Now I don't eat things that come in a package or a plastic, but sometimes I make an exception, and if I do, I try to choose the less processed option. Some of the things I still buy contain 'modified starch' (like spice mix).
Is modified starch something to avoid? Is modified starch different from normal starch (healthwise)?
Modified starch is when they take a regular starch and acid treat it with something like hydrochloric acid which partially degrades it. Hydrochloric acid sounds creepy but it's actually an acid your own stomach produces for digestion. MOdified starches are useful as thickeners, emulsifiers, stabilizers, etc in many kinds of foods. Since this is a starch and the food is processed, obviously, it's not paleo nor particularly good for you. But it's hard to say if this is really a big deal if only, say, a quarter teaspoon or less is consumed once in a while. I'd say for healthy people giving what I currently know, it's probably not a big deal if a bit of this is in one of your spice jars or gets spritzed onto your food at your friend's house. I'd still eat it, but over the long haul, I'd be looking for foods that have less or none of it.
Within 20 minutes of eating wheat my stomach locks up (it works at half the rate of normal) causing this heavy "rock" feeling in my gut along with swelling and pain. Well a month or so after going wheat free I had a terrible experience one night after eating barbecued chicken. I had veggies with it and nothing that contained wheat and got VERY sick. When I checked the label ingredients (this was pre-paleo) there was no wheat listed, but there was "modified food starch". I went to the website where I found the curious statement that "usually" if the food starch is wheat it will state so. "Usually." Uh huh. If you have any kind of reaction to gluten I'd stay as far away from it as possible. In my case it didn't take very much at all to cause a severe reaction.