A pea protein allergy is rising in the United States and some experts are saying it could be linked to the rise in glyphosate in pea protein in food. Disappointing organic lab reporting showing adulterated ingredients have shaken consumer confidence in organic standards, but the rabbit hole goes a little further. You’ve trusted Mamavation to cover topics like safer cookware, safer sunscreen & best organic mattresses, now join us as we explore the similarities between glyphosate and rise of allergens. Could pea protein be following the same story arch? Let’s explore.
After finding widespread glyphosate contamination in pea protein brands, I ran across a report on the CBC about the rise of the pea allergen. Children are having anaphylactic reactions to pea proteins. So it got me wondering, are Americans reacting to the peas OR to the glyphosate inside them? Right now, nobody knows the answer to this question, but there are plenty of things we do know that would make questioning that valid.
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Pea Protein Allergies Are Rising in The United States Mostly With People Who Are Already Allergic to Peanuts. But the Timing of This Rise is Interesting.
Pea protein allergies are rising in the United States. Peas are very similar to peanuts in the nutritional world because they both come from the legume food family. But peas are also becoming controversial due to their glyphosate contamination and being an upcoming allergen. In fact, testing from the Detox Project found higher levels of glyphosate in organic pea protein than in regular pea protein.
According to Allergic Child, most of the children reacting to pea protein already have an allergy to peanuts. These allergic reactions can be anaphylaxic in nature and life-threatening. However, peas are not considered a top allergen yet so you won’t see them in the allergy statement. They will be in the ingredients though, so if you have a peanut allergy, you may want to limit your intake of peas as well.
However, the timing of the rise of pea protein allergies flanked up against the widespread contamination of glyphosate in these peas is suspect. Are they reacting to the glyphosate OR the peas?
The Detox Project Found Widespread Glyphosate Contamination in Pea Proteins, Even in Organic Versions–Leading to a Larger Investigation of Our Food Supply
Mamavation released the results of a study by The Detox Project showing glyphosate levels in the most popular pea protein brands on Amazon. The results of this investigation were very concerning to consumers eating more plant-based foods. That’s because the organic versions of pea protein powder had more or about the same amount of glyphosate than the conventional versions. And it boils down to adulteration that insiders tell us “you get what you pay for.” Brands requiring more testing of the supply closer to the end of production should have a purer supply. They should be testing at more touch points but later after potential contaminants would surface making the test results more actionable and giving the consumer a cleaner product.
The consumer only cares about the final result of testing because that is what affects them. Testing the supply in the very beginning before adulteration can happen needs to be followed up by more testing to ensure it stays clean. Brands doing this are likely to have cleaner products.
One brand, in particular, Orgain, had over 280 parts per billion of glyphosate when tested by a laboratory that is certified by the State of California. The detection level of glyphosate is 10 parts per billion, so 281 parts per billion is rather high.
After finding widespread adulteration in organic pea proteins, it begs the question, is the supply of organic pea protein consistent across the United States? In other words, are other brands also putting contaminated pea protein inside their products as well?
Here are some examples of brands containing pea protein. You can help us test these brands by giving to our Gofundme here:
- Beyond Meat (plant-based hamburger meat)
- Ripple Foods (pea milk)
- Good Catch (plant-based seafood)
- Lightlife Burger
- JUST’s eggless egg products
- Go Macro
- Vega (plant-based protein powder)
- Garden of Life (plant-based protein powder)
- Truvani (plant-based protein powder)
- Doterra (plant-based weight loss shakes)
- Isagenix (plant-based weight loss shakes)
- Bob’s Red Mill
- Ora Organic
- Cascadian Farms
- Plant Fusion
- Tone It Up
- Iconic Protein
Climate & Animal Welfare Concerns are Fueling Increase in Plant-Based Foods. Pea Proteins Have the Best Texture & Flavor, So They Are Anticipated to Quadruple by 2025.
This year at Natural Products Expo West with over 85,000 people excited about the organic food industry, pea protein was king. Concerns about the environment, capturing carbon, and animal welfare is seeing an explosion in plant-based foods among millennials and other progressively-minded eaters. This rise in demand for plant-based foods has brands searching for alternatives to meats and fillers that have a similar texture to whey. This has fueled a surge in plant-based milks, plant-based cheese, plant-based meat & seafood substitutions, and & plant-based snack foods.
Pea protein has a good texture and very subtle taste, so it’s been used in most of the newer plant-based food offerings. In fact, just this week Bloomberg covered the rise of pea protein and how it’s expected to quadruple by 2025. And as the demand for pea protein grows globally, brands are already struggling to keep up the pace. They rely on middlemen to find those appropriate sources of pea protein and deliver to them. Some of those organic middlemen spend millions of dollars every year testing the supply to ensure it’s free from glyphosate, while others do not. The ones who test to ensure quality are obviously more expensive, so if they want to save a buck they may opt for the less expensive middlemen.
Northern climates like Canada & Norway supply the world’s pea protein. But for the United States, most of that global production is coming from Canada and processed in China. And the big guys are getting into the game too. Behemoth Cargill has an agreement with Puris to produce pea protein as the world gets ready for a bigger pea explosion.
Could an Increase in Glyphosate be Fueling an Increase in Pea Protein Allergies Like How It Does With Celiac & Wheat Intolerances?
Could the glyphosate inside pea protein products be fueling an increase in allergies to pea protein? The answer to this question is we simply don’t know. No one has taken a look at this yet. BUT it’s safe to say that looking into this potential connection would be advantageous to the consumer’s health as the pea protein industry grows at leaps and bounds. This is already happening to wheat.
Glyphosate contamination in wheat is linked to an increase in celiac disease and other wheat allergies and intolerances. An estimated 5% of the United States population has celiac disease. Celiac disease is very problematic and symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia, and depression. It’ also creates numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure, and cancer. This is not a disease you want to have.
Could the glyphosate in pea proteins ALSO affect people who are eating more plant-based foods? We would encourage scientists to take a look at that possibility. And until then, we recommend you only purchase pea protein from brands that test their supply and are willing to show you those results. Otherwise, you are just taking their word for it and the Detox Project found that to not necessarily be the case.
Brands Testing For Glyphosate and Sharing Those Results Will Only Keep Consumers Safer. Want to Know Who Those Brands Are? THESE GUYS.
There are already numerous brands that have discovered glyphosate contamination in their industry and are fighting by carefully selecting a supply that is tested and guaranteed. And then they go even further by having a 3rd party certify they are free from glyphosate residue. They realize that you want more than just their word. You want transparency in the food you eat.
Do you have a right to know if there is glyphosate in the food you eat? These brands think you have a right to know.
- MegaFood Supplements
- FoodStirs brownie mixes
- Uncle Matts Organic Orange Juice
- Heavenly Organic honey
- Chosen Foods Avocado Oil
It’s not enough to simply purchase organic and think you are avoiding glyphosate completely. As the organic industry deals with adulteration in their own global supply chain, brands have decided to get Glyphosate Residue Free certification from The Detox Project.