ALCAT Testing For Food Sensitivities
What is wrong with me? Could it be what I eat? We can help you!
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” wrote Hippocrates 2,400 years ago. As humans, food is necessary for life. Not one person on this planet can go without food in order to live. In many parts of the world and for many people, producing food and/or getting potable water takes up the major part of each day. In the United States in 1860, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 58% of the workforce was classified as farmers. Today, it is less than 3%, mainly due to the effect of large scale farming operations.
The farmer today raises crops on thousands of acres, raises poultry in barn larger than a football field, and has herds of cattle numbering in the thousands. Advances in technology has helped reduce the labor force needed, and has increased the yield from farming operations. One may come to the conclusion that this is good and that all is well with our food supply. Unfortunately, this is not so. The technology used since World War II removes the soil of needed minerals and nutrients.
Pesticides are also an unfortunate issue. We use 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides annually in the United States that successfully kill insects, and farmers tend to pay little attention to what these toxins do once they are absorbed into the crops.
Then there are genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). These crops are resistant to pesticides; they grow better in harsh weather, and provide a higher yield. The World Health Organization defines GMOs as “organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in such a way that does not occur naturally.” This is also known as genetic engineering (GE) and as biotechnology. In the 1980’s, tobacco plants became the first crops that were genetically engineered. The Food and Drug Administration allowed many more crops to the genetically engineered, such as corn, soy, canola, potatoes, squash, tomatoes, and others. These GE crops are steadily growing in number in order to make them resistant to pesticides or herbicides. The FDA now has over 145 crops added to this list, including zucchini, cotton, yellow squash, beets, and papaya, as well as most grains such as wheat, corn, barley and soy.
Food companies state emphatically that GMO foods are safe. Well, then, why do they strongly resist labeling foods as such? The reality is that we don’t know if these foods are safe. Many countries, including Australia, the entire European Union, and Japan, have major restrictions or outright bans on producing and selling GMOs.
In the United States, the government has accepted GMOs as safe after being provided studies conducted by the same companies that created and produce GMOs for profit. These crops’ status as patented intellectual property means that these corporations prevent independent studies from being conducted on the safety of these crops for human or animal consumption.
On the other side of the coin, the companies that make GMOs state that GE has been occurring since agriculture began with the cross pollination of plants. However, cross pollination is a natural occurrence while GE is artificial and unnatural. It is the intentional addition of a foreign gene or genes to the chosen organism’s genome. GE removes the DNA from one organism and transplants it for one or more traits into another organism. That is not cross pollination.
An example of the GE process, some DNA parts are removed from bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (BC) and transplanted into plant cells through genetic transformation. BC produces protein crystals that are toxic to insects. Specific strains target specific insects. Therefore, the newly created plant will be host to the BC toxin in its cells – all the cells: the root, the stem, the leaves, the flower, and the fruit. As the insect eats any part of the plant, the toxin will cause its gut wall to break down and allow the toxin and normal gut bacteria to penetrate into its body and kill the insect.
Another example is the use of GE to make crops herbicide tolerant. One of the most used is Roundup, or glyphosate. Glyphosate resistant enzymes are removed from bacteria known as agrobacterium and are inserted into the genes of the plant. This results in a plant that can withstand multiple exposures to herbicides. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide, meaning that it spreads throughout entire the plant. Glyphosate can be sprayed on these crops several times during the growth season to eradicate weeds without affecting the crops. The half-life of glyphosate is between 2 and 197 days in soil and between a few days to 91 days in water, according to the National Pesticide Information Center Technical fact sheet on glyphosate. This information was not included in testing by the Food and Drug Administration’s Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program nor in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program. Field tests on lettuce, carrots, and barley showed glyphosate residue 1 year after treatment of the soil.
All of the above sound like a good idea: insects and pests that eat plants are killed, and weeds don’t grow, allowing the full plant to survive. However, the chemicals absorbed by the plants remain in the plant and we consume them. A solution for each person who may suffer from vague symptoms such as fatigue, abdominal discomfort and problems, muscle and joint aches and pains, headaches, sleep disturbance, tingling sensations, short term memory loss, brain fog, and more should be tested for food reactions. This is not food allergy, but food reactions. Why, because what we eat may very well be affecting us and we may not know it as some of these chemicals can cause what is called silent inflammation in our intestinal tract. Food reactivity testing for foods, and artificial food additives, such as colorings, preservatives, and chemicals, can help each of us identify what could be causing our health problems. Identifying and then removing these in our diet will help us return to health and maintain good health.
Alcat is the only laboratory that can provide such testing and is recognized worldwide, with offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. We can really help you get well.
Andrew W. Campbell, M.D.