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A Food Fight for our Lives in The Unhealthy Truth (plus giveaway!)

UPDATE: No longer taking comments/entries for this giveaway. I eliminated Lori and Melissa, as they also wrote about the book. That left 12 entries. I used the number generator. The lucky winner is:

#2! Allyson! I’ll be contacting Allyson to get her address information.

Thanks to everyone who entered and shared her food-related challenges.


Have you ever read a book so challenging, so revolutionary that you knew your outlook would be changed forever? I just finished reading Robyn O’Brien’s well-researched and scathing indictment of Big Food in her book, The Unhealthy Truth . I received a copy during a lunch hosted by Stonyfield Farms. Robyn, a mom of four and the founder of AllergyKids, shared her story with a group of moms. Today, some of us are joining hands to relate what we learned. There are giveaways, too!

I’m a mom of kids with allergies, including peanuts, eggs, soy. We also have kids who are sensitive to milk. I easily related to her struggle trying to find answers. As she researched her youngest child’s egg allergy, she was disappointed that resources were few and support was nearly impossible to find. Robyn started AllergyKids in response to a very real need. Not content to adapt to the new status quo, Robyn found herself wondering why there has been such a dramatic increase in food allergies and sensitivities in the past two decades.

Her relentless research led her to uncover startling facts about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), growth hormones, antibiotics, food dyes, preservatives, and other pitfalls of our highly processed diets. The precipitous rise in food allergies correlates with the introduction of genetically modified foods entering the marketplace. The Unhealthy Truth explains the science and history of fiddling with food production in an accessible and engaging way. Robyn admits to being incredibly disheartened by realizations that giant food corporations, university researchers, and our government often look the other way when it comes to food safety.

Greed, lack of funding, and conflicts of interest conspire to make our current food safety situation iffy at best, corrupt to the core at worst.

Peaches: #1 on The Dirty Dozen and #1 in Yumminess

This information can be daunting and depressing—if you let it. Thankfully, Robyn is refreshingly real. She advocates the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, do your best trying to avoid dyes, GMOs, and foods laden with hormones and antibiotics. The other 20% of the time is for when life strikes, when the drive-thru calls, when it’s time to celebrate, relax, unwind. She enjoys her nachos and beer, too.

Mustard: Friendly, Yellow, and Free of Tartrazine

She writes:

If 80 percent of what we give our kids is healthy—free of additives, preservatives, artificial color, aspartame, MSG—then for the other 20 percent we, and they, get a free pass. The Unhealthy Truth, page 232

I like that Robyn was a reluctant crusader, sacrificing much along her journey. The Unhealthy Truth isn’t just an expose’ on the toxicity of America’s food supply. It’s a first-person account of a mom stepping out of her comfort zone and affecting change, challenging authority and conventional wisdom. Robyn was an inspiring speaker, full of warmth, real. Even if you don’t agree with her science, her research, her conclusions, you can close her book having witnessed a tremendous example of perseverance in the face of powerful naysayers.

I particularly loved a quote she shared from her parish priest, Father Rol, who was battling prostate cancer. She talked to him about her regrets, guilt, and doubts:

“…But when you are truly called to action, you have to let go of that control and really allow your faith to lead you. It’s a fearful thing to fall into faith’s hands.” He smiled, entirely focused on me at that moment despite his own pain. “What happens after that really isn’t up to you.” The Unhealthy Truth, page 181

The final chapter provides real ideas and resources for moving toward more healthy choices. I love Robyn’s Instead Of/Choose This suggestion list. It proves you can find yummy choices that won’t load your kids up on dyes and hormones. She finishes with practical advice, food lists, Organic 101, and shares resources.

If you’d like to win a copy of Robyn O’Brien’s The Unhealthy Truth, plus coupons for free YoBaby and Oikos Greek organic yogurts, leave a comment. That’s it! A mostly hoop-less giveaway. Share what food integrity issues concern you the most. I’ll tally comments until September 13th at noon, MDT. Disclosure: I was treated to lunch, introduced to Robyn, and given a copy of the book, but the opinions shared above are solely mine. The book is a keeper.

14 comments to A Food Fight for our Lives in The Unhealthy Truth (plus giveaway!)

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