Gluten Free For Good


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* 9-22 Update on this post—Thanks to everyone for your great comments and input. Jane from PA was the winner of the give-away, but if you haven’t read the post yet, please do so. It’s full of compelling information.

Did you know?

• Almost 29 million pounds of antibiotics are sold for subtherapeutic use in agriculture each year (2009 estimate from the FDA). Animals are routinely given antibiotics to compensate for the unhealthy living conditions on factory farms. The overuse of antibiotics in our food supply is connected to the increase in antibiotic-resistant organisms. Unfortunately, that impacts the treatment of life-threatening diseases in humans. According to the State Environmental Resource Center, the USDA estimates that 70% of all food borne illness in the US can be traced to meat.

• In his book, Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies, Kenneth Bock, MD states that in the past 2 decades, autism has increased 1500%, ADHD 400%, asthma 300%, and allergies 400%.

• Recombinant bovine (cattle) growth hormone (rBGH / rBST) is a genetically engineered hormone approved by the FDA in 1993. The product, used to increase milk production in dairy cows, carries with it an elevated risk to the animal of mastitis (udder infections), digestive disorders, and a host of other negative health conditions. Treatment requires routine antibiotic injections. These hormones and drugs find their way into the milk supply. Canada, the European Union, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have banned the use of rBGH. We have not.

• Genetically engineered (modified) foods contain genetic material that has been artificially altered. These foods convey characteristics that weren’t previously found in our food supply, including the possibility of new allergens. Eighty percent of all processed foods in the US contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

Epidemiological studies indicate that exposure to certain crop pesticides may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease by up to 75%. Exposure to multiple chemicals acting synergistically may increase the effect of each chemical.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found the prevalence of food allergies in children under the age of 18 to be 8%. Among children with food allergies, 38.7% had a history of severe reactions and 30.4% had multiple food allergies.

• Researchers at the University of Southampton found that hyperactivity and behavior problems increased in children who were exposed to artificial food colors and the preservative sodium benzoate. Check here for details.

• Through extensive research, Dr. Joseph Murray (Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and Celiac disease specialist), has found that Celiac disease is five times more common now than it was 50 years ago. He believes something has changed in our environment to trigger the increase. This isn’t about an increase in diagnosis, it is about the increase in occurrence. Check here for his explanation. There has also been an increase in non-Celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy.

• The wheat we eat today is very different from the wild version our ancestors first cultivated thousands of years ago. We now have over 25,000 genetic variations of wheat, many with high yield and high gluten properties. Gluten is a common ingredient in processed food, is difficult to digest and is of no biological value.

• On their website, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, states that the prevalence of asthma increased 75% from 1980 – 1994. Asthma rates in children under the age of five have increased more than 160% in that same time period. In 2007, 29% of children who had a food allergy also had asthma.

• In a 2008 press release, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that the number of young people who had a food or digestive allergy had increased by 18% between 1997 and 2007. The CDC report determined that children with food allergies were up to four times more likely to have asthma.

I could go on (and on), but you get the idea. These are random facts that impact our health. I believe they’re all connected. What we eat today is vastly different from what our grandparents ate fifty or sixty years ago. The introduction of highly processed foods, the overuse of antibiotics, genetically engineered ingredients, additives and dyes, crops sprayed with pesticides, fast food on every corner, patented seeds, and compromised soil have all played a part in changing the quality of the food we eat and how our bodies react to that food.

Why does it matter?

A large part of the immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. When we eat foods that contain pesticides, additives, hormones, antibiotics, etc., it confuses the very system that is designed to keep us healthy. We end up with nutrient deficiencies, food intolerances/sensitivities, bacterial imbalances and an increased risk for all kinds of diseases and disorders.

Robyn O’Brien, founder of the AllergyKids website and author of The Unhealthy Truth, is on a mission to raise awareness regarding the proliferation of toxins in our food supply and how that relates to the rapid rise in serious health conditions. I’ve met Robyn on a couple of different occasions and had the pleasure of joining her and several other health bloggers for lunch recently. We’re all in this together and sharing reliable information about the toxic changes in our food supply is important. For more information about Robyn, check out her TED talk video. She has a fascinating story.

I don’t often do give-aways or events on my blog as I’m too scattered, busy, and unorganized to commit to them. But – I’m passionate about wholesome, nourishing food. I’m also a nutritionist and mom to four kids and I don’t like the thought that my family (or yours) is being exposed to dangerous substances without our knowledge. Several other writers who attended the lunch with Robyn are participating in this “awareness” event and giveaway as well. Please see the links below. I’ll be adding more as the posts are published.

Okay, no more ranting. If you made it this far, please leave a comment and I’ll pick one lucky reader to receive a copy of Robyn’s informative and eye-opening book (The Unhealthy Truth), a copy of the Stonyfield Organic Yogurt cookbook and 5 coupons each for Oikos organic Greek yogurt and YoBaby organic yogurt. To increase your karmic odds, but not your statistical odds, please share this post with your friends and join me on Facebook and/or Twitter. I add lots of good information on both social network sites that I don’t have time to post here on the blog. I’ll give it a couple of weeks and then I’ll have my 5 year old neighbor pick the winning number out of a hat. I have no desire to figure out how those random raffle picker programs work, so you’ll have to trust that my little neighbor and I will do this fairly.

Check the following posts for more information. It’s a blog hop!
Write Mind Open Heart
(The Unhealthy Truth – with giveaway – and why I’m on alert for frankenfood)
Stapleton Moms (Just one thing to make your family healthier: no rBGH in your milk)
Mile High Mamas (I fed my family WHAT? Toxic secrets revealed in The Unhealthy Truth)
Lifenut (A food fight for our lives)
Evolving Mommy (The Unhealthy Truth)

Good luck!

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133 Responses to “The Unhealthy Truth plus a give-away”

  1. Laurie says:

    Thanks for the article and the giveaway! Would love to have this book! This is some scary info…

  2. Claire says:

    Thank you for posting this information. I wasn’t really aware of any of this until I had my son. He has Autism and has a sensitivity to gluten. I’ll definitely have to check out this book!

    • Melissa says:


      Yes, there is some compelling information in the book about food, autism, ADHD, etc. There are also some docs who believe gluten is a neurotoxin and that kids with autism should be on a GF diet. Interesting stuff, for sure. Thanks so much for commenting. I appreciate it.

  3. Jennifer says:

    This sounds like an amazing book!



    • Melissa says:


      Yes, the food part is really important. We’re impacted by everything we eat, drink, breath and put on our skin. If it’s not one thing, it’s another!

  5. debra taylor says:

    So help me undestand why the FDA still maintains there is no health benefit for a gluten free diet for those without celiac disease?!!! Seriously? I love your comment: Gluten is a common ingredient in processed food, is difficult to digest and is of no biological value.” I so agree with this!! Thanks for your blog!

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Debra,

      Thanks so much for your comment, support, and the labeling link you provided. I appreciate it. The more information and support we spread around this community, the better!

  6. Viktoria says:

    This books looks amazing. I love your blog and will now skip on over to you on Facebook. Thanks for your passionate posts!
    Viktoria, in recombinant bovine growth hormone-free Canada

  7. Stacey Clark says:

    Thanks for doing this giveaway. I would love to have more information…it’s scary stuff. I appreciate all of your insight too. Thank you!

    • Melissa says:


      You’re welcome! Indeed, it’s scary stuff. Good luck with the give-away. I plan to pick the winner next week. Stay tuned. =)

  8. Jane Asher says:

    Thanks for the information. It’s staggering to think of what is in our food. As a celiac I read every label, but what you are reporting is not on any label! Keep up the rants! Jane

    • Melissa says:


      Yes, it is stunning to find out what is actually in our food supply. Staggering, stunning, and scary! Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.

  9. iffat says:

    Thanks for sharing all this info, would love to be the lucky winner and read more about it. Much love and light for spreading the awareness that the world needs right now.

    • Melissa says:

      Good luck! You just might be the lucky winner. I’ll be picking the winner out of a hat (actually, my little 5-year old neighbor) next week. Thanks for the support!

  10. Brandie says:

    We have recently been making changes to going gluten-free and all organic. I have been gluten-free for one month and have slowing been convincing my husband to do the same. I would love to read this!

  11. I’d love to win this book; thank you for this wonderful giveaway!

    • Melissa says:

      I love the name TheHealthyApple! Glad you left a comment. =) I will check out your blog. With a name like that, it has to be good!

  12. Mike Joiner says:

    My wife has to struggle with allergies like this, the book would help me help her, thanks for your great work

  13. Bumble Bee says:

    Wow, thanks for all the information! The book looks great – I would love to read it 🙂

  14. Lisa says:

    This is the reason we give organic foods whenever possible to our daughter. It is frightening to see what has happened to our food sources. Great info – thanks for posting!

  15. Mandy says:

    I would really like to own this book. Thanks for the opportunity!

  16. Susan Jacobs says:

    Thanks for all the information. I would love this book. My house has 1 with celiac and others with multi-allergies and doctors seem to be idoits where celiac is concerned.

  17. Jennifer Ford says:

    Thank you for all the information!

  18. Chris says:

    Great overview of the many ways that our food & environment has changed. Robyn’s story and her TED talk were great. I’d love a copy of her book.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Sounds intriguing and scarey! It is absolutely shocking with goes into our foods these days. It’s bad enough reading the labels. Imagine what’s not printed on the labels – that’s far worse.

    My 3-year-old son had severe eczema until he was diagnosed with food allergies a few months back. I have a blog that shares our family’s battles with eczema, allergies, and asthma (yes, lucky guy has that too).

    I think the key is to learn from one another, so the more information out there to the masses, the better. With this in mind I’ve started a blog hop for anyone dealing with allergies, eczema, or asthma, either for themselves or as a caregiver. If you’re interested in joining, please add a comment. I’d love to welcome you to the group.


  20. Jennifer says:

    I would love to be the winner of this book! I have a daughter who is allergic to Eggs, Milk, Mustard, Strawberries, Soy, Wheat, Citrus fruits, Nuts, Watermelon, and I’m sure there are more…. She has severe Eczema, and gets extremely irritable when she eats even minute amounts of these foods. We have her on a simple meat, vegitable, and fruit diet with no Breads, or milk. She’s a skinny little thing with dark circles under her eyes..still beautiful, but you can just tell she doesn’t feel well. We have tried doctors and diets with not much luck. Would love to learn more! Mabey the book might have some key things that we could use to get this girl better! Thanks for having the drawing!

    very concerned parent,

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for your comment, but I’m sorry — the contest was over a long time ago. I bet you could get the book through Amazon’s used book section for very inexpensive. Also, check the library. I understand your concern as a parent! Hang in there!

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Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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