Intro to Intolerance

There are many reasons that I choose to live a simpler life. One thing that is very important to me is our vegetable garden. It is more than just a stand against “the man,” and more than just saving money (although those are both awesome reasons to have a veggie garden). I have a food intolerance. I am intolerant to sulfites and sulfates. Sounds simple enough right? Just don’t eat things with sulfites, easy peasy. Well the problem with this awful intolerance is that 90% of the time, sulfites are not listed. Any food with things like corn starch, corn syrup, or citric acid, have sulfites. These are just a very small example of all the things that contain sulfites. Corn and many food additives are preserved and processed with sulfites. But as long as the amount is under a certain number, it doesn’t have to be listed. This means that things like tea bags have sulfites. Even bottled water isn’t safe as the filters they use to clean the water have sulfites. For many sufferers (myself included), that little unlisted amount is enough to cause a reaction. Because of these little tiny ingredients, it is very important for me to grow our own fruits and veggies to ensure we know what is in our food.

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What do sulfites do exactly? They are naturally occurring, as well as man made and are used for preserving foods and prolonging shelf life. They are considered safe by the FDA and most people can eat them with no adverse effects. The few who are intolerant have an imbalance of nutrients and can not process the sulfites properly, through pathways. As for the reactions, some people can have minor reactions, others can go anaphylactic. Each person is different and can react differently to different things. The reactions themselves can vary from person to person. I personally react to different ingredients differently as well. Some ingredients will just prompt an asthma attack, others will give me a full blown reaction with tight chest, asthma attack, wheezing, hives, brain fog, heart palpitations, and stuffed nose.

Now there is a large group of people who will say “well its natural so it has to be safe.” Well, no. The word “natural” has become a marketing ploy. I can eat lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus that contains naturally occurring citric acid with no issue. But synthetic, man made citric acid will cause a reaction every time for me. This is similar to formaldehyde. It is naturally occurring in the human body. We need it to survive. But the man made synthetic is known to cause cancer. Both are labelled the same, but there is a very big difference.

What does this mean for you? Well as most people do not share this intolerance, it is not a big concern. In my personal opinion, the issue lies with the fact that there are still things in our food that are not listed. I believe that everyone should have a choice to know what is in their food. You should know every ingredient and know if it is safe for you and your family. So many people these days have food allergies. It is so crucial to know every single item that is in your food. There is also a very popular debate happening globally, as to whether genetically modified ingredients should be labelled or not. I truly believe that we as a people have a right to know what your eating. There is such a disconnect between people and food in our generation. We don’t know where it comes from and many times can not pronounce what is in it. Many genetically modified foods are modified to be resistant to pesticides. One specific culprit is the glyphosphate loaded “Round Up.”I am not here to tell you if it is good or bad. This is not a road I am going to go down in my blog. I am going to tell you that there is scientific evidence showing that sulfite intolerance is partially caused by glyphosphate ruining a healthy gut and it’s functionality. Glyphosphate is not labelled in food. Pesticides are not labelled. It is just assumed that there is pesticides on food, unless it is organic. Even organic food can have pesticides blown by the wind onto it from non-organic crops. It is minute amounts, but it can happen. That being said, organic is a much safer bet to avoid pesticides. The only way to know for sure is to grow food yourself. I believe that even if you can’t grow your own food, you should be able to have a connection to it. To know everything that you put into your body. You only get one body after all!

Along with my food intolerances, I also have endometriosis. I will be posting more about this awful disease in another article. It is said that it can be treated through food, like an auto-immune disease. This year I will be going on my own journey to heal myself. I will never truly be free of my ailments, but I can heal myself enough to be able to control it. The first step is an elimination diet to reset my system and clear out the pathways. Then I will be meeting with a specialist to figure out what supplements would benefit me the most. After that I can start adding back foods one at a time and see what their effect is. I will be posting on my journey for those who would like to know, alongside my journey of Vintage Adulting. The two work hand in hand. You can find the posts about my food journey in the Health section. I want to share my journey with you all, so that if even one person can find hope, I have made a difference.

Do you or anyone you know suffer from a food allergy or intolerance? What have they done to heal themselves? Please comment below any of your ideas or questions.