Why Do Children Have More Food Allergies Than Ever Before?

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

Why do children have more food allergies than ever before? Do you ever find yourself wondering why you didn’t know a single person with a food allergy when you were growing up? I have definitely pondered these questions, and I finally got some answers when I had the opportunity to attend a luncheon sponsored by Stonyfield Organic featuring Robyn O’Brien. Robyn is the author of the critically acclaimed book, “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It” and the founder of Allergy Kids Foundation.

To understand the answers to the above questions, I think it is really important to understand how Robyn came upon finding the answers. Robyn grew up in Houston, Texas, and she was the furthest thing from a foodie. She lived on meat and potatoes with Doritos and Ding Dongs. Robyn later became a Wall Street analyst, but traded in her briefcase to be a stay at home mom. They had a limited budget and she didn’t know how to cook, so her kids thrived on things like blue yogurt, store bought vats of mac and cheese, and microwaved chicken nuggets.

Robyn’s blissful ignorance about food choices ended the day that one of her children had a violent allergic reaction to eggs. Being that analytical person that she is, Robyn started digging for information. Why did her child and so many others in this generation have food allergies?

The answers she found were frightening.

Here are some of the facts Robyn found:
– In 1994, the FDA and the USDA approved new proteins to be added into our milk supply. All other developed countries said no to adding this protein.

– Soon after, a new protein was introduced into soybeans.

– Corn began to be genetically engineered so that it could produce its own insecticide internally. Corn was then regulated by the EPA as an insecticide.

– There was ONE human trial to test these genetically engineered foods. It showed a 50% raise in allergies.

– Elevated hormone levels in food are linked to various cancers.

Cancer is the leading disease cause of death in children under 15 in the U.S.

You can imagine how horrified Robyn was when she discovered all of this information. She spent several weeks crafting a research based email to Erin Brockovich, and from there, Robyn’s life took a new turn:

“But I couldn’t unlearn what I had learned, and I couldn’t turn my back on what had to be done to restore
the health of our children. So I am an unlikely crusader for cleaning up our food supply. You may be,
too. But fortunately, there is a lot that we can do about it. We simply have to get savvy and stand
together so that our voices can be heard by leaders in our government and the food industry the same
way that families overseas have made their voices heard over there.”

If a Cheetos eating, non-cooking mama like Robyn could change her life and dedicate it to saving our children, then don’t you think we can make a few small choices to better the lives of our families?

Here are some other tidbits that Robyn shared that motivate and inspire me to make healthy food choices:

– In the U.S., we spend more on disease management than any other country on the planet. This affects everything from our health to our global competitiveness.

Brands change in response to consumer demand. In other developed countries, major brands like Coca-Cola and Kraft distribute products that do not contain GMOs or genetically modified organisms.

88% of ADHD medications are consumed in the U.S., but we only represent 5% of the world’s population.

Kids are 30% of our population but 100% of our future!

90% of cancers are environmentally triggered.

– As the CEO of Stonyfield says, every time you go to the grocery store, you are voting.

*Thank you to Stonyfield Organic and Robyn O’Brien for a wonderfully informative luncheon!

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