Fedup Roadshow 2013 blog

Roadshows  give  us a chance to explore emerging issues  in food intolerance and our food supply. Here are our conclusions following feedback from many members during our tour. Not all survey questions were asked at all talks.

Gluten free

In a survey of 986 attendees, 1% said they were diagnosed coeliacs and 155 (16%) per cent said they were avoiding gluten.  The gluten free claim is increasing on food labels and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity now a recognised condition and but there is no medically recognised  laboratory test for it, so how do you know if you are sensitive to gluten?

It’s not enough to stop eating gluten and notice an improvement because it is so easy to misinterpret the effects of foods.  You also need to do a gluten challenge to confirm that gluten really is the culprit. Your dietitian can help with this – the recommended RPAH gluten challenge is 3 days of eating 1 cup plain uncoloured cooked pasta plus 12 plain preservative-free water crackers per day. If no reaction add 4 slices of preservative free bread per day and continue for another 7 days.  A woman at the first talk found that her sensitivity to ‘gluten’ really turned out to be a reaction to the bread preservative, see how to avoid preserved bread in the next item below.

Another woman said she wasn’t prepared to put her son on gluten so he could have a blood test or to have a bowel biopsy for coeliac disease because ‘it’s too invasive’.  In this case, genetic testing may be useful. Over 99% of people affected by coeliac disease have the HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8 genes and a negative test for these genes effectively rules out coeliac disease. Several attendees with these genes said they were happy to remain gluten free without further testing. More information http://www.coeliac.org.au/diagnosis/

The bread preservative


We showed the  photo (above) of healthy looking Mission spinach and herb wraps - with 5 nasty additives  - and asked how many are eating these wraps?  A whopping  13% (133 from 712 surveyed) put their hands up, although some thought we meant any Mission wraps.  About half said they were going home to check their bread labels.  Most people were alarmed to find out that they now need to look not only for preservatives 282, 200, 202, antioxidant 320 and vinegar but also for the new Clean Label preservatives cultured whey, cultured dextrose, cultured wheat or cultured rice, and that these may be used in any breads no matter how healthy looking, including organic or gluten free.

No added MSG


Most consumers think No added MSG means safe to eat.  No! It usually means that MSG 621 has been replaced by Clean Label MSG-boosters 627, 631 or 635 and/or MSG- substitutes that can be listed as one or more of the following names in any combination: yeast – extract – hydrolysed – vegetable – protein – soy – maize - wheat – corn – rice – plant. These can cause massive reactions in susceptible people. We heard some pretty horrific stories including severe panic attacks, appallingly itchy rashes and alarming heart palpitations.  Best story: a woman ‘living on antihistamines and cortisone cream’ whose 5 year itchy rash started improving within 24 hours of seeing the ribo rash photos in my presentation and removing MSG boosters in liquid stock and others from her diet.

‘Lives on junk food’

I was surprised by how many people reported ‘he (or she) lives on junk food’ when describing a problem. Surely by now people must realise that living on junk food can make you sick. The saddest story of all was from the mother whose 20 yo son has recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Although MS is considered to be a degenerative, incurable disease by the medical profession, some people report recovery from MS by changing to an additive free whole food plant based diet, including an attendee at our Albury talk who sent her before and after brain scans – below - showing that the MS  lesions had disappeared within a year of diagnosis.  More on our MS factsheet.


Weight loss

‘If I do this diet, will I look like you, so lovely and slim?’ asked one attendee. The RPAH elimination diet is not a weight loss diet, it is a way of avoiding food chemicals that can cause adverse effects.  Some people lose weight without trying when they do the elimination diet, especially if they previously ate a lot of junk food or if the diet corrects irritable bowel symptoms. If not, and you want to lose weight, you may need to adopt some weight loss principles as well -  such as low fat, low sugar, low salt. Failsafers have reported success with a variety of weightloss diets.  If you eat like me, yes, you will almost certainly lose weight because I have been a failsafe vegan since returning from hiking the 800 km Camino pilgrim trail (a veritable meat-fest) earier this year plus I am currently trialling a failsafe version of the 5:2 diet as recommended in Dr Michael Moseley’s BBC documentary Eat, Fast, Live Longer . See our Failsafe Weight Loss Factsheet.

Nickel allergy

It is well known that nickel is the most common cause of contact allergy dermatitis, but less understood that nickel allergy may contribute to neurological symptoms. There were two reports of symptoms – seizures, multiple sclerosis - that disappeared when nickel dental appliances were removed.  See our Nickel allergy factsheet

Are soy products safe?


One attendee handed us a note saying ‘please do not recommend soy’ .  There is a great deal of controversy about soy products.  According to RPAH, soy milks, yoghurts, cream cheese, frozen desserts and soft tofu – depending on additives and flavourings - can be suitable for the elimination diet but the following soy products are NOT permitted:  firm tofu and hard soy cheese (moderate/high amines), miso, soy sauce, tamari, tempeh and textured vegetable protein or TVP (very high levels of amines and glutamates plus salicylates in TVP).  There have been a number of studies suggesting health risks associated with soy protein isolate, proteins that are artificially extracted from the soybean. To avoid soy protein isolate, you can choose soy milks and tofu that use whole soybeans. For example, Pure Harvest organic gluten free Nature’s Soy (ingredients: filtered water, organic whole soya beans, organic sunflower oil, sea salt, see image below). For more about the great soy debate, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katherine-nichols/the-soy-controversy_b_689459.html


The best way to say NO to food:  is to say "I don't - e.g eat icecream" – instead of I can't or No. Researchers in the Journal of Consumer Health conducted studies with 150 people and concluded that 'I don’t is experienced as a choice, so it feels empowering ...I can’t  isn’t a choice. It’s a restriction, it’s being imposed upon you. So thinking I can’t undermines your sense of power and personal agency'.  Ref: Patrick & Hagtvegt Empowered refusal motivates goal-directed behaviour  http://lifehacker.com/a-scientific-guide-to-saying-no-1293242273


It was wonderful to meet so many failsafers during the tour and to see large numbers of our facebook group members attending our talks. This has been our last roadshow. From now on we will be concentrating more on the internet but will also be giving occasional one-off talks which will be advertised through our website. Thanks to all who attended!


Following are stories and comments talk-by-talk for 11 talks between Brisbane and Adelaide, over 8753km.

Coffs Harbour NSW Wednesday 21 August


Our first talk was in Coffs Harbour, home of the Big Banana – at least some failsafers can eat bananas. The presentation was booked out weeks in advance and one attendee explained "I missed out last year so I bought my ticket as soon as I saw it advertised this year". 110 people attended in the friendly library venue very capably organised by Judy Atkinson.

Attendees ranged from long time failsafers to
*"I've just started my elimination diet and my dietitian told me to come"
*“just stopped eating additives last week and am feeling much better already"
*"my son has just been diagnosed with Aspergers so I'm hoping I can get some hints".

"I read about annatto 160b in the newsletter after the Nana Glen additive-free school trial", said one mother. "I cut it out straight away and we found that our son's tantrums, hitting, biting, yelling and extreme violence were due to annatto mostly in Rafferty's Garden toddler fruit snack bars and less often in yoghurts and custards. It still affects him if he has it by mistake".

It can take food manufacturers years to reformulate their products and I'm pleased to say that Rafferty's Garden snack bars no longer contain annatto 160b. This will not be necessarily be reflected on the packaging, however, any products with an expiry date of March 2013 onwards DO NOT contain annatto (more details http://www.raffertysgarden.com/content/fruit-snacks-bars-blueberry-banana-apple though obviously not for failsafers with sals or amine sensitivity.) Similarly, Vaalia annatto-free yoghurts have recently started hitting the shelves. Always read the label, as some still contain annatto. It's good to think we have made a difference :-)

As usual I did my bit about scent sprayers and other perfume sources because VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) have been implicated with autism, food intolerance and other health issues including depression in mothers. Unfortunately there was a scent sprayer in the library toilet. I haven’t got around to ordering First Defense Nasal screens - as reported in our latest newsletter – yet, but obviously I should. 

Many thanks to the Coffs Harbour Library system for hosting this talk and especially to organiser Judy who shared her experience with the audience - Judy attended one of my talks years ago as a library staffer promoting the library, but half way through the evening realised that amines were the cause of her lifelong migraines so she is now an enthusiastic failsafer. Thanks also to the dietitians who attended and were happy to chat with audience members afterwards. Sheree and Linda have now been added to our list which is available from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brisbane (Beenleigh) QLD Monday 26

FUR2013brisbane01 FUR2013brisbane02


A wide range of people attended our talk in the lovely Beenleigh Event Centre, including MP Jason Woodbridge who has been working to encourage additive free schools, Brisbane contact Brenda and expert failsafer Tracy from our facebook group and many other facebook group members.

Some comments:

* I’m here because I’ve noticed my 4 yo son reacts to 3 foods in particular: Vegemite, tomato sauce and strawberries

* I’ve been giving my daughter rockmelon, I didn’t realize it was high in salicylates, I’ll have to cut that out. But she’s okay with honeydew melon, she doesn’t reaction to that (Sue’s comment: that’s not the way it works, you can’t expect to see an immediate reaction. All salicylate-containing foods can contribute to a build up until you notice a reaction and blame the food last eaten, so you have to count all of them).

* A question: “recently my epileptic daughter has started twitching and jumping around during her sleep, doctors can’t explain it, could this be a food reaction?” Could be. Read more in Reader Success Stories on our website, using restless legs and muscle spasms as keywords for the search.

* From the mother of the cute 3 month old baby in the black and white striped jumpsuit: “she’s very settled because we’ve been on the diet the whole time – not like my first daughter!”

The Angel Maker Challenge is on again, and Alison was there to invite people to to help the community experience life without the impact of harmful food additives. If you would like to transform the lives of families at your school or childcare centre, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


Lismore NSW Tuesday 27

FUR2013lismore01 FUR2013lismore02


This talk in Trinity College’s Champagnat Hall was set against a funky backdrop of drumkits and other instruments ready for the HSC music exams which created a friendly and relaxed atmosphere for the mix of failsafers and newbies. About 20% of the audience admitted to eating the Mission bread herb and spinach wraps that contain 2 artificial colours, 2 preservatives and a synthetic antioxidant. Comments included:

* I’m going home to check my bread!

* There has been a huge improvement in our daughter’s behaviour since starting the diet.

* I’m so pleased to meet you in person, I just wanted to tell you what a massive different this diet has made to our family. Thank you for all the information you make available in your books and on the website – I don’t think we could have done it without you.

*Question: "Is there anything you can do if accidentally exposed to a large dose of perfume? My son is very sensitive” Answer: since the problem with perfume can be inhaled salicylates, it’s probably worth trying the usual antidote – stir half a tsp or less of soda bicarb in a half glass of water. Or have a soda bicarb bath, no more than once a day. The benefit should start within minutes and only lasts for an hour. Or investigate wearing the First Defense Nasal Screens – I wish I had some with me on this trip.

Many thanks to the very friendly organisers, the Catholic Schools Parent Assembly especially Jo Kelly, Sister Mary, Jo Kelly’s son for running the childminding facility, Tundra and other helpers.


Sydney (St Leonards) NSW Thursday 29

FUR2013sydney01 FUR2013sydney02


Our talk was in the Kolling building at the Royal North Shore Hospital, an excellent venue but like an obstacle course to find especially when management locked the doors just before the talk began. Thanks to the great audience for persevering, especially those who arrived early and/or in tears, saying “I didn’t want to miss a minute of it”. Some comments:

* My 10 yo daughter’s anxiety has improved since taking Promite (now with MSG-booster 635!) out of her diet in the last week.

* My 3 yo daughter and 6 yo son both used to wet the bed every night. This stopped on the very first night of the diet!!! And as well their sleeping and behavior have improved.

* My 14 yo son has oppositional defiance and now depression. We have been seeing doctors and specialists all his life but no one ever mentioned food. With the diet, we have found out that amines are by far the biggest cause of his problems – he reacts 3-5 days later and takes a month or more to come good again. It is hard for him to keep on a diet at this age due to peer pressure. I wish someone had told us about it earlier.

And a question: “My 20 yo son has recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis – if this diet works for so many other problems, could it help with MS?” The answer is yes, some failsafers have said it helps with symptoms, see the MS factsheet on our website. However, there is a diet that has been shown to actually arrest the development of MS, it is the very low fat vegan diet (Swank et al). See how to combine that with failsafe on our Failsafe Weightloss factsheet.

Many thanks to dietitian Liz Beavis from Newtown Nutrition who attended the talk and was happy to answer questions after the talk. For people who find it impossible to see a dietitian, Liz offers Skype, email and phone consults and offers support for people with food intolerance especially with IBS, CFS and MCS. We strongly recommend the supervision of an experienced and supportive dietitian – that is, people on our dietitians’ list – for the diet, because it can be difficult, especially with challenges and reintroduction, and a dietitian makes success more likely.


Canberra ACT Tuesday 3

FUR2013canberra01 FUR2013canberra02

FUR2013canberra03a FUR2013canberra04a

Our talk in the lovely Gordon primary school hall was attended by a large and interesting audience. Thanks to the mother who organized and bought tickets for 15 of her friends to come because “I thought they needed to know about it” – only one dropped out. Comments included:

* We came because we heard it was your last roadshow. Just wanted to tell you what a profound difference your books have made to our family.

* We bought a Thermomix just to help me with cooking, didn’t know anything about your work then. But after a while we realized our children’s behavior had improved, because we weren’t buying food with additives any more.

* I ate some Mediterranean chips because they said No MSG. Afterwards my heart was pounding for hours and I felt really ill. I know I react to MSG but I thought they meant there wasn’t any MSG in them. (Comment from Sue: consumer reports like this are increasing, due to the food industry’s appalling Clean Label policy of saying one thing and meaning another).

* We have problems with my 4 yo son’s behavior and sleep. He hardly eats any fruit except bananas, he just about lives on them. For instance, tonight he had 2 bananas for dinner and nothing else. (Comment from Sue: bananas are high in amines. Usually whatever people are most reluctant to give up is the food most likely to affect them. Amines can cause a wide range of problems including headaches, aggression, depression, anxiety and fatigue.)

* I was diagnosed with coeliac disease when I was 7. It was a big relief for me because I felt so much better. It took years for us to discover that I am also sensitive to amines. I stick to my diet very strictly because I feel so much better when I do. Our house was fragrance free except for pine-o-cleen in the toilets and it took six months to find out that was affecting me too. – failsafe teenager

* Question: what is your opinion on taking supplements after doing failsafe? Answer: we think it is important to give failsafe eating a really good go –for at least a year, including conclusive challenges so that you know exactly what is affecting you and when. Then if you want to try supplements in a systematic way (ie as challenges, while using a food and symptom diary), you will be able to assess whether they are helping or not. However, we don’t want you to talk about this on our forums because those are for failsafers and we don’t want people to be confused. Do supplements work? In our experience they work for some people and not others, and are not always the magic answer that some people think at first. If you want to tell us how supplements have worked for you, please give us a report after 12 months.

Many thanks to Liz Baker-Matterson for so capably organizing this talk, Gordon primary school for allowing us to use their exceptionally lovely hall, Sheryl Sibley and Helen Williams our local contacts for all thier help and Jude Berger for twittering up a storm.

Thanks also to dietitian Tiffany Peddle who pointed out that children can do a free supervised elimination diet with Community Dietitians from ACT Health 02 6207 9977.


Albury NSW Wednesday 4

FUR2013albury01 FUR2013albury02


This was maybe our sixth talk in the very comfortable Albury Commercial club. Comments included:

* Our 9 yo son did the moderate version of the elimination diet six months ago with one dietitian then she left and we switched to another dietitian who made us start again on the strict diet. It has made a HUGE difference. He is doing so well now. The two worst additives for him are sorbate preservatives and MSG. No wonder we had so much trouble with him before – oppositional defiance, aggression, loud voice, lots of yelling – I had been giving him margarine with potassium sorbate 202 twice a day nearly every day of his life.

* I’ve been a preschool teacher for 20 years and I have seen children’s behavior problems get so much worse over that time. Thank you for your presentation, I just wish everyone knew about it.

* The bread preservative 282 is the worst of all for our ASD son. When his brother was born he got much worse because he was spending more time at the daycare centre where they feed them preserved bread. When we stopped him having any bread preservative he started talking straight away, at the age of 4 and a half.

* I was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) 2 years ago. I’m using a low fat completely additive free diet and have managed to reverse the lesions in my brain. (Comment from Sue: a very low fat vegan diet has been shown to work for people with MS in the study by Swank et al. It is possible to combine this regime with failsafe, see our failsafe weightloss factsheet).

* I did the diet for my son last year and we’ve had great success. I brought my mother along this time because I’d like her to do it, I’m sure it could help with her health problems, but she is very reluctant. (Comment from Sue – it is true that some people, especially older relatives, prefer to live with their symptoms than to change what they eat.)

* Question: I’ve been gaining weight while we’ve been failsafe. I just love the food, especially the pasta. I decided to try Jenny Craig but most of their foods contain the additives we are supposed to avoid. Answer: most commercial weight loss program products contain additives. Vanilla shakes are likely to be the safest. It is possible to easily lose weight while failsafe without going hungry. See our failsafe weightloss factsheet. There were two people in the audience who had lost weight using this method.


Melbourne (Essendon) VIC Thursday 5

FUR2013melbourne01 FUR2013melbourne02

FUR2013melbourne03 FUR2013melbourne04

I love talking at this friendly venue surrounded by kids’ art and photos of the children. The capacity crowd was extremely enthusiastic, see comments below.

* My wife came to your talk here last year. We read your books and saw a dietitian we met at your talk and it has made a huge difference to our whole family. Our son had been diagnosed with Aspergers but the paediatrician said there’s no sign of that now. – failsafe father

* My 5 yo started on the diet a month ago. He’d had maybe 4 or 5 dry nights in his entire life, then in the first month of the diet he had 26 dry nights out of 30. We haven’t done challenges yet so we don’t know what causes his bedwetting, although we took the bread preservative out first - calcium propionate 282, now often called cultured dextrose, whey or wheat - and noticed a difference. We’re over the moon, we didn’t expect him to improve so quickly. – failsafe mother

* Our 2 yo daughter was very difficult. We came to your talk last year and bought your books, it has changed our lives and we wanted to let you know that what you and Howard are doing is so important. – failsafe couple

* Our 5 yo daughter and 6 yo son both react worse to annatto than anything else, mostly with aggression and lack of self control. It’s in so many things these days and if you want to buy an icecream from an icecream shop, you can’t find out what’s in it. – two failsafe mothers

* 5 years ago I developed this horrible itchy rash all over my face and body, nobody has been able to help me. I’ve been living on antihistamines and steroid creams and I’m really desperate. I couldn’t believe it when you put those photos up on the screen. That’s the first time I’ve seen photos of ribo rash and it looks exactly like what I’ve got. I don’t eat takeaways or processed foods or stock cubes, but I do use a liquid stock, a lot. – 30something non-failsafer (Sue’s comment: we advise avoiding all flavor enhancers and all commercially flavoured products including all stock cubes, powders, liquids, soups, bases and sauces, as well as any product that says “No added MSG” because it just means they’re using the same chemicals in a different way, see our MSG and ribo rash factsheets)

* My failsafe teenage daughter was having neurological problems that cleared up after the braces were removed from her teeth. Her problems turned out to be nickel sensitivity due to the nickel in the braces. – failsafe mother (This is the second nickel sensitivity report we have received on this tour, the first was about nickel sensitivity due to dental bridgework, that may have been associated with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, see Albury report. Nickel sensitivity is mentioned in the RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook)

* Our school canteen sells really rubbish food and won’t take me seriously at all. There’s nothing there my son can eat. Can you give us an information pack for the school about this? (Sue’s comment: this was a very common complaint in Melbourne – we’re working on it. It seems to us reasonable that every school canteen should offer a few failsafe options - see also school canteens factsheet).

* My daughter’s behavior improved out of sight within days of starting the diet but she still had a nasty red rash around her mouth. Then at the end of the second week she had a bad gastro attack for a few days and the rash went away. Is this because the diarrhea cleared her out or is it something else? (Sue’s comment: rashes usually take longer to clear up than behavior. It is also very common for children’s food-induced behavior or health problems to clear up magically when they have an illness that causes them to lose their appetite for a few days. This is because they aren’t eating. It turned out this girl was doing the moderate diet – that includes delicious apples. In our experience, most people do better on the strict diet that allows only pears. A rash around the mouth is commonly associated with salicylates but can also be linked to a true allergy to cochineal, natural food colour 120, see our 120 cochineal factsheet.)

Many thanks to friendly talk hosts Angela and Sandra of Community Care Essendon, also dietitians Zoe Nicholson www.figureate.com.au and Jemma Watkins www.discoverhealth.com.au, our local contacts Jenny and Kathleen - who also run shopping tours and give school talks see www.additiveeducation.com.au - and facebook group expert Theresa.

FUR2013melbourne05 FUR2013clare01

We drove via the Grampians for some exercise and a bit of a rest, then to Adelaide for filming for Today Tonight and two radio interviews, including one on a stage at the Adelaide Show. Thanks to the three families who were willing to tell their stories and to Bron in Adelaide for setting up this story.


You can see the Channel 7’s Today Tonight story, which highlights salicylate intolerance and why fruit and vegetables can be as bad as food additives for some people online: http://www.todaytonightadelaide.com.au/stories/fruit-and-vegetable-intolerance


Clare SA Monday 9

FUR2013clare00 FUR2013clare03

FUR2013clare02 FUR2013clare04

Some members of the audience at the very pleasant Clare Valley Racing Club had driven for up to 3 hours to attend. For me, trying carob syrup and carob kibble for the first time was a highlight of the evening, thanks to Donna from the local health food store who set up a display. This was our second talk in Clare, and a number of attendees commented on the huge improvement they had seen in their family since changing diet last year.

Some audience comments:

*We had to change schools because our first school was not at all supportive of diet.

*over the years we have seen heaps of paediatricians and they’ve all said don’t do diet, but when we did, we saw a huge improvement (Comment from Sue: please, if possible, send feedback to every health and education professional who has given you such advice in the past. Your feedback probably won’t change their minds overnight but if they hear enough, it may make a difference).

*My son makes silly noises just like you describe, it can be anything, ducks, chickens and especially just being really loud …

* 30 minutes after eating yellow custard, my 4 yo daughter changes completely, it’s like turning on a tap – she becomes loud, busy and oppositional.  I don’t know what the number is in it, but I’ve got it written down and we don’t buy it now.

* I’ve had chronic fatigue for two years. Watching your talk, I realize that I just about live on fruit, I thought it was the healthiest food I could eat, but maybe it is causing my problems. I feel tired and I have foggy brain most of the time, I’m definitely going to make some changes (Comment from Sue: see our Chronic fatigue factsheet)

Q. I’d like to try the diet for my arthritis. How do I start?
A. For more information about arthritis and diet, see our Arthritis factsheet.  The best way to do the full diet is with the supervision of one of our experienced and supportive dietitians (request our list from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Q. My 5 yo daughter has a profound intellectual disability due to lack of oxygen at birth. Doctors say her major behavior and sleep problems are just part of it, but many of her symptoms are what you describe. Could diet help?
A. Yes , it’s  definitely worth a try. A member of our network who is the mother of a 34 yo intellectually disabled adopted daughter was told the same thing and was amazed to find that her daughter improved dramatically in all ways when she did the diet.

Many thanks to Danielle (again!) for organizing this talk and supper and to the great audience, especially those who travelled so far. Sorry we didn't get a photo of you but please email us one!

Fragrance sensitivity: once again, despite requesting a well- ventilated cabin without the use of air fresheners or fragranced cleaning products, we found ourselves in a cabin that reeked of perfume, and had to run our RainbowAir for an hour on full to get rid of the smell. Thank goodness for the RainbowAir! But it’s not much fun sitting outside in a cold wind waiting for the air to come clean. In the “How did we rate?” type assessment, management were about to learn that they rated very badly indeed.


Barossa SA Wednesday 11

FUR2013lyndoch03 FUR2013lyndoch1a


We arrived in picturesque Lyndoch in the last rays of the setting sun to find three times the audience we expected, presumably due to the Today Tonight segment shown that evening. Compared to the huge number of complaints we have received about lack of school support  at other events, the Principal, teachers and canteen manager of St Jakobi Lutheran school all attended the talk and were wonderfully supportive.

Some audience comments:

*This is the 5th of your talks in a row I have attended, it’s like a refresher course.

*I always come to your talks, every year, and I always learn something new.

*I was amazed by your 2+5 reversals story. That’s exactly the way it is in our house. I’m going to have to look at this … (Nutritionists recommend 2+5, 2 serves of fruit per day and 5 serves of vegetables …)

Q I have 3 boys, two are already diagnosed with ASD, and it seems the other one may have it as well. Are weetbix okay for these kids? Two of my sons live on them.
A. Whatever they are most reluctant to give up is most likely to affect them. Could be the gluten or wheat in the Weetbix, or could be the whole grain. Some children with these symptoms do better on gluten free diets or refined wheat products such as white bread rather than wholegrains. If you read our Checklist of Common Mistakes on the website, you will find that weetbix are listed to avoid if the diet isn’t working.

Q.  My ten yo is still wetting the bed every night, what is it most likely to be?
A. Everyone is different. Definitely you need to look at the bread preservative. If not that, then it could be other additives, salicylates, dairy or anything else, see our Bedwetting factsheet, and the bedwetting story above in this blog.

Q. What do you eat while you’re travelling – how do you manage to eat out?
A. We never eat out during our roadshows, except for soy decaf which is always safe and can be enjoyed in some great locations, e.g. the top of Adelaide’s Mt Lofty. This year we have carried our Thermomix and rice cooker with us, and eaten mostly Thermomix porridge with Vitasoy milk, steamed rice (half white half brown), lots of cooked or raw failsafe fruit and vegetables (Packham and the beautiful Beurre Bosc pears, potatoes, swedes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, shallots, garlic, lettuce, celery, red kidney beans, lentils, carrots & peeled green cucumbers  (mod in sals) and cashew nuts, mostly in the form of burritos with kidney beans and veg in mountain bread or gluten free preservative free wraps, or steamed veg on rice with That Cheese Sauce. Lunch is usually sandwiches using that cheese sauce as a spread with Bakers Delight bread for Howard and Dr Dengate’s UGF homemade bread for me.  Snacks for Howard include weetbix, saladas, ryvitas and rice malt syrup and for me plain rice cakes, cooked rice with carob topping, and carob tofu mousse sometimes with So Good soy ice cream, plus occasional failsafe treats from talks. Drinks are bottled water – we were fascinated to pass the Mt Lofty bottlers where you can go to bottle your own water - decaf, soda water and the occasional whiskey.


Adelaide SA Thursday 12

FUR2013adelaide02 FUR2013adelaide03

Despite unexpectedly heavy rain, this was an enthusiastic audience and it was great to see so many supportive teachers especially as elsewhere we had received so many complaints about lack of support for diet in schools.  Channel Seven’s Today Tonight program about the effect of salicylates on adults had also caused some interest and also my radio interviews at fiveAA and with Sonia Feldhoff’s ABC at the show, definitely the most unusual radio interview I’ve ever done. Thanks to the presumably failsafers there who waved and showed their support. Many thanks also to dietitian Benita Duffield who joined me during the Q&A session and was happy to chat with attendees afterwards.

Some audience comments:

*I’m a teacher, and I can see the effects of foods on student behavior. I tell everyone “Eat food, not numbers”

*I run an additive free OSH (outside school hours) care program. It’s the third one I’ve set up. We see a big improvement in the student behavior when we go additive free and so do their classroom teachers, just from the children eating additive free for 3 hours a day. Of course we see a much bigger improvement during vacation care because they are eating most of their food there … More information from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*I’m here because I saw the Today Tonight program (“It was only a year ago that 38 year old Kassandra discovered fruits and vegetables were turning her into a monster...”) and I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know fruit and vegetables could affect people  like that. Everything they said sounded exactly like me from really extreme moodiness to years of depression. All the stuff they mentioned - oranges, strawberries, blueberries, avocadoes, that’s what I eat, because I thought I was doing the right thing, I thought they were good for me …

*Sending my kids to school is the worst thing, they are given so much bad food including lollies as rewards.

*We are having problems with my 4 yo son’s behavior. The preschool is the problem, they are given so much food by other people.

*I used to be a product development manager at a food company. We had to spend our time making everything cheaper. In the end I couldn’t stand to work there any more.

*We just want to say a very big thank you. The diet has made a huge change to our family. You are our hero! – family of seven, including 5 lovely kids who were all there near the front, and sat quiet and calm through the whole presentation. I wonder how many non-failsafe families could do that.

Many thanks to local contact Bron Pollnitz, the large numbers of her extended family who had been roped in to help, Dianne, and other helpers.

Thanks to the Thermomix demonstrators who turned out in force. As Amanda from the Barossa talk said, “people buy a Thermomix for time, but use it for health”.  Cooking with a Thermomix is an easy way of avoiding additives and processed foods, as the mother at our Canberra talk commented. She had bought her Thermomix to save time in the kitchen but noticed that her childrens’ behaviour improved because they were now eating additive free.

Thanks also to Talia from ThatRedHouse www.thatredhouse.com.au who was demonstrating her soapberries product. I found her story fascinating, and am looking forward to trying the soapberries not only for laundry but also for shampoo and household cleaning.

Thanks too to Tucker's Natural Gourmet Crackers for supplying lots of free samples of their failsafe poppyseed, oatmeal and vanilla crackers - see www.tuckersnatural.com.au

Debbie Kelly from  the Small food caterers wasn’t there this year, after years of providing pear jam and other failsafe goodies at our talks. But she had a good excuse – she was busy catering for a 300 head girl guide event. Debbie has been catering for additive-free, gluten free, low salicylate and other special dietary requirement events for years and her business is doing really well. Good luck Debbie! www.catering.net.au.


Mildura VIC Monday 16

FUR2013mildura01 FUR2013mildura02

Continuing the big fruit theme, our last talk was in Mildura, near the Big Orange


Not that we can eat oranges, unfortunately, since all citrus fruit are very high in salicylates and amines.  Obviously, this can be a problem for salicylate and/or amine-sensitive people who live in fruit growing areas as you can see from the second comment below.  As with all the talks this year, we were delighted by the number of education professionals in the audience and particularly by the decision of one childcare centre to go additive free. Audience comments

  • I’m from a childcare centre – we’ve been thinking about going additive free for a long time, and I can see that we need to do it now.
  • I’m here because of my 4 yo son. He’s very difficult, has lots of tantrums and sleep problems. His favourite food? He loves fruit, really eats lots of it, mostly oranges and strawberries …
  • I’m the 160b monster – very cute 3 yo girl


  • I gradually realised that my daughter is a mess after she’s eaten 160b. She becomes loud, tearful and has really long tantrums after eating annatto-containing products such as yoghurt, icecream and cheese.  She also used to bang her head when she was younger.  Annatto is getting harder to avoid all the time – it’s in everything now. – mother of cute 3 yo girl above
  • Panic attacks due to MSG boosters? : Our 12 yo has developed very debilitating panic attacks over the last 3 months. About every ten days, he has a panic attack – out of control, he can be a danger to himself and others. He’s been referred to the state mental health service. And he’s always been our quiet one. What happened to his food 3 months ago? Well, we did a trial of plain rice crackers but none of the kids liked them so we went back to the BBQ flavour and he’s been eating a lot more of them lately. He could easily eat a packet a day or more. After watching your presentation I think that could be the problem.  (Comment from Sue, there have been a number of reports about panic attacks related to MSG boosters during this roadshow. See also story [1091], and others in http://fedup.com.au/images/stories/SCdepression.pdf)
  • Living on junk:  “Two years ago, I went through a divorce and thought our son was affected by that. He was argumentative, clingy, anxious and difficult. He wanted to play football but he wouldn’t get out of the car when we got there.  I couldn’t stand him and didn’t want to have him. He was living on junk food. Then I thought, I need to be in control of what he is eating. I threw it all into the bin, and emptied out the cordial. He turned into an angel within a week.

I’ve been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis, does this diet work for that? … Answer: failsafe eating has not been shown scientifically to work for osteo-arthritis but this is what one of our members reported: “ I have osteo-arthritis which is much less painful if I adhere to the diet – if I inadvertently eat something that upsets me, I become overwhelmingly weary, my arthritis flares up and I can get bloating and irritable bowel symptoms. l often say in jest, " I cheat! I pay!" – from story [368] and see more at our Arthritis factsheet

Many thanks to Monika for organising this talk and to principal Jo for providing the very welcoming venue at Nichols Point primary school.

And so home across the Hay Plains, ending a 8,753km journey. Thanks for reading to the end.