Is our food killing us? Asking this question is logical given what’s happened since the introduction in the mid-1990s of genetically modified seeds to increase production – some say so we can feed the world, others say so that agribusiness can reap higher profits. During this same timeframe the rate of food allergies and obesity have skyrocketed in the United States and more people are getting more cancers without a genetic risk.
Policies at schools have changed to accommodate small children who get violently ill (and some who would go into anaphylactic shock) if they touch a friend’s PB&J, or eat a wheat-based cookie or cupcake brought for treats, or just this once sneak a bit of that oh-so-tempting chocolate milk.
Diet books and weight-loss programs abound as rates of obesity continue to climb in adults and children (and health care costs along with them). Gluten free is all the rage to address leaky guts – a problem that no one I know even heard of in the ’80s.
One food after another has become the enemy. Unlabeled genetically modified foods now are in abundance in our dairy, wheat, corn, soy, and more. And these genetically modified substances also make their way into our meat and poultry supply through animal feed. We’ve substituted the natural foods that cows, pigs, and chickens eat feeding them genetically modified corn. And we substituted the natural foods we all once ate with GMO foods. Our diets are inundated with genetically modified stuff.
Could this be the reason, in part, for more environmentally-caused cancers? Now, 9 out of 10 breast cancer patients are woman with no family history of breast cancer. In all the recent discussions about Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a preventative mastectomy, it was only seldom mentioned that just a tiny fraction of women have the faulty gene that took Ms. Jolie’s mother’s life and gave her an 85% chance of getting breast cancer. Most women are getting it from other causes – and my bet is the environment.
All of these increases coincide with the changes in our food supply. Changes, by the way, that governments all over the world have refused to allow in their food supply.
Robyn O’Brien is a former food industry analyst who investigated what’s happened to our food supply after her child had a serious allergic reaction to breakfast one morning. She is the author of The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It and in this TEDx talk from 2011, she explains how we each can begin to shift our food supply back to healthy production.
The health of our children, and our nation, depends on us. We all can make a difference.