Chemical-Soaked Industrial Food: Tough Questions, Real Answers

Why are chemicals so pervasive in industrial foods?

The increased usage of chemicals in food production means more money for agribusinesses. With each new protein or hormone, the agribusiness is able to patent and gain exclusive sales rights. There is more money to be made off of engineered foods than foods that grow and reproduce naturally. 

Don't these chemicals protect the crop from pests and create a more stable food system?

Though this is certainly a selling point from agribusinesses, the usage of pesticides, herbicides, and genetically engineered crops has not created a more stable food system. The long-term effects of these chemicals on humans have not been adequately studied. Additionally, the increasing crop homogenization and decrease in species diversification leaves us vulnerable to a pest, virus or bacteria that could wipe out an entire crop. Though the chemicals do prevent pests in the short-term, the long-term public health effects are much more detrimental.

How does chemical exposure in food consumption effect our children's bodies?

Since 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tracts, the foods we eat along with the chemicals they contain significantly impact our health. As these foods travel down the intestines, they can corrode the “pipes” much in the same way that chemical toxins corrode plumbing. The damage inflicted can leave a child vulnerable to a long list of autoimmune disorders such as food allergies, asthma, and ADD/ADHD, among many others.

What can I do to help protect my family? 5 Steps Towards A More Secure Diet:

  1. Educate yourself and others about industrial food.
  2. Eat a healthy, unprocessed diet.
  3. Buy local, organic fruits and vegetables.
  4. Avoid meat and dairy products that have been treated with hormones or antibiotics.
  5. Get a food allergy test for family members that display signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Detecting Food Allergies: What Every Parent Needs to Know

12 Signs and Symptoms of a Food Allergy

  1. hives
  2. itching
  3. rash (eczema)
  4. behavioral/temper changes
  5. swelling of the face, lips, tongue and/or eyes
  6. diarrhea
  7. vomiting
  8. cramps
  9. itching and tightness of throat
  10. difficulty breathing (asthma)
  11. wheezing
  12. in extreme cases, anaphylactic shock.

What is a food allergy?

A food allergy is an immune reaction to a protein usually found in food that the body perceives as a foreign invader.

Can Children Outgrow Food Allergies?

Some children may outgrow their food allergy, though evidence increasingly suggests that autoimmune disorders such as asthma, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis, among others, may result.

What Can I do to Keep My Family Safe?

  1. Cut “frankenfoods”

Manufactured by agribusinesses with suspect synthetic proteins, preservatives and dyes, these processed foods are built with foreign additives that our bodies often reject, resulting in allergic reactions and many other health issues.

  1. Eat real food

Local, organic fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products are usually the cleanest and safest nutrient sources. Support these alternatives by shopping at farmer's markets.

  1. Food Allergy Blood Test

Simple, reliable, and cost-effective, these food allergy tests can quickly detect up to 96 possible food allergens particular to any one person. If a loved one is displaying the signs and symptoms of a potential food allergy, this is the quickest and easiest detection method.

5 Big Changes: A Hospital's Nutritional Make-Over

Soggy lettuce. Mealy potatoes. Rubberized flank steak. The mere idea of hospital food can trigger one's gag reflex.

At St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, the hospital food's image has just undergone a complete makeover. St. Joseph is backed by the Michigan Health and Hospital Association's Healthy Food Hospitals program, which supports locally grown foods and nutritional choices for patients and staff. These initiatives set the foundation for the new hospital cafeteria.

A quick look at the new changes:

1. Portion-size reduction

2. Lower fat and sodium content

3. Fresh ingredients from on-site farm

4. Fewer processed foods, more home-made products

5. Color-coded system which allows cafeteria-goers to select the healthiest option for their diet

St. Joseph Mercy certainly raised the bar, but why did it take so long? If what we eat directly correlates to our health, why aren't all hospitals creating similar cafeterias? We cannot wait for hospital's to catch up to our needs. It is important that we take our health into our own hands. If you or a loved one is experiencing pain or discomfort, don't let a medical system stand in your path.

To find out more, click on this link:

http://www.annarbor.com/news/st-joseph-ann-arbor-opens-new-health-conscious-cafeteria-wednesday/

Two Zero-Cost Tips: Potential Food Allergies Revealed

Dr. Doris Rapp, Pediatric Allergist and Mother of Environmental Medicine, mentions some simple ways to check for potential food allergies at home. The first question we must ask ourselves is: “My child was fine until they ate, touched or smelled what?” The sooner we think critically about our environments, the sooner we can help our children.

Food Allergy Test #1: Infants

• Food allergies tend to appear in infants when they switch to solid foods.

• If you notice food allergy symptoms, remove any common food allergens from the infant’s diet.

• Then add each food separately in a 4-day interval.

• Note any changes in your child's behavior.

• Infants that arch their bodies and toss their heads back are often displaying signs of an allergic reaction.

 

Food Allergy Test #2: Children

• Have your child write or draw before they eat.

• If your child suffers from asthma, have them blow into a peak flow meter.

• Wait twenty minutes after food is eaten.

• Have your child write, draw or blow into the peak flow meter again.

• Notice any changes.

• Observe their behavior.

• Repeat test with different foods and locations.

• If significant behavioral or physical changes are noted, your child should have an official food allergy test.

Shocking Symptoms: What Every Parent Should Know

This month’s blogs will center around an eye-opening and informative interview of pediatric allergist Dr. Doris Rapp on the Phil Donahue show. The 45-minute long show can be viewed at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRDpcWZUEiU

Dr. Doris Rapp is considered the Mother of Environmental Medicine. She has received numerous awards for her work on the affects of environmental toxins and food allergies on the human body. More about her work can be found at her website.

A Word from Dr. Doris Rapp, Pediatric Allergist:

“We have managed to pollute our air, our water, our foods, our clothing, our homes, our schools and our work areas and the youngsters you are seeing today. Many of them can't go to school anymore because of all the chemicals. They can't go shopping. They can't go to a movie. There are many things they can't do. Everyone knows about allergies affecting the nose, and the eyes, and the lungs, but allergies and environmental factors can affect the way we think.”

 

Dr. Rapp, Pediatric Allergist and the Mother of Environmental Medicine hasmany tips if you suspect your infant has food allergies. Here is a comprehensive list:
Symptoms of Food Allergies in Infants
1. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and/or constipation, bloody stools
2. Hives, eczema, asthma
3. Prolonged colic, crying, inability to sleep at night
4. Poor growth, failure to thrive, inability to properly absorb nutrients
5. Acid reflux
6. Congestion of nose or chest, excessive spitting
7. Head banging, crib rocking
• Symptoms of Food Allergies in Children 
1. Red earlobes, cheeks
2. Dark eye circles
3. Bags or wrinkles under the eyes
4. “Spaced out” look
5. Wiggly, restless legs
6. Dislike of being touched or cuddled
7. Bedwetting after the age of five
8. Asthma, hay fever
9. Diagnosed with ADHD, inability to focus
10. Headaches
11. Depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings
12. Violent behavior, temper tantrums, aggression
13. “Allergic Salute”- particular way of wiping nose as shown at 17:15 in Phil Donahue interview from 1989: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRDpcWZUEiU.

 

Healing Solutions for Your Child and Eczema

Sarah's skin felt like ants were crawling all over it. Welts developed behind her knees and on her elbows. Sometimes the itchiness was so debilitating that Sarah had to come home from preschool. The welts occasionally filled with puss and burst when Sarah raked her nails over them. Sarah's mother, Cynthia, did her best to soothe the pain, but the rash continued to spread.

What is eczema?

Eczema is a general term for five different “itchy rashes”: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema and seborrheic dermatitis. Often treated with steroids, cortisone or whatever new topical treatment is on the market, most doctors fail to address the eczema's cause: food allergies. While food allergies are not the definitive cause of eczema, the Food Allergy Center states that “Eczema...is a food allergy until proven otherwise.”

Mixed Messages from Modern Medicine

Talk Eczema, an educational website about eczema, believes “there is no cure for eczema.” The best course of action is to follow a “good skin routine” that they characterize as the usage of “emollients” and “prescribed medication.” Only then can “the effects of eczema...be managed and controlled.” Yet, in the same article, they mention that food allergies can cause eczema. Why would Talk Eczema promote medication and emollients at all if through mere diet modification we could completely eliminate the problem?

A note from Dr. Gislason

Dr. Gislason, a well-regarded doctor and food allergy specialist believes that many medical doctors “do not want people to solve health problems on their own. They want people to depend on MDs and buy drugs.” Think about this the next time you purchase yet another expensive tube of topical medication. Total relief could be right around the corner when you ask the right questions.

Cynthia's Resolution

Sarah was so embarrassed about her itchy rash that one day she refused to go to school. Cynthia decided to take action. She took Sarah to a food allergy specialist and completed an allergy blood test. When the results returned, Cynthia was amazed to find that Sarah was allergic to dairy and eggs. Once those foods had been removed from Sarah's diet for 2 months, the eczema vanished. Now Sarah is a totally different little girl. She is more outgoing in preschool and recently asked to take swimming lessons- something she would have been too embarrassed to do before the eczema disappeared.