My youngest daughter was recently diagnosed by her pediatrician with food allergies. This is uncharted territory for our family. I am still in the research phase and trying to process all of this. In fact, we have an appointment this week with a pediatric allergist so I can get more answers and a more definitive diagnosis. I just have so very many questions and concerns.
As most of us typically do, my first response as a mother has been panic, frustration, curiosity, and guilt. I want to know what I could have done differently to prevent this from happening to my precious blessing. I began researching. In just the very small amount of research I’ve done so far, I am infuriated to know that some of the foods I have been feeding my children since infancy could be the cause of this allergy. I was never taught growing up that processed foods were bad for you. I just assumed if an ingredient was in my food and the government said it was okay for consumption, then it must be “food”. However, the food industry is using our families and particularly our children as guinea pigs. They are genetically modifying food, pumping it full or hormones, and packing everyday items in our pantry with chemicals. This is a discovery the Lord brought to my attention several years ago. Slowly but surely I have been transitioning our home to whole foods, so I feel like we’ve made great strides, but we have so much further to go. Especially in light of the information I have been researching just this week.
There are lots of brands that I thought were healthy for my family. Yet, the parent companies of these brands are lining the pockets of politicians to be sure we never really find out what is in their “foods”, all the while hiding behind marketing slogans that profess to be healthy in an attempt to make them look squeaky clean. I check labels all of the time, but I was surprised to find out what I thought was “natural ingredients” wasn’t. I was shocked to find out what is in some of the staple brands of foods I buy, like canned tomatoes, Greek yogurt, hummus, granola, corn, and soy just to name a few.
My wise tip for you today is to not only read labels, but please research the companies behind the labels. Find out how they are making the foods you buy, what type of labeling they support, and where they donate their money because if you are buying their products then you are supplying the money they are using to keep you in the dark about what is in going on your family’s table and into your children’s bodies. You can google companies, ingredient names, etc. and find a wealth of information from trustworthy sources. You can even contact the companies directly. There are also lots of free apps for your smart phone that will scan bar codes of products. If the product is in their database they can give you a health rating for the food.
After a visit to a pediatric allergist, we received a new diagnosis. It turns out my princess is only allergic to birch pollen connected to apples and tree nuts, and the peanut allergy diagnosis was a false positive. I am so thankful that it wasn’t as extreme as it could have been. However, she still cannot eat these foods which are some of her favorites. This new information I have discovered about foods, chemicals, and labeling affects me and my family, and everyone in our country. Our immune systems and our temple bodies are being attacked every single day by the chemicals being pumped into foods for the sake of convenience, money and greed. We are called to take care of our temples. We should be eating foods that honor God, those that He created for us, not those created in a Petri dish! Why do we think it is acceptable or healthy for us to eat chemicals that are used to seal floors, make yoga mats, or those that cause tumors in lab animals, or even levels of estrogen the equivalent of several packs of birth control pills?!?
I guess you can tell I am more than angry, not to mention a bit overwhelmed. I sure wish my precious baby didn’t have to go through these allergies. This birch pollen allergy makes her susceptible to more pollen allergies that may affect her ability to eat fresh fruits and veggies. I’ll always wonder if I could have done anything differently to prevent it, but I’m not going to let it consume me. I am going to allow God to use this to benefit our family and hopefully countless other families. The only consolation I have right now in our journey into the food allergy world is knowing God will use it for my precious baby’s good and His glory, because she has accepted Him and is one of His children. She got a good dose of what God can do yesterday when He answered our prayers.
Hold on tight because I am adding another path to my quest for rubies amidst all of the ruckus. From my glimpse into this research, it appears this may be a bumpy ride. I’m ready because my Heavenly Father is by my side!