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#143307 - 05/13/02 04:00 PM Strange question about cooking oil.
ChrisW Offline
What is the primary cooking oil that is used be restaurants in Belize?

I am asking because my daughter is allergic to soybean and milk products. Here in the states it is impossible to eat out and difficult to grocery shop. Soybean oil is the cheapest oil here and it is used by virtually all restaurants and all food manufacturers.

We manage by rarely eating out and by buying "raw" ingredients. For example, it is difficult to find bread that is not made with soybean oil so we make our own bread.

Is there any chance that soybean oil is not available in Belize

How about dairy products? I heard that there is not a diary industry in Belize and dairy stuff is pretty hard to come by. Is that true?


[This message has been edited by ChrisW (edited 05-13-2002).]

[This message has been edited by ChrisW (edited 05-13-2002).]

#143308 - 05/13/02 08:09 PM Re: Strange question about cooking oil.
susangg Offline
I don't know about milk...you would need to check with the bakery as far as bread goes. But you are probably safe if you stick to tortillas; I don't think they use milk in those (but ASK!)
But, I doubt that soybean oil is used for anything in Belize (but again, when faced with life or death questions, its best to ASK!)
Belize is the home of yummy, delicious, high calorie, high cholesterol COCONUT oil....and that's what they use in just about everything. They also use a lot of LARD. I don't know if LARD is on your allergen list so here again: ASK!
Rice is made with coconut milk...but of course, its not really "milk," its coconut juice. So I think you are safe.
My guess is that you and your child should be able to eat hearty just about anywhere without risking soybean and milk reactions. No ice cream or yogurt though. I don't think they carry dairy-free ice creams or yogurts.
I hope butter is not on the list also. If it is, you need to be very specific in ordering meals because butter is widely used.
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: susangg@garcia.mpowermail.com

#143309 - 05/14/02 09:55 AM Re: Strange question about cooking oil.
ChrisW Offline
Happily, it is not a life or death issue. It is the diffence between having a happy blemish free child and an itchy cranky child.
Also lots of kids outgrow this type of allergy so we have our fingers crossed.

Butter would be bad. Lard would be OK as would be coconut oil.

Asking about ingredients at restaurants is always iffy at best. The answer is many times slanted towards what the customer wants to hear. The answers are not really outright lies, but just bad guesses.

I don't blame anybody because it is difficult to find the time in a busy restaurant to read every label on every ingredient and it can also be difficult figure out from the labels if they contain any soybean or milk products. (examples: vegetable oil, modified food starch, whey, lactic acid)

So the best I can hope for is a general idea of what the most used cooking oil is. I guessed/hoped it was not soybean oil since I don't think they grow soybeans there. Now that you mention it, it would make sense for Belize to use lard. It is cheap and they don't have the health hang-ups we have in the states. They probably can't afford to be picky and just use whatever is cheapest.

#143310 - 05/14/02 05:42 PM Re: Strange question about cooking oil.
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
It would be good if one of the people involved in the restaurant business in San Pedro could speak to the oil issue. Or maybe just try e-mailing some of the restaurants that have e-mail or hotels with restaurants and ask them.

I know that in kitchens I see a good deal of oil from Mexico -- can't think of the brand, and don't know what the base is, but it's pretty cheap -- and also coconut oil and lard.

--Lan Sluder
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#143311 - 05/14/02 05:50 PM Re: Strange question about cooking oil.
Laguna Punta Offline
While "marginal" health issues need addressing in the US, here in Belize the issue becomes greater. The health "intrastructure" here is not good, and if emergency health care is necessary, my prayers are with you!!
Gone fishing!!

#143312 - 05/14/02 06:15 PM Re: Strange question about cooking oil.
susangg Offline
My advice is to be sure to pack a few anaphlactic shock injectors in your suitcase in case you get the wrong answer.
I am sure your physician has already told you this, but in case he hasn't.....ask him for a prescription for a couple of those. Be sure that they are child-dosed, as the regular does may be too much for a small child.
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: susangg@garcia.mpowermail.com


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