The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children|
by Carol Simontacchi (Author)
We already worry that our food makes us fat, dull, disease-prone, and sleepy.
Now we have to worry that it also makes us crazy. According to certified
clinical nutritionist Carol Simontacchi, the food industries that give us
packaged, processed, artificially flavored, chemical-ridden, artificially
colored, nutrient-stripped pseudo foods such as sodas, processed soups, sugared
cereals, and fiberless bread "wantonly destroy our bodies and our brains, all in
the name of profit." We Americans (adults and children) eat 200 pounds of sugar
and artificial sweeteners each year. Our children's test scores and grades drop.
We become violent, illogical, moody, depressed, drug-addicted, and crazy. The
reason, according to the author, who is pursuing a doctorate in brain nutrition,
is that we're starving our brains with lack of nutrition.
This isn't a process that begins when teenagers start snacking on sodas, chips,
and ice cream. Rather, this nutrition deprivation starts in the womb: mom
doesn't get the right nutrition (essential fatty acids, high-quality protein,
unrefined carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water), so baby is born already
brain-nutrient deficient, says the author. Infant formulas, processed baby food,
and sugared cereals exacerbate the problem through the stages of childhood, with
kids not getting the nutrition their growing brains need. Simontacchi also
skewers prepared foods, additives, over-processed grains, school vending
machines, and fast-food chains.
This book isn't only about children. Starbucks and its ilk get a "Crazy Maker
Award" for "encouraging us to self-medicate with stimulating beverages that mask
the symptoms of nervous system and adrenal exhaustion." We adults are genuinely
fatigued, but instead of getting the sleep and rest we need, we succumb to the
"marketing hype of sophisticated companies that convinces us that
self-medicating with an addictive substance is the answer to our energy crisis."
You may not accept all Simontacchi's views, but once you've read this book, you
won't reach for a café latte or feed your kids sugar-frosted cereal with the
same complacency. --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of print or
unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Why have depression rates soared in the post-WWII era? Why does one in four
adults have a mental health crisis in any given year? According to Simontacchi,
a clinical nutritionist (Your Fat Is Not Your Fault), the cause is a diet that
consists of processed food deficient in crucial nutrients. Turning her attention
first to the eating patterns of pregnant women, Simontacchi finds a connection
between prenatal nutritional deficiencies (in fatty acids and B complex
vitamins, among others) and "hidden" defects, which show up not at birth but
later, as poor memory and the inability to concentrate. She also reports on a
small study she conducted with teenagers: one group was given a nutritious
breakfast drink and the other group was not. The youths who received the drink,
she discovered, felt better in six areas of emotion, such as anxiety, depression
and vigor. She also finds links between the poor eating habits of teenagers and
fatigue, depression and self-destructive behavior. Throughout, Simontacchi
documents her arguments with reference to mainstream journal articles and
nutritional studies. But her tone is sometimes overwrought: "We are being
systematically starved," she writes, eating not real food but "toxic food
artifacts" made by food manufacturers. Her comments about the superiority of
breast milk over formula may plunge into guilty despair anyone who didn't
breast-feed her children for at least a year. But in a more positive vein, she
offers pro-active strategies for improved nutritionAincluding pages of sensible
suggested recipes for improving not only physical but mental health as well.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Tarcher; 1 edition (December 27, 2007)