Well, that’s what the hubs is sayin’. I have recently read the book The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It by Robyn O’Brien. I’d like to say it was an eye-opener but I’ve been aware of the crap that the FDA allows the food industry to call food for a while now. This book did renew my anger for how corrupt our system has become and draw connections that I hadn’t even thought about.
I found this book through a link to Organic Connections that a friend posted on Facebook. This book is written by a mom and I think I liked knowing that things were coming from the perspective of a mom. Even though she’s talking about serious stuff, her writing isn’t written in the typical Dr. Mercola fashion (everything you do is killing you). She relays the information in a reasonable tone. Yes, she (we) are abhorred by some of the facts but she doesn’t use scary tactics or words to convey her message.
I was shocked by some of the connections to allergies that were discussed – like if you are allergic to peanuts, you could also be allergic to soy. This book mentions several conditions that are affected by the food we eat: Allergies, Asthma, Autism, and ADHD. In fact, she states that one of every three kids in the U.S. is affected by them.
I wish I had bought this book so I could have highlighted and made notes in the margins. Trying to be cost conscience, I checked this book out from the library. I also took a few months to finish reading this book. I got so enraged about half way through that I really needed to take a break. Trying to go back now so I can quote the many, many, many bits of information swirling around in my head is near impossible. This book needs to become part of my library and reread.
So, in short (and without quotes) here’s what I’ve learned:
- Milk – unless I want to drink (or my kids to drink) extra hormones, pus, bacteria and antibiotics, I will always buy rBST and rBGH free milk.
- rBST and rBGH can be in any dairy product, like yogurt and cheese. These products don’t typically label whether or not they are rBST/rBGH free. I will always buy organic yogurt (Stoneyfield Farms – yum), not sure what to do about the cheese yet.
- Corn, ah corn, I hate you. Actually, I don’t hate corn – I hate high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). That crap is in EVERYTHING. I hate what it does to our bodies and I hate what it’s starting to do to the plentiful varieties of corn that exist in Mexico. I have tried to significantly reduce my intake of HFCS and will continue to try and eradicate it from my life. I monitor my bread and crackers for this ingredient. Of course, if you drink soda, you’re getting tons of it. We’ve found Coke bottled in Mexico that contains Cane Sugar instead and it even tastes better.
- Chemical additives – I haven’t forgotten about you. From artificial sweeteners to coloring in macaroni and cheese, you are also everywhere. We haven’t bought Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in forever. We’ve recently found Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese and it passed the picky kid test. Yay! Point for mommy. I’ve been away from artificial sweeteners for so long now that if someone has sneaked it into something, I can tell. It leaves a metallic aftertaste that’s disgusting. I really don’t know how to get all the chemical additives out of our food intake, but making things from scratch will help. It pains me to buy a cake mix and I just can’t even begin to bring myself to buy something like muffin mix. Homemade from scratch only takes a little bit longer but with big rewards.
- Soy. I always knew that there had to be something about soy. It’s in about every processed food out there. I just never knew how bad it was. Again, hard to avoid but I am comparing labels and choosing organic versions if they are available.
- My feelings on Genetically Engineered Ingredients (GEI’s) also called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s)? Well, I could go on for a really, really long time. Maybe I should save that for another post? Yes – to be continued.
I know that I’m forgetting something, but that’s the best I can do for now. Stop the swirling! It all comes down to some simple coping. You will drive yourself crazy if you try to avoid everything out there that can make you sick or hurt your body in some way. Make some small changes and when they become part of your lifestyle that you don’t even have to think about anymore, make another small change. I like that Robyn uses her last chapter to try and calm you down and gives several suggestions on how to take small steps in changing what you eat. Maybe pick the one thing that makes you the most angry or upset and start there.
And, don’t be shocked when others just don’t understand your strong feelings. I’ve gotten the eye-roll, laughs, huffs, “Oh, here she goes again”, that glazed-over stare, and my favorite “Time to bring out the tin hats!” just to name a few.
Some websites for more information: