Spring has sprung – The Food Sensitive Shopper

Spring flowers

Spring has begun to get under my skin…in a good way.  That would be in the form of dirt.  It is that time of year to plant seeds, clean out the garden plot (that is unless it is under a pile of snow), and plan the veggie garden.  I love hearing the song birds chirping in the morning, more daylight, and the newness that spring provides.   I am so very ready for spring weather and hope you are too!

Be aware of food allergens in the garden and on the lawn

Getting ready to spread the mulch?  Fertilize or seed the lawn? Preparing the garden beds?  The products you use in your garden or on the lawn may be a source of gluten or food allergen so we suggest being cautious and careful about what products you choose to use.  Be sure to bring a notebook when you are headed to the garden center so you can do some investigative work about the products available at your local garden center.   If you hire a landscaper make sure to ask questions about ingredients in fertilizer or other additives applied to your yard.  This includes fertilizers that may be sprinkled throughout your sprinkler system.

Here is our ‘short’ list of products that contain both common and not so common allergens or gluten.  There are many more out there so take time to call, ask questions, and plan accordingly.

Alfalfa  Used for crop cover and usually clearly labeled as ‘Alfalfa’ on the package.  May be a GMO product since Monsanto manufactures an alfalfa seed that is genetically engineered widely used in farming.

Cinnamon bark  Found in organic crab grass killer

  • Garden Weasel crab grass killer

Corn    Found in organic weed control products, fertilizers, and biodegradable plant pots.  The fertilizers usually have ‘corn gluten’ on the label

  • Concern Weed Prevention Plus, Espoma Organic, and Jobe’s Fertilizer stakes
  • Summit Plastics – plant pots made from corn, wheat, and wood

Fish   Found in vegetable and flower bed fertilizers.  This ingredient tends to be clearly labeled on the front of packaging

Peanut and Tree nut  Crushed shells have been an ingredient in commercial potting soils.

  • We read online that Scott’s Miracle Gro potting soil had ground nut shells (peanut and tree nut).  The posts dated back a few years so we decided to call.  Our inquiry with customer service said otherwise. We were told that the soil had no nut products yet it does include compost with unidentified ingredients.  We suggest you call to inquire about this product since we would rather you are safe not sorry.  If you hear a different story please post on this site.  Miracle Gro Potting soil from Scotts – call 1-888-270-3714

Sulfer Found in products that control insects and plant diseases

  • High Yeild Dusting Wettable Sulfer

Soy  Soy protein is sometimes in fertilizer

  • All Natural Lawn Restore Fertilizer,

Wheat Found in many biodegradable plant pots and used as straw on newly seeded lawns or as a cover in plant beds.

We know you won’t be eating any of these products however some people are contact allergic, dust from some products may be inhaled when spreading onto lawns or veggie/flower beds, and liquids can be absorbed into the skin.   The awareness of allergens and gluten in products should help you become a savvy food sensitive lawn and garden shopper.  We also suggest when handling garden and lawn products to wear garden gloves, eye protection, and  wear a mask to avoid direct contact.  Many labels on products have the same advice.  We feel this advice is protective to anyone handling chemicals; even organic chemicals.  As important as it is to protect the person who is applying products to the garden and lawn it is equally important to protect children, adults, and pets who will play in the yard.

One product that we were happy to see is Pennington grass seed mat.  This grass seed mat eliminates the need for wheat straw.  Go to:  http://www.penningtonseed.com/products/additional-products

Blooms will be bursting all around us if they have not begun to already.  We wish you safe and joyous gardening this spring.


Category: Food

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