21 years this November. Yes, that is when our daughter turns 21. So, it has been 21 years for me as a mother, knowing as only a mother knows, about a sick child.
Very little was known about food allergies 21 years ago – not much at all. I had nothing to reference, no doctors to consult and no store products to buy. 21 years ago there were no gluten free products, no real understanding of milk allergies, no GMO corn and so many other environmental allergens where still undetected.
Our daughter was born healthy but began having serious ear infections at around four months of age. Doctors prescribed amoxicillin that she ended up being on nearly full time for years. Only later did doctors learn that type of treatment ongoing for babies hurts good gut bacteria and has long term impact to stomach health and allergies along with yeast development in the body. Then, our daughter was tested out as deaf at age two. She was not speaking any clear words and could not hear any sounds in speech range. This was all due to chronic fluid in her ears. Sounds from storms and thunder would hurt her ears so badly she would scream in pain. Back then the doctors had no idea what was going on. She was throwing up seven to ten times a week from the age of 2 to about 5. Doctors feared she would destroy her esophogus. Yes, this was all 15-17 years ago.
I don’t think my father had even yet been diagnosed with celiac disease. It was not detected in him until his late forties though he suffered from symptoms decades before that.
Many other mothers know what I am talking about. We, the caregivers to our children, know when they are sick and hurting. Thousands and thousands of dollars to doctors and never any answers to chronic ear issues, severe vomiting, anemia, weakness, etc. were the norm.
Fortunately, when our daughter was 5 years of age we met a nationally recognized chiropractor who treated our daughter weekly via adjustments to her spine that helped with alignment. Believe it or not, the adjustments helped continually drain the fluid in her ears. Instead of tubes, which doctors recommended, chiropractic care caused her ears to improve, fluid to drain, and low and behold she got her hearing back.
It was 16 years ago when our chiropractor first warned us about vaccines. I never really understood what he was saying at the time and we continued to do vaccines ourselves, but I do see an increased level of concern surrounding vaccines and the bundled nature of so many external agents being injected into little bodies. It does appear that while we are vaccinating against everything, people are sicker. This is also happening with our pets if anyone has noticed. Is this tied to vaccines? Or the food? Or what is in the food? Great questions.
All we knew 21 years ago is our daughter was extremely sick. Though she got her hearing back, she was still sick almost everytime she ate food.
With little intelligence available to help us navigate this health crisis we did the only thing we could think of and it was on doctors orders. We made all her food ourselves, and it was all organic, without food dyes and absolutely nothing artificial. And, there was no cows milk, gluten or corn. Finding such products on the store shelves back then was impossible so we began to raise most of the food we ate.
This was when we became organic farmers.
Doctors back then would tell parents to remove all potential allergy based foods from the diet. We started with milk so we bought dairy goats. Doctors thought she was allergic to cows milk and children can have goat milk in that case.
It wasnt until our daughter was 15 when she was able to have tests done by the top allergy doctor in the United Stated based out of Washington DC. We learned then scientifically what we had deduced years earlier via removing potential allergians from her diet, that our daughter was allergic to gluten but not celiac yet, and HIGHLY allergic to corn. She also had high intolerances to a few other grains as well but nothing like gluten and corn.
It is such a blessing today to be able to go into restaurants and order a gluten free pizza off the menu. And, to go to the grocery store and find gluten free, corn free and dairy free products THAT ARE LABELED even. Yes, there has been a great deal of education and awareness about food allergies in America and a completely new market in specialty foods that has arisen in the last 15 years.
More and more people of all ages and walks of life are being diagnosed with food allergies. And, it is not just humans. I was interviewing a veterinarian recently who said up to 80% of DOGS!!! have food allergies now. Think about that!
This awareness about food illness is creating a mass awakening that how food is being grown, processed and packaged is making Americans sick. When we lived overseas in China for several years, none of the food allergies our daughter had were even a known concern by Chinese doctors. They did not see the same issues in the Chinese population.
So, what really has changed with our food in the last 21 years?
Manufacturers have discovered a new market segment for food allergies. Doctors have discovered there are many Americans with food intolerances. And, what about the agricultural sector? There appears to be a big movement to organic there as well though big-agribusiness is not too fond of competition as they love their chemicals. And, big pharma seems to love to throw another drug on top of these illnesses packaging the drugs as cures or aids, which we are all learning is sort of compounding the problem.
I believe that the foodie movement we are seeing bust out around America is a movement that will continue. I think it will touch food, agriculture, wellness, medicine and big pharma alike. I think new scientific breakthroughs as well will further aide in detecting and understanding what is wrong with our bodies and what is wrong with our food production processes that are making people sicker than ever before. And, I believe that in this food movement, we will transform how food is grown in America and how we measure and manage health and wellness. I also think in the not too distant future, drugs and big pharma will NOT be the cure all it once was.
Alot has changed in 21 years. And while I have lived it deeply by way of a sick child, I have also seen my beautiful daughter rebound in the most extraordinary ways due to healthy eating and healthy living. I am excited about what we can all do together and expect a revolution in the foodie movement over the next decade.
I would love to hear your thoughts as well on the subject.
~ L. Davis