NYT: Food Allergies Stir a Mother to Action

Great article in today’s New York Times about Robyn O’Brien, a mother on a mission.

Working largely from a laptop on her dining room table, she has looked deep into the perplexing world of childhood food allergies and seen a conspiracy that threatens the health of America’s children. And, she profoundly believes, it is up to her and parents everywhere to stop it.

Her theory — that the food supply is being manipulated with additives, genetic modification, hormones and herbicides, causing increases in allergies, autism and other disorders in children — is not supported by leading researchers or the largest allergy advocacy groups.

That only feeds Ms. O’Brien’s conviction that the influence of what she sees as the profit-hungry food industry runs deep. In just a few dizzying steps, she can take you from a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese to Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds to Donald H. Rumsfeld, who once ran the company that created the sweetener aspartame.

Through creative use of e-mail, relentless inquiry and a persona carefully crafted around the protective mother archetype, Ms. O’Brien has emerged as a populist hero among parents who troll the Internet for any hint about why their children have food allergies.

I’ve been convinced for a few years now that the rampant adulteration of the food supply is behind the rapid increase in food allergies (and gastrointestinal disorders) in industrialized countries, and in countries where the food supply is industrializing. Ms. O’Brien, you are onto something– don’t let go.

(Note: the reader responses are also worth checking out.  There’s also a debate about this issue happening on Serious Eats.)

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One Response to “NYT: Food Allergies Stir a Mother to Action”

  1. Ellen Says:

    This makes sense.


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