UNSAFE AT ANY MEAL by Dr. Renee Joy Dufault

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: foodingredient.info/safehealthydiettutor/syllabus.html

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

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2 Responses to “UNSAFE AT ANY MEAL by Dr. Renee Joy Dufault”

  1. Sylvia says:

    Dear ES…
    Thank you for sharing this. I will do the work of reading it!

    Note: The web link provided above did not work. This link works, and I think it’s the right one….


  2. Coll says:

    What a compelling review, ES. Gives credence the old adage: You are what you eat (unfortunately). But there is so much we don’t know about what is really in our food/soil/supplements. How to have a “pure” diet is incredibly challenging. Keep fighting the good fight!

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