Why not food lables for FODMAPs?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how far I’ve come in the year I’ve been on the FODMAP diet.  This time last year, I was a real mess – I remember clearly thinking ‘just shoot me’, when I thought about living the rest of my life with the pain and diarrhea and exhaustion.  I credit the FODMAP diet with giving me my health and life back – I’ve been able to make great progress in all aspects of my Manifesto!  One thing I haven’t really addressed is point number 5:  I want to be prepared for the future.  Why not look at food labels for FODMAPs?

As I see myself ageing, I see myself having difficulty managing a FODMAP diet.  Already, trying to read itty bitty ingredient lists (hello Campbell’s soup), on the sides of food products can be a challenge, never mind the likely eventuality of ending up in a Seniors Residence, dependant on others to cook for me.  Will they know what food products are FODMAP friendly?  Why not IBS food labels for FODMAPs?

 

FODMAP labeling
FODMAP labeling

I think it’s time I started doing my small bit to try and make some changes.  I see in Australia that some enterprising souls have set up the FODMAP.com website, which encourages food companies to identify their products as being FODMAP friendly.  I contacted them and this is what they tell me:

“Nice to hear from you, we are based in Australia but we have already had Fodmap
Friendly Certification approved in all countries including Canada.
We are currently just launching worldwide so at this stage no specific organisation in
Canada at this stage but hopefully soon the food manufacturers will get on board
and assist all those people who have difficulty in finding food they can eat
throughout the supermarket. This will make their lives so much easier.”

I think I’m going to try and do my bit to see if I can get food processing companies in Canada/North America thinking about utilizing the FODMAP friendly label.

To start, I’ve picked three food products (that I’ve mentioned on one of my previous Top 10 lists), and I’m going to write the companies with the following message:

I am writing to you to express how very much I enjoy your product.

I discovered this product after I began to follow a low FODMAP diet.  FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols (google it for more information) – the idea is that foods that are high in FODMAPs cause great digestive discomfort (gas, bloating, diarrhea) for many people, including people suffering from IBS.

These fermentable sugars are in many, many foods (honey, garlic, apples, among many others), and it is difficult to find prepared foods that are free (or low) in these ingredients.  That’s why I was so please to find your product: it is now on my grocery list nearly every week.

The FODMAP diet is gaining in awareness and is an effective way to battle IBS.  Many people are learning about the diet, but most find it difficult to follow because there are so few food products clearly labelled.  I would ask that you consider labelling your products so that we can more easily locate and purchase foods that we can eat.  Australia has a FODMAP labelling program already in place, and it is approved for use in Canada.  You can check out their website fodmap.com, to learn more about this program.

The three products I’ve chosen to start with are:

  • Earth Balance Vegan cooking and baking sticks (www.earthbalancenatural.com)
  • Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix (www.askus.bettycrocker.ca)
  • Aylmer Accents fire roasted tomatoes (www.aylmertomatoes.ca)
Three products I'm going to contact.
Three products I’m going to contact.

I’d love it if you joined me on this project – either by contacting the above companies too, or by contacting the companies whose products you use on a regular basis.

Let me know what you hear back…