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  1. bitchinmona

    Coconut Allergy Info

    Me too! Well, actually, I was just googling "coconut allergy" because I wanted to see just how much of an oddity I am. It seems I am even more 'unusual' than most afflicted with coconut allergies; I am reactive only to the pulp and fibers, but the pressed coconut oil and coconut milk don't affect me unless there are traces of the pulp present. This bit here is what compelled me to respond. Be extremely cautious, especially at stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, etc. These stores, strangely enough, are where I have the most difficulty. Coconut seems to be in EVERYTHING there. Case in point: Trader Joe's Dunkers. Nice, wholesome, chocolate-chip biscotti-esque dunking cookie sticks. Seems fine, right? Yeah, notsomuch. Can't taste it, can't smell it, but there's definitely coconut in them thar dunkers! Sure, I should have been more vigilant about checking the reeeeeally small print on the bin, but... really? Coconut in chocolate chip dunkers? WHY? A vegan friend of mine explained the natural foods stores' obsession with coconut. Turns out, although coconut adds fat (the good kind) to foods, it's very healthy in many other ways. Beside that, it increases the sweetness in a recipe without adding sugar. Finally, it acts as both a filler and a binder, so it's especially popular in items such as cookies, breads, and even some bagged chips - not to mention its exfoliant qualities when used in soaps, the heavenly scent when used in lotions, and so on. (Her boyfriend pointed out as well that manufacturers such as the store brands for TJ's and Whole Foods are able to get coconut extremely cheaply because they can purchase it in mass quantities, and can use coconuts that have 'blemishes' such as uneven roundness, discolored patches, etc. that don't affect the quality of the coconut but wouldn't be sold in markets). So coconut actually ends up being a cheap, healthy, and natural filler, binder, and sweetener. Pretty awesome except for the whole allergy thing.