CATALYST FOR THE PROJECT:
At the age of about 48 my mom was suddenly allergic to corn. How did we know? Because she’d been shucking corn all day, got some in her eye, and then ate 2 ears. Within a few hours, her eye and mouth swelled up to twice their normal size. My mom had eaten corn for her whole life with no problem, and suddenly…no more corn. That set off a reaction that made it impossible to eat anything that had corn in it. If you’d never had food allergies or sensitivities, you wouldn’t know that corn is in EVERYTHING. Corn oil, corn starch, baking powder, powdered sugar, gelatin surrounding and filling most medicines, including the antihistamines she tried to take for her allergic reactions, the vitamins she normally took, her thyroid medicine, aspirin, saline drips given in emergency rooms, disposable plates, and much, much more. 90% of processed or packaged food has corn in it. But you’d never know. Chicken is commonly fed corn, but it’s not listed as an ingredient on the package. Bread is commonly baked on a bed of cornmeal so it doesn’t stick to the pan. But it’s not an ingredient, so it’s not on the label.
Gluten sensitivities are the fastest growing food intolerance in America. What’s gluten? It’s the food component that gives bread and pasta its elasticity. It’s what makes it yummy. It’s in wheat, rye, and sometimes oats. And again, wheat is in…everything. Why do I know this? Because 14 years ago, I was diagnosed with a ton of food intolerances (not "allergies" technically, because I wouldn’t go into anaphylactic shock). People think food allergies or sensitivities are in people’s heads.
I don’t think so! No, my symptoms made me sleep all day, and still exhausted. Gave me stomach aches, migraines, nightmares, depression, suicidal thoughts, crying fits out of nowhere, dark circles, and irritable bowel syndrome. Is it hard to avoid all the foods I love? YES! Would I ever choose that kind of limitation for attention? NO! I haven’t lost weight. But I need a lot less sleep, and I look and feel a lot better.
Trust me, I don’t like talking about it. But someone needs to, because this is becoming a lot more common. And with the way we manipulate food and eat in this country, it’s going to happen to you, or someone you love too. So we have to educate ourselves, and start changing things, NOW.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Tamar Kummel, CCO Captain Purple Productions, LLC
Tamar has been an actress for 25 years, a writer for 13, and in the past few years has become a filmmaker. She's written about 10 films, a dozen plays, a handful of articles, a blog, a health and wellness column, directed 3 short films, and produced 6. This is her first documentary. Her film, “Apt. 2B” (directed/wrote/produced), shot in June 2013 has been in 2 film festivals and won 2 merit awards so far. Her film, “Use Me Up” (wrote/co-produced/lead actress) has been in 5 film festivals and won a merit award (so far). Her film, ‘Honeybear” (co-wrote, executive produced, lead actress) has been in 2 film festivals so far. And as an actress, she’s been in films that have played in more than 30 festivals.
And she's sensitive to wheat, dairy, chocolate, beef and a whole lot more. For more information, see her blog posts on THINGS I DON'T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT. Much more on my blog for food intolerance reference.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
Buy the companion books (links above), ask questions about your food, write to your representatives, buy organic, eat well, live long and prosper.
SUGGESTED READING LIST:
Genetic Roulette, The Documented Health Risks by Jeffrey Smith
Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds by Claire Hope Cummings
Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey Smith
Wheat Belly by William Davis MD
Serve To Win by Novak Djokovic
The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution by Dr. Stephen Wangen
Every book by Michael Pollan
Gluten Freedom by Alessio Fasano MD
Healthier Without Wheat by Dr. Stephen Wangen
The Future Of Food
THANK YOU TO THE EXPERTS I INTERVIEWED:
Whitney Morgan Block, Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research
Dr. Alessio Fasano
Dr. George Kessler
Anne Roland Lee, EdD, RD, LD
Dr. Tom O’Bryan
Dr. Alex Shikhman
Dr. Gene Stollerman
Aristo Vojdani PhD, MSc, CLS
Dr. Stephen Wangan, IBS Treatment Center
Brandy Wendler, RN
Farmer Jack Lazor, Butterworks Farm, VT
Farmer Rob Moutoux, Moutoux Orchards, VA
Farmer Peter Paton, Maine
Farmer Michael Snow, formerly from Willowsford Farms, VA
Chef Mary Capone, Bella Gluten Free
Author Claire Hope Cummings
Carolyn Dimitri, Dept. of Food Studies, NYU
NY State Assemblywoman Linda B Rosenthal
Advocate Falko Schilling