Eosinophilic Esophagitis… Say that 3 times fast… or even one time slow.
Lewy-Body Dementia… Sounds like a cartoon character with memory problems.
GMOs… the stuff of science fiction.
Organic, “grocery stores are full of poison”, allergies, Monsanto, preservatives, artificial colors, hybrids, leaky gut, vaccines, the dirty dozen, immunoglobins, additives, gluten-free….
All of these words and phrases are constantly floating and banging around in my head these days. Ouch. What are these words, you ask? Thanks for asking! I shall tell you! You see, my daughter has Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) a relatively “new” disease that, in laymen’s terms, is an allergic reaction to food that occurs in the esophagus. Treating this disease is complicated because, obviously, we can not see the esophagus so to understand what she is allergic to is a guessing game of sorts. Some people who have it can’t eat food orally at all due to inflammation of the esophagus. We are “lucky” so far that she can still eat most things, but that could change. My father’s autopsy showed not Alzheimers, but Lewy-Body Dementia, (LBD) which is, for lack of a better and easier way to explain it, a cross between Alzheimers and Parkinsons. No scarier than Alzheimers but still scary because my father was an otherwise very healthy and active man who lost his life at 67.
That is your crash course in two disorders you probably have never heard of but will probably begin to hear more about as they both are increasing in occurrence (as are all allergies and dementias). With these diagnoses, I have begun to do research. I am the type of person that dives in head first and wants to learn everything I can, be part of every support group and website, and participate in every fundraiser. I am nothing if not informed.
My research has led me to want to understand the cause of increases in these problems…which has led me straight to the very food that is sold to us. Thus, all of those other words dancing around in my brain. Sadly, I have learned that I am uninformed, and I am now frightened by a world which I apparently should not have trusted.
I thought I knew how to eat healthy. I know how to eat a balanced, healthy meal and not get fat. I know how to lose weight. Don’t eat at McDonalds. Eat fist-sized portions. Say no to butter and salt, etc, etc. I was even aware that weird ingredients are put into food, and I knew food dyes and preservatives were unhealthy. I got that, but what I didn’t get was that the very food we are buying at the store – even our vegetables – may be poisoning us and killing us.
I am not going to go deeply into how this is all poisoning us other than to say that the industry has worked very hard to save a buck and make a dollar at our expense. You all can do searches and see the research that is out there. Soy is hazardous in high amounts, and soy is in almost everything. We should all stop eating anything with GMOs in it – but, as my husband points out, if we stopped doing that and ate what is available that does not contain GMOs, then this country would not have the food supply to support it. I am not one to believe conspiracy theories, but I do believe he has a point. The problems go on and on.
We are killing ourselves and killing our families. Jamie Oliver, a well-known celebrity chef who is on a healthy eating campaign, said recently, “We, the adults of the last four generations, have blessed our children with the destiny of a shorter lifespan than their own parents. Your child will live a life 10 years younger than you because of the landscape of food that we’ve built around them.” He is primarily talking about obesity as the root cause but do not deny that this is all related. We have turned a blind eye to the food we eat for so long that we no longer pay attention to the food we put in our bodies. In this country we eat for the wrong reasons – we focus on convenience and pleasure rather than nutrition (though I don’t think they are mutually exclusive).
I am in the process of shifting my life – I am taking baby steps and educating myself. I have family and friends who are guiding me along the way. I am lucky to be part of a very food-conscious, health-conscious extended family. I even have a cousin sending me gadgets and food plans and being my cheerleader. The change won’t be easy but it is necessary, and I hope that others will follow. I need my daughter to be healthy. The excuse of ‘organic is too expensive’ won’t be an excuse if we all buy organic and the supply goes up. 100% organic should be the norm rather than the alternative choice. Stores must see that this is what their consumers are asking for. We need to be eating healthy, wholesome food that has nutrients. Common sense. It’s common sense.
Lets change our vocabulary to familiar words…organic, healthy, clean, nutritious, local, real food.