Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Map of Gluten Free Restaurants in New York City (NYC)

Here is a map of New York City with gluten free restaurants. Please make comments with your favorite GF restaurants in the NYC area and I will add them to the map...

View this map Gluten Free Restaurants in New York City in a larger map with tabs to pull down restaurant contact info.

Downtown Westside:


270 Bleecker St (btwn 6th & 7th Ave.)
New York, NY 10014-4101
(212) 924-6664

Downtown Eastside:

BabyCakes NYC

A bakery which serves gluten free and agave sweetened treats.
248 Broome St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 677-5047

I haven't been yet, but it is always nice to hear about another place that is serving gluten free pizza.
198 Allen Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 614-7252

Midtown Eastside:

Bistango Restaurant
415 3rd Ave (at 29th St.)
New York, NY 10016-8104
(212) 725-8484

Asia De Cuba on Madison

237 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016-2818

Upper East Side:

Lili and Loo
We love this eclectic gluten free asian restaurant.
792 Lexington Ave (betw 61st and 62nd St)
New York, NY 10065-8106
(212) 421-7800

Opus Restaurant
- CLOSED now sorry!
Opus in our new favorite place for food. They have delicious gluten free pasta and crab cakes. It is such a pleasure to have waiters who understand gluten free food.
1574 2nd Ave (btwn 82nd & 83rd)
New York, NY 10028-2617
(212) 772-2220

Lumi Restaurant

Lumi is an elegant italian restaurant with a gluten free
963 Lexington Ave. (at 70th St.)
NY, NY 10021
(212) 570-2335

Peters Restaurant
My kids love to go to Peter's for gluten free french fries. They also have a nice backyard that is a well kept secret--SHHHH...
1606 1st Ave (btwn 83rd & 84th)
New York, NY 10028-4311
(212) 734-9600

Slice, The Perfect Food
Organic, gluten free pizza that can be customized to accomodate different allergies--tastes healthy.
1413 2nd avenue
New York City, NY 10021
(212) 249-4353

Upper West Side:

Trattoria Sambuca
Family style italian restaurant on the upper west side which has a gluten free menu. I haven't eaten there in a while but it wasn't the best italian I have had. The bread was terrible (hopefully they have changed brands by now) and kind of dark. Still, worth mentioning because they do have a gluten free menu.
20 W 72nd St
New York, NY 10023-4100
(212) 787-5656

This restaurant only has a gluten free menu for lunch and dinner. But the food is great if you are in the area and want a yummy sandwich.
201 W 79th St
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-6423

Monday, June 29, 2009

Zukay Salsa with LIVE Active Cultures

This is a long overdue post about Zukay live food salsa that I discovered at the Go Green Expo in New York. Zukay's tangy salsas contain live active cultures which means they are an excellent source of probiotics. Years ago, before refrigeration, preservatives and processing of food we had a lot more fermented foods. The fermentation process preserved the food and it also provided us with neccessary probiotics on which our bodies thrived. These days there are only a few sources of probiotics. For people who can't eat dairy, there are even fewer options for ways to get probiotics into their diets. For a long time, GI Flora, in capsules was the only way we could consume probiotics. I tried making coconut yogurt from dairy free starter, but I felt a tingling in the back of my head when I tried the "dairy free" yogurt. I even hired someone to come in to make me keffir tea--but that didn't work either. So I was thrilled to stumble upon these gluten free, casein free soy free salsas at the Go Green Expo that contain active live cultures.

A lot of food that is marketed as "healthy" is so far from healthy, but Zukay's salsa is truly a healthy product everyone can enjoy.

By the way, If my kids liked ketchup I would put the Zukay salsa in a blender and mix it into the ketchup gradually increasing the amount of salsa. Since no one eats ketchup here, it's more of a theoretical suggestion.By the way, they make the MOST delicious salad dressing. The Zukay salad dressings are a product in the works, but having tasted a sample, I can't wait to get my hands on it. (I had to interupt writing this post to order a 3 pack of mild salsa and a 4 pack sample of salad dressing AND I FOUND OUT THERE IS FREE SHIPPING.)

***I have to mention that my husband doesn't like the tanginess of the fermentation. It bubbles a little kind of like champagne. But for me, it made everything taste so extraordinary. I especially liked the hot salsa mixed in with black beans and rice. Maybe he will like the naturally fat free delicious salad dressings, though--which are even better than the salsas--if that is even possible.

Friday, June 26, 2009

website: no take out

no take out is a cool website whose slogan is "family dinners made easy." When you subscribe to no take out, they send you a menu, a shopping list and detailed seasonal recipes Monday through Friday which allow you to make a healthy, quick family dinner. They also have a Food For Thought section that has some interesting articles. The recipes seem a little sophisticated for my kids, but I love the idea of making vegetables a central part of dinner. Of course, not having to think about what to make is really the best part.

The Last Day of School...

My daughter had her last day of school today. I hate endings. One of the reasons I love this blog is that it can go on and on. I know every ending is a new beginning, and I am excited for a summer of traveling but I still have a pang of sadness knowing that 2nd grade will never happen again for my now 8 year old. Yesterday, we bought some summer shoes and it was fun--which seems like a miracle--because she detests errands and shopping and usually wants no part of picking out anything to wear. I really treasure the little things that used to be difficult and now are do able. To celebrate school being over, we went out to Peter's diner with a gluten free friend, which is tradition I decided to start this year. It is a real treat to be ending the year with everyone healthy and happy. (I am knocking on wood--my "never a dull moment" life has a way of finding me when I announce to the world that everyone is doing great.)

Happy Summer everyone!

Q&A: Probiotics

Q: A child I work with began taking probiotics, mom feels since he started them he hasn't been sleeping as well, he has been easily upset and frustrated. Unfortunately he also received a hepatitis B shot a few days before starting the probiotics so my question is, is it the probiotics? Should we not start anything else? Please share your thoughts.

A: Although I am a big fan of probiotics, my son reacted negatively to every single one except GI Flora by Allergy Research Group. I thought it was because he is so sensitive to dairy and specific foods. He would get hyper and act annoying. In his case, I didn't notice a problem with sleep but gut flora can regulate sleep, so if the Mom's gut instinct is that it is the probiotic that is setting him off, then I would try removing it for a week and seeing if the symptoms decrease. With most supplements, you should continue using them only if you see a positive effect, unless they are supposed to produce die off (like an antifungal drug which would be killing yeast.) With probiotics, I would want to see a neutral or positive change. You could try it again in a week and see if symptoms return after giving it a break. I have no idea what role the Hepatitis B vaccine might be playing, but I would go with the opinion of whoever is with the child the most. I would wait until you resolve any unusual behavior before I added anything else.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Biofilm and Yeast

A biofilm is a weblike structure made up of calcium and magnesium that exists in nature to provide a safe home for bacteria and fungus. Biofilms, like yeast, exist inside of us everywhere. An example of a biofilm is the film that grows inside your mouth as you sleep. Calcium and iron can feed the biofilm.

But when pathogenic (unfriendly) bacteria overgrow, sometimes taking steps to remove the protective biofilm while trying to kill the pathogens, is more effective than just targeting the pathogens.

I am a big fan of treating yeast. I have witnessed firsthand how many of my son's symptoms got better with antifungal treatment using Nystatin and got worse when the Nystatin was discontinued. But, I have seen even better results from treating the biofilm while killing the yeast.

In order to destroy the biofilm, you need to take an enzyme supplements that break the calcium and magnesium structure. As the weblike structure is destroyed, the pathogenic organisms remain unprotected and can be attacked with a broad spectrum antimicrobial supplement. Later on, you replenish the gut with good bacteria.

There are many supplements (like probiotics and fish oil) that can be implemented by parents on their own. But biofilm removal needs to be done with the help of a nutritionist or a doctor with an understanding of the complexity of the biofilm itself as well as the pathogenic and beneficial bacteria in the gut.

We are seeing Geri Brewster, who sees clients in Mount Kisco and New York City. Since using the biofilm protocol she recommended with my son the eczema on his face has disappeared and he is much less sensitive/allergic to foods. He had his first two weeks of camp and they had a small ice at the end of each day which he was fine with. Before starting the diet, he was better on a sugar free diet with Nystatin, but any sugar would trigger a worsening of his eczema/rash, and hyperactive, aggressive behavior. Geri Brewster's biofilm protocol is the best thing since ALCAT food sensitivity testing--and it's DEFINITELY on my top 10 list of things that have helped my son get better.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Easy Fried Rice Recipe

This was my "go to" recipe when my son was sick. I used garlic and onions which are antifungal and antibacterial and diced them finely so he just thought of it as rice. I don't make it as much any more, but he was really excited for it tonight. Although he is usually soy free, he is reacting less to things thanks to Geri Brewster's biofilm protocol, so I even let him have the gluten free soy sauce.

2 Tablespoons oil
2 scallions-chopped on an angle
2 eggs
4 cups rice
½-1 tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tsp sugar/agave
1-2 T. soy sauce

veggies: ½ c cup peas,1/2 c. carrots, ½ c. celery chopped into small cubes
½ cup shrimp cut into ¼ inch dice
ham or pork-cut in ¼ inch dice

Heat oil in wok or large frying pan.
Add scallions to hot oil and cook one minute.
Add carrots, cook until soft (2 to 3 minutes)
*(Add shrimp and cook 1 minute
Add eggs stir to break up.
Then add rice right away. “Gold wrapped in silver” the cooking instructor says on the YouTube video of making Shanghai Fried Rice.
Next, add quick cooking vegetables and cooked meets (peas, celery, ham etc. .)
Then add seasoning: kosher salt, sugar/agave to balance, white pepper, oyster sauce or gluten free soy sauce.

Makes enough for 4.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Homemade Gluten Free Ice Cream Cake

I don't really have a recipe for this cake. You can kind of wing it with an ice cream cake. Baking is a science and you need to get it right, but making an ice cream cake is more art than science. I used several cartons of ice cream for this cake. We used Ben & Jerry's (because they use non rGBH milk in their ice cream) vanilla and Phish Food which is chocolate. The bottom layer was strawberry and then I crushed up some oreo style Jo-sef gluten- free chocolate sandwich cookies for the middle. I made a frosting with tons of powdered sugar and butter and a little coconut milk. It was a once a year dairy indulgence. Usually our whole house is dairy free. I can't remember the last time I had a carton of milk in our fridge. But it was my daughters birthday and her sensitivity to dairy has vanished since we figured out her thyroid issue. Which to me, was another huge reason to celebrate. I did celebrate--in a big, big way with this tiered ice cream cake which was decorated with monogrammed M&Ms.

To make the cake I lined a springform cheesecake pan with parchment paper. Then I scooped softened strawberry ice cream into the lined pan. After smoothing the strawberry ice cream out, I put it back in the freezer to harden. A few hours later, I sprinkled crushed oreos and put a layer of vanilla frosting over the crushed cookies. The top layer was half vanilla and half chocolate Phish Food ice cream. I returned the cake pan in the freezer for several hours to harden again. When I took it out of the freezer, I ran a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen it before opening the springform pan to remove the sides of the cake pan. Then I turned it onto a serving plate. Once again, I returned the cake to the freezer to harden before icing the frosting with a buttercream frosting and decorating with monogrammed M&Ms. The process might have been easier if I had done some research on making ice cream cakes...so here is an about.com video which shows the basic process of making an ice cream cake.

If you want to make a gluten free dairy free soy free ice cream cake you can use:
Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Kinnikinnick Oreos
•frosting made with powdered sugar, Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening and coconut milk and skittles

Related posts:
Birthday Cupcakes

Birthday Cake Sugar Cookies Recipe

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Q&A: Diaper Rash, Yeast and Gluten

Q: My daughter is 17 months. She has yeast infection-like bumps on the back of her bottom every couple of weeks. My chiropractor said to try eliminating wheat, but could it be gluten? She also drinks soy milk.

A: 17 months is a critical developmental time because from 18-24 months language is developing. Figuring out the source of the diaper rash would be great because so much needs to happen in the coming months. Based on my experience with my son and the many doctors we consulted about his rashes and food sensitivities, I would suggest eliminating all casein (dairy), gluten (wheat, rye, barley and oats) and soy for a while to see if the bumps go away. After the rash goes away, you can add them back one at a time to try to figure out which one might be causing the diaper rash. Because the molecules are so similar, it is sometimes easier to eliminate all of them and add them back to try to get to the bottom of a sensitivity. Although it might seem drastic to eliminate gluten, dairy and soy of for a few weeks, finding out any sensitivities will be beneficial in the long run. You mentioned that your daughteris drinking soy milk. Many children who are sensitive to dairy are also sensitive to soy, so I wouldn't recommend soy milk to anyone as a replacement for dairy. In fact, I wouldn't recommend soy milk to anyone. The benefits are soy, in my opinion are largely a good public relations campaign by the soy industry and only present if you are consuming fermented soy in the context of an asian diet. Weston Price has a good summary about the dangers of soy. Also, in Soy Formula - Better than Breastmilk? Weston Price's has this to say about soy for babies:

The most serious problem with soy formula is the presence of phytoestrogens or isoflavones. While many claims have been made about the health benefits of these estrogen-like compounds, animal studies indicate that they are powerful endocrine disrupters that alter growth patterns and cause sterility. Toxicologists estimate that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day. By contrast, almost no phytoestrogens have been detected in dairy-based infant formula or in human milk, even when the mother consumes soy products.

When you add items back you could first add some wheat items that don't contain gluten like barley. If your daughter reacts to barley, then she is sensitive to gluten. If she doesn't react to barley, but reacts to wheat, then she is sensitive or allergic to wheat. My son was super sensitive to traces of barley contained in Rice Dream milk, that is how we figured out my son's gluten intolerance. Here post describing a yeast infection diaper rash that might be of interest.

Related posts:

What is Gluten?
Yeast Overgrowth
Allergies and Food Intolerances

Homemade Gluten Free (& Casein Free!) Coconut Ice Cream in a Bag Recipe (GFCF)

We made this gluten free/casein free/soy free ice cream in a bag today for A. who is our "well oiled machine." This is a GREAT recipe because you can find the ingredients in any large grocery store. After 10 minutes of bag shaking it hardened into creamy coconut ice cream. It melts super fast, so you have to eat it quickly--which isn't hard to do. Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag from Kid Concoctions has the dairy version I made for my daughter's birthday.


• 1/4 cup water
•1/4 cup coconut milk
• 1 Tablespoon maple (or honey--if you are SCD)
•1/4 teaspoon gluten free vanilla (optional--the maple adds a rich flavor)

• 6 Tablespoons rock salt (or kosher salt or whatever salt you have on hand)
• 1 sandwich size plastic ziplock bag (or jar)
• 1 gallon size plastic ziplock bag (or jar)
• 1/2 bag of ice

1. Put coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla into the small bag and seal it carefully.
2. Fill the large bag half full of ice and add the rock salt.
3. Place the small bag inside the large one and seal it carefully.
4. Shake the bag until the mixture is ice cream, which takes 5-10 minutes of shaking.
5. Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Scoop into a bowl and enjoy.

Related post:
Coconut Oil--an Antiviral and Antimicrobial Food
Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag from Kid Concoctions

For my daughter's birthday we are making ice cream in a bag with a friend. Normally, I am not a fan of making food in plastic, but it's kind of a science experiment and a tasty treat in one, that she first saw on Kid Concoctions, so we are using plastic bags. If you have two jars that can nest inside one another, you can use those too. In ten minutes you have a creamy ice cream treat. Try adding mix ins to make different flavors. Mix ins we like are: Enjoy Life chocolate chips, strawberries, and blueberries. Try cutting off the edge of the bag and they can squeeze it out which makes it a soft serve treat.

We are using a recipe from crafts.kaboose.com's Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag: Summer Crafts for Kids:

What you'll need:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar or agave
  • 1/2 cup milk or half & half or coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon gluten free vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons rock salt (or regular salt)
  • 1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc) or jar
  • 1 gallon-size plastic food storage bagor jar
  • Ice cubes

How to make it:

  1. Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
  2. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
  3. Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.
  4. Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!

Celiac Disease and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

This was a comment left on my post Benign Congenital Hypotonia (Low Muscle Tone) and the Gluten Free Diet. Celiac is so often missed by doctors, as it was with this child.

Hi and thank you for writing your post about Low Muscle Tone. Our daughter too has grown up with low muscle tone and was diagnosed with something called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Just before turning five, we read what you wrote here about Gluten allergies and thought that you were writing about our daughter. Now 3 months later, she has been diagnosed with Celiac disease, something that her doctors chuckled about when we said we wanted to test for it. We have started with a gluten free diet now and hopefully she will be running and jumping like her 5 year old friends soon. Thanks again your your post. It pointed us in an entirely new direction that none of my daughter's doctors could foresee.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"What can YOU do?" Video Contest

The Campaign for Disabilities Employment is launching the "What Can YOU do?"video contest. They are looking for "60 second videos that will change attitudes about disabilities and employment. The videos can be serious, surprising, funny, whatever! THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO BE CREATIVE AND MAKE PEOPLE THINK." Top videos will be featured on the Campaign for Disabilities website. The overall contest winner will receive a prize worth $1,500 and will have the opportunity to participate in a Washington event and meet with disability, business or government leaders and be honored.

One of my FAVORITE sayings is "Everyone is good at SOMETHING." I love pointing out to my kids what they CAN do when they are disappointed in other areas. When my daughter grumbles about not being a great runner, I might say: "Running is not your thing, but you are an amazing reader and you have an incredible memory. Everyone is good at SOMETHING." Then I turn the conversation toward everyone's unique talents, noting little and big gifts of people she knows. I often include what I am bad and good at, saying "I can't remember anything...but I am a great cook." I was happy to read about this new contest to bring awareness to what people with disabilities CAN do...I would love some of the creative parents I know to participate in this video. If you don't win the actual contest you can post your video on YouTube and send me the link and What To Feed Your Kids will award a top video and post the top videos.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Food, Inc.

Thanks to my friend Kassie at Crunchy Apples who posted this YouTube video about a movie on how processing of food has fundamentally changed the food we eat . Food, Inc. is in theaters now, although mostly in theaters that show arty films. It is coming to video on September 15th. It is SOOOOOOO up my alley. Happy weekend everyone.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gluten Free Almond Banana Bread (GFCF & SCD)

I found this easy recipe for banana bread by Bart Hansen on scd.org. I haven't tried the bread yet, but the batter is delicious. I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and have some.

• 3 cups of almond flour
• 1/3 cup honey (or 1/3 c. agave)
• 3 eggs
• 2 mashed bananas
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup raisins or 1/2 cup of walnuts (optional)

Line a bread pan with parchment and grease with coconut oil. Bake for an hour at 350 degrees F (180 C). I made this recipe in a cake pan and baked it for 50 minutes.

Free NYC Conference Tomorrow

NYC Department of Health will host a free conference at Fordham University celebrating the creativity and accomplishments of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder

June 12, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Pope Auditorium
Fordham University, Lincoln Center campus
located on West 60 Street and Columbus Avenue (near 9th Avenue)

• successful employment stories and positive outcomes
• Geri & Anita Zatlow of Special Citizens Future Unlimited
Heidi Landis of CANY Creative Alternatives
dre dance
PS176X Chorus
Loretta Boronat creator of "my Sibling®” dolls which offers employment options for teens and adults who have ASD
visual arts exhibit

For providers, professionals, consumers, family and friends of individuals with Autism

Light breakfast 8:30-9
Program 9-12:30
Information about Autism Spectrum Disorders services will be available.
To register, please email jleung@health.nyc.gov
For more information call: 212 219-5396

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Yeast Overgrowth

Yeast exists in everyone's body, but under the right conditions it can proliferate and take over. Candida Albicans is both a yeast and a fungus and it is the microorganism that we are talking about when we are talking about a "yeast problem." Yeast exists in everyone's intestinal tract and in small amounts it is harmless. But when it takes over it can cause yeast infections, food allergies, skin rashes and allergies to mold as well as behavioral problems and hyperactivity. Yeast was a big part of my son's problems. But we dealt with it early, thanks to Dr. Morton Teich, who I refer to as "The Yeast Doctor" because his specialty seems to be dealing with this medical problem that is overlooked and dismissed by many other mainstream doctor

There are many ways that a yeast problem can develop. In people who have celiac, the villi which produce the enzymes to break down the food are damaged. Yeast can use the undigested food as a food source. Yeast grows 200x more in the presence of sugar. So a diet that includes a lot of highly refined sugar and carbohydrates can also lead to a yeast overgrowth. Often, gluten free processed foods are loaded with sugar, which feeds the yeast. According to Dr. Teich, yeast doesn't grow in agave, so it is a better choice to use as a sweetener.

My son's yeast overgrowth presented as hyperactivity, unusual behavior, a rash on his face, and an itchy diaper rash. When I gave him Nystatin, prescribed by Dr. Teich, his crazy behavior and rash got better. But it was only when I really made a vigilant effort to remove every little bit of sugar from his diet, that he got better.

Several months ago, a dermatologist I consulted about the rash on his face said it was "eczema". The physician said they didn't know what caused eczema and for half of the people it went away and half of the people it was a lifelong problem. Then he took out his prescription pad and wrote a prescription for a steroid cream. I was pretty surprised that he didn't have a more specific name for the rash. Eczema seems so vague and too general to suggest any cause or cure. But I followed his advice just to see where it would lead me. The cream helped when I used it but as soon as I would stop the rash would return.

I started treating my son's yeast overgrowth when his calm personality disappeared and he became unusually mean and aggressive after eating a slice of yeasty gluten free sourdough bread. Several days later I gave him some Nystatin we had around from last summer and his aggression disappeared and he sat down and ate his breakfast. I saw his behavior go up and down over the months we treated him with medication that eradicates yeast. Once school ended and the parties were over, I got super serious and eliminated every bit of sugar from his diet and
continued with a small dosage of Nystatin. Magically, his rash disappeared and his behavior settled.

It's not science, but that is our gluten free families experience of treating yeast.

Here are some tips for eliminating yeast: 1)Eliminate sugar. 2) Use probiotics 3) Use enzymes to break down the food so it doesn't become food for the yeast 4) See a doctor who understands the chronic problems associated with yeast overgrowth.

Here are some good links to more information:

Low Tech Home Yeast Test
Candidias Syndrome

Friday, June 5, 2009

Homemade...Handmade...and RAW playdough

"If I were a science teacher, this would be my first assignment."
"Why don't people just MAKE squishy balls like this?"
"It's not just homemade--it's HANDMAID!" was the slogan my daughter and friend came up with to sell their new playdough.

On Thursday, my daughter was off from school and had a friend sleep over. Probably because there is no TV during the week, they woke up and announced they wanted to make playdough. She had made some in her science class when they made a volcano. After digging around on the computer to find a recipe, this is the recipe we found.

6 cups flour*
2 cups salt
4 Tablespoons cooking oil
2 cups water

*We used 6 cups gluten free flour (we like tapioca flour) plus 2 t. xanthum gum.

-Mix all ingredients together by hand. Add more flour or water as needed until it forms a ball. Knead until soft. Enjoy. We even used some of the "playdough" to make squishy balls by wrapping golf ball sized dough pieces in plastic wrap and tieing them with ribbons.

Geneticially Modified (GMO) Food List by Companies

Recently, I had a post about AAEM's request for a ban on genetically modified foods. Here is an excerpt from the article by Jeffrey Smith called American Academy of Environmental Medicine Calls for Immediate Moratorium on All Genetically Modified Foods
"biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute warns that "children are the most likely to be adversely effected by toxins and other dietary problems" related to GM foods. He says without adequate studies, the children become "the experimental animals."[ii]"
AAEM has linked GMOs to infertility, immune problems, gastrointestinal problems, and insulin regulation in animal studies. The article mentions that sheep often graze on cotton after the cotton season, but when they graze on BT cotton (which is genetically modified) thousands died. Yikes.

Here is a link to a list of the companies that use GMO food and those that don't. The companies that use genetically modified ingredients are mainstream companies that provide the bulk of the food that kids eat today. Pepperidge Farm, Nabisco, Betty Crocker/General Mills, Hersheys, Kellogs, Pepsi, Coca Cola, and Campbells all use genetically modified organisms in their products. I have known for a while that most corn, soy, canola and cottonseed oil in the US contains GMOs unless specifically labelled "non GMO." So it is not surprising that these mainstream food companies, who put profit first, are using GMO ingredients. Still, it is shocking to see so many products that make up the bulk of typical kids food on the list--Eggo waffles, Quaker rice cakes, Campbell's soup, Heinz Ketchup, CHEERIOS!!!

If it killed a significant number of sheep, who knows what it is doing to our one year olds whose minds and bodies are still developing.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Geri Brewster on AAEM's Warning about GMO Foods

Geri Brewster is a nutritionist who sees patients in New York and Mount Kisco. She has worked with children and adults for the last 20 years and has witnessed first hand how the modernization of our food supply has created problems for many people. We had a conversation last week about the dangers of genetically modified food and she reported that the AAEM had asked for a ban on GMO foods in an article titled: American Academy of Environmental Medicine Calls for Immediate Moratorium on All Genetically Modified Foods. Geri commented on the article, saying:

"As one who reads and follows the literature and sees much in my clinical practice, I wasn't surprised to hear the announcement from the AAEM last week regarding GMO foods. I have said for years, how can our bodies know what to do with these altered proteins? If one's body cannot recognize them, it would make sense that it would attack them and set in motion a series of dysregulated immune responses. The GMO foods we eat directly and indirectly from animals fed GMO diets are just one of the principal factors in immune dysregulation."
-- Geri Brewster,
RD, MPH, CDN Registered Dietitian-Certified Nutritionist 914-643-8960

In Europe, all food containing genetically modified organisms has to be clearly labeled. In the US, it is completely secretive. The US practice favors the food companies and corporations and puts children and sensitive individuals unknowingly at risk. The Unhealthy Truth is a new book that exposes how the FDA protects the corporations more than citizens. Unless you buy organic food your food may contain GMOs...Another reason to go organic or buy food that is clearly labelled non-GMO.

Below is the complete article by Jeffrey Smith which summarizes the findings. It is so important, I don't know where to cut it off.
American Academy of Environmental Medicine Calls for Immediate Moratorium on All Genetically Modified Foods
by Jeffrey M. Smith

Today, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on "Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks."[i] They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling.

AAEM's position paper stated, "Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food," including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude, "There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation," as defined by recognized scientific criteria. "The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies."

More and more doctors are already prescribing GM-free diets. Dr. Amy Dean, a Michigan internal medicine specialist, and board member of AAEM says, "I strongly recommend patients eat strictly non-genetically modified foods." Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says "I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it."
Dr. Jennifer Armstrong, President of AAEM, says, "Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions." World renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava goes one step further. After reviewing more than 600 scientific journals, he concludes that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a major contributor to the sharply deteriorating health of Americans.
Pregnant women and babies at great risk
Among the population, biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute warns that "children are the most likely to be adversely effected by toxins and other dietary problems" related to GM foods. He says without adequate studies, the children become "the experimental animals."[ii]
The experience of actual GM-fed experimental animals is scary. When GM soy was fed to female rats, most of their babies died within three weeks-compared to a 10% death rate among the control group fed natural soy.[iii] The GM-fed babies were also smaller, and later had problems getting pregnant.[iv]
When male rats were fed GM soy, their testicles actually changed color-from the normal pink to dark blue.[v] Mice fed GM soy had altered young sperm.[vi] Even the embryos of GM fed parent mice had significant changes in their DNA.[vii] Mice fed GM corn in an Austrian government study had fewer babies, which were also smaller than normal.[viii]
Reproductive problems also plague livestock. Investigations in the state of Haryana, India revealed that most buffalo that ate GM cottonseed had complications such as premature deliveries, abortions, infertility, and prolapsed uteruses. Many calves died. In the US, about two dozen farmers reported thousands of pigs became sterile after consuming certain GM corn varieties. Some had false pregnancies; others gave birth to bags of water. Cows and bulls also became infertile when fed the same corn.[ix]
In the US population, the incidence of low birth weight babies, infertility, and infant mortality are all escalating. Food designed to produce toxin. GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce their own built-in pesticide in every cell. When bugs bite the plant, the poison splits open their stomach and kills them. Biotech companies claim that the pesticide, called Bt-produced from soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis-has a history of safe use, since organic farmers and others use Bt bacteria spray for natural insect control. Genetic engineers insert Bt genes into corn and cotton, so the plants do the killing.
The Bt-toxin produced in GM plants, however, is thousands of times more concentrated than natural Bt spray, is designed to be more toxic,[x] has properties of an allergen, and unlike the spray, cannot be washed off the plant.

Moreover, studies confirm that even the less toxic natural bacterial spray is harmful. When dispersed by plane to kill gypsy moths in the Pacific Northwest, about 500 people reported allergy or flu-like symptoms. Some had to go to the emergency room.[xi],[xii]

The exact same symptoms are now being reported by farm workers throughout India, from handling Bt cotton.[xiii] In 2008, based on medical records, the Sunday India reported, "Victims of itching have increased massively this year . . . related to BT cotton farming."[xiv]
GMOs provoke immune reactions
AAEM states, "Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation," including increase in cytokines, which are "associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation"-all on the rise in the US.
According to GM food safety expert Dr. Arpad Pusztai, changes in the immune status of GM animals are "a consistent feature of all the studies."[xv] Even Monsanto's own research showed significant immune system changes in rats fed Bt corn.[xvi] A November 2008 by the Italian government also found that mice have an immune reaction to Bt corn.[xvii]
GM soy and corn each contain two new proteins with allergenic properties,[xviii] GM soy has up to seven times more trypsin inhibitor-a known soy allergen,[xix]and skin prick tests show some people react to GM, but not to non-GM soy.[xx] Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies skyrocketed by 50%. Perhaps the US epidemic of food allergies and asthma is a casualty of genetic manipulation.

Animals dying in large numbers

In India, animals graze on cotton plants after harvest. But when shepherds let sheep graze on Bt cotton plants, thousands died. Post mortems showed severe irritation and black patches in both intestines and liver (as well as enlarged bile ducts). Investigators said preliminary evidence "strongly suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a toxin. . . . most probably Bt-toxin."[xxi] In a small follow-up feeding study by the Deccan Development Society, all sheep fed Bt cotton plants died within 30 days; those that grazed on natural cotton plants remained healthy.
In a small village in Andhra Pradesh, buffalo grazed on cotton plants for eight years without incident. On January 3rd, 2008, the buffalo grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All 13 were sick the next day; all died within 3 days.[xxii]
Bt corn was also implicated in the deaths of cows in Germany, and horses, water buffaloes, and chickens in The Philippines.[xxiii]
In lab studies, twice the number of chickens fed Liberty Link corn died; 7 of 20 rats fed a GM tomato developed bleeding stomachs; another 7 of 40 died within two weeks.[xxiv] Monsanto's own study showed evidence of poisoning in major organs of rats fed Bt corn, according to top French toxicologist G. E. Seralini.[xxv]
Worst finding of all-GMOs remain inside of us
The only published human feeding study revealed what may be the most dangerous problem from GM foods. The gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function.[xxvi] This means that long after we stop eating GMOs, we may still have potentially harmful GM proteins produced continuously inside of us. Put more plainly, eating a corn chip produced from Bt corn might transform our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories, possibly for the rest of our lives.
When evidence of gene transfer is reported at medical conferences around the US, doctors often respond by citing the huge increase of gastrointestinal problems among their patients over the last decade. GM foods might be colonizing the gut flora of North Americans.
Warnings by government scientists ignored and denied
Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had warned about all these problems even in the early 1990s. According to documents released from a lawsuit, the scientific consensus at the agency was that GM foods were inherently dangerous, and might create hard-to-detect allergies, poisons, gene transfer to gut bacteria, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged their superiors to require rigorous long-term tests.[xxvii] But the White House had ordered the agency to promote biotechnology and the FDA responded by recruiting Michael Taylor, Monsanto's former attorney, to head up the formation of GMO policy. That policy, which is in effect today, denies knowledge of scientists' concerns and declares that no safety studies on GMOs are required. It is up to Monsanto and the other biotech companies to determine if their foods are safe. Mr. Taylor later became Monsanto's vice president.
Dangerously few studies, untraceable diseases
AAEM states, "GM foods have not been properly tested" and "pose a serious health risk." Not a single human clinical trial on GMOs has been published. A 2007 review of published scientific literature on the "potential toxic effects/health risks of GM plants" revealed "that experimental data are very scarce." The author concludes his review by asking, "Where is the scientific evidence showing that GM plants/food are toxicologically safe, as assumed by the biotechnology companies?"[xxviii]
Famed Canadian geneticist David Suzuki answers, "The experiments simply haven't been done and we now have become the guinea pigs." He adds, "Anyone that says, 'Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,' I say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying."[xxix]
Dr. Schubert points out, "If there are problems, we will probably never know because the cause will not be traceable and many diseases take a very long time to develop." If GMOs happen to cause immediate and acute symptoms with a unique signature, perhaps then we might have a chance to trace the cause.
This is precisely what happened during a US epidemic in the late 1980s. The disease was fast acting, deadly, and caused a unique measurable change in the blood-but it still took more than four years to identify that an epidemic was even occurring. By then it had killed about 100 Americans and caused 5,000-10,000 people to fall sick or become permanently disabled. It was caused by a genetically engineered brand of a food supplement called L-tryptophan.
If other GM foods are contributing to the rise of autism, obesity, diabetes, asthma, cancer, heart disease, allergies, reproductive problems, or any other common health problem now plaguing Americans, we may never know. In fact, since animals fed GMOs had such a wide variety of problems, susceptible people may react to GM food with multiple symptoms. It is therefore telling that in the first nine years after the large scale introduction of GM crops in 1996, the incidence of people with three or more chronic diseases nearly doubled, from 7% to 13%.[xxx]
To help identify if GMOs are causing harm, the AAEM asks their "members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health."
Citizens need not wait for the results before taking the doctors advice to avoid GM foods. People can stay away from anything with soy or corn derivatives, cottonseed and canola oil, and sugar from GM sugar beets-unless it says organic or "non-GMO." There is a pocket Non-GMO Shopping Guide, co-produced by the Institute for Responsible Technology and the Center for Food Safety, which is available as a download, as well as in natural food stores and in many doctors' offices.
If even a small percentage of people choose non-GMO brands, the food industry will likely respond as they did in Europe-by removing all GM ingredients. Thus, AAEM's non-GMO prescription may be a watershed for the US food supply.

*see the original article American Academy of Environmental Medicine Calls for Immediate Moratorium on All Genetically Modified Foods for the footnotes.
Related posts:
Genetically Modified Soy
Genetically Modified Milk and the rBGH vaccine
More Milk Info
What NOT to Feed Your Kids...The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O'Brien

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rotating Fish Oil & Cod Liver Oil

If you don't know which fish oil product to begin with, I would suggest beginning with high EPA fish oil in the spring and summer. Carlson's has a high EPA product called Carlson's for Kids Very Finest Fish Oil. In the winter or if you have any digestive issues or are sick a lot, you could switch to Carlson's for Kid's Cod Liver Oil which also contains natural vitamin A and D. But the study out of Harvard by Dr. Andrew Stoll*** suggests the high EPA fish oil is most beneficial. You need DHA for brain GROWTH and EPA for brain FUNCTION. So during periods of rapid brain growth, DHA is important because it is essential for the structure of the brain. This would be during the first few years of life when the brain in growing. Later on, when brain function is more important, high EPA fish oil can be used. Rotating supplements can give your body different nutrients and also gives your body a rest from products periodically so you don't develop an intolerance. I always order my fish oil from the internet and make sure it tastes fresh and not fishy when I open the bottle. Also, always keep fish oil refrigerated to keep it fresh.

(you need to cut and paste this to get a pdf of lecture presented by
Andrew Stoll, M.D. from the Harvard Medical School--link doesn't work
because it is a pdf)

Related posts:

Omega 3's in Fish Oil

Cod Liver Oil

Vitamin A and Cod Liver Oil

Flavoring Fish Oil For Children

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gluten Free Taste of New York

My daughter's class is having a Taste of New York celebration as part of their studying the different areas of Manhattan. I was running around today buying stuff to prepare some gluten free soul food when I discovered there were five different boroughs with different foods. I even picked up some Kansas City Ribs and Blue Smoke that are gluten free. On the bright side, I am so happy my daughter's school has limited events revolving around food. My daughter, Z, said she didn't want to go because the whole point was to go around and try different food. I sort of agreed with her--what a bummer to have to bring your own to a tasting.

It is the second time I have felt really sad about how hard it is to be gluten free. The first time I felt overwhelmed I was at Lego Land. They assured me over the phone they had gluten free pasta and could accommodate our allergies. When we got to Lego Land it was overcooked corn pasta and completely inedible. At the time, my son couldn't have corn either. Since then, I have brought food for my kids everywhere. It just makes it so much easier to not depend on others to get it right than to worry about how to fix it when it goes wrong. It is funny, the overcooked inedible pasta at Lego Land wasn't by itself sad, it was more the realization of a lifetime of having to worry about something everyone else doesn't have to think about.

As soon as I got sad about the Taste of New York celebration, my daughter perked up and said she wanted to go and she had a great idea for peach lemon squares. I think her reservation about going to the Taste of New York was that she felt alone. When she saw my unhappiness, she realized she wasn't alone. And that made it better.

But I just finished making some of our favorite lemon squares, a peach cobbler and agave lemon muffins (for my son's picnic tomorrow.) I got a little less depressed about bringing our own food when I saw how yummy everything looked.

Lose the Dye this Summer...Unless You Are a T-Shirt

I am all about going dye free this summer. Basically, there is evidence that many of these dyes are toxic and cause problems from cancer to allergies to learning problems. There is a huge body of evidence suggesting artificial coloring in food and drinks interfere with the Omega 3 pathways that are critical for brain functioning. This causes learning and behavior problems like ADD. The evidence is building that these dyes are bad for everyone, not just the kids who might be susceptible to attention problems.

Because of parents concerns in Europe, many US companies have removed these artificial dyes from their european products. But in the U.S., because the parents haven't demanded it, they still are using these harmful dyes in many of the products marketed to kids. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CPSI) asked for a ban of the most dangerous dyes: Yellow 5, Red 40 and six other dyes.

This summer, lose the dye in gum and buy WHITE GUM if you ever buy gum. Choose drinks and treats that are free from coloring. Many products have dye free options available now as more and more people are opting out of coloring for their kids. Of course, homemade treats don't have these dyes in them, so foregoing processed food is also a way to avoid dye in food products.

Instead of eating foods with dye this summer, try this Tie Dye kit from Gift Hero, my new favorite place to buy gifts. My daughter's friend got this Tie Dye Kit for her birthday and made the cutest shirt--I had to ask where it was from. The strings contain the dye and you wrap them around the shirts so it's not a giant mess but you end up with a super cute tie dye shirt. The kit contains the strings, a pillowcase and a doll size shirt, but you can use the strings on your own shirt (or shirts!)