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Friday, June 27, 2014


I've just finished a fascinating book by Benedict Carey.  The title is How We Learn; my blog review will be scheduled closer to the release date, but I want to share a Give Away of the book on Goodreads where 50 copies are available.

I have highlighted something on nearly every page and read the book with all the eagerness that any good novel evokes.  If I don't win a copy, I've already added it to my wish list and will order my own.  Nonfiction books deserve a place on the shelf, and I have hard copies of all my brain books, even if I read them first on my Kindle.

Like many others, I'm concerned about genetically modified/engineered foods and found Robyn O'Brien's short Ted Talk packed with information.
  • Are we really allergic to food or to what's been done to it?
  • 1997-2002 - doubling of the peanut allergy
Most of us have never been told that peanuts are treated with cancer-causing pesticides.
Nor have we been told that they are rotated in fields that contain genetically engineered cotton, a controversial crop used in our food supply that is treated with a weed killer linked to cancer and infertility.
We tend to only hear about the peanut allergy when it comes to peanuts in the news, but a deeper look into how we grow peanuts today unearths a lot of questions.
Since when did so many kids suddenly have a peanut allergy?  A peanut butter and jelly sandwich hasn’t always been a loaded weapon on a lunchroom table.
From 1997-2002, the incidence of peanut allergy doubled.  In the last fifteen years, there has been a 50% increase in the number of children with food allergies. About 1 in 20 U.S. children have food allergies — a 50 percent increase from the late 1990s, according to a recent CDC survey.
But that’s not where it stops.  (you can read more on Robyn O'Brien's blog)



  1. That's definitely a scary thought, on learning the food we eat today. I'm sure that's a book worth reading!

  2. How We Learn is a great look into the studies about how we learn!

    Yep. The statistics are pretty frightening about health changes since the addition of so many chemicals, etc. to our food.

    Brings it home when to realize so many countries ban what we put into food.

  3. I have been thinking a lot lately about how pesticides and additives in food have become a much bigger issue that they were when I was growing up and wondering how it's affected my kids' health. I need to watch that TED talk. And How We Learn sounds fascinating.

  4. A couple of weeks ago, my daughters and I were discussing one of the recent mass killings and wondering about the increase in these incidents.

    Now, I'm wondering if, in addition to increases in autism, allergies, and cancer, the food additives we've been consuming for years could play a role.

  5. Makes me feel very lucky to have a natural foods cooperative where I do all my shopping. They don't stock gmo foods or sell anything with trans-fats and I can pretty much buy whatever I want in certified organic. I have wondered why so many kids have food allergies these days and hadn't thought it might be due to gmo or pesticides. Scary.

  6. If there isn't a good health food store locally, it is almost impossible to avoid gmo foods.

    There are so many things we have done with good intentions that have terrible consequences.