue with peas. She says a Beyond Burger she purchased at a Salt Lake City Carl’s Jr. had her reaching for the Benadryl.
Pflaum says the reaction she experienced, wheezing and itching in certain distinct spots, was exactly the type of reaction she experiences when she accidentally eats a peanut.” (Source)
With grilling season near, it’s important to keep this in mind when serving food to guests.
Also keep in mind to check all labels (even the fine print) before you eat anything.