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Makeshift Mama

The more I read about food companies, the more I believe that there really is a corporate conspiracy - or many of them - at work. I just read about how the Almond Board of California decided to start pasteurizing all almonds this past fall, but still label them "raw." Who does that benefit? Why not tell the truth? Would it hurt to say "pasteurized?" It would hurt profits. Grrrr...

KMat

I don't know if I necessarily believe that food allergies amongst children are on the rise. Maybe they are, maybe parents are just doing more self-diagnosing than ever before. Whatever the case is, how can you argue with eating less processed, more organic foods? An interesting (and easy to read) book about changing your eating habits is "The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics." I forget the author, and at times she's a little dogmatic, but after reading it I was totally inspired to change mine (and my family's) eating habits. Nothing as drastic as the book suggests (I feel like the author is single, with no children), but definite little changes. Now that I'm thinking about it, I think I'm going to re-read it--the holidays always throw a wrench into any healthy eating patterns we've developed!

rae

i am shocked and dumbfounded at what's happened to how our country eats. we are fighting a bad case of obesity within our own nuclear family and i hate that. we're committing to make drastic changes this year that are going to be beyond difficult for us, but the cost of continuing how we are is far higher a price. for those passionate about this topic, go watch this trailer. it's astonishing.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/kingcorn/trailer/

i'm glad this topic was posted and i admire robyn for the steps she's taken. what an amazing mother and activist!

Mum to three atopic kids

I can empathize with Robyn in her quest to find a reason for the increase in food allergies. I am a mom to three atopic kids. All three have eczema, one has asthma, and one has life threatening food allergies. I want more than anything to find out why they have these conditions, and to find a cure so that my child, especially the one with food allergies, can be safe.

That said, I think we need to read Robyn's site with caution. She is a mom with a background in PR and advertising - not research and medicine. Nevertheless, she states her theories and medical opinion as fact.

The unfortunate truth is that no one knows why more kids have allergies, and why more kids are experiencing severe reactions. While I agree with some points that there are some scary things about our food supply, in our case, organics have nothing to do with my daughter's allergies. I have been vegetarian for almost 10 years, and have bought organics for as long as I can remember. I buy produce at local farmer's markets as often as I can. My daughter was exclusively breastfed for the first six months of her life. The first time I tried to supplement with infant formula, she experienced a life threatening reaction (vomiting, hives covering her body, throat and lip swelling and respiratory distress). As you can imagine we have been quite careful with food for her. While her friends learned to eat Cherrios and goldfish crackers, she was snacking on diced parsnips and pinto beans. She has never had fast food. She has only a handful of "safe" pre-packaged products. Everything else we've ever made for her has been organic, fresh food. She is allergic to milk, peanuts, egg, soy, wheat and oats.

Robyn's statements can in fact be detrimental to those suffering from severe allergies. She goes as far as to say that no one is allergic to raw milk. People are allergic to proteins in food, which are there regardless of whether a food is raw. I sure won't be trying anything that says milk, raw or not, with my daughter.

Through the past two years, I have had many people "blame" me for her allergies. People would say I must not have breastfed her, must have fed her non-organic, must have cleaned my house to much...etc etc. With three kids aged 2 1/2 and under as well as a large dog, I can assure you that our house is anything but clean.

I feel that Robyn's site is another "blame the mother" theory. If I had only fed organics...well guess what - I did.

Anyway, I guess this is a hot button for me. Managing so many food allergies it trying, and I walk a fine line making sure my daughter is safe while still letting her be a kid. I just hate the mis-information out there about food allergies, because it will make my primary job - to keep her safe - harder as she gets old enough to go to school and be in the care of others.

I do send big kudos to any mama who sets up a business and runs it and her household successfully. For that, she is admirable.

Lisa

Really great info & perspective. It is always so tough to sort out one's beliefs verses what the medical community has found or is saying when it is easy to be skeptical. It is a tough road to hoe regardless. My mother suffers from late-in-life food allergies so I know second-hand (very different from first-hand, I know!) how frustrating and time-consuming it can be, and how very much those who are directly involved would like a reason for it all - and one that others can accept, too.

Lynn

My oldest daughter (8) is allergic to most the main allergens. She is not anaphylactic but had symptoms beginning at 17 months, she was not diagnosed with food allergies until she was six. Even though I asked the doctor repeatedly if she could be tested for allergies. Unhelpful would be a positive way to describe his response. When we finally did visit the allergist, they were also unhelpful. I left the office with a long list of things she could not eat, it included most of the foods we ate and no idea of how to feed her a balanced meal.

However, two years on my daughter is healthy and we have learned how to eat together and interesting dispite her diet restrictions. The teachers and parents at her school are understanding and accommodating. I wish there was more study on allergies and doctors offered better assistance to parents on this difficult issue.

I would also like to note that since I had allergies as a child we seldom eat fast food or prepared food.

Depending on what a person is allergic to there are a lot of choices if one is willing to be creative and take the time in the kitchen.

Melissa

Not entirely related to this subject, but does anywone know of any nut free schools in the Portland Public School District for kindergarten on up?

Jenny

Where do I start with my 3.5yr old boy? We need a specialist to do an evaluation on behavior, and let us know what to do. Is it a food allergy? Why is our sweet little guy going bonkers...and its more than being a athletic, smart, 3yr boy at this point. Any suggestions?

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