Once again, Rhyah has been an inspiration for a post. She posted a question on Facebook about cavities and the wheels in my simple mind started turning. As I fed the kids lunch I thought on it and decided to just write out my thoughts in a blog post. I hope this comes across ok because right now I'm just trying to put my jumble of thoughts into some sort of logical order.
First, a disclaimer...I have absolutely no training in dentistry or any type of medical field whatsoever. That's why, in the title, I advise readers to take my thoughts for what they're worth. I am just a mother that has done a lot of reading. Based upon the books that I have read, these are the opinions that I believe are accurate.
I believe that today's children suffer from a lot of maladies that children of previous generations did not. When I look back at my own childhood, I cannot name a peer that suffered from autism, ADHD, cancer, or even food allergies. However, when I look around my children's peers it's easy to lose count of the number of children suffering from these afflictions. Some might write that off as me simply being blessed with healthy peers. While that could be the case, I think there's more to it.
I believe that each generation is becoming more and more sick. I believe that those illnesses are exhibited in different forms. For some it might be simply an excessive amount of tooth decay or ADHD and in others it could be seen as cancer or autism. I believe that there is a direct relationship between proper nourishment and the severity of the malady.
I believe that there's a "snowball effect" when it comes to nutrition and health. With each generation the quality of our food becomes poorer and our health suffers. That poor health is passed on to the next generation and then worsened further when that generation continues to make even poorer food choices. So, with each generation, overall health is decreasing at an amazing rate.
I don't know enough about my own family's history to get this next statement accurate. I don't know if it was my grandmother or great grandmother or great-great grandmother that started choosing unhealthy foods. I do know that, at some point in my family's history, God-given whole foods started to be served less frequently and new, man-made processed foods started becoming more the norm. At some point my ancestors were eating food that God put onto this earth: fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, milk straight from the family cow...foods in their natural state without anything added or taken away. Then slowly we evolved into the Standard American Diet of macaroni and cheese, boxed cereals, fast food, and soda.
My children suffer from mild autism and eczema. So through the generations, my family's health has reached a point where my children are afflicted with these maladies. If I were to continue in the same direction, who knows what my daughter's children will suffer from. Will her children, my grandchildren, develop cancer or severe autism? What is the next, more severe, step if this cycle continues? I know how stressed I am in dealing with a child that is mildly autistic. I would do anything to spare my daughter that stress and I cannot even bear to think about her children suffering from a malady even more severe. So, the next question is..What can I do now?
While I can't go back in time and change my eating habits or the eating habits of previous generations, I can make a change now. My children already have the genetics that myself and previous generations have supplied them with. I cannot change that. However, I can try to feed them God-given foods instead of man-made processed foods. I can limit their exposure to environmental toxins. I believe that doing this will help my children now and later in life. I believe that providing my children with healthy foods and teaching them how to eat God's provisions will also benefit my grandchildren and great-granchildren. Instead of adding to the problem and causing further harm to future generations, I am choosing to make a change now and try to reverse the damage that's been done.
Some may read this and say, "So, you're blaming your Mom and Grandma for your sons' autism and eczema?" Yes, I believe their damaged genetics and poor food choices contributed to my sons' autism and eczema. My Father and Grandfather and Great-Grandparents also contributed. Likewise, I believe my own damaged genetics and poor food choices added to the problem. But...do I fault my Mom and Grandma or myself for making those poor choices? No, I do not. Neither Mom, Grandma, nor myself knew what long-term damage we were doing when we sat down with our meals of processed foods. We may have worried that the food would make us fat, but that was the extent of our food worries. Actually, if our son hadn't started exhibiting autistic behaviors, my research on how diet affects behavior may have never started. We would probably still be eating the Standard American Diet.
So, I am asking you to look at your own family. Whether your loved ones suffer from tooth decay, chronic ear infections, ADHD, food sensitivities, eczema, allergies, diabetes, autism, cancer...make a change now so that you can at least TRY to prevent the problem from escalating. The results may not become evident immediately, but I do sincerely believe that a positive change now will benefit future generations. If you are fortunate enough to not see any negative effects to your health while you continue to eat a diet high in processed foods, then I believe that you are just living on borrowed time.
Ok, you may commence with calling me crazy, uninformed, and overly dramatic. That's ok if you think that. Maybe I am wrong. Actually, I hope I am. It would be really nice to believe that my past actions have had no effect on my children's health. Shawn and I are at peace with how our family's diet is improving. We believe in it so much that we sold our home and bought a 30-acre property where we could grow our own fruits and vegetables, raise chickens and cattle, and hunt deer and turkey. Shawn reminds me on occasion, when I feel like others are judging us, that we don't have to justify our actions to anyone. So, even if you don't agree with me, don't worry, you don't have to justify your actions to anyone either. I just feel really strongly about this and wanted to share.
If you're interested in further reading, a great place to go from here would be http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2010/04/real-food-wednesday-4710.html