Fedup Newsletters




Newsletter of the Food Intolerance Network of Australia

October 1998


FAILSAFE (formerly the Dietpage) supports families using the low-chemical elimination diet recommended by the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital - free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers - for health, behaviour and learning problems.


This month


• diet and crime study

• gut bacteria and migraine

• reader comments on powerhouse brain, failsafe weight loss

• McLibel doco

• Melbourne food intolerance group

• product warnings: Bakers delight bread, Ayam noodles, So Natural Calci Forte soymilk, gluten

• Cooks Corner:

With our move into electronic publishing, the Dietpage has changed its name and is now available free by email. Just send your email address to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


- Sue Dengate, editor


Diet and crime - the Shipley Project

British policeman Peter Bennett first made headlines when he gave a teenager the choice of going to prison or changing his diet. The teenager chose diet and later said, "I feel better, I sleep better, I enjoy myself, I don't get into arguments now, I don't want to go back to my old life." When Superintendent Bennett was put in charge of a division, he asked his youth aid officer to find him the worst young criminals in the district. They were chronic offenders - their average arrest rate was more than once a month. All were hyperactive and some were violent. Their offences included violence, criminal damage, theft, arson, and solvent/alcohol abuse. The results of their trial of diet have just been published:

Nine children (one girl) aged 7-16 with persistent anti-social, disruptive and/or criminal behaviours were recruited through police records to try a comprehensive elimination diet. The children remained at home in the care of their parents while following a restricted diet. The health and behaviour of all nine children improved. Although parents were advised to minimise temptation from visible food for other family members, only one mother used the diet with the whole family - and the husband's debilitating panic attacks improved.

Two brothers and their fellow gang member abandoned the diet, two of whom re-offended and were placed in care while the third moved home and accepted enzyme-potentiated desensitization (EPD) treatment. Altogether four children used EPD treatment, all of whom were then able to tolerate previously reactive foods. Seven children continued to improve in health, behaviour and school performance over 6 months.

In the following 18 months, two more re-offended but with much reduced frequency and violence than before the project. After 2 years, five of the nine subjects had not re-offended. Researchers concluded, "the [dietary] approach appears to work within an ethical, efficient, effective, economical and preventative paradigm without harm".

Further reading: Bennett CPW and others, 'The Shipley Project: treating food allergy to prevent criminal behaviour in community settings', J Nutr & Environmental Med, (1998), 8, 77-83. See also BBC TV's "Little Monsters".


Helicobacter pylori and migraine


Gut bacteria associated with gastric ulcers may also be related to migraines. Nearly half of 225 migraine sufferers in an Italian study were found to be infected with Helicobacter pylori. A week's course of antibiotics eradicated the bacteria in 84% of the subjects. Almost a quarter experienced no further headaches and most of the rest had fewer and less severe headaches over the next year.

New Scientist, 12 Sept 1998, p23


Powerhouse brain


An 18 year old writes about the elimination diet:

"...the diet has been immeasurably useful. I can now think better, clearer, and I can reason logically where before an idea would just revolve around in my head. I can now do household chores! This might not seem too momentous, but just ask anyone in my household. I actually have fun cleaning up the kitchen now!

I have ventured forth from the den of my room, and have spent less time skulking around the Net and more time socialising ... Thanks to the diet, I am going to try again to pass Year 12 next year, so I can go to university and do a degree in journalism.

It's quite interesting to trace the time in my life when I started doing badly in school. It was the exact time that I moved to the city, started eating more junk food like meat pies, ham etc. I continued to do worse and worse in school until I dropped out of Year 13 last semester. Now, I can be confident of having my old powerhouse brain back again. - Russell


McLibel doco

Blocked by lawyers on the BBC and Channel 4, the controversial McLibel: Two worlds collide one-hour documentary is the inside story of the UK's longest court case. See it on: www.spanner.org/mclibel


Readers comment


Failsafe weight loss

Two adults in the 30-45 age range who would like to lose a serious amount of weight decided to follow an elimination diet first to sort out their health problems of foggy brain, lack of energy, and bloating. Both are pleased to find the elimination diet has helped weight loss as well:

• I notice on the diet that my awareness of fullness or emptiness has returned. It disappeared during an inadvertent salicylate challenge ... It seems related to cravings for chocolate. That suggests that weight loss will be easier on a salicylate free diet for me. Firstly because of an awareness of bodily fullness which gives a greater ability to be responsive to real bodily needs and secondly because of the elimination of the cravings for chocolate which can lead me to binges (male on diet for ten days).

• I'm losing weight without even trying. Partly it's because my craving for certain foods have gone. But also my stomach feels better. I noticed it always felt tender if I leaned against the bench to do the washing up. I think I ate to try and feel more comfortable. That's gone now. (female on diet for six weeks - reacts to salicylates, amines, dairy and wheat).


In Melbourne

"Women who have been using diet for a number of years want ACTION. They want to be heard, acknowledged especially by professionals, and supported in what they are doing. They are way beyond needing confirmation that it works! They all stressed that others shouldn't have to go through it on their own like they did", wrote Marina Dalla Rosa after the first meeting of the Melbourne food intolerance group.

Two dietitians attended the meeting. According to one, the 5% success rate in Victoria isn't the success rate of the diet [dietitians in NSW, Qld and the NT say at least 50%], but merely a reflection of the number of people who can stick to it in the face of opposition and absolutely no support. They both made the point that other people with health related diet restrictions, eg. diabetes and coeliac, have extensive support networks and recognition, whereas none exist for our situation.

Our next meeting is on 14th October, and the focus that night is to share as many recipes as we can. We are also going to discuss ways to create awareness of the group, both in the community, and with professionals. Phone Marina on 03 9439 4167




BAKER'S DELIGHT BREAD contains sodium metabisulphite (223). The advertising claim "all free of any added artificial preservatives" is technically correct because this additive is used as a flour treatment agent, not a preservative. There's only a small amount, but it is enough to cause problems in sensitive people. This additive has been associated with the usual range of food intolerance reactions, including asthma, irritable bowel, itchy skin rashes and irritability in children.

• Have you noticed? According to the label, AYAM instant noodles now contain colour (102).

• Unfortunately SO NATURAL Calci Forte soymilk is not failsafe, because it contains cold-pressed canola oil (too many salicylates). The SO NATURAL Lite is failsafe and is free of genetically modified soybeans, which have been engineered to withstand more pesticides.

GLUTEN-FREE? Be careful. Malt is an ingredient in Rice Bubbles and soymilks contains gluten because it is made from barley.


Cooks' corner

Sometimes called vegetable pears, chokoes are originally from Latin America, where they are known as chayote. They can be as a fruit (stewed with sugar and optionally a pear or golden delicious apple) or a vegetable. Here are some Mexican recipes.


2tsp canola oil, 1 large leek, chopped, 1 clove garlic, crushed, 3 large chokoes (about 1 kg), chopped, 6 medium potatoes (about 1.2 kg), chopped, 50 gm butter or Nuttelex, 2 tbspn chopped parsley.

Heat oil in small pan and cook leek and garlic, stirring until leek is soft - about 5 mins. Boil, steam or microwave chokoes and potatoes separately until tender. Chokoes (with ¼ water) will take about 10 minutes on high in the microwave, 15 minutes steamed. Drain and puree chokoes with leek mixture in blender or processor. Drain potatoes and mash with butter. Combine both mixtures and push through sieve into a large bowl. Stir parsley through. Serves 4-6.


5 medium chokoes (about 900g)

½ cup breadcrumbs or rice crumbing mix

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

canola oil for shallow frying.

Cut each choko into 8 wedges. Boil, steam or microwave until just tender. Drain and pat dry.

Combine breadcrumbs and garlic. Dip wedges in egg, then in breadcrumb mixture. Heat oil in large pan. Fry wedges in batches until well browned all over. Drain on absorbent paper. makes 40.


Thanks to Sally Lauder. Also to Margie Turner, Ashley, Kerry, and readers who shared their stories. © Sue Dengate, 1998


• Darwin group please note: no meeting first week of term, next meeting 10th November.