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Letter: Food for thought

Children eat what adults give them. They believe their role models would not hurt them.

The Sept. 18 Recorder had a large front-page photo of beautiful 8-year-old innocence stared at us. The child was holding a bright blue “beat the heat” sno-cone. He was clear-eyed and pleased as he savored his after-school program treat.

Some people react poorly to food additives (synthetic dyes, flavorings, preservatives, chemicals whose names we may not recognize.) These people would be what is called the weak — or with more understanding — the sensitive link in the human chain, those with allergic undiagnosed reactions. Common food additives are USDA approved. Do you believe short-term testing was done on the most sensitive child? If we behave as if food needs to be brightly colored for a child to be enticed, then we are remiss in creative cooking and in our presentation of what a child mostly needs: healthy unprocessed foods. And if we feed children food with additives, then we toy with the health of a child whose sensitivities may not yet have been aggravated or revealed.

The day after Halloween, the common refrain is that children are bouncing off the walls. Do we glibly accept the cause-effect of ingesting so much candy as related to hyperactivity an unavoidable reality? It may be more than the sugar that causes extreme neurological reaction. The additives we pass over on a label because we don’t know what they are, are ingredients grandpa never needed to add to his delicious peanut chew or rock candy.

If you consume synthetic colors once a year, oh well! Your dyed tongue lets you know for a few hours. If you eat additives once a week, who knows what? But many Americans do eat synthetics several times a day in prepared and packaged “foods” so their neurological systems are swamped with undiagnosed reactions and varied consequences.

If our schools sanction treats that look like psychedelic jolts, we cannot be surprised when our society becomes rife with hyperactivity or attention disorders and our next generation loses sight of how to nurture itself.

There are many causes for extreme behaviors. We can responsibly control our children’s diets and sanctioned offerings at school. Sno-cones are an excellent delight without the dyes. With creative thinking, we can so easily entice with maple syrup, honey or fruit juice coloring, which tempts well enough.

NINA KELLER

Wendell

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