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New column digs for 'The Root' cause of disease
Welcome to "The Root." My name is Kevin Cotter, managing general partner for New Earth Market in Yuba City. I am excited to be writing a column each week that focuses on our food systems. My goal is to present factual information to help promote a healthy local community. The focus of this column will be from a local perspective — foods versus fiction; why organic; root versus symptoms; cause and effect.
This is my family's story. When she was a toddler, our second child was diagnosed with asthma, which my wife and I were told she would outgrow. The asthma manifested itself as an exhausting wet cough.
We tried three different medications, which marginally helped, and we ultimately ended up using a steroid to stop the cough — not an ideal choice, given the lifetime side effects of using a steroid.
Then it dawned on me to ask these questions: What's the real cause of her asthma? Why were we just treating the symptoms of her cough and not getting to the root of the problem?
After visiting a homeopathic doctor and doing a simple allergy test, my daughter's wheat and dairy allergies were discovered. By eliminating these foods from her diet, her asthma went away. For her, food was the root of her problem. No more meds, no more cough, no more missed days from life. We found the root.
We then began applying this principle of food allergies to the rest of our family. I used to be a daily fast-food junkie. I was at an unhealthy weight, my skin was riddled with acne, I got tonsillitis repeatedly and I was constipated. It was determined that I had a dairy intolerance. Simply stopping the food that was causing inflammation in my body has left me feeling better than ever and free of sore throats for more than six years.
Why "The Root"? As a kid, I used to work in the garden (this was before Atari), working alongside my mom pulling weeds. My mom always told me to "be sure to get the root out, too — not just the top; otherwise, the weeds will keep coming back."
We have health care crises in this country that are dealt with by treating and managing symptoms rather that finding a cure — or the root of the problem. We are bombarded daily with ads on TV for medicines (many with exhausting side effects) to help us live a more comfortable life. Rather than looking for a magic pill, why not drill down to find the root of the problem?
Next week: Why organic milk?
Kevin Cotter is managing general partner at New Earth Market in Yuba City. His weekly column, "The Root," appears on Sunday.