To make a long story short, when I first started researching CSID back in 2005 I had a hunch that processed and genetically modified food was a factor in why my kids had more digestive and health issues than me or my sisters had. Though one of my sisters and I have had digestive issues since we were young, and our dad’s side of the family has digestive issues as well, we learned to cope.
Anyway, the short of it was we started out eating whole, locally grown, organic foods as kids. After our parents divorce, our diets changed drastically. When we were with our mom, we ate inexpensive, healthy food such as whole wheat bread, beans, brown rice carrots, celery, oatmeal, etc. When we were with our dad, we ate mostly processed food. Through our pre-teen and teen years, we went back and forth between two diet extremes. I got to a point where I nearly stopped eating because it hurt so much. My sister went vegetarian as a young adult and was lactose-free for sometime as well to try to reverse her poor eating habits.
I say all this to conclude that science is now proving how my experience with food as a child, youth and adult likely affected my DNA. During my pregnancies I would have “healthy” days and “binges” during cravings. I was miserable and suffered many digestive problems especially at the end of the pregnancies. My last labor was induced primarily due to my stomach pain, indigestion and gas being so bad I could not sleep or go to the bathroom regularly. I begged the nurse upon checking into the maternity ward to give me an enema right away… just to relieve the pressure of gas that was so severe it was causing sharp pains in my chest and throat.
When I started writing my book on CSID, I dedicated several pages to the discussion of how I believed in just a generation or two, DNA had been altered enough from GMOs (specifically grains) and how it was not a coincidence that the foods that are causing allergies and food intolerance today are also the same foods that are genetically modified.
Wheat, soy, peanuts, corn, sugar cane, rice, and dairy products (since cows are fed GMOs for food) are all on the top of the list of allergy/intolerance culprits. There had to be a connection between Celiac, CSID, the influx of severe peanut allergies among children and GMOs. But I did not have the means to research and locate the science to back up my theory. So I removed any hint of this idea in my book.
Well, last night, my hope and my hunch were renewed! I attended a meeting with the California Right to Know committee pushing for Proposition 37 and a law to require labeling of foods containing GMOs. As parents, we have a right to know what we are feeding our children…. especially if that food even has a slight chance of altering their DNA and causing them or their own children more health problems. During that meeting I was reminded of a science called epigenetics. I had heard the term before, but in trying to stay focuses on my book project, I had set aside digging deeper.
Epigenetics is roughly the scientific theory that factors can affect which genes from our DNA are activated in only a generation or two… not millions of years! This science is proof that it is very possible our CSID struggles stem from a combination of environmental and dietary factors (eating genetically modified, processed foods) that are making CSID worse or “turning the mutation on.” The good news to me is that if eating poorly and living under stress can trigger DNA to change, then why can’t eating right and living simply reverse our destiny as well? The other good news is that ALL of the ingredients I use in my recipes are not the primary GMO culprits, aside from dairy products which should be 100% organic to avoid GMOs and salmon, which must be wild.
Here is the link to the TIME magazine article “Why Your DNA isn’t Your Destiny.” I find it interesting that the initial study took place in Scandinavia, the very geographic vicinity, where our Viking ancestors who carried the CSID gene mutation down to us, came from!
In the next few weeks, I am hoping to make more contacts with several leader in the “No GMO movement. I am not sure where that will lead but my goal is to bring about awareness of CSID and the possible connection of this genetic mutation and genetically modified foods.