Robyn O'Brien, Prevention Magazine

Robyn O'Brien

Prevention Magazine

Colorado, United States

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Past articles by Robyn:

8 Ways Real Families on Real Budgets Can Afford Organic Food

“Organic” is a loaded term. Â For some, it conjures up ideas of lifestyles of the rich and famous, and for others, it is a food play. “Organic” is an adjective used to describe food that has been grown without the use of certain artificial ingredients: things like high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, artificial growth hormones and genetically engineered ingredients. By law, none of these… → Read More

Don’t Think You’re Eating GMOs? Think Again

You may not think you are eating genetically modified foods, but chances are that if you’ve grabbed a back of chips, loaf of bread or any other staple from the grocery store, you are. Just how pervasive are genetically modified foods in the US? Very. The ingredients listed below are found in most conventional, processed foods. High fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, vegetable oil, cornstarch and… → Read More

How Children Are Driving the Mainstreaming of Organics

If you want to start a mommy war, start calling names. That happened recently when an article ran titled “The Tyranny of the Organic Mommy Mafia.” It was sensational and missed a fundamental change: The landscape of childhood has changed. No longer are our children guaranteed a childhood free from diabetes, obesity or food allergies, and parents are standing on the front line. The escalating rates… → Read More

Coca-Cola: A 20th Century Relic?

Where to start with this new product out of Coca Cola? Coke Life comes in a green can. A 330ml can of regular Coca-Cola contains 35 grams of sugar, 39% of an adult’s guideline daily amount (GDA) of sugar. A Coca-Cola Life contains only 22.1 grams of sugar or 25% of an adult’s GDA. It is sweetened with a blend of stevia (in 2007, Coca-Cola and Cargill teamed up to create Truvia, a consumer brand… → Read More

Managing Disease from the Kitchen

The reason that I do what I do is because I believe that clean and safe food should be affordable to all families. This isn’t lifestyles of the rich and famous or some hippie thing. It is a fundamental human rights issue. Kroger gets it. Seventy percent of their shoppers are choosing organic or natural every time they enter the store. Wal Mart gets it: they are launching a private label organic… → Read More

Why We Are All “Made to Matter”

Fifteen years ago, I covered Target as an equity analyst. I learned the business model. I’ve learned the business model as a mom. So when someone inside of Target’s headquarters reached out, I responded. She had just lost her dad to cancer and wasn’t sure where she wanted to go. How could she be? She had lost him too soon to an aggressive form of the disease, and she wanted to channel all of… → Read More

Hidden Danger for Pregnant Moms

My background is finance, and I learned early on that I had to surround myself with a team of medical experts. I’m from a conservative family, so I was discerning when it came to assembling that team for the AllergyKids Foundation. Enough had changed in my world, I wanted facts and science. I have spent almost ten years now working with some incredible doctors and scientists. Recently, I joined… → Read More

An Investigation: Aspartame and Migraines, What You Need to Know

If you didn’t know an ingredient found in diet soda can trigger headaches, you’re not alone. But a new report suggests that Americans are waking up to this. Carbonated soft drink sales are in a free fall. Diet soda sales have fallen almost 10% in the last four weeks. Coke is trying to come up with new ways to drive revenue, so the company is licensing its name to nail polish makers. Recent studies… → Read More

Americans Express Concern About What’s In Their Food: VIDEO

The food industry has tried to ignore or dismiss consumer concern around genetically engineered ingredients in our food, but the issue is not going away. Lobbyists have canvassed Washington, D.C., to promote the industry and companies making them, while dismissing the concerns of consumers. But the problem is not going away, despite the massive amount of money being spent to defeat it. There are… → Read More

Why Does the Food Industry Carry Monsanto’s Dirty Water?

Monsanto just might be the most contentious company on the planet. If you read their PR, you’d think they were here to save the world. If you read their financial statements, you will quickly realize that they are a chemical company. So can a chemical company save the world? Especially in light of the escalating rates of cancers? It doesn’t appear to be the case, as countries around the world… → Read More

Food Allergy versus Food Sensitivity: What You Need to Know

It’s Food Allergy Awareness Week this week. In the early years of this work, when we first began speaking about food allergies, people used to look at you like you were making it up. How could a child be allergic to food? And since when?  As kids, we ate PB&Js and had cartons of milk for lunch at school. They weren’t loaded weapons on a lunchroom table. What’s changed? And why has it changed… → Read More

Mountain Dew Contains An Ingredient Banned in 100 Countries

Did you know? Mountain Dew contains an ingredient that has been banned in 100 countries around the world. What could 100 countries possibly know that we don’t? There are now 10,000 additives in our food supply.  For about 80 percent of these food additives, the FDA “lacked relevant information, including toxicity data, about the safe amount to eat” according to a new report. In other words, what… → Read More

Lawsuits and GMO Labels: What Food Companies Should Know

Food companies using GMOs or genetically engineered ingredients in their products might want to think again. Attorneys are now saying, “If you’re using GMOs and making “all-natural” claims, there’s a good chance you’ll get sued.” Why? Consumers are concerned. A global market research company conducted a random, national telephone survey of over 1,000 Americans, asking how they felt about these… → Read More

USDA Busts the Myth That GMOs are “Needed” to Feed the World

A new report out of the USDA says that Americans throw away 133 billion pounds of food every year, or 31 percent of the total amount of available food. That’s over 4,200 pounds of food a second. At the same time, the biotech industry says that we need genetically engineered crops to feed the world. Need? They must have not seen the most recent report out of the USDA that says that in the United… → Read More

The Drug in Your Meat That’s Banned in 100 Countries

A drug used on the animals we eat is banned in more than 100 countries, but the FDA’s approval of ractopamine allows the drug to be used widely in U.S. factory farm operations. The U.K., China, Russia, Taiwan, and the European Union ban or limit the use of ractopamine, a drug that promotes growth in pigs, cattle, and turkeys. Ractopamine is linked with serious health and behavioral problems in… → Read More

8 Ways Real Families on Real Budgets Can Afford Organic Food

“Organic” is a loaded term. Â For some, it conjures up ideas of lifestyles of the rich and famous, and for others, it is a food play. “Organic” is an adjective used to describe food that has been grown without the use of certain artificial ingredients: things like high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, artificial growth hormones and genetically engineered ingredients. By law, none of these… → Read More

Organic Food vs. Conventional: What the Slate Article Missed

Yesterday’s article out of Slate telling parents not to worry about pesticides caused quite a stir. It runs completely counter to the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the President’s Cancer Panel which urges parents to avoid exposing their children to these chemicals when and wherever they can. How pervasive have these chemicals become? Â Seeds are now produced using methyl bromide.… → Read More

Do Your Buns Contain Yoga Mat?

If you had no idea that there is yoga mat material in your hamburger bun, you’re not alone. We sure didn’t.  Every time we drive past a Subway, one of the kids will bring it up. Azodicarbonamide is a chemical used  “in the production of foamed plastics.”  It’s used to make sneaker soles and gym mats. In the United States, it is also used in our food, as a food additive and flour bleaching… → Read More

The $25 Billion Impact of Food Allergies

A recent New York Times story profiles a lawmaker who “discounted the correlations between the rise in childhood allergies and the consumption of G.M.O.s.” Researchers reporting in the journal Journal of the American Medical Association state that the costs of food allergies, from medical care to food to pharmaceuticals is $4,184 per child per year, costing our economy $25 billion, including lost… → Read More

Why Organic Food Costs So Much (It’s Not What You Think)

It is becoming increasingly clear that our food supply is hopped up on ingredients that flat out did not exist a generation ago. To account for all of these new ingredients, synthetically and genetically engineered in laboratories beginning in the 1990s, the USDA was charged with a task: how to formally define food produced without them. What is the term that the USDA now uses to legally define… → Read More