Ingredient Updates and Changes

For about 2 years now, I’ve had my sensitivity to canola oil, which means I haven’t been able to eat food items like fries unless a different oil is used. A couple months ago, I happened to look at the ingredients of frozen bags of fries from a brand I used to love, out of curiosity, because sometimes things change and I just had a feeling that something was different. Well, I was right, something was different; they changed the ingredients. They took out canola oil and used soybean and cottonseed oils. I was so excited!! I can eat fries again!!

So, I have been switching back and forth between two different types of fries I love from the same brand. Then the other day, when I went to grab a certain fry, I still look at the ingredients just in case, and noticed that the ingredients changed once again, but only for this type of fries. The crispers had canola and cottonseed oils, whereas the steak fries had soybean and cottonseed oils. Why is there different ingredients for a different type of fry that is from the same brand? So, luckily I was still able to get some fries and I got steak fries instead, but it’s kind of frustrating when the ingredients keep changing, especially when it’s from something I can eat to something I can’t.

I emailed the company and told them about my situation, asking why there’s different ingredients for different fries and why the ingredients keep changing, and this is the response I got. “I understand that you are sensitive to canola oil. We make changes to our product formulas on a regular basis. Ingredient lists can become outdated very quickly.” What?! So, they change the ingredients every so often because it becomes outdated? What does that even mean? It’s not like a music player where they are evolving and changing so the older stuff like a cassette and cassette player becomes outdated and you can’t use it or buy more of them anymore; it’s food. I still don’t understand why there’s different ingredients for different fries.

Same thing happened with icing I used to use. I was able to eat it, but then they changed the ingredients and now I can’t eat it. Their response was because of FDA regulations, which is understandable, but still frustrating when ingredients keep changing on me adding food items that I can no longer eat and taking away food that I used to be able to eat even after developing food sensitivities.

What if ingredients change from food I’m currently able to eat, but I don’t even realize it until I eat some, thinking I’ll be okay, but then have a reaction and am confused as to why? Usually when a brand changes the ingredients, they also change the packaging, so you know that something is different, which then I look at the ingredients again to make sure. But, what if I think nothing of it and still grab the food, but then have a stomachache not realizing that they added canola oil and/or soy lecithin? Like what if the natural peanut butter I get, which has palm oil in it, changes to canola oil or they add soy lecithin to it and maybe don’t change the look of it, or maybe do change the look of it, but I don’t think to look at the ingredients? Is it legal to change the ingredients like that? Can I sue a company if I think that what I’m eating is safe to eat because that’s what I have been safely eating, but then it makes me sick because they changed the ingredients and I didn’t know that or realize it was different?

For example, we got Chinese food the other day and I’ve always been able to eat the fortune cookies because they only had soybean oil in them. Well, this time they also had soy lecithin in them and I happened to notice before I ate some, but the packaging was still the same. So, if I didn’t look at the ingredients, I would’ve gotten a stomachache and been confused as to why not knowing that the ingredients changed in the fortune cookies.

I now know that I sadly have to double check the ingredients for everything I buy, even the foods I know that are safe to eat because the ingredients could change and I wouldn’t even know it. How many other brands have changed their ingredients? Luckily, I get this feeling that something is different and decide to look at the ingredients, but that’s not the case for everybody. I feel like brands should have a big change when the ingredients are different like put the words, “new ingredients” in big bold letters in the front of the packaging as well as maybe change the color and look of the packing like Enjoy Life Foods did making everything a teal color so it stands out and is easy to find.

I feel like brands try to change things up and make things better, which only makes it more frustrating for us loyal customers. A lot of people don’t like change, especially a change in ingredients where us folks with food problems can no longer eat food we used to love. We then lose trust and hope in a brand and move on to something different. We are only happy and excited when the change benefits us. What’s important is what makes us, the customers, happy.

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