The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick - And What We Can Do About It

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There has been a long list of things that have been on the rise in the past years, such as autism, ADHD, and depression. But, nothing has proved, including this book, that those things are related to GMOs. I'm not saying there isn't some form of a link big or small , but there is no proof only correlations. I also find it highly appalling that the other believed that feeding her children Mac-n-Cheese, frozen waffles, dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, and other highly processed food was healthy.

I thought it was fairly universally realized that people use them simply because they are convenient and it saves time not because they were nutritious. O'Brien is like the lady that sued McDonalds because her child got fat after eating a happy meal every day. Despite all the things that irritated me about this book, I did have to give it two stars because she does make some valid points. I do believe that a lot of our health problems can be cleaned up by eating more natural not necessarily organic , unprocessed foods.

I am a big believer in cooking from scratch, growing your own food, and knowing what exactly goes into your mouth. I do support the organic industry verbally, not with my own dollars , and think there needs to be more clear delineation and labels between what is organic and what isn't.

I think there is a lot of benefits that can be derived from GMO foods and I appreciate the fact that we have yummy corn on the cob to eat, a bountiful supply of rich wheat that feeds the world's population even though that's one food I can't eat , and lots of other wonderful crops that come from the evolution of seeds and the alterations thereof. May 07, Holly rated it it was ok. I enjoyed Robyn O'Brien's conversational writing style because I prefer reading a book that feels like the author is conversing with me, rather than dryly lecturing me, and Robyn was both chatty and amusing throughout the book.

Also, I very much appreciated her candor about her family's dietary issues and struggles and compromises. Her information about GMOs, preservatives, artificial ingredients, the FDA, patenting and the history of their approval, use and study around the globe is an excellen I enjoyed Robyn O'Brien's conversational writing style because I prefer reading a book that feels like the author is conversing with me, rather than dryly lecturing me, and Robyn was both chatty and amusing throughout the book. Her information about GMOs, preservatives, artificial ingredients, the FDA, patenting and the history of their approval, use and study around the globe is an excellent primer for anyone who needs an introduction to how our food is manufactured, marketed and monitored.

However, her "solutions" fall hideously short and do not all logically follow from her arguments. She thinks that we need socialized medicine because then the government will do a better job policing the food industry if they have to pay for the damage it does. Why ask the government to solve all our problems and micromanage everything for us?!

In fact, following her bunny trail solution, the government should be like China and institute government fertility police to force abortions and sterilizations on the citizenry because if the government has to educate, protect and provide health care for its people then it should decide how many of what kind of people it should be responsible for.

Essentially, her big picture solution is more government policing of the food and pharmaceutical industries. How about we just do something about the corruption in the agencies that already abound since we seem to be stuck with them? Her personal solutions for the individual and family amount to pretty much, "I'll have a little less of the toxic food the standard American is having. Using only part of the packet in Kraft Mac n Cheese. Eating "natural" Cheetos instead of the regular ones?

Drinking a bunch of sugary juice in place of Kool Aid? That sounds like hitting yourself in the head with a 1 pound hammer instead of a 1. Well, sure, but it's still pretty awful! I am not knocking the solutions that worked for her, and would not want to tell her what to eat, but my opinion is that her recommendations fall far short of really healthy diet changes that are just as do-able and she misses the chance to advocate for traditional, natural foods that have stood the test of time across culture.

Aug 25, Sera rated it liked it. I read this book because Robyn discusses the Feingold Diet which my family follows with much success and I wanted to read her opinion on this diet. Robyn's discussion of genetically altered food was very interesting. Her discussion about cows treated with antibiotics was also very interesting.

I also especially liked her list of "dirty dozen" vegetables and fruits.

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I would have given the book 4 stars except for the following 2 reasons: The book was written from the perspective of a hysterical I read this book because Robyn discusses the Feingold Diet which my family follows with much success and I wanted to read her opinion on this diet. The book was written from the perspective of a hysterical mother and all of the extraneous exclamation points were used to continuously remind and often irritate the reader. Had the book been written from a calmer point of view it would have been more credible and easier to read.

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I do however applaud Robyn's taking on "Big Food" as it is a fearsome foe. Oct 06, Maria rated it it was ok. Anyone who has paid attention to recent within the last 10 years information about GM food or who has watched any number of documentaries about American food Food, Inc. The author uses the word "shocking" multiple times in a way that makes it seem that her research is new; it's not!

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But to her, because it was new, she presents it as such. That said, wha Anyone who has paid attention to recent within the last 10 years information about GM food or who has watched any number of documentaries about American food Food, Inc. That said, what she does share is good info for any novice researcher who hasn't paid attention to what chemicals and GM does to food. Her casual voice may annoy some, but it does make the info easier to swallow than a strictly academic voice.

I found her strident, self centered, and annoying mostly because I couldn't believe someone could be this ignorant about so many things , but I cut her some slack for her efforts to spread a good message. After developing an argument on why we should avoid certain foods, she loses ground. The last chapter in this book is laughable.

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Glad that someone is attempting to fight this battle! And I loved every minute of that job. Essentially, her big picture solution is more government policing of the food and pharmaceutical industries. It was interesting for me, as a parent with a child with food allergies, but maybe not for others. And all the time they knew how bad it was. She thinks that we need socialized medicine because then the government will do a better job policing the food industry if they have to pay for the damage it does.

After preaching about how bad food is, she offers solutions that include simply eating less of the harmful food despite earlier claiming that even a small portion is detrimental to health. Rather than advocating total avoidance or a change in lifestyle and diet the only way to really avoid "bad" foods , she seems to slip from her position and give in to the argument that convenience really does win out in the end. Jan 01, Mandy rated it liked it Shelves: These things aside, I have learned a lot of valuable information that makes me second guess myself for reaching for that tasty double-stuf mint oreo in the cupboard and has me grabbing a kiwi instead.

I had no idea that soy was so controversial, and I had never given much thou "The Unhealthy Truth" has a lot of politics in it. I had no idea that soy was so controversial, and I had never given much thought to artificial colorings or preservatives.

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I wasn't bugged by drinking milk that didn't have the rBGH free label on it, and I didn't think eating genetically modified foods was a bad idea. I have some different thoughts now. I had never heard of Monsanto before, but now I don't think I could ever forget them. Like O'Brien, we should all lament the fact that they haven't done so in the US as well. This book ends with a little bit of a fizzle, but is a very interesting read, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Jun 22, Danielle rated it really liked it Shelves: I would have preferred to give this 3. The writing drove me a little nuts. I would probably be in the minority as far as being bothered by the writing style. The book is written very conversationally and informally. I'm sure that makes it feel more accessible to a lot of people, but I am just not a fan of that writing style.

That said, the information in this book is so important. I knew a lot of the basic facts, but Robyn filled in a lot of gaps for me. Eve I would have preferred to give this 3. Everything I learned reinforced my decision to be "weird" about the way I eat and keep fighting against the standard American diet. In many ways, the book was really discouraging because it was my first time hearing a lot of the details around things that Monsanto has done and the extent to which big ag is in bed with the government agencies. I truly believe Monsanto has been more of a scourge to the world than anything else.

I would say this is recommended reading - it's the type of information I would love all the people in my life to be aware of. Apr 01, Colette Martin rated it liked it. I am rating this book a 3 primarily because I support the cause to understand more about our food supply and how it is making us sick.

Despite this message, I found the book tedious, hard to read, repetitive, and not always entirely accurate. The author relies heavily on this story line: My child ate something I thought was food. I thought about it and realized it could be the food. When the dust settled I went to the internet and did some research. I discovered something I am rating this book a 3 primarily because I support the cause to understand more about our food supply and how it is making us sick.

I discovered something that no one had discovered before — there is something wrong with that food. Oh wait, I did more research on the computer late at night and found out they do know. Along the way there are constant reminders that the author has an MBA and is a trained researcher and analyst. An example of this style would be: Was the period on her keyboard broken, or was the use of incessant question marks intentional?

Do you see how annoying that is? I could easily have summed up this entire paragraph with one sentence that ends in a period: There were too many questions and not enough straight facts. While I am not defending all of these organizations, there was too much bashing and not enough problem solving. Among the many concerns I had were: The bashing of this well-respected organization was disconcerting.

Getting the word out on epinephrine is one of the most important initiatives on food allergies, and who better to talk about it than doctors? For example, instead of choosing Diet Coke, the author recommends original Coke. I think she must not have read the label. Jul 14, Karen rated it really liked it Shelves: I would give this 5 stars for the incredible job the author did of researching the history and political information on our food system, and exposing all the backhanded ways that the FDA uses to allow unsafe products in the market.

It was very eye-opening to read how much stricter nearly every other country in the world is compared to the US. In fact, major companies like Walmart, McDonald's and Kraft, adhere to much stricter regulations overseas than in our own countries. It hasn't seemed to hu I would give this 5 stars for the incredible job the author did of researching the history and political information on our food system, and exposing all the backhanded ways that the FDA uses to allow unsafe products in the market.

It hasn't seemed to hurt their businesses - they were told to conform or else get out, and guess what? For example, Kraft Mac-n-cheese -the fluorescent orange wonder on most kids' favorites list? In the UK, it has none of the nasty artificial yellow dye! Coca-cola - after a huge study Southhampton showed that the combination of artificial coloring with sodium benzoate had a definitely negative effect on children's behavior and learning ability, those chemicals are not in the UK versions of Coke. But they are still here in the US. The reason I held off on the 5th star is that near the end the author gives many examples of how she's modified her family's meals to avoid chemicals, GMO foods, etc.

I realize she is striving for "better" not "perfect" and doesn't want people to give up simply because it seems too hard. However, I would love to see her move on from the white bread "buy it at the supermarket bakery instead of off the shelf and you avoid the preservatives" and rice and beans "cheap easy meals" to real food like meat and fresh, green vegetables. Her shopping list only included 2 vegetables, carrots and tomatoes. And hopefully she'll start looking into how nutritionally poor grains are in general, especially modern wheat. Since she already has kids with food allergies, going grain-free might benefit them even more.

Maybe in her next book: Jun 01, Stephanie rated it really liked it Shelves: The 4 stars is based on the importance of the subject matter, NOT on the writing. Wish the co-author had tried harder to get rid of the redundancies. She said "shocking" again. If you've read anything by Michael Pollan or watched Food, Inc. But this book talks specifically about kids and how food additives, colors, and genetically-modified ingredient The 4 stars is based on the importance of the subject matter, NOT on the writing.

But this book talks specifically about kids and how food additives, colors, and genetically-modified ingredients that are so popular in "kid foods" are likely contributing to their increasing health problems see: I was mostly reading for the second part, where the author gives advice on how to clean up your family's diet. Her tips are good, but she seems scared that she will put people off if she gives it to them straight. That's because England told them where they could put that crap. In the Americans' food, obviously. Jun 17, Angelea rated it liked it.

I think the author makes some valid points. I had not put much thought into GMO foods before, but she has made me think about some of the possible implications. I agree there does seem to be a lot of food allergies and intolerances out there which makes you wonder why. The first red flag for me was one chapter where she seemed to use the terms 'virus' and 'bacteria' interchangeably.

As she seemed pretty well-versed about the subject, that bothered me. I also think some of her conclusions border I think the author makes some valid points. I also think some of her conclusions border on a bit of hysteria that is not well-substantiated. And her writing style gets a little annoying to me after a while. But overall, I am glad I read the book as it is thought-provoking and I agree that many of the observations made by the average person about the relationship between their diet, or their child's diet, and physical and emotional symptoms are often poo-pooed by the mainstream medicine.

The bottom line is that we eat far too much highly processed, nutrient-poor food and it has to have implications. Mar 06, Anne Flynn rated it liked it.

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This is a book that everyone should read. The information is staggering. I was recently diagnosed with severe food allergies to two different preservatives and the information regarding our large food companies changing their formulas in the EU was eye opening to say the least. Her take on the trem This is a book that everyone should read. Her take on the tremendous rise in food allergies was also compelling!

Aug 10, Amy rated it liked it Shelves: Brought up a lot of good questions about our food supply in the US, assuming you can get past the writing style I wanted more hard information, less personal pats on the back. In other words, it can be done, we as a people have a Brought up a lot of good questions about our food supply in the US, assuming you can get past the writing style I wanted more hard information, less personal pats on the back.

In other words, it can be done, we as a people have a right to know what is in our foods, and once the information is out there, the companies are capable of removing or labeling as they are already doing in Europe. Jul 09, Kelly rated it liked it. I think this book contains a lot of interesting information. I've already changed my diet to primarily organic and I am for the most part a vegetarian, but this book confirmed a lot of the thoughts I already had on the food most people are eating every day. What I did not like about this book was how self-indulgent it was. If I heard about how guilty she felt and how her world was torn apart one more time I was going to scream!!

I also felt like the author was awfully naive to what goes on bet I think this book contains a lot of interesting information. Overall, a worthwhile read. I will be sharing it with friends, especially those with children. Jun 30, Elizabeth Skydell Davis rated it liked it. I'm absolutely going to be changing the way our family eats after reading this book. The scientific studies the author cites are pretty convincing and everything she says about the food supply fits with what I know from other reliable sources.

That said, I wished it were better written - some of it is a little repetitive and the author presents an awful lot of supposition as if it were fact. I was much more interested in the information she found than in what she was feeling as she did her resea I'm absolutely going to be changing the way our family eats after reading this book. I was much more interested in the information she found than in what she was feeling as she did her research.

May 26, Janet Smith rated it liked it. I learned a lot from this book. I really didn't need to read it carefully- I got all the information I wanted from skimming.

I wish she had spent more time on what to do in response she does at the end, but it's not enough and less time on all the ties between the government and corporations. Overall it was very informative especially the soy information, which I hadn't heard before and interesting, in an alarming way. Although I didn't always appreciate the writing style or find some of her healthy suggestions healthy enough to my liking, I think this book is a must read for Americans especially parents. We are far too ignorant than the rest of the world on how dangerous our food supply is.

You'll be glad that you did. Feb 23, Laura rated it it was amazing. I learned so much from this book and am now reading labels more closely. Nov 20, Crystal rated it really liked it Shelves: Some of my favorites If you really want to be left slack-jawed, ask your pediatrician or pediatric allergists how many hours they spent studying nutrition in medical school. Chances are you have read more about this subject than they have! Now it is sponsored by AstraZeneca, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. What incentive does a corporation have for doing something?

BigFood and Big Some of my favorites BigFood and BigPharma have an interest in overseeing the research and promotion of allergy-related information. I was reminded of the words of French political thinker Alexis deTocqueville, often quoted by Monsanto, that "the public will always believe a simple lie rather than a complex truth. To identify all the danger elements in ordinary foods, allergy parents practically need an advanced course in chemistry. All of Europe and Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and even Russia have very strong labeling laws, requiring food manufacturers to make perfectly clear when a product contains genetically engineered ingredients.

And several African countries, including Algeria, Benin, Ghana, and Zambia, have a "no-genetic-engineering" policy for their domestic market, while even more - Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sudan, and Zimbabwe - have refused to even to accept unmilled genetically modified grain as food aid. Are we US consumers really so much more ignorant or so much less concerned about our kids' food?

As an American, I'm offended by that idea, and I hope you are, too. Levels of a major soy allergen, trypsin inhibitor, were 27 percent higher in genetically modified soy. I knew that soy and peanuts were both legumes. Could these increased levels of soy allergens in this genetically engineered soy somehow be triggering the dramatic increase in peanut allergies? Was it just a coincidence that peanut allergies had begun to rise by 20 percent each year starting in , just after genetically modified soy was widely introduced? What about the fact that soy itself became one of the top eight US allergens just about the time that genetically modified GM soy was introduced to the United States?

In , the year that genetically modified soy was introduced to the United Kingdom, the UK rate of soy allergies jumped 50 percent. The FDA scientists went on to warn that soy isoflavones might also cause "goitrogenic and even carcinogenic effects," meaning that they could produce goiter a disease of the thyroid gland and even cancer. Both adults and children were at risk for this effect, especially if the children had been fed soy formula when they were infants. So many "allergy babies" who'd been unable to tolerate cow's milk formula had been switched to soy formula as a substitute.

It was devastating to think that in trying to protect kids from something they were allergic to, parents had inadvertently exposed their children to an even greater danger. That's because soy is rich in phytic acid, a substance that interferes with mineral absorption. Soy also contains toxins that interfere with the enzymes that we need for our digestion.

The Lancet showed that infants given soy formula had in their blood serum extremely high levels of isoflavones remember the double-edged estrogen sword? Infants being fed on soy formula had up to ten times higher blood levels of isoflavones than adult women who were taking soy as medicine. Among girls and women, high levels of estrogen have been associated with breast cancer, reproductive cancers, weight gain, obesity, and early puberty. And when males are overexposed to estrogen, they may suffer from fertility problems, undescended testicles, and testicular or prostate cancer.

Sheehan later said that soy-fed babies were taking part in "a large, uncontrolled and basically unmonitored human infant experiment. Both the UK's chief medical officer and the British Dietetic Association have warned parents and pediatricians that soy formula is an absolute last resort. The British study turned up a shocking fact: Kids who had been given soy formula as infants seemed almost three times as likely to develop a peanut allergy later on. Irina Ermakova discovered that more than half the offspring Six times as many rat babies 36 percent were severely underweight as well, compared to those in the other groups 6 percent.

Jul 08, Kendall Getzinger rated it it was amazing. I would agree with other readers that it is a bit repetitious Other than that, I really learned a lot from reading this book. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a few years ago and since then I have faced many other health problems.

I just started seeing a holistic doctor and changed my diet, so reading this book along with my diet change has really helped me to stick to healthy, clean foods. I honestly feel like a di I would agree with other readers that it is a bit repetitious I honestly feel like a different person! May 08, Laura Fahrenthold rated it it was amazing. Personally known to this writer is a person who has cured themselves through food elimination of the supposedly incurable autoimmune disease Lupus Erythematosus, another who discovered her self-harming tendencies arose from gluten and a third who cured a lifelong gastric disorder.

Two of these three cases were self-diagnosed.

Their allergies are primarily against staples of the US diet, including corn, milk and eggs. She wrote this book with Rachel Kranz and started the website www. The thesis of The unhealthy truth is that food allergies and intolerances are a product of defects in the industrial food system. Something has happened to food that is causing profound disturbances to our physiology.

It is a reasonable thesis, and weaving together her personal story with the scientific and political ones is a refreshing approach since too often they are separated. These connections may have a lot to do with why allergy research is today under-resourced, most particularly in the US. And had you considered that the privatised medical system of the United States is probably a chief contributor to the dearth of preventive research? Food allergies are not an easy subject to write about, however, because our understanding is deeply inadequate.

It is not always clear, for example, where intolerance ends and allergy begins. Also not clear are the connections to other diseases such as asthma or even behavioural disorders such as ADHD, depression and autism. These difficulties show up in the structure of the book. For instance, it is not clear that the root cause of food allergies is always, or even ever, food. It may be that some other environmental factor is the trigger and that specific allergies are the symptom of immune dysfunction. Far more interesting are the insights she distills and the stories she finds.