Archive for the ‘Book Chapters’ Category

UNSAFE AT ANY MEAL by Dr. Renee Joy Dufault

Sunday, April 4th, 2021

UNSAFE AT ANY MEAL by Dr. Renee Joy Dufault

MY NOTE: I had planned to post some “Healthy Bytes” for National Nutrition Month, which I thought was April,  so I am posting it in early April.  I just finished this and it is is a more powerful statement for any month than any of the interesting “bytes” I would have posted, which I may do at a later date.

Author Dr. Renee Joy Default jumps right into the topic of food safety with the first sentence of her Introduction: “This book is about creating a food supply in your home that is safe and free of toxic substances.” With her doctorate in Health Education and  jobs at National Institutes of Health/NIH (Environmental Health Officer), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Default has the credentials, experience, and passion to educate us about this important issue. In fact, in 2010, she founded FIHRA, the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute. Why? Because when she worked for the FDA, she discovered toxic mercury residue in the plumbing systems of food manufacturing plants and in processed supermarket foods. When she reported this to her superiors, she was told to STOP her investigation.

Following the courage of her convictions, Unsafe at Any Meal opens up a box of worms that I was totally unaware existed. The collective health of so many people is being affected by facts that most of us know nothing about—so this book is an eye-opener, an exposé, and a nutritional report on food safety all at once. Each chapter tackles a specific area concerning the toxicity in our food, starting with a thorough discussion and definition of toxic substances. The chapters follow a logical sequence with the following topics: Genes; Pesticides; the Western Diet (SAD: Standard American Diet); Autism and ADHD, and its relationship to the previous topics; Food Labeling; and, as the book reaches its conclusion, a chapter titled “Creating a Safe Food Environment at Home.” There are also more than 40 pages of References and Resources that further emphasize the author’s credibility.

As a nutrition educator, I thought I was fairly savvy about food safety, but this book opened my eyes even wider. This whistleblower’s organization (FIHRI) is the “only federally-recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States devoted entirely to food ingredient safety, consumer education, and research.” The book is also a comprehensive overview of significant magnitude when it comes to toxins and our health. I was impressed by the research and the important information about links between the food we buy in stores and conditions such as autism, ADHD, obesity, and diabetes among others.

The book contains helpful lists and charts; food labels; spotlights on specific items such as sodium benzoate, hypomethylation, and Carbamate Pesticides; and other varied topics, also related to food safety and health. Unsafe at any Meal also makes suggestions with lists such as: eating good carbs instead of bad; good sources of specific nutrients that can help us combat chemicals in food; and general guidelines for monitoring what you eat to avoid the problems of food safety discussed clearly in the book.

If you are going to read one book this year on nutrition, I would recommend Unsafe at Any Meal. It’s a little scary to find out all the information that has been kept from us not only by the FDA but also by the food companies that aggressively aim to obscure and politicize these issues across all form of media. Dr. Dufault’s book is refreshingly honest and eye-opening, with helpful suggestions towards a measurable course of action equally of use by a parent or a teacher.

Regarding the latter, the author bemoans the fact that the course once called Home Economics has been largely eliminated from school curricula, leaving parents and parents-to-be on their own to become nutritionally savvy in order to protect themselves and their children from those foods that they eat.) Reading this book and tapping into Dr. Dufault’s FREE Web-Based Diet Tutorial are the first steps in your own education to food safety. Link:

Unsafe at Any Meal is published by Square One Publishers: (,  218 pages, $16.95.

Women’s History Month: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

On March 8th I posted a chart with all the female heads of state to celebrate International Women’s Day, not realizing March is also Women’s History Month. Just the other day my daughter-in-law gave me her copy of JUSTICE, JUSTICE THOU SHALT PURSUE by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and one of her former law clerks, Amanda L. Tyler, released in 2021 by University of California Press.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born on March 15, 1933 and died this past September 18th, 2020,  and since March is Women’s History Month, I wanted to introduce the book and review it when I have completed my reading of it, which I just started.

RBG and Tyler submitted the manuscript only three week’s before Justice Ginsburg’s death, but she leaves what Tyler calls “an extraordinary legacy….What follows here [in the book] offers the reader a window into how the Justice thought of her legacy and how she hopes to be remembered.”

I look forward to posting my review, but could not end Women’s History Month without something in print about this month and to alert you that this new book exists.  I am finding it fascinating to learn more about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her life as a lawyer, wife, mother, and mentor.

More soon……