Category Archives: Take Action

Keep Your Right to Choose Homeopathy for Your Family

 homeopathic remedies with titlesHomeopathy is Protected by Law

Homeopathy is a centuries-old form of medicine.  In 1938 the US Congress enacted into law the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) classifying homeopathic medicines as drugs.  Congress established the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the US (HPUS) which is overseen by a convention of scientists and clinicians specifically trained in the medical specialty of homeopathy. For the last 80 years Americans have had access to safe, non-toxic homeopathic remedies protected by the FDCA and the HPUS.

Many Americans are largely unaware of this type of medicine, although this may be changing. Use of homeopathy grew from 2.5 million in 1990 to 4.8 in 2006. That number has likely grown again in the last ten years. The average user is

UK and Europe

In Europe homeopathy has never gone out of style. Over 90% of pharmacists in France recommend homeopathic treatments to pregnant women. 70% of French physicians consider it an effective treatment alternative, and homeopathy is taught in 7 medical schools and 24 pharmacy schools in that country.

Peter Fisher, physician to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (the oldest medical society in the world) and also a Fellow of the Faculty of Homeopathy, and sits on the World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional and Complementary Medicine.  In Scotland 49% of all GP practices prescribe homeopathy. In Ireland 16% of parents use homeopathy with their children.

In Germany 10% of medical doctors specialize in homeopathy, and 38% of doctors prescribe it to their patients.

Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Russia, Denmark and many more countries use homeopathy on a regular basis.


India boasts over 100 million people who use homeopathy as their exclusive method of healthcare. Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, India and Austria all reimburse homeopathic services under the national health care. South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina, Pakistan and Brazil all boast homeopathic practitioners numbering in the thousands.

FDA and FTC Attack Homeopathy with Illegal Regulations

The FDCA law establishing homeopathic practices states in Section 211.137 that homeopathic medicines are exempt from expiration dating requirements. Section 201j of the law states the HPUS determines the standardization, eligibility and applications of homeopathic drugs.

However both the FDA and the FTC have placed new regulations on the homeopathic industry that violate these two sections of the law. Additionally, in December of 2017 the FDA has released another draft guidance for drug products labeled as homeopathic. This regulation threatens to severely restrict the access Americans have to homeopathic remedies.


Why the sudden desire to add new regulations to a medical industry that has been operating safely for the last 80 years?  The FDA’s newest draft is carefully worded to include the word “risk” at least 17 times attempting to smear the reputation of this alternative health product. Over 3,000 deaths per year are attributed to ibuprofen. Why isn’t there a campaign to reduce access to ibuprofen? Why isn’t there a giant warning label on those bottles?

The growth of the homeopathic industry in the last 20 years has challenged the supremacy of conventional pharmaceuticals. Estimated sales nearing $450 million in 2003 with a growth rate of more than 8%, and current estimates nearing $3 billion make Big Pharma sit up and take notice.  The FDA’s commissioner has open ties with several pharmaceutical companies, Big Pharma spends $277 million in lobbying alone to influence regulations in their favor.

How Can Educated Moms Fight Back?

1. Write to your Congress person and urge them to hold the FDA and the FTC accountable to the law, and to reverse the illegal regulations already in place. Use this link to find your US Representative. Use this link to find your Senator. In addition you can contact Orrin Hatch who has already been valuable in helping Americans keep their access to vitamins and other supplements.

2. Become informed about homeopathy and the truth about remedies. When people like Dr. Paul Offit get quoted by NBC saying homeopathy is snake oil it gets reposted all over social media. What we need are more educated moms sharing their wisdom and success with homeopathy instead of sensationalist smear tactics. I love podcasts and two of the best for learning homeopathy are Joette Calabrese’s Homeopathy Works, and Sue Meyer’s Homeopathy for Mommies. Cilla Whatcott, Mary Aspinwall, Wendi Combes, R.N., and the Banerji clinics are other sources for education and learning.

3. Get involved with Americans for Homeopathy Choice. This grassroots organization is raising money to advocate for the rights of consumers, professionals, manufacturers and distributors of homeopathy. You can find detailed contact information at their website for politicians who can help support this cause.

Don't be the frog in the pot thinking everything is fine while all around you things are heating up!

Don’t be the frog in the pot thinking everything is fine while all around you things are heating up!

We are losing our rights. Whether you choose to use homeopathy or any other natural alternative medical treatments or not, you can support every American’s right to choose what is best for their own healthcare.

 Please share this article with your friends, Facebook, Twitter and any other media platform you use!

 The information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only. You are responsible for your own choices.


4 Factors That Determine How Severely Amalgam Fillings Affect Your Health


This is Part II of a 3 part series on mercury in dentistry, detoxification and health. The complete articles are available on the Traditional Cooking School website where I am a regular contributor.

Does long-term, chronic exposure to low doses of mercury vapor pose any risks? What might the health effects be?

And, are there any subsets of our population who might have greater sensitivity to mercury?

These are the questions we will answer in this continuation of our discussion on mercury amalgam fillings. ….. Read More

Please click through and read the rest of the article and leave me some feedback on what you think and any questions you might have!  -Lee

5 Ways to Bless Your Family, Your Budget and Your Community

 This blog is for informational purposes. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases. 

5 ways to bless your family titles


Take This Short Quiz

  1. What is the number one thing you can do as a family to improve your general health?
  1. What is a good way to connect with your teenagers?
  1. What is the most important thing the average person can do to make the American food system healthier and more sustainable?
  1. Name one thing can an individual do to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on a fluctuating, unstable economy?
  1. What activity can you do with young children to engage them in learning concepts in math and science even when they don’t usually enjoy those subjects?

The answers:

  1. cook 2. cook 3. cook 4. cook 5. cook

 Cooking vs Watching Cooking

Two people (both grandmothers!) in the last week have told me “I don’t cook!” Way too many people in my classes over the years have admitted they rarely or never cook. In fact Americans spend less time on average cooking each day than people in any other country! The average time spent cooking per day (not per meal, per DAY!) is 27 minutes – less time than it takes to watch The Next Food Network Star (what is up with this fascination of watching people cook? More people watch cooking than are actually doing cooking, and then when the show is over they still don’t have anything to eat!)

 It’s Healthier

Cooking at home is healthier. When you don’t cook you make yourself vulnerable to the big corporations who make all the ready-to-eat food you have to buy. Unless you spend big bucks to buy your meals from a local restaurant where the chef grows his own organic vegetables and carefully sources his ingredients from local farms, you are most likely eating a lot more refined sugar, industrial oils, and highly processed salt than you normally would if you cooked your own food. Corporations also use all kinds of chemical ingredients not available to the home cook. These chemical ingredients make their food last longer and look fresher than it actually is.

 Teens Like It

Cooking (and eating) together connects you as a family. Teens are social creatures, and they are also usually hungry creatures. 🙂 Bringing them into the kitchen to prepare a meal is a way to get them to interact and be social with everyone who is involved in the meal preparation process. The shared experiences can build family bonds. Eating together a meal you have prepared gives a safe place for conversation, listening and sharing together.

 It Connects Us

Cooking connects you with your food and its origins. We were making homemade pizza as part of a Sunday school lesson and I had brought fresh oregano, parsley, and basil from my garden to use. One young 5th grade girl, already surprised that you could actually make a pizza, freaked out saying “why do you have weeds? How do you know those are safe to eat?” I said, “I grew these. They came from my garden. Where do you think food comes from?” and she replied, “I don’t know. The store has it.”

When we cook at home from fresh ingredients we are connecting in a small way to the rest of the community that grows and raises our food. We gain a new perspective on food when we see a list of raw ingredients get transformed into a meal. Growing something that you eat, or buying directly from a farmer, can bring even stronger connections. Real food doesn’t come in neat boxes, shrink wrapped for microwaving. Buying pre-prepared, pre-wrapped meals separates us from the reality of real food. Cooking at home from fresh ingredients creates more demand for real food while reducing the waste and high cost inherent in the processed food system.

 It’s Budget Friendly

Knowing how to cook gives you power over your budget. The illusion of the “value meal” keeps many people trapped eating expensive yet unhealthy food. Being able to cook for yourself means you can eat higher quality ingredients for less money. It means you can cook a little extra to freeze for later or to eat the next day for lunch instead of eating out. Knowing how to cook helps you be more frugal like when you use the bones for broth, leftover vegetables for soup, or freeze over ripe fruit for smoothies.

 It’s Educational

Teaching your children to cook opens up a new world for them. Measuring and counting, doubling a recipe, figuring out what makes bread rise, what makes pickles sour, seeing liquid cream transform into solid butter, comparing the taste of salt vs. sugar – all of this can bring math and science alive. Tactile experiences like kneading bread, cracking eggs, tearing lettuce, stirring batter, or chopping vegetables can be rewarding for busy little hands. And as your children grow and develop new skills in the kitchen you are giving them the gift of self-sufficiency for when they become adults.

Tell us your reasons for cooking! Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page!

The Four Rs of Conservation: Reduce Reuse Recycle Rot

Four-Rs-of-Conservation-Traditional-Cooking-School-GNOWFGLINS-mainThis blog is part of my contribution to Traditional Cooking School

“Stewardship is foundationally understanding that we are not owners of things, but managers. It basically boils down to three major points:

1. God owns it all.
2. We are all stewards.
3. We have a responsibility to manage it for His glory.

If we understood these pieces, we would do things differently and everything would fall into place.”

–Chris Goulard, Pastor of Stewardship at Saddleback Church

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”

–Wendell Berry

Eating local, eating real, and eating organic is a great start, but it’s just the start — on a long path to helping clean up our planet. Just like everything else, it’s a journey beginning at your own front door. Here are a few ideas to help you Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot in your own home, neighborhood, and town…Read More

How to Start a Bulk Food Co-op

How-to-Start-Bulk-Food-Co-Op-GNOWFGLINS-mainBig chain warehouse stores aren’t the only ones to offer the power of buying in bulk. Individuals and families can harness this power when they join with other like-minded people to form a private buying club: a co-op. The age of internet commerce and communication makes buying even nutrient-dense foods, chemical-free personal care products, and non-irradiated spices easier than ever.    Read more on my October guest post for Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS.….(click here)

Let Us Not Grow Weary

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, which is weird since that’s what most bloggers do all the time….   I had planned to sit down and finish a blog on SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), but I’m feeling prompted to just share with you what’s on my heart.  It has been a very draining couple of weeks. And it all seems to relate back to the fact that no matter how much I talk, no matter how much I tell people, however many blogs I write or classes I teach – I just can’t change anyone’s mind unless they are ready to be changed. It just isn’t in my power.

I would love to know how to inspire change in people who desperately need it. I’m so tired of seeing friends suffering with super heavy duty illnesses. I’m tired of seeing children suffering when they don’t have to. I’m weary of the news reports of all the anger and abuse, aching to see friends and children of friends burdened with depression.  One person I’ve been trying to talk to for three years, trying to share how they could change their diet and feel so much better, has now been diagnosed with cancer. Of course the children are devastated. So am I.

I want to help. I want to give people the tools to begin building a better life, better health, better mindset…. But I can’t do it by myself.

The contractor who redid our kitchen is back. He’s working on the kids’ bathroom now  (my daughter is so thankful, she can’t wait to have drawers that work again so she doesn’t have to share the only drawer with her brother).   So my contractor is wonderful, and he’s also a pastor at a little independent church a few miles away. He’s listening to me talk to him about one friend who has been sick for ever so long, who just can’t seem to catch a break, and he tells me that part of it is she hasn’t been set free spiritually. Her mind is still in chains so her body can’t heal. Ok, so my contractor isn’t a medical doctor, but he’s right.  And it explains a lot of why I can’t help some of these people, why I can’t do this by myself….

To put it another way “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” Proverbs 23:7a. 

Whether or not someone attends one of my classes, or reads a blog, or says to me “I need to get healthy,” doesn’t matter. What does matter is what is in their heart, what is their desire, what is truly important to them.  No one is going to take this health journey and succeed unless they truly believe it. They must believe they can be healthier. They must believe they are worth the effort it will take. They must be strong enough to persevere when friends or family question them.  And it isn’t ever easy.

My friend, Brenda, was remarking to me today how it always seems that when someone decides to become a Christian, makes the commitment to a new life and a journey of spiritual healing, that obstacles seem to spring up out of nowhere to sidetrack them, bog them down, take away their enthusiasm.  The same can be said for someone beginning a physical healing journey as well.  And the solution for each is the same – it cannot be done with sheer willpower, it can only be done when you realize you cannot do it alone. Reaching out in prayer, diving into God’s word, fellowship with others on the same journey, meditating on the motivation and reasons you are making this effort to bring change to your life.

let us not grow wearyDo you ever grow weary? Do you ever feel like no one is listening? Is there someone in your life your would like to motivate, but can’t seem to get them to hear you? How have you handled this situation? How do you help people start a journey to better health? Share your comments and leave a reply.

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized.

The DAIR Foundation Dinner for Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Dr Wakefield dinner tableSearch Wikipedia for Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s name and you’ll find a very long and very unflattering article claiming his research to be fraudulent and himself disbarred and disgraced.  An informal social media survey might turn up comments of how he is that “anti-vaccine doctor” and responsible for the climate of vaccine mistrust.  I’m quite ashamed to admit that up until about six months ago I would probably have believed the rumors, I would have trusted Wikipedia. All that changed last November when I heard Dr. Wakefield’s keynote address for the 2013 Wise Traditions Conference of the Weston A Price Foundation in Atlanta, GA.  If an international organization with such a diverse membership devoted to finding the truth behind controversial research can honor Wakefield with their Integrity In Science Award and invite him to speak at their annual banquet, there must be more to his story than you can read in Wikipedia.

This is where the DAIR Foundation comes in. It was late February when I received a text message from a doctor friend asking if I’d help her with a special project; she wanted to have a dinner party for Dr. Andrew Wakefield. The DAIR Foundation would partner with our local planning committee to help our fundraiser dinner to succeed. DAIR is a legal foundation much like HSLDA or FTCLDF in that they provide representation and counsel to researchers and doctors who are persecuted by media, government or industry special interests.  Our local team consisted of Dr. Maggie Ruiz-Paedae, her huband and her daughter, and a handful of others like myself who were picked by Maggie who is a certified GAPS practitioner and is very passionate about helping people, especially children.

Dr Wakefield Solina and Lee

Dr. Wakefield and two team members

Dr Wakefield talks to autistic man

Dr. Wakefield talks to a young autistic dinner guest


Each Tuesday evening our team would meet via conference call. Dawn Loughborough was the DAIR Foundation coordinator who facilitated our calls. Dr. Wakefield himself was also on most of the calls which was a fabulous opportunity for me to learn more about him, figure out just what kind of person he was, and hear the truth of what happened to cause the whole scandal in the first place.

In a nutshell Dr. Wakefield and his supervisor, Dr. John Walker-Smith, wrote a research paper which was published in The Lancet in 1998 proposing a link between the MMR vaccine, autism and bowel disease. Dr. Wakefield had, and still has, a passionate interest in helping children who are in pain to get better. In the course of his research he interviewed the mothers of autistic children who told him that their children frequently exhibited behaviors that pointed toward great gastrointestinal distress. Upon examining these children he found they had inflamed guts, many with painful angry lesions. He discovered these inflammatory bowel issues were worsened when the children received the MMR vaccine. Knowing it would be controversial Drs. Wakefield and Walker-Smith recommended that parents stop using the combined MMR and instead have those vaccines, for measles, mumps and rubella, be given separately. At the time the idea that autistic children had digestive disorders was a brand new thing. At the time autism was still considered psychological and treated with psychotropic drugs, many children were heavily sedated or institutionalized.  In the years since Dr. Wakefield made this discovery many other researchers around the world have also discovered bowel diseases in autistic children, and the dietary approach to treating autism has come to be well accepted in many medical circles, with the GF/CF diet being the most mainstream. Quoting from the controversial research paper they said, “We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction.  In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine.”

At the time these findings were first published the separate vaccines were still available in the UK.  Within six months, however, the British government withdrew permission for single vaccines to be imported leaving the combined MMR as the only available option. Parents had to use it or just not vaccinate.  Instead of recognizing the lack of options for vaccinations, the British media went after the doctors who had raised the flags in the first place. The ensuing battle – Dawn Loughborough describes it as a “media mugging” – ended with the Lancet withdrawing the research paper and both doctors losing their license to practice. After a lengthy court battle Dr. Walker-Smith was able to sue the High Court in Britain and was completely exonerated and fully restored in his medical practice. However Dr. Wakefield’s legal battles proved too expensive at the time. He left Britain and moved to the United States. He has also written 19 more peer-reviewed papers on autism, bowel disease and vaccines.

Brian Deer, the journalist who first made the complaint against Dr. Wakefield claiming conflict of interest and misconduct, is also the same person who first broke the news story in the UK.  He continues to promote the idea of Dr. Wakefield’s research being fraudulent. The legal battle began in a Texas courtroom in 2012. It is still playing out which is why the DAIR Foundation has stepped in to help with this very expensive ordeal.

Dr Wakefield Deer quote

Brian Deer commenting on autism

Our hope, and the reason behind the fundraiser dinner and all the conference calls, is that Dr. Wakefield can clear his name once and for all and regain the respect he so much deserves.  My impressions of this man, after spending hours on conference calls, having face-to-face conversations during the fundraiser event, and listening to his presentations both at Wise Traditions and at the DAIR event, is that this doctor is fully committed to the children and their parents and finding real solutions for autism. His compassion for these children, most of whom cannot speak for themselves, runs deep to the point of tears when he speaks of the ones who have suffered and died due to misdiagnosis and wrong treatment.  His own trials, the loss of his career and his medical license, all of the hateful words people have said about him – all of this means little if, in the end, he can make a difference in the lives of these children; if he can ease their suffering and find a cure.

If you’d like to help please contact the DAIR Foundation at their website and make a donation, or learn how to sponsor your own fundraiser dinner.

You can read more about Dr. Wakefield with this interview at Mercola, the WAPF, and at Age of Autism where they have a video (starting at the 2hr 40min point for Dr. Wakefield’s portion.)

Dr Wakefield dinner sign

Welcome from the DAIR Foundation

Dr Wakefield dinner guests

Dr. Maggie (center) with a few dinner guests

Dr Wakefield dinner appetizers

DAIR Foundation dinner








Some links may be monetized. This blog is for informational purposes only. 


Announcing Kickstarter Campaign for Whole-food, Clean-eating Rest Stop for Travelers in Gettysburg, PA

Well Fed Family is excited to help spread the word about this idea whose time has come! Please share this campaign with friends and relatives who can help the Young family realize their dream, and help travelers find a place to stop where they can feel nourished and restored.


Long-time potters and Gettysburg business owners David and Junko Young have announced plans to open a green, whole-food and clean-eating rest stop at the intersection of US 15 and Taneytown Road inhistoric Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

lionPotPic3The Youngs recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for this venture.

The initial plan is to open a whole-food café, which will transition into a restaurant and finally a full healthy-choice rest stop. lionPotPic2They will offer food and beverages made completely with locally grown produce.

Currently the couple run a successful ceramic gallery and produce stand on Taneytown Road. They have established relationships with over twenty five different farmers in the area and plan to incorporate those relationships into their new venture.

The Lion Potter Website

Email for more information

Kickstarter Campaign Link


The Lion Potter says. . .

We are located at the halfway point between Connecticut and the Carolinas on Highway 15 in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In 2013 Gettysburg was one of the top three tourist locations in the world. On average, Gettysburg National Military Park draws over 1.2 million visitors a year. Gettysburg is a community rich in history and abounding in natural beauty. Our goal is to take the best of the distinct local attributes and develop them into a healthy eatery. We are a husband and wife functional pottery team. We share not only a passion for art, but also for exquisite food. Junko’s mother was a chef instructor, and I grew up in a bakery. I was nine years old when I started my first fruit stand. For the last ten years, my pretty wife and I have operated our successful Ceramic Gallery and seven-days-a-week Farmers Market. Running our fruit stand has allowed us to develop relationships with 27 different local farmers. They do an amazing job of supporting our effort to make the bounty of Adams County available to the explorers passing through. Our first giant step forward has been to secure a location on US 15 and Taneytown Road. In 2013, we successfully ran a test market at this location. We have a building that needs to be reappointed inside and out.

7 Reasons Your Amazing Real Food Diet Isn’t Working

Cleaning up your diet is a great place to start, but even if you’ve quit eating junk food and drinking sodas and started cooking real food at home you still might not be feeling as fabulous as you’d like. That may be because there are still toxins lurking in your life. Find these toxins and clean them out and your clean-eating diet will work much better.

Dr. Louisa Williams, author of Radical Medicine: Cutting-Edge Natural Therapies That Treat the Root Causes of Disease, gave an all-day lecture at the Wise Traditions 2013 Convention in Atlanta. (I blogged about the convention here, here and here.) Dr. Williams listed seven areas where our modern lives have created obstacles to real health.

1. Chemicals in our soil and water.  Pesticides, insecticides and herbicides linger in soil and hazardous_chemicalsseep into our groundwater, oceans and rivers; and they stick around a long time. Even though PCBs were banned in 1976, but almost 40 years later they are still found all over the world. Now Round-up, the most popular weed killer in the U.S., can be measured in farm soil 30 years after the last spraying.

2. Mercury amalgam fillings. These “silver” fillings can be found in the mouth of nearly ever baby-boomer. They were cheap, easy and fast to put in. After years of study they are finally being phased out for mercury-free alternatives.

3. Increased mandatory injection of vaccines. In 1950 the number of vaccinations given was seven per child spaced out over several years. As of 2013 American children are given up to 69 per child from birth through college. Most of these come in multiples given within the first few years of the child’s life. Enough research has accumulated that shows the current vaccine schedule should be re-evaluated, vaccines account for the most adverse drug reactions. Giving multiple drugs at one time raises even greater risk.

4. EMF stress. Electromagnetic Fields can be natural or man-made. It is the man-made fields that are so prevalent and strong they can disrupt our sleep and even our cell growth. Sources include power lines, electrical transformers, machines, appliances, broadcasting technologies and mobile devices.

5. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).  Nearly all of the soy, corn, canola and cottonseed grown is genetically modified.  As the list of GMO foods grows so does the list of adverse side-effects. I’ve written several articles about concerns over GMOs. You can find them here, here,  and here.

6. Prescription Drug Advertising. In 1997 the United States became the first of only two countries in the whole world to allow direct-to-consumer advertising, as well as celebrity endorsement, of drugs only available by a doctor’s prescription. It is perfectly legal for pharmaceutical companies to hire talented marketing firms to manipulate the general public into desiring prescription drugs.


Pew Charitable Trust

7. Widespread Use of Antibiotics. Handing out antibiotics like clowns tossing candy in a parade is only part of the problem that has caused the World Health Organization to say that antibiotic resistance is now a bigger crisis than Aids threatening to turn back the clock on modern medicine. An even bigger cause of these superbugs is the flagrant administration of antibiotics in animal feed.  Instead of improving the inhumane, crowded, disgusting living conditions of beef, pork and chicken the industrial agricultural system pours on larger and larger doses of antibiotics trying to keep the animals healthy long enough to make it to slaughter.

Until we can clean up these seven major areas of toxicity in our own lives we aren’t going to be able to achieve the best health for ourselves and our families.

Some links may be monetized. This blog is for informational purposes only.


Artificial Colors: A Real Danger

According to the FDA a color additive is “any dye, pigment or substance which when added or applied to a food, drug or cosmetic, or to the human body, is capable (alone or through reactions with other substances) of imparting color.  The FDA is responsible for regulating all color additives to ensure that foods containing color additives are safe to eat, contain only approved ingredients and are accurately labeled.”

cherry creek first egg This sounds fine on the surface. But remember the FDA is also the organization responsible for the US Dietary Guidelines, the food pyramid, and the condemnation of eggs as a healthy food. The FDA is the organization that says it is safe to feed your children Twinkies and Diet Pepsi but says that milk from healthy cows living outside on green pastures must first be cooked (pasteurized) or it is dangerous.

So, the FDA is responsible for color additives.  They are the ones who say the additives are safe to eat. They are the ones who give approval for the ingredients and make sure they are accurately labeled.  They also allow food companies to claim “Zero grams trans fat!” as long as one serving has 1/2g or less – who cares if your serving size is artificially small (who really only eats one Oreo?).

Why add color to foods? To give the illusion of a healthier product, and for profit.  Color is  added to things that are colorless to make them, in the FDA’s words, “fun”.  Without color additives colas would not be brown, margarine would not be yellow, mint ice cream would not be green and Cheetos would be gray instead of orange.  Food companies say people think colorful food tastes better – no taste testers wanted uncolored Cheetos, they tasted bland even though the taste was identical to the orange-colored version. The vast majority of these colors are synthetically produced. Again the reason comes down to money.  The artificial colors are more intense, more uniform in appearance and less expensive.  Using naturally derived color additives are more expensive and there are some colors that just aren’t available in nature that we have come to expect in certain foods.  Hang around the concession stand at any little league ballgame and you’ll hear a conversation like this: “What flavor do you want?” “Gimme a blue.”  Blue isn’t a flavor, it’s a color, and one not often found in real food, but most kids don’t even know what flavor these colors are supposed to represent anymore – they just know what color they like.

If color were the only thing affected by these synthetic color additives in our food it might not be such a big deal.  But unfortunately there is much, much more than just blue or red sports drinks to worry about.

Numerous independent studies have shown for many, many years that certain people have serious reactions to certain synthetic food additives.  These reactions range from chronic troubles with ear infections and asthma to full-blown attention deficit, learning disabilities and depression. These chemically sensitive people are at the greatest risk but they are not the only ones at risk.  Other numerous independent studies have shown convincing evidence that many synthetic food dyes cause tumors and cancer.

The FDA’s website FAQ section poo-poohs these claims. They say the idea that food additives cause behavioral problems is an old hypothesis from the 1970s. They say eliminating food dyes from children’s diets is extremely difficult and not recommended since it isn’t likely to help anyhow.

Tell that to the thousands and thousands of people who have literally found a new life with the Feingold Diet which is, in essence, eliminating synthetic food dyes and other artificial ingredients from ones diet.

The CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) petitioned the FDA for a complete ban on Red 3 in 2008.  All the way back in 1983 there was a committee who reviewed Red 3 and recommended that it be banned. But due to pressure from other interests the FDA caved and Red 3 is still in use today in spite of convincing evidence that it causes thyroid tumors. You can still find it today in cake icing, fruit roll-ups, ring pops and chewing gum. I have a packaged ring pop sitting on my coffee table as I write this blog that was given to my daughter at a party and Red 3 is on the label. Ironically so are the words “Made With Real Fruit Juice!”  Without the red dye the ring pop wouldn’t look very fruity or appealing.

Yellow 6 is the third most widely used coloring and is found, among other things, in beverages, candy and packaged baked goods.  Yet food industry-sponsored animal tests indicated it caused tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney. In addition to that there is no way to produce Yellow 6 without contamination by several known carcinogens including benzidine (linked to bladder and pancreatic cancer and included in the EPA’s list of Chemicals of Concern.) People who are chemically sensitive often have severe hypersensitivity reactions to Yellow 6.  This reaction is so common that any prescription drug containing this color must wear a warning label.  But  bake up a box of butter flavor cake mix and you’ll be eating a lot of it!

If these reasons aren’t enough to make you eliminate synthetic colors from your diet then consider this. These food colors are manufactured from petroleum.  They are NOT FOOD!

I think the CSPI summed it up well with these words: “Most artificial colorings are synthetic chemicals that do not occur in nature.  Because colorings are used almost solely in foods of low nutritional value (candy, soda, gelatin desserts, etc.) you should simply avoid all artificially colored foods.  The use of coloring usually indicates that fruit or other natural ingredients have not been used.”

To add insult to injury you need to know that any food company that sells their products to the United Kingdom or many other foreign countries already has formulations of their products made without artificial colors because they are banned in those countries. Yet the exact same item sold to Americans (usually by American companies) are made with the synthetic version.

photo from CSPI

photo from CSPI



This article was originally written in February of 2011. Since then I received this testimonial from a reader:

comment from “Jenny”

We have been on the Feingold Diet since August 2009 and find it has helped our son SO much… but not only that, it’s just healthier. And the thing is, he can obviously tell a difference in how he feels b/c he doesn’t fight us on it. Yes, he is disappointed occasionally when we say he can’t have a favorite food item, but there is almost always an appropriate alternative. Feingold doesn’t necessarily mean “healthy”, but it is a first step to taking control of what you put in & on your body – and your kids’ bodies; and it’s a wonderful alternative to both unbearable behavior (or medical conditions) and undesirable medications. And if you hesitate to try it, just realize it can’t hurt to try and results can be seen in a matter of days.
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