The True Costs of Toxic Food

Zen Honeycutt – Contributor

September 22, 2020

We all just want convenience and for our families to be happy. So we often buy that easy, cheap, tasty fast food, frozen meal or go to a restaurant serving the Standard American Diet (S.A.D) foods…French fries, burgers, pizza, fried chicken with macaroni and cheese. Because it feels good. It feels good to see our kids be happy eating food they like and if it was convenient for us to give it to them, it feels like a double win.

Until there are signs of one or more of our family members losing. I saw signs of this when my eldest son suddenly got very still, his lips turned white-ish, blood drained from his face and he had trouble breathing after eating onion rings at Red Robin. And again, later when my middle son broke out in a full body rash when he ate Trader Joe’s popcorn (I suspect the olive oil was not 100% olive oil but a canola mixture instead) at his friend’s house. And when my youngest son’s face swelled up and his eyes became leaky with tears and red when we were in a restaurant with peanuts on the floor for 20 minutes. Our children should not be having life threatening reactions to food.

These incidents, along with autism symptoms, asthmatic reactions, and an ER visit due to food reactions, were all around seven years ago or more. They have not happened since because we know to eat organic, restore the gut microbiome regularly with sauerkraut, pre and probiotics, and detox regularly. But many people do not know how, do not take the time to take on these practices, or simply do not have the resources to buy organic and supplement. Millions are struggling now just to get food on the table. Our government support is primarily cheap, processed, non-organic, and therefore toxic, food.

The majority of the food Americans eat and are given in times of need, according to over 7800 food sample tests conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and many other organizations on American and Canadian foods, have glyphosate residues on them. Food such as wheat, grains, beans, peas, corn, soy, and eggs can have particularly high residue levels. Glyphosate is the number one most widely used herbicide in the world, found in Monsanto/Bayer’s Roundup, Ranger Pro, and 750 other brands. The problem with glyphosate is that it does not wash, dry, or cook off. We eat the residues. Glyphosate has been shown to destroy gut bacteria, which we need for a healthy immune system and balanced hormones. When our immune system and hormonal system are imbalanced we get chronic illnesses such as allergies, autism, asthma, insomnia, depression, diabetes, obesity, mental illness, infertility and even cancer. Obesity increases the risk of COVID deaths by 48%. The population with the least amount of resources continually gets exposed to the most toxins, gets sicker, increasingly overweight, more in debt to doctors, and perpetuates a cycle of debt and disempowerment.

Our government will argue that they simply can’t afford to provide organic food. Your family members probably argue they can’t afford organic even when they are making full salary. Organic food appears to be more expensive….but is it?

Let’s look at the true costs of toxic food.*

Weakening the immune system has an enormous costs to our society. During COVID our society, which eats the least healthy food in the world, has been greatly impacted by the virus and decisions of the government due to the virus. It is projected that our government will spend over 8 trillion dollars to remedy the COVID situation. Just to put that in perspective, we spend an average of 3.24 trillion per year on health care. With an increase of over 5% last year on health care costs, that was more than twice as high as our gross domestic product growth of 2.1% – a mark of a degenerative society far from sustainable. An average family spends $10,000 per year just on copays with insurance. Numerous mothers of children with autism symptoms (that have been shown to be caused by glyphosate in maternal exposure studies to young male rats), spend $15-60,000 per year per child for their autism therapies, schooling, child care, equipment, special diets, doctors visits, and medications.

Not only are mothers spending an enormous amount of money just for their children to be alive, the amount of time and energy it takes them to research and provide that care is all consuming. The cost to the family, the marriage, the other children, and to the mother’s well-being is indescribable. 80% of American marriages with a special needs child fall apart. The cost to our families and future of our country from losing the potential contribution of even one child, their inventions, skills, and unique self-expression, is also incalculable. We have a society where a huge portion of parents are barely surviving because of the impact of toxins on their family. This was not the American dream.

One need only to visit a social media group for parents caring for special needs children to see they often turn to alcohol to numb the loneliness and exhaustion. Many overwhelmed parents who eat cheap, fast, and tasty fast food on a regular basis and consistently drink alcohol, develop colitis, IBS, or other gut issues which can be quite painful. Their doctors give them opioids for the pain, contributing to the growing opioid addictions and deaths. Experts in healthcare have shared with me personally that they predict 250,000 deaths this year alone from opioid deaths. Yet, many of our doctors are not looking for the source of the pain, to prevent it. Instead they mask it with addictive painkillers and drive our society further into despair and destruction.

It does not have to be this way.

These health afflictions and skyrocketing costs are in fact, mostly preventable. According to Dr. Stanton Hom, Clinic Director of Future Generations Clinic of Chiropractic in San Diego, “The most compelling research was actually medical anthropological research from Drs. Boyd Eaton, Loren Cordain, and Melvin Konner, that shows there was NO evidence of chronic illness in our hunter gatherer ancestors – not even acne. And that our genome has not changed  in 10-40,000 years. This would lead one to believe that 100% of chronic illness is from the environmental exposures. My teachings and clinical outcomes have shown me that ALL diseases with the exception of purely genetic conditions like Down syndrome are epigenetically changeable/healable.”

This means preventable as well…by changing the environmental exposures to toxins, primarily food, we could prevent these enormous health care costs and impact on our society.  My family’s health care costs after switching to organic and addressing the gut biome? Almost zero.

The fact is that a full meal – a bowl of organic rice and beans with salsa costs less and is FAR more nutritious than a can of Coke and a small bag of Doritos. Organic chicken costs less per pound than Kit Kats, so when people say they cannot afford organic and yet purchase candy…it might be time to take another look at what is in the shopping cart, and switch some items out. A family of 5 can save $917 a year just on cutting up organic Russet potatoes (avoid Simplot GMO potatoes!) and baking French fries at home (with organic olive oil) 2 times per week. Organic beans, lentils, rice, potatoes, organic frozen vegetables, and fruit can all be purchased in bulk at Costco, Walmart and online now. An entire family of four can eat a healthy, organic, home-cooked meal for less than $10!

If Costco can provide organic food, so can our government. If we are truly committed to putting America first, we should support American organic farmers, grow more organic food locally (not importing it and risking lower contamination standards), make organic more widely available in schools, and provide it to those in need during times of their greatest struggle. Continuing to expose our population to toxins in food increases our immune system damage, risk of COVID deaths, health care costs, and debt in our society and risks the future of our country.

Health must come first. And that means toxin-free food.

*Please note toxins can also be found in vaccines, laundry detergents, stain proof coating on rugs, furniture, and fire-retardant coated pajamas. We focused on food in this article.

Zen Honeycutt is the Founding Executive Director of Moms Across America, a 501c3 non profit whose mission is to educate and empower mothers and others with actions and solutions to create healthy communities.

She is also the author of the book,

UNSTOPPABLE: Transforming Sickness and Struggle into Triumph, Empowerment, and a Celebration of Community, available via any local Indie bookseller or large online booksellers.


  1. I used to think that the chronic illness I was seeing everywhere was the bad food. But after chelating for years and working with other people to help them do the same, it has become clear to me that heavy metals are at the root of most of this. And the biggest offender is mercury…no, not aluminum, mercury.
    The food is still atrociously harmful, though. But none of these people will ever get better unless they get rid of the metals.

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