* A TOP "SUMMER READS" TITLE - Environmental Health News (EHN)
Each year, Americans consume hundreds of food products that contain truly dangerous compounds, including heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful additives—with the blessing of the FDA. Why is this happening and why haven’t you heard about it? In Unsafe at Any Meal, Dr. Renee Dufault, former food investigator for the Food and Drug Administration, provides the startling answers. While at the FDA, Dr. Dufault discovered that mercury—a highly toxic metal—was contaminating the plumbing systems of many food manufacturing plants. Upon further examination, she discovered that the same mercury was also evident in a number of processed foods commonly sold in supermarkets. When Dr. Dufault revealed these disturbing findings to her superiors, she was told to stop her investigation. Her continued efforts to raise the issue always met with a dead end, so she chose to take an early retirement from the FDA. Dr. Dufault then devoted her energy to making the public aware of the insidious dangers that contaminate our food. In 2010, she founded an organization of scientists to study the scope of this problem and has published numerous research articles on the topic with little fanfare. To expose what still seems to be a well-kept secret by the FDA, she has written Unsafe at Any Meal to provide consumers with the information they need to know.
The book begins with the author’s story leading up to the creation of this work. It then describes the various toxic substances that are most commonly found in our food supply, and explains how they affect your genes, health, and the surrounding environment. After examining the Standard American Diet, which is sorely lacking in disease-preventing nutrients, it discusses the country’s trend toward consuming a skyrocketing amount of ingredients that can contain heavy metals. It further shows how exposure to these heavy metals can contribute to conditions such as ADHD or autism. Also included is a helpful guide to reading food labels, recognizing misleading marketing tactics, and knowing what to look for—and what to look out for—in the aisles of your grocery store.
Over fifty years ago, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring exposed the dangers of DDT in our food supply. Unfortunately, it seems that the problem of food contamination has actually become worse. Backed by research and first-hand experience, Dr. Dufault reveals how the FDA has failed us, and outlines how you can protect yourself and your family by knowing what to avoid and by filling your kitchen with food that is clear of toxins.
"Dufault, a former Food and Drug Administration investigator, criticizes the levels of mercury and other chemicals present in commonly consumed foods. She portrays a federal food safety system rife with ineffective regulations and practices that have left an unknowing American public vulnerable to food contaminants. Citing both her own research and others' studies, Dufault contends that the consumption of these contaminants, mainly through processed foods, contributes to the prevalence of common American illnesses. Dufault is scathing about food labeling that omits mentions of mercury, arsenic, or other contaminants that can be found in foods as a result of production. She cites the addition of mercury-containing chemicals to high-fructose corn syrup to regulate acidity and increase shelf life. Moreover, she argues that exposure to even government-allowed amounts of contaminants can impact gene regulation and function and contribute to disease. To combat these dangers, Dufault prescribes a diet low in processed foods and high in organic food, vitamins, and nutrients. Her work leaves readers with a disquieting picture of current American food safety standards."—Publishers Weekly
"Each year, Americans consume hundreds of food products that contain truly dangerous compounds, including heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful additives - with the blessing of the FDA. Why is this happening and why haven't you heard about it? In Unsafe at Any Meal, Dr. Renee Dufault, former food investigator for the Food and Drug Administration, provides the startling answers . . . [it] warns readers about commonly eaten foods that can possess heavy metals (such as lead or mercury, the consumption of which can contribute to conditions such as ADHD or autism), explains food labeling in plain terms, offers guidelines for a nutritionally balanced diet, and much more. Extensive references and an index round out this 'must-have' for health-conscious consumers. Highly recommended!"—Midwest Book Review ("Cowper's Bookshelf")
"Previously working for the National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dufault offers an illuminating perspective on food safety in America, presenting the information in an easy-to-understand manner and providing definitions where necessary for laypeople. Chapters cover a variety of topics ranging from genetics and adult-onset diseases and pesticides and heavy metals to Western diets and the FDA's food labeling practices."—Library Journal - Carolann Curry, Mercer Univ. Lib., Macon, GA
"Written in clear and understandable language, Unsafe at Any Meal begins by telling Dr. Dufault's story. It then describes all of the heavy metals and toxic chemicals found in our present food supply and how each can impact our health. Just as important, it offers practical suggestions on how to avoid these foods in our daily diet . . . I hope that, as healthcare professionals, you will grasp the opportunity to read this groundbreaking book, which may hold the answers to why we remain in the midst of such a devastating national health crisis."—Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients - Dr. Earl Mindell, RPh, MH, PhD
"Alarmingly relevant . . . [a] former environmental health officer for the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration, [author] Dufault's intimate understanding of the U.S. food regulatory system and its consequences for human health make her an ideal guide for understanding . . . Dufault emphasizes the role that mercury and other toxins play in human physiology . . . look[s] at the corrosive relationship between government regulators and the food industry. Especially useful are [Dufault's] comparison between the U.S. and European food agencies . . . Drawing on government reports, public health data, and nonprofit research organizations (including her own, the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute), Unsafe at Any Meal is a clear and well-researched alarm bell . . . a solid introductory text to the many problems of the modern American food system."—IndieReader - Richard Marcil for IndieReader
"Unsafe at Any Meal is a unique and convincing contribution to the field of nutrition science and to the discussion on the industrialization and politicization of the food supply. While most books on this topic address the importance of avoiding toxic metals and pesticides, Dufault goes one giant step further and takes the reader on an investigative journey to uncover exactly how these substances get in our food, where they are lurking, and what the latest research reveals that they do over time . . . Even if you already eat a whole-foods, organic diet, there is much new and critical information to be found here."—Price-Pottenger Journal (Vol. 41, No. 4) / Winter 2017-18 - Zachary R. Taylor, MA, LPC
"[Dufault's] book is a sobering read, but Dufault does an admirable job making pesticide data and gene expression grippingly relevant. If you're wondering why we're not paying more attention to food supply and regulation as chronic disease conditions and healthcare costs skyrocket, this is a summer read for you."—Environmental Health News (EHN)
"Makes a very compelling case regarding the Standard American Diet (SAD) and how it can lead to autism, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), and Alzheimer's disease. It even appears that it may be possible to reverse some of the effects of those conditions by changing our diet . . . well-written and not too academic . . . we think it is an important book . . . should be made required reading for all high school students. A few hundred congressmen should also read this book."—P.S. Annie! Blog - Suzanne & David McClendon
Dr. Renee Joy Dufault became a medical laboratory specialist when she joined the U.S. Army in 1976. Following her four-year service, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning at the University of California at Davis. She then served in the Navy for two years as an Industrial Hygiene Officer, before transferring to the Public Health Service (PHS), where she served as an Environmental Health Officer. During her fourteen years at the PHS, she worked at the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration, where she provided expertise in the areas of toxicology, environmental health, and industrial hygiene. Since her retirement, Dr. Dufault went on to earn a doctorate in Health Education. In addition, she is the founding Executive Director of the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute (FIHRI), and, as such, collaborates with scientists worldwide to conduct studies and publish papers focused on the many toxic substances still contained in our present food supply. A popular world-wide speaker, Dr. Dufault has had numerous articles published in peer-reviewed journals. She currently resides in Hawaii.