Failsafe 70 January-March 2012



The Food Intolerance Network provides information and support for people worldwide using a low-chemical elimination diet free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers (FAILSAFE) for health, behaviour and learning problems.


The FAILSAFE Newsletter is available free by email. Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Removing artificial colours & MSG in Coles own brand is not enough

New study: managing salicylate intolerance with chilli

Research: Daily dose of aspirin may do more harm than good: study; New Study Links Daily Aspirin Use to Increased Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration; Probiotics may lessen anxiety and depression; Mother's Diet may influence Baby's Allergies.

In brief:   Australian of the Year, New Zealand food bill, MS cured by diet of additive free unprocessed food, Lunch box nasties exposed,  Participants in Adelaide wanted for ADHD study,  New quick quiz, Fragrance free guidelines for hospitals

Now targeting: Fed up with school canteens and tuckshops?

Success stories: [1074]-[1104]

Shopping list: new products, warnings

Questions: detailed help and information

Around the groups: meet our members, itinerary for Fedup Roadshow 2012

Cooks Corner: Gado Gado, Somali style vegetable topping, Pear and cashew slice


Hello everyone

The good news in this issue is that the Coles supermarket chain has removed artificial colours and MSG from their own brand products! But we have some misgivings, see below.

Also in this newsletter you'll find our investigation into management of salicylate intolerance with chilli (could it really be possible?), the revised Failsafe weight loss factsheet, a great collection of inspiring reader stories and some healthy and delicious recipes. I agree with an NZ mother who wrote 'thank you to everyone who contributes info, it saves so much time and mistakes'.

I'm looking forward to catching up with failsafers on the Fed Up Roadshow 2012 at many locations between Rockhampton and Perth in May and June – pre-pay tickets soon on sale – and thanks to all the failsafers who are helping to make this tour happen. Roadshow details below.

      Happy failsafeing - Sue Dengate


Removing artificial colours & MSG in Coles own brand is not enough

Thank you to the Coles supermarket chain for removing artificial colours and MSG from their own brand products. It's a step in the right direction and now there is no excuse for school canteens selling artificial colours. Some families greeted the news with 'oh good, now we don't have to worry about additives any more' – but there are 3 reasons consumers still need to be vigilant:

  • products may contain other nasty additives such as natural colour annatto 160b, preservatives and synthetic antioxidants,
  • free glutamates in MSG substitutes like hydrolysed vegetable protein can affect some people as badly as MSG, and
  • products with artificial colours and MSG - like Cheetos Cheese & Bacon Balls with artificial colours 102 and 110 and MSG 621- are still widely available.


Further reading: annatto factsheet

MSG factsheet

New study: managing salicylate intolerance with chilli

For people struggling to manage intolerance to salicylates in foods, it sounds too good to be true – eating chilli may reduce the effects of salicylates. Scientific studies have found that the hot ingredient in chilli called capsaicin can reduce the bioavailability of salicylates in the bloodstream. While this is a disadvantage for patients taking therapeutic salicylates such as aspirin, it could be a boon for those with salicylate-induced food intolerances by permitting a higher daily intake of dietary salicylates.

You can see a review of the science, report of a pilot trial and an invitation to join an open trial to investigate how widely this approach may be effective at Capsaicin for management of salicylate intolerance: an open trial

Books, DVD and Failsafe magnifying card now available through
Fed Up and the Failsafe Cookbook  are now available as an ebook: for Kindle, in ePub version suitable for Tablet PCs, PCs, Macs, Laptops, in ePub for digital and iPhone/iPad.


Daily dose of aspirin may do more harm than good. British researchers have found the risk of internal bleeding caused by daily aspirin outweighed potential benefits. The study of 100,000 healthy people who have taken aspirin, the largest of its kind, found that while one heart attack or stroke was averted for every 120 people treated with aspirin over a six-year period, one in 73 people suffered potentially significant bleeding. The researchers at St George's, University of London, recommended that people who have suffered a heart attack or stroke and are therefore at a high risk of another should still be routinely prescribed aspirin. However, they raised concerns about the millions of otherwise healthy people taking aspirin in an attempt to prevent their first heart attack or stroke. The study also found that the risk of dying from cancer was not affected, despite recent studies showing that the drug could prevent bowel cancers. 

Daily aspirin use linked to increased risk of age-related macular degeneration. A large European study links daily aspirin use to increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that can damage the central vision that is essential for reading, driving, and navigating daily life. The study found that people aged 65 and older who took aspirin daily had double the risk of developing "wet" AMD, compared with those who took it less frequently.

Probiotics may lessen anxiety and depression. Mice fed with the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 showed significantly fewer stress, anxiety and depression-related behaviours than those fed with just broth according to a recent study. Moreover, ingestion of the bacteria resulted in significantly lower levels of the stress-induced hormone, corticosterone. The researchers also showed that regular feeding with the Lactobacillus strain caused changes in the mouse brain. Bravo JA et al, Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2011

Mother's diet may influence baby's allergies. Omega-3 fatty acids -- such as those found in fish, walnut oil or flaxseed -- may aid the development of the infant gut and improve how gut immune cells respond to bacteria and foreign substances, making the baby less likely to suffer from allergies in the long term, according to new research in pigs. De Quelen F et al. N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the maternal diet modify the post-natal development of nervous regulation of intestinal permeability in piglets. The Journal of Physiology, 2011 


Diet not working as well as you'd hoped? One tiny mistake can make a huge difference. For fine-tuning, see the Checklist of common mistakes. Readers tell us this list is very useful. You can also ask for our Salicylate, Amine or (new) Glutamate Mistakes sheets (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." data-mce-href="mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


In brief

Australian of the Year.Thanks to those who surprised Sue Dengate, yet again, in nominating her as Australian of the Year. Your help in getting national attention for food intolerance is much appreciated.

New Zealand food bill. A bill being considered by Parliament at the request of the food industry which will have a severe impact on many aspects of food production.  

MS cured by diet of additive free unprocessed food – not failsafe but worth a watch

Lunch box nasties exposed. "All schools should list food additives on canteen price lists," Sue Dengate said in January 2012. "A typical school canteen menu can contain about 32 of the additives most likely to cause adverse reactions" as listed on page 43 of its National Healthy School Canteens Guidelines. See full article by Cheryl Critchley

Participants in Adelaide wanted for ADHD study. Parents of ADHD kids can be paid $20 per hour to take part in a study at the University of South Australia, Adelaide. If your kids are aged 6-18 years, you want to take part and your kid(s)

  • have a diagnosis of ADHD using prescribed medication
  • have a diagnosis of ADHD but not taking prescribed medication, or
  • don't have a diagnosis of ADHD

contact Miranda Leach 8302 1248 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New quick quiz: Are these Skinns potato chips failsafe?


See details and answer

Fragrance free guidelines for hospitals. A seven page booklet about provisions for hospital patients with MCS include recommendations about special diets and the use of fragrance free products by staff. Thanks to the ME/CFS Society of Victoria and the Allergy and Environmental Sensitivity Support and Research Association Inc. for their input into this booklet. Further reading: MCS A guide for hospitals Victorian Department of Health$FILE/MCS_Vic_%20Guide%20Hsp_FINAL%20.pdf 

Now targeting

Fed up with school canteens and tuckshops?

Now that Coles has removed artificial colours from own brand products, there are no excuses for school canteens selling artificially coloured products. How does your school canteen measure up? We would like to hear about it, good or bad - ­ we will not embarrass you or your school by naming names. See our school canteen factsheet
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Success stories

For every story we report, there are probably another 10 which cover similar issues. And these are just the ones we get to hear about.

See all stories and search them. Names have been changed to protect privacy.

[1088] Severe anxiety from salicylates (January 2012) COURAGE AWARD

My daughter Rose is 7 years old. Since she was about 18 months old, we had problems with her waking every night with nightmares. Although her behaviour was not exceptionally good, it was not an issue at the time. When Rose started 4 year old kinder we started to notice that her eczema was getting quite bad and that it was not responding to any remedies that we tried. We saw doctors who just said that she might grow out of it. When Rose started school, there was a huge turning point. Her behaviour I would say was ADHD behaviour – tantrums, itching all over her body, stomach pains, still having nightmares, oppositional defiance and the list goes on, and the worst of all, severe anxiety with me leaving her. Rose's anxiety was so bad that she had to be physically removed from me when I left her at school, even punching and kicking at the teachers. Rose would not leave me at all, even on weekends.

With trying to counteract the behaviour part, I stopped all additives and preservatives. Rose's behaviour became so much better. We noticed that her sleep, and feelings of anxiety did not improve.

After reading your book, I made an appointment with a dietician and started on the Elimination Diet. Everything started to improve with Rose, in leaps and bounds, except the anxiety. With many trials, I have now established that Rose is very sensitive to SALICYLATES.

I now have a daughter who is very confident, well mannered, has no problems sleeping, no eczema, nor does she have anxiety.

I can only say that without your help, I had no idea where to turn. The professional field let me down big time.

We have been doing this for about 12 months and I am a true advocate of Failsafe. I want to introduce this to our school. When my daughter was in Prep we had a lot to do with the Principal, as Rose spent a lot of time in her office, as they believed she was being naughty. Last year I was determined to prove them wrong by showing them that food did contribute to children's behaviour. I did often say that it was the food Rose was eating, but I know they did not believe me. I can now truly say that Rose's behaviour was as a result of the food, its additives and preservatives, as she is a different student. Well mannered, high achiever, leader material. Thank you. - Sharon, Vic

[1091] One-liners (January 2012)

Thanks ever so much for giving me back the joy of having two children – I had lost it for a while I'm afraid due to my 5 year old's horrendous behaviour. He has been failsafe for a month now and it's been great. – Denise, by email

Thank you for your fantastic books, they have "cured" me after 40 years of chronic pain. Yay! 40 years sounds like I am old, but I am only just 46 so you can imagine how wonderful and life changing this is for me :) It turns out that for me "dairy" (not lactose) causes constipation and salicylates cause stomach pain and severe bloating and distention. So I am avoiding all dairy and minimising salicylates. - Chris, by email

I know a 78 yr old who has suffered terribly with chronic sinus for more than 40 years and since eliminating dairy is much, much better. Keep in mind his trusted doctor prescribed seven courses of antibiotics leading up to this and when the good doctor was informed that my friend was going to eliminate some foods his reply was 'yes, that's a good idea' !! - Michael by email.

We attended your talk a few months back and it has changed our lives. We have a six year old son who suffers from Aspergers and ADHD and since going additive-free his behaviour is much improved, his social skills are coming along in leaps and bounds and his fits of rage are completely gone.- Heather by email.

[1092] Pain in the bum 7 yo, asthmatic sister with frequent colds and ear infections (January 2012)

We have just started the diet today and my normal pain in the bum whingy 7 year old boy is already improved in half a day! I know its early days, but so far so good! ... Update one month later .... My son is doing well, doesn't seem to have reacted to anything however preservatives eliminated from his diet made a huge huge difference.

My daughter only did the diet as did I to help her brother. She has had a major reaction to salicylates, had major ear troubles when they were reintroduced. Funny as she is asthmatic and has had frequent colds and flu and major ear troubles for a long time - salicylates may have been the problem all along. - Sharon, by email

[1093] Oh my goodness, the vast majority of whining seems to have disappeared ...(January 2012)

I just wanted to say thanks for your book. It's a really positive and helpful tool - by the details of the stories ... My dad always say "your mother was ahead of her time" as she had me on the feingold diet when I was about 2-13. So I have always been very conscious of colours, flavours, additives etc with what I feed my kids, I can pick it when my 7 yo son has had anything that's affecting him. We tried an almost vegan (we were starving so I added eggs and fish) diet for 2 weeks, and the only thing I could work out is berries make him nuts ... And pizza, even homemade (I now know high high salicylates). All other crap has already been eliminated, so we have decided to try the rpah diet. It's been just over a week, and we are not seeing a great deal of change .... 5 DAYS LATER ... The further I got into your book, the more questions were answered! And I've definitely learnt heaps! I have decided to persevere with the diet. Oh my goodness, the vast majority of whining seems to have disappeared, and too what appeared to be grumpy hypoglycemia! Next on my list is concentration at school ... I did decide to remove dairy which I feel may have added to the positive result. His handwriting is comparatively much better already (and attitude along with doing it). I now actually looking forward to school to see we can see real progress! - Kath, by email

[1094] Dietitian smoothed the way when having to deal with doctors (January 2012)

I am new to food intolerance but I have had my 4 yo son to the doctors in the past (and just been fobbed off) for pains in his legs, tummy aches, stuffy nose and mouth-breathing. He grinds his teeth at night, over-reacts to situations with anger or tears, does not seem to sleep much and complains about loud noises.

... One month later ... We have been to a dietician from the list you sent. It was great advice as it really smooths the way when having to deal with doctors and other govt. agencies - they are now very accommodating. We are into day five and I have already noticed the voice volume decrease and far less fighting between the two children. So thank you to you and everyone who contributes info, it saves so much time and mistakes. - Anna, NZ

[1095] Salicylate challenge confusion (February 2012)

We are introducing challenges but I'm not sure how to do it properly. We tried grapes last week and all seemed fine, then we tried a small handful of raisins this week and he's gone loopy again. Now I don't know what to try next and have lost confidence because I'd rather he didn't go off the failsafe, because he's so obnoxious, but I know he wants to widen his diet ... update one week later ... The RPAH salicylate challenge showed he reacts to salicylates! - we were sailing along at first but then hit a wall where his behaviour went downhill rapidly. – Denise by email

[1096] 282: bread preservative 282 causes bedwetting (February 2012)

In around Oct last year, my 8 year old son, who is usually dry at night, started wetting his bed. He wet it every night for over 2 months. During this same time, his twin sister – who has never been dry at night, went from wetting her bed once a night to wetting at least twice a night. Even their 3 year old brother, who was occasionally dry, stopped having any dry nights.

The first thing I started to think about was what had changed in our diet, since it was something affecting all 3 of them. I was Googling away when I happened to come across your Food Intolerance Network site and the link between Calcium Propionate and bedwetting. I found a "what's in your bread" website (since we were in the car on a journey up to Scotland, and not at home) and discovered that the "healthy", Warburtons Seeded Batch Loaf which we had switched to about 2 months before contains 282. I have not used it, or any of the bagels or wraps (all with 282) we used to buy again and my son has not wet his bed once since then – apart from last Monday night. The children went back to school this week and go to an after school club on Mondays where they get sandwiches for a snack. I called the manager to find out what kind of bread they use – and sure enough, it is a long-life bread with 282. I explained all the dangers of this particular preservative to her and she was most willing to switch to a safer brand in future! – Michelle, UK

[1097] Headbutting due to salicylates (February 2012)

Last night I made a beef casserole which I now realise was probably very high in salicylates. There were no additives but I used a base of one tablespoon of tomato paste and about a tablespoon of fresh herbs from my garden and about 100mls of red wine, cornflour and just carrots and celery with gravy beef. Of this casserole my son would have had about two tablespoons (with some basmati rice). I wasn't sure if this quantity would be is sufficient to cause a behavioural reaction but within about one hour my food sensitive son was headbutting my husband and just couldn't calm down. My youngest son who ate the same quantity had zero reaction. – Courtney, by email

[1098] Vomiting five nights out of seven and we didn't know why (February 2012)

I didn't realise that my two year old's frequent tantrums, inconsolable crying and inability to listen to instructions were due to food until our local supermarket ran out of Zach's favourite flavoured rice cakes. He used to eat those ricecakes every day for morning tea. When the ricecakes went off the shelf and he wasn't eating them, you'd tell him to stop and he would stop, you'd say no and he'd accept it- he wouldn't have a meltdown or a tantrum. He was also vomiting five nights out of seven and we didn't know why but when we cut out salicylates and glutamates, that stopped too. The culprits for Zach turned out to be flavour enhancers (621, 627, 631, 635) and fruit such as grapes and strawberries. - Kim, NSW

[1099] 635: ribo rash from Tony Ferguson weight loss soups (February 2012)

I started using Tony Ferguson (weight loss meal replacement) shakes last year and managed to lose 10 kg. Three months later I started using the soups as well. Around that time I developed a painful and desperately itchy rash mainly on my leg and sometimes it would spread to other parts of my body. My doctor gave me steroid cream and I didn't realise the cause of the rash until I heard you speak. When I looked at the packets, the soups I had been eating all contained flavour enhancers you talked about (621, 627, 631, 635). When I stopped eating them the rash went away. - Marian, NSW

[1100] 621: reaction to the Tony Ferguson diet (February 2012)

I thought you may be interested in the list of ingredients to be found in the Tony Ferguson "healthy and nourishing" weight loss product. Everyone who has lost kilos purports to be vital, energetic and generally full of the joys of Spring.

It didn't occur to me to scan the ingredients (which I do in ALL food products before buying) as I naively thought when he said "healthy and nutritious" that it was true. It was only when I kept becoming hugely bloated with griping abdominal pains, plus an extremely internally inflamed and painful leg (out of the blue), that I decided to check the ingredients and found - shock horror - Flavour Enhancer 621 (MSG of course!). When I had the leg checked out by my doctor, she said the internal inflammation could have indeed been an allergic response to something - Victoria, NZ

[1101] Dietary information should be free (February 2012)

I am single mother with 4 kids and am finding it very hard to find free information on an additive free diet for my 3 yr old that I was told was hyperactive by a paediatrician. You would think after paying the doctor more than $250 dollars he would give you more information than 'eliminate additives', but everyone is after money. What about the kids that are suffering from these problems and the family problems they are creating, why is it no one in today's society can do anything to help without wanting to be paid an arm and a leg for it. Sorry to go on but I am finding it very hard and frustrating to get information that can help. PS Thank you for your Failsafe Booklet. – by email, Melissa

[1102] Maple-flavoured syrup flavour causes meltdown (February 2012)

Freedom Foods Ultra Rice Maple Crunch was recommended for our 3 year-old as part of a dairy free/gluten free diet. Because he's on Autism spectrum he can be quite fussy with food, but he loved it so much, he ate three bowls for lunch (I was so excited, as he's been hard to feed).

It is clearly marked as Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Nut-free (great) and also clearly states that it contains nothing artificial. Silly me, I didn't read the label and see that it was Maple FLAVOURED syrup, not the pure stuff. What followed was a total regression in his behaviour: 2 hours of hell. Behaviours that hadn't manifested themselves for the past month suddenly reappeared including, stripping off his clothes (4 times in 30 minutes), drawing on walls, climbing up bookshelves/kitchen benches. Before diet modification this behaviour would have been done separately ( ie we'd have a day or week of stripping off, then maybe a day of drawing on walls, with some climbing thrown in another day) so it was very rare for all these behaviours to appear all together, and in such a short period of time.

Once I realized there was a reaction, I read the box properly (yes, I know I should have done it beforehand), and noticed that it included Butterscotch as an ingredient (under the heading Nature Identical). It's a mistake I won't be making again - Maria by email. (Freedom Foods responded that they are working to replace this flavour with a nature-identical flavour within 6 months, which might be failsafe)

[1103] Amines make him angry and violent (February 2012)

I'm a mom to a very amine sensitive teen boy and your books, website and DVD have been a big help to us. I think without the knowledge you imparted through your books, there's a good chance my son would have become a violent young man, because under the effects of amines he gets so angry. But, with the diet, he can enjoy life and we can enjoy him! - Kelly

[1104] Had to work it out for myself because the doctors didn't know (February 2012)

I am one of those people that had to work out myself what was wrong with me because all the doctors I went to didn't know. I even had one doctor so exasperated he offered me an anti-depressant! I went through so much trying to find out what was wrong with me. And the doctors were no help at all. After a few years of reading newspaper articles and looking at what I ate I finally worked out my problem - that being preservatives 202 and 282. It was so good when a doctor listened to me, agreed and sent me to a dietician who agreed as well. I was then able to get my life in some semblance of order. - Maria, by email

[1090] "Our lives no longer revolve around tantrums" (January 2012)

I have been working on failsafe eating with my four year old daughter who has extreme behavioral issues - tantrums, oppositional, aggression, etc. We completed the elimination phase, and have been doing some trials. Her behavior improved greatly during the elimination phase, however, on each of the trials the old behaviors have returned. She seems to be extremely sensitive. There are very few food left on my list that are okay for her. Her diet consists mainly of rice, rice milk, chicken, white potatoes, green beans, pears ... She goes to preschool and I pack her snacks and meals for her. It is difficult to do it on such a limited diet. Since we are in the US, the products that are on your failsafe list are not available to us. Our sanity is more important than a varied diet for her - but right now I feel frustrated. I have your book, "Fed Up" and that is what helped me get started with the elimination diet but I don't know how to find a dietician that would support the failsafe diet. Many dieticians here in the US don't believe in foods affecting behavior. (We recommended joining the failsafeUSA group)

Update three months later ... My daughter is like a different person on this diet - thank you so much for all you have done to share your information. She is a much happier person, and our lives no longer revolve around tantrums. Not to mention that her skin has improved a great deal and she is no longer constantly itchy. I have also been able to add more safe items to her diet. I am glad that you have been able to spread the word in schools in Australia and wish that the same thing could be done here. – Elise USA, by email

[1089] Soy and lentils contributed to migraines (January 2012)

I emailed you some time ago about my chronic migraines. After having been to GPs, specialists, naturopaths, etc, I went to a dietitian. She gave me the booklet produced by the Royal Prince Alfred Allergy unit. I also purchased your book, "Fed Up". This letter is to give you an update because it has good success.

Until recently I had no relief from those persistent migraines and was getting really desperate - again! Yet I knew there was something I was eating that did not like me - or rather my system did not like it. I was concerned my protein intake was a bit low, and not being into lentils, and because they are listed in the booklet as low in amines and salicylates, I decided to try some red lentils boiled, and had a nice helping one afternoon for lunch. That night - 12.15am - I experienced a most horrific headache in my brain like the blood vessels wanted to burst! Knowing that the migraine medication works on blood vessels I had an imigran which helped settle the reaction somewhat. If it had got any worse I would've phoned for an ambulance because it was a bit frightening.

Later that week when I had recovered from the after-effects of what I knew to be the lentils, I went looking on the internet. Anyway to cut a long story short, to my amazement, the low or restricted tyramine diet for persons on MAOI drugs lists lentils and soy as high in tyramine*. Many years ago, my doctor prescribed a MAOI for a few months to help me over a bit of a rough patch, and I was told to not have "cheese, vegemite and broad beans". Anyway, being a lover of cheeses at the time, and being deprived of one of my favourite foods for some weeks, I thought, "hey! surely a little half-inch cube wouldn't hurt....". Well I'll tell you now that it did hurt!!! That evening I had the most horrific and frightening experience in the brain that truly felt like every blood vessel in the brain was going to explode with blood all over the ceiling. I was so ill and frightened. The experience I had after the lentils was the exact type I had with the cheese while taking the MAOI.

Now I was onto something ... I went through the foods that I had been consuming regularly over these past years and saw that the full cream powdered milk contains emulsifier from soy!!! The only time I ever ate soy beans was about 15 years ago, and I was violently ill after eating them. Didn't think much about it at the time, just didn't like the soy flavour and even now the smell of things like soy turn me off. I have the same reaction to chick peas. After reading the soy stories on your website (in particular [314] and [702] - what they have said - discovered by personal experience - I can confirm by my own experience.) It certainly helps to unravel the mystery of my on-going migraines. And I am not surprised that my migraines were aggravated when I had Sustagen or Ensure as supplements - they contain soy derivatives. I even checked out baby food formulas and they too contain soy.

The multi-vitamin/mineral supplement I have been taking also contains soy - the vitamin E is derived from soy. The company was really understanding when I explained the situation, and very kindly refunded me the money. The soy was not listed as an ingredient, because the vitamin was derived form it.

Since stopping having powdered milk (I used it to bolster up my normal milk, most of the time) I have not had a migraine headache from foods.

I am aware that I still am prone to migraines from environmental factors - odours, (funnily enough the odours that trigger an instant migraine are those foods high in amines, like strong tomatoes, spicy foods, fermented foods etc), stormy weather, sensory overload (flashing lights, etc).

This is a great find for me. To experience a head that does not wake up every morning in "migraine mode", and have confidence in eating foods that are low in amines, I can be a lot more relaxed about eating. It has given me so much relief - almost unbelievable!!! - Patricia, NSW (* RPAH researchers do not agree that legumes are high in amines and nor do the majority of amine sensitive failsafers. All legumes are listed as low in amines except broad beans which are very high; however lentils and other legumes do contain other natural chemicals that could cause problems e.g. purines which can be associated with gout – Sue) See Soy, lentils and other legume intolerance factsheet

[1087] Getting preservatives out of bread for three schools (December 2011)

Thought I'd let you know about a small win I've had here in this town. I was disappointed to learn when we moved here 18 months ago that all the products of the one small bakery contained preservatives. I just brought my bread from the supermarket or made it myself but at the beginning of this year on a total whim I decided to telephone the bakery. As luck would have it one of the owners answered (it is a family run business and has been for generations and the father, who is close to retirement, answered the phone). I explained my concerns about preservatives and asked if he happened to have any plans to remove them from their products. To be honest I expected to get a thanks for calling and never hear back from them but he took my details and asked me a few questions and went straight to his computer apparently and googled preservatives and children. As you would know he found a lot of information and called me back a couple of days later to say they would be removing all preservatives from their products as of that day. He told me he had no idea of the effects of preservatives.

The best thing is that all three of the schools here buy their bread from that bakery to support local business, so now all the schools are getting preservative-free bread for the kiddies. One less thing for my kids to be singled out as different as before I was taking in their own bread for lunch orders - Korina by email.

[1086] 319: tantrums "it was like the devil had taken him over" (December 2011)

I thought I'd share with you a recent experience I had with my son, when overnight my gorgeous, fun loving, cheeky little man turned into an absolute monster, having tantrums left right and centre. Not his usual 2 year old tantrums but full-on aggressive, angry and really scary tantrums, it was like the devil had taken him over. He was really irritable, he couldn't sit still and wasn't listening to anything I said, he was throwing things all the time and just being grumpy, angry and outright horrible. After a few days of this I started to think that is was something more than the usual 'milestone' / wonderweek stuff, it was really disturbing, not to mention very difficult to deal with. Anyway to cut a long story short I started to think if he was eating anything that he didn't normally eat that might have caused him to behave like this. I remember that I had just changed the brand and type of cracker that he eats for his snack. On closer investigation of the ingredients of this biscuit and a bit of google work (thanks to the Fed Up website) we found it had vegetable oil with antioxidant 319 in it, which can cause irritability, learning difficulties and children's behavioural problems! Bingo! That had to be it; it was the only thing that we could think of that was new in his life that could make him change so dramatically, so quickly. So those biscuits (Ritz sticks for your information) went straight in the bin and my lovely little boy returned, just like that - his nice behaviour returned as quickly as the horrible behaviour arrived. I couldn't quite believe that something so small could have such a big impact. It was amazing and very disturbing.

Anyway after this experience I became intrigued in food additives and frantically began reading and researching and quite frankly I couldn't quite believe what I was reading. I have always been pretty careful with the food I feed my kids and try to have minimal or no processed food in the house but I am disturbed to find that these antioxidant additives (and other nasty additives) are added to things that you would think would be pretty harmless and healthy, like crackers, bread, yoghurt and butter/margarine.

I've never really been keen on being obsessed with reading food labels but this experience was so powerful that for the sake of the health and wellbeing of our family we have now gone additive free and it is hard to describe just how much it has changed our lives. Generally speaking things are better all round, we're less irritable, there's less niggling and nagging, and less frustration and shouting, our household is so much calmer and happier. Also I have noticed that both of my boys skin has improved dramatically, they have always suffered from eczema, not badly but enough for it to noticeable, three weeks into being additive free it has almost cleared up completely, it certainly can't be a coincidence!!!

Even though it was a terrible week to live through in a way I am so happy that we had the 319 experience so that our eyes were opened up to the world of additives and just how powerful they can be. A big thank you to Sue and all her passionate helpers for making this information available and for all your hard work in spreading the word, you really have changed our lives (for the better!) – Anna from SA by email.

[1085] Soy a problem with behaviour (December 2011)

Two years ago I was having behavioural issues with my 4 year old girl and took out the artificial colours, flavours and preservatives on your list which solved most of our issues but about every two weeks we would see a flare up and holidays were particularly painful. About 6 weeks ago we began the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Elimination Diet - I fully expected that she would react to salicylates and amines etc but here was the outcome......

Weeks 1 & 2 of a low salicylate diet - we have a beautiful happy child, she is in kindy and her teachers reported that they saw a drastic change in her - the happiest she has been all year, not getting frustrated with her friends, wants to help and participate, is laughing and happy.

Weeks 3,4 & 5 saw us add in high salicylates and then amines and then glutamates - no reaction still a beautiful child.....

Week 6 - added a soy challenge - 2 tablespoons of soy sauce Saturday night and a small handful of choc chips on Sunday morning in muffins (soy lecithin), by lunchtime she was having tantrums over ridiculous things, she was sulky, teary and generally unhappy. We also saw this same reaction half way through week 3 and 4 at her sisters birthday as I unknowingly used white chocolate in her birthday cake (soy lecithin)....

So the outcome was she has to have a diet that doesn't contain artificial colours/flavours or preservatives, soy or soy derivatives. I can't believe that for the last two years soy has been the culprit all along - the poor kid!! The occasional treat of chocolate and plain Arnotts biscuits were just topping her up so that we saw it at weird times, holidays worse as usually they get more treats on holidays! Our dietician was really shocked that a protein could cause that reaction - Tiffany by email

[1084] Help for Velocardiofacial Syndrome also known as Deletion 22q11 (December 2011)

I have started your diet with one of my children who has had numerous problems and after one week of just cutting back (not the full elimination diet) I had his teacher approaching me telling me how good he had been and how his attention had improved. Needless to say I have now started doing the same with all my other children and would like to say how great it is all going. I approached a mum at school who pointed me in your direction after the success she has had with her adhd child so yes word of mouth really does work.

I help run a support group for Velocardiofacial Syndrome also known as Deletion 22q11. Our VCFS kids have a very high incidence of behavioral and inattention issues and I believe an introduction to your diet could greatly benefit many of our members. - Melinda, by email

[1083] The 40 foods blood test (December 2011)

Before starting the diet, our 6 yo ADHD son had the 40 foods blood test and it showed wheat to be a 4 which is the highest, so I put him on wheat-free bread. The dietitian I saw about the elimination diet said that the blood test is not a credible way of testing for food intolerances and is reportedly listed on a web list of dodgy allergy tests by the ASCIA (The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy). The blood test only shows up food that is currently in the child's system, which makes sense, and the level of severity as revealed by the blood test is also affected by how much of that food the child has been eating. Intolerance is very strongly related to dose, unlike allergy. So a child could have a major intolerance towards amines for example, but if he has not eaten any recently, it won't show up as a problem on the results. Correspondingly, my son's 4 rating for wheat could be indicative of the fact that he was eating a lot of it rather than his sensitivity towards it. I'm not a food scientist, but this does make sense to me.

According to our dietitian, the only way to conclude if a child is intolerant or not, is to do the elimination diet for a few weeks and then introduce challenges systematically. In short, she suggested our son do a bread challenge with Bakers Delight or Brumby's bread which does not use any vinegar or whey powder. HE PASSED!!! He is able to tolerate a sandwich or a bread roll for lunch, and is better on this than he was on the wheat free bread. He feels more normal , and it's a lot cheaper too. Our son is still free of additives and low in salicylates, amines and glutamates, and we continue to see astounding improvement, which is confirmed by his teachers, extended family and others who work with him. He is calmer, more thoughtful, and you can actually have a 2-way conversation with him now. - by email, SA

[1082] Diet helps with Chronic Fatigue following bacterial pneumonia (December 2011)

I just wanted to tell you how pleased I am to have found this diet. My nutritionist put me onto it recently. I had a bad bout of bacterial pneumonia 3 years ago and then developed Chronic Fatigue. I have tried soooo many things that haven't worked, until now. I am amazed at the change. I am now trying my children with it too. I just finished reading your "Fed Up" book and was amazed at the great results in so many situations. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and knowledge with so many, and for all the help. - Jillian, by email

[1081] Our toddler was a little tornado on salicylates (December 2011)

My husband was one of the first children to go on the Feingold diet in Australia in 1973. His parents still talk about the amazing improvements they saw although on that diet he was allowed pineapple, dates, cauliflower and mushrooms. I think some of the improvement was that they had a local butcher, they made their own bread, and they never ate out because there was no eating out then. They had a wonderful local chemist who made them toothpaste.

Because of that you would have thought we would twig much earlier to our son but we didn't. We avoided tomato and orange a lot because from when he first went on solids he broke out in a rash and did again a few times so we just didn't eat them. But he got worse over time. At 15 months he would run up our very steep street and then do 4 blocks of the neighbourhood, with us trying to keep up. I'm now pretty sure that was the kick he was getting from the salicylates. His absolute favourite was apricot teddies. We used to only let him have 1 or 2 every fortnight but that, along with all the other high foods kept him like a little tornado.

My husband's mum told us about salicylates when we went away on a holiday. His eczema got really bad and we thought it must be from the chlorine when we went swimming. She suggested fish oil tablets so we got some for kids but they also had high salicylates. He just went hyper in no time. He kept asking for more of them and that night he screamed and screamed all night and kept scratching worse than he ever had. He had welts all over him in the morning.

We tried cutting out just salicylates and saw some improvement but it just got bad again. Then I went hunting on the internet, found your book and we talked with our doctor about doing the RPA elimination diet. The change was noticeable, the biggest being less extreme mood swings and going to sleep at night. Bedtime used to be a 2 hour stint every night and then he would collapse in exhaustion.

We have seen head banging on two occasions, well after we started the diet. My sister gave him some yoghurt by mistake with Annatto 160b in it and he was a very loud very angry little boy. He didn't really have tantrums as such but did quite a bit of banging his head, wouldn't let us near him. He didn't want to be touched at all and kept threatening his little brother with all kinds of nasty things. A lot of yelling. He did not sleep at all well that night needless to say. It was the same the second time. – Susan, by email (Please report similar annatto 160b reactions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

[1080] Additive-induced asthma – from 20 puffs of Ventolin a day to none (December 2011)

I wrote you 4 years back (story [524]), and I just thought I should write in with an update. If you'll recall I had suffered from additive-induced asthma from the age of 10 (I'm now 37). It took a couple of decades to finally realise that artificial food additives were THE cause of my condition.

As a heads-up for those still "lost" and wondering if there is a cure, I strongly urge you to give up what I call the "trifecta" (i.e. artificial colours, flavours and preservatives). This covers most of the main culprits which cause most peoples' asthmatic conditions (in my opinion).

After this, I also discovered I was highly sensitive to "vegetable gums" (that friendly sounding additive in many bread products: This includes Gum Arabic and the so-called 'safe' one, Xanthan Gum). The symptoms these two nasty additives create in sensitive people is a tight chest, light-headedness and a general feeling of not being able to breathe. (I literally almost died one night a while back, when I woke up gasping for air at 3am, after having consumed bread with Xanthan Gum in it over a period of four days straight...)

Well, there it is guys. Thanks mainly to your wonderful website I have gone from 20 puffs a day to not touching Ventolin or any medication for over a year now. Not a single time! I honestly never thought I would reach this stage. It's so sad to think that if we - as a society - just stuck to "whole" foods, leaving out ALL artificial additives, many, MANY health issues would be non-existent. Things are getting better, thanks to websites like yours, Sue, but it's still too slow. Thank you so much for all the valuable things you do and God Bless you all! - Mark, by email

[1079] 220-228: Anaphylaxis due to sulfite preservatives (December 2011)

The main problem that I have had to deal with for over 30 years is the use of sulfite preservatives. I have had at least 5 instances of anaphylaxis, with three events that landed me in the emergency room. I do not have asthma, nor am I particularly abnormally allergy-prone (other than seasonal hay fever, and the few foods and medications of which I am intolerant), but sulfites in wines give me excruciating 2-3 day migraines, and the amount used on non-fresh shrimp has given me several life-threatening encounters that required 6+ hours under the care of a number of very, VERY uneasy emergency room doctors. – Geoffrey by email, USA

[1078] Hot flushes gone within days of starting a VLF diet (February 2012)

I had already been failsafe for about ten years when my menopausal symptoms started - fluctuating breast tenderness followed by symptoms such as restless legs and then hot flushes. As a result of doing the elimination diet with challenges I already knew that I was sensitive to salicylates, amines, additives and A1 dairy foods, so tightening up on failsafe eating dealt with irritability and restless legs, just as it had previously with premenstrual symptoms. But for hot flushes, I found that wasn't enough. I had already noticed that low fat eating (VLF very Low Fat) dealt with period pain and it turned out the be the answer for hot flushes as well - they stopped within days of ditching the fat.

[1077] Deb and Andrew speak about food intolerance (January 2012)

See how unsuspected food intolerances affected one family in Australia and what answers they found

Links to story [1066]

[1076] 'pulling out her hair and eye lashes' (December 2011)

We have an escalation of my daughter's behaviour since an increase in Maccas and Hungry Jacks (thanks to hubby which I am not happy about). She is pulling out her hair and eye lashes also but I am not convinced it is strictly OCD.

[1075] Annatto 160b: headbanging, rage, trichotillomania (hair, eyelash, eyebrow pulling) (December 2011)

When my daughter was 12 months old she had a head banging reaction to annatto in yoghurt. The next week she had another episode of screaming, tantrums and banging her head repeatedly on the metal frame of her bed. The very next day my mum saw a story on ACA or similar program with yourself mentioned, and thought the 4 year old kids on the segment sounded like what we had with our 12 month old ... so we looked up your website. I looked back at food she ate and I had given her a kids Heinz apricot bar and sure enough it had annatto too. This was all I needed to prompt me to look at what she, and we, were actually eating!

My daughter is now 6 1/2 and we still have the occasional uncontrollable outburst and know she's had something. We actually had an incident last weekend with her and the wicked 160b. She was at a friend's place Saturday night and they thought they were doing the right thing when they gave her jelly snakes 'preservative free, no artificial colours'. I didn't know about the snakes but Sunday saw her at her worst. She woke in a rage and was lashing out, hitting, biting, screaming, indecisive about trivial little things and completely and utterly beside herself. When in this state (the worst lasts for about 4-6 hours) she cannot control any aspect of her being. She even goes as far as plucking all her eyelashes and eyebrows out with her fingers (trichotillomania) if left alone. I went to the friend's house and began quizzing them! A peek at the ingredients on the snakes proved me right yet again when I saw the number 160b. (fyi they were Aldi brand).

After an annatto reaction is somewhat over, she 'sleeps it off' and will often then sleep up to 15 hours (say 6pm til 9am!!). She had a horrific day and finally fell asleep at 11pm Sunday night. She slept it off and woke close to 10.30am Monday morning. She was fine Monday and Tuesday ... But Wednesday evening saw her showing (relatively mild this time) annatto signs again. I asked her about school (started back on Tuesday) and she was hesitant to tell me her little friend had bought a lemonade 'spider'. I went to the canteen today and sure enough... Annatto in the ice cream!!!!

I'd also be willing to bet my husband reacts to annatto... he gets very moody at times and also his sleep patterns are all over the place. Some nights he will be up all night on the computer and just not tired, then other days/nights he too will sleep for 15+ hours. - Skye, NSW

[1074] Depression, compulsive hair pulling (trichotillomania) due to food intolerance (December 2011)

I have been on anti-depressants and a mood stabiliser in the past. However, if I stick to failsafe eating, there is no problem with any of that stuff - see story [963].

If I cheat, boy do I pay the price!! The first sign of reaction is hair pulling, followed very rapidly with other reactions. By the next day, I feel absolutely horrid. I don't want to live, I don't even want to see anyone, including family. I feel like I have the worst hangover ever. I actually feel sick enough to be in hospital. My husband and adult daughter know straight away if I've cheated.

It still blows my mind to think that food can have such an impact on sensitive individuals. It has happened every time I've cheated, so I definitely know it's a food reaction. It's also like an addiction. If I get a taste of prohibited foods, I can't stop myself. All I can think about is the wrong foods, even though I know how rotten I will feel. My system is so sensitive, I will know if a food smells strong and I feel sick from the aroma, I can't eat it. I have tried soda bi-carb in water as an antidote. It works sometimes and I will have bi-carb baths. The last resort is to water fast. By the next day I feel myself again. Liz, NSW

Don’t forget, you can see all current stories

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Shopping list

The Failsafe shopping list updated on an almost daily basis and is fully searchable. Look there in the first instance. Here are some important updates since the last newsletter:

**Warning** Birds Eye Hash Browns and Potato Gems (potato, canola, corn starch, salt and dextrose) may contain small amounts of sulphites 223 and antioxidant BHA 320, possibly undeclared on the label under the 5% labelling loophole. We have received conflicting advice from the manufacturer. - thanks to Kerryn and Cara for checking with the manufacturer

Bread: Coles Rustic Baguette It's hard to believe that supermarket bread can be this good. This artisan-quality product won Best in Show in Sydney. Ingredients: flour, water, iodised salt, yeast, malted wheat,enzymes (hemicellulase, amylase), antioxidant 300 (vitamin C), and vitamins (thiamine, folic acid).

Reader review: "this is the best bread in Australia" – thanks to Jean Pierre

Failsafe sausages Chittaway 2261 I have a new butcher in my area of the NSW Central Coast who has agreed to make Failsafe sausages for me in both Chicken and Beef. Chittaway Gourmet Meats - Shop 9/ 100 Chittaway Rd, Chittaway Bay NSW 2261. Phone (02) 4388 9443 to make sure they have plenty in stock - thanks to Robyn

Update on failsafe sunscreens

Duncan's Ointment now available at St Clair Pharmacy and News, Port Kennedy, WA, ph. 08 9593 0299 (pharmacists George or Kelly, or lab tech Tegan) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 90g tub for $19.95 + $10.40 express post, or $39.95 for 300g tub, or contact them for different quantities. Duncan's Ointment has been described previously as "all natural ingredients including zinc oxide for lips, cracked heels, eczema, nappy rash". Thanks to Kylie for chasing this.

Toothpastes USA Failsafers have recommended the following toothpastes:

Cleure Original (no flavour)  - thanks to Emma

Xlear Spry Tooth Gel with Xylitol, Original Flavor Ingredients: Purified water, Xylitol, Calcium glycerophosphate, Cellulose gum (thickening agent), and Grapefruit seed extract (as a preservative). – thanks to Elise

Soap Handmade soaps with all natural ingredients. The base consists of olive oil, coconut oil & rice bran oil. For the Pure & Simple range (unperfumed) you have a choice of plain or goats milk with added oatmeal if you want. There is a discount for bulk buying: 3 bars for $10, 5 bars for $15 & 7 bars for $20.

Reader review: I buy the Soapcakes Pure & Simple range. Recently a guest asked me "what is that lovely soap in your bathroom?" – thanks to Jenny

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Your questions

Some of the information, particularly that about specific foods and what they contain, may be out of date – always check the Failsafe Shopping List for the latest information.

Many more questions are answered by knowledgeable failsafers in the Failsafe forum, which you are free to join. See all FAQs at

Q. My question is about my husband, he drinks beer daily, which in itself is a problem, but when he drinks Carlton midstrength beer as opposed to fourex light, he gets really moody, cranky and goes off into another world. I was wondering if you knew if there was anything different in the carlton that could be causing this?

A. Carlton Mid is double hopped for extra flavour compared to Fourex with a "mild bitter flavour". The characteristic bitter flavour of beer comes from hops (high in salicylates), so it seems likely that your husband is salicylate-sensitive ... Reader response ....Thank you so much Sue, I have noticed mood changes with some of the other salicylate foods you have mentioned too, so it explains a lot!!!

Q: I added a couple of scoops of AminoPlex rice protein concentrate the kid's naturopath had given me (since you are not allowed to put nuts into anything going to school or kindy and I wanted to give them some substance). Is this failsafe? - Shilo

A: AminoPlex is rice protein concentrate resulting from the rice wet milling process using fermentation and a low heat process according to the manufacturer. The nutrition panel shows 5.5% glutamic acid, which is likely to be in the form of free glutamates, or in other words very high in MSG (621). Not failsafe.

Q: I have been suffering from various IBS-like symptoms for several years and have finally decided to do something about it. A couple of months ago I went to see a dietitian and following her advice tried a FODMAP elimination diet for a month. Although there was improvement in some areas there was a decline in others. I became VERY forgetful and suffered stomach cramps when eating what turned out to be foods high in salicylates. Should I do the full salicylates elimination diet and get myself better? - Sharon

A: Yes. See a previous answer

Q. I have recently written to Spreyton's of Tasmania regarding the inclusion of 202 in their fruit juice. Enough to say their response was less than encouraging ....

A. It is always worth writing to food manufacturers. Their replies are usually discouraging but you have to ignore them - if they hear from enough people they will change. Thank you for doing this!

Q. Any ideas for softening stools? I have found that I am sensitive to amines (migraines). Inadvertently I had not reread all the info properly and had not re-introduced many/any salicylate food however recently I have been suffering with piles to which the doctor and internet immediately reply - FRUIT. So for the last 2 weeks I have introduced rockmelon, honeydew, nectarine, apples, corn and beetroot all of which I have not had for a year or two. Only up to 2 pieces a day between them and hey presto headaches and migraines again (but softer stools, reducing the piles). So to me it looks like salicylates might be the problem but I need something for softening.

A. What you really need for constipation is more fibre and more fluid - in other words, drink more water or decaf and see below for failsafe sources of fibre. As you can see there are plenty of them. All vegetables are good and lentils and dried beans are clearly the winner. See the following recipes - they are delicious: Howard's bean paste and hummus


Failsafe sources of dietary fibre

(fibre in grams, items with salicylates and amines are marked)

71.0 psyllium hulls

15.6 Lentils, cooked 1 cup

12.0 Chickpeas (garbanzos) cooked 1 cup

10.4 Beans, baked, canned, plain 1 cup

  8.8 100% All Bran 1/2 cup


  5.1 Pear 1 medium

  5.0 Oatbran, 1 cup

  4.5 Peas, boiled 1 cup (MOD)

  4.5 Apple (golden or red delicious),1 large (80-100g) (MOD)

  4.0 Oatmeal, cooked 1 cup

  4.0 Beans, green, cooked 1 cup

  3.9 Corn, yellow, cooked 1 cup (HIGH in salicylates, glutamates)

  3.9 Sweet potato, cooked without skin 1/2 potato (MOD)


  3.5 Rice, brown, cooked 1 cup

  3.1 Carrots, raw 1 cup (MOD)

  2.9 Beetroot, canned, 1 cup

  2.3 Potato, baked, fresh 1/2 potato


  1.9 Celery, raw 1 cup

  1.7 Whole grain bread 1 slice

  1.6 Cabbage, raw 1 cup

  1.4 Melon, cantaloupe 1 cup (HIGH)

  1.2 Lettuce, romaine, raw 1 cup (MOD)

  0.7 Lettuce, iceberg, raw 1 cup

  0.6 White bread 1 slice

  0.6 Rice, white, cooked 1/3 cup 0.6

  0.0 Meat, milk, eggs

Experts warn it is better to get fibre from natural foods than supplements or laxatives such as bran tablets or powdered psyllium. More information: Anderson J et al. Dietary Fiber, Colorado State University, 2011


Q. What is the most effective ozone generator? On a recent weekend away within 30 minutes of being in a hotel room with air freshener sprayed throughout, our poor 3yr old son was bouncing off the walls and became very aggressive (thank you inhaled benzoates & salicylates!) We don't want him to have to endure triggers from deodorisers/air fresheners when we go away, so we have been researching ozone generators. Do you have any experience with the Rainbow air machines from Victoria?

A. Good news: the Rainbow Air is fantastic! - we could not do our roadshows without it. We use it while travelling to get rid of the smells of airfresheners, cleaners, toilet deodorisers, fabric softeners etc, and sometimes we use it at home after perfumy guests have left. I presume you understand that ozone generators should not be used when people are in the room as they can aggravate breathing problems for asthmatics. If a hotel room smells, we set the Rainbow Air running on maximum for 30 minutes while we go for a walk or have a cuppa on the verandah - it's a bit of a nuisance but nothing compared with having to stay in a smelly room. Very occasionally 30 minutes isn't enough and we give it another go later on. We bought ours after three smelly nights in a row at the beginning of the 2008 roadshow and I love my Rainbow Air - expensive but worth every cent.

Q. Is there anything failsafe on the menu at Subway?

A. There are additives in most Subway foods, so nothing that would be suitable to eat during your strict elimination diet. After that you can choose whether you are prepared to compromise. I eat the occasional Veggie Delite - salad veggies on wheat bread, no dressing, no pickle

  • fresh salad veggies - e.g. lettuce (Low sals), carrot, cucumber (Mod sals), tomato (High sals), capsicum, onions (Very High sals)
  • wheat, multigrain or white bread NOT Italian (with antioxidant 320) or Wraps (with preservatives 282 and 200)
  • shredded mozzarella (no nasty additives but high amines and dairy)
  • turkey (if you're not asthmatic or otherwise sensitive to preservative 223 sodium metabisulphite)
  • NO salad dressing and pickles ( as well as salicylates, e.g. the chilli pickle contains artificial yellow colour 102 and sodium benzoate preservative 211)

Unfortunately, according to Subway (14/03/2012), there is unlisted 320 in the oil in the what, multigrain and white bread, not mentioned due to the 5% labelling loophole (but Melissa says "I have been advised that they are currently investigating the option of removing this content entirely which they are hoping to have in practice later this year.") Most though not all failsafers can manage one small dose of 320 but we would advise against eating these items frequently. Note that the dose of 320 in the Italian bread would be bigger due to a higher oil content.

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Around the groups: getting in touch

New factsheets  Factsheets are becoming our major way of making information available.

New factsheet:               Soy, lentil and other legume intolerance

Major update:                  Failsafe weight loss

Updated factsheet:        Women's health and diet particularly menopausal symptoms

Premenstrual symptoms (PMS/PMT); Period pain (dysmenorrhea), absence of periods (amenorrhea), painful or heavy periods, endometriosis; Morning sickness; Problems of pregnancy, breastfeeding and young babies; Postnatal depression; Infertility; Menopause symptoms; Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), Cystitis, Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS); Urinary urgency, incontinence, bedwetting, bladder problems; Thrush, candida; Sore vagina, vulvodynia; Breast cancer; Combining failsafe eating with a very low fat diet; Women and fragrance


More than 3.1 million people have now visited Over 8,400 families now receive this quarterly newsletter.

See local contacts who can generally answer some questions about failsafe eating - many have brochures and a copy of the DVD to lend out. They can also advise on supportive dietitians locally.

Email support groups: we currently recommend failsafe3 for beginners. It is the smallest of the big general groups. You can join by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Fedup Roadshow 2012 itinerary

 Below are the Fedup Roadshow 2012 talks so far arranged.

There are still some nights available in Victoria from 31 May to 6 June – contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to host a talk

May 2012

Coffs Harbour NSW Tuesday 1 May at 7.30-9.00pm: Sue Dengate "Fed Up with Children's Behaviour" for Coffs Regional Organic Producers Organisation (CROPO), Community Village Room 3, Earl St Coffs Harbour. $2 member, $4 non-member. More information from David This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Sue Dengate s books and DVD will be available at a reduced price (cash, cheque or debit/credit card)

Urunga NSW Thursday 10 May at 7.00-9.00pm: Sue Dengate "Fed Up with Children's Behaviour" for Bellingen Shire Mobile Resource Playgroup. $10 entry, Cex Golf Club, Morgo Street Urunga. More information from Melissa 02 6655 3087 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Sue Dengate s books and DVD will be available at a reduced price (cash, cheque or debit/credit card)

Rockhampton QLD Monday 14 May: CONFIRMED – details coming.


Maroochydore QLD Wednesday 16 May: AWAITING CONFIRMATION

Brisbane (Beenleigh) QLD Thursday 17 May at 7.00-9.00pm: Sue Dengate "Fed Up with Children's Behaviour" for Springwood Wellness Centre. Beenleigh Events Centre, corner of Crete and Kent Streets, Beenleigh. $15 entry includes light supper. Childcare available $5 per child during talk, booking essential. More information from Kellie This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 07 3808 6633. Sue Dengate s books and DVD will be available at a reduced price (cash, cheque or debit/credit card)

Macksville NSW Monday 21 May: CONFIRMED – details coming.

Orange NSW Wednesday 23 May: CONFIRMED – details coming.

Sydney (Eastwood) Thursday 24 May: CONFIRMED – details coming.

Wollongong NSW Monday 28 May: CONFIRMED – details coming.

Canberra ACT Tuesday 29 May 7.00-9.00pm: Sue Dengate "Fed Up with Children's Behaviour". Alastair Swayn Theatre, Brindabella Conference Centre, 33 and 35 Brindabella Circuit, Brindabella Park (Parking: enter from Pialligo Avenue, turn left at roundabout after the overhead bridge at the airport and turn left onto Brindabella Circuit, park in the short stay parking near the child care centre and playing fields). Contact: Kristie at Gymbaroo 0422 312 457 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Sue Dengate's books and DVD will be available at a reduced price (cash, cheque or debit/credit card)

Albury NSW Wednesday 30 May: CONFIRMED – details coming.

June 2012

Melbourne (Essendon) VIC Thursday 7 June: CONFIRMED – details coming.

Victor Harbour SA Tuesday 12 June: CONFIRMED – details coming.

Adelaide SA Wednesday 13 June 7.00-9.00pm: Fed Up with Children s Behaviour by Sue Dengate at Concordia College Chapel, 45 Cheltenham Street, Highgate SA 5063. $15 entry. Parking: enter from Duthy Street or turn onto Balmoral Street from Fisher Street. Contact: Bronwyn 08 8299 9208 or 0407 299 920 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Sue Dengate s books and DVD will be available at a reduced price (cash, cheque or debit/credit card)

South Perth (Willeton) WA Monday 18 June at 7.00-9.00pm: Sue Dengate "Fed Up with Children's Behaviour" for Burrendah Primary School P&C Association, address TBA. $15. More information from Tiffany This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Sue Dengate s books and DVD will be available at a reduced price (cash, cheque or debit/credit card)

North Perth WA Tuesday 19 June: CONFIRMED – details coming.

Bunbury WA Wednesday 20 June: CONFIRMED – details coming.



NOW AVAILABLE in German – thanks to Andrea and Bernhard. Also in Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Nepali and USA. Translators for other languages please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Printable trifold brochures on food intolerance and oppositional defiance are available. We'll post two free that you can copy, or you can buy bulk copies at cost $A0.35 each plus postage. See instructions on the website for accessing pdf versions. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


All Failsafe Newsletters can be searched and printed. There is a wealth of research, issue discussion, recipes, personal reports and recipes now available in one place. But some of the links are out of date and you must always check current products rather than relying on historical information. 

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Cook’s corner

Hint: For a dairy free yoghurt alternative for little ones add 1/2 teaspoon of guar gum to 1/2 cup of rice milk. My son has never had yoghurt so he doesn't know that his version is any different to his sister's as it looks the same. I put both of them in the same containers so his doesn't look different. – thanks to Pippa (older children may need to add some pears or maple syrup for flavour – thanks to Karen)

Hint for weight loss: I limit myself to 1 teaspoon of rich foods like icecream and desserts. – thanks to Janine

Hint: I made the besan bombs from the FS Cookbook and also made a batch with cooked chunks of potato inside and my 18 month old - on the full elimination diet including GFDF - enjoyed them. – thanks to Kate

Gado Gado

A classic salad from Indonesia – Ann says 'the cashew sauce is my invention, and I think it is very good!' - we totally agree.

1/2 cup cabbage, shredded

1/2 cup green beans, sliced

1/2 cup mung bean sprouts

1/2 cup cool boiled peeled potatoes, cut into wedges

2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced

cashew dressing: ½ cup raw cashews, 1 clove garlic, ½ tsp citric acid, 3-4 tbsp water, salt to taste.

Toss vegetables. In a food processor, mix cashew dressing to a sauce paste. Stir into vegetables, dress with egg slices. Serves 4.

Somali style vegetable topping

A failsafer wrote 'I've been struggling to get veggies into my kids lately, having struck a fussy phase, and suddenly everything's yukky. Well I remembered the curries my Somali friend makes, and they are so sweet due to the way she cook the vegetables. So I've tried it and it's been a bit of a breakthrough.'

Mixed grated or finely diced vegetables (your choice from the low salicylate list, e.g. potatoes, swedes, choko, celery, shallots, leek, cabbage, with some moderate salicylates if tolerated e.g. carrots, sweet potato, butternut pumpkin, beetroot, asparagus, peas, snow peas)

Failsafe cooking oil, e.g. canola

Fry grated vegetables long and slow in an uncovered frying pan on a very low heat with plenty of oil. I say slow, it may take ½ to ¾ hour. Strangely the bits don't break up, they just get amazingly tasty, and it goes into a sort of soft sauce. So far I've used it to make a great lasagne, fill pies, on pizza, and on pasta. The oil takes on the juices from the veg and so it's fine cold, even though there's quite a bit of oil in it. - thanks to Jan

Pear and cashew slice

'This recipe came to me through a Sanitarium newsletter - could hardly believe it was something I could make!! It is nice - very moist' - thanks to Rosemaree

3 ripe, peeled pears or 6 pear halves in sugar syrup, finely diced

75 g cashews raw or lightly roasted, roughly chopped

1/2 cup self-raising flour or gluten-free self-raising flour

100g of soft brown sugar

25 g of butter or Nuttelex

1 tablespoon golden syrup

1 egg, lightly beaten

Place the pears, cashews, flour and brown sugar in a bowl and mix together. Place the margarine and golden syrup in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until melted. Gently stir golden syrup mixture and egg into the pear mixture. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 20 cm square tin and bake for 35-40 minutes at 180 degrees C or until golden and cooked through. Leave to cool in the tin before slicing. - from


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© Sue Dengate (text) PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia but material can be reproduced with acknowledgement. Thanks to Robin, Michael, Carol, Rosemaree, Lee, Elise, Melissa; Bron from the Adelaide group and especially Kathleen and Jenny from the Melbourne group; and the many others who have written, phoned and contributed to this newsletter. Further reading: The Simplified Elimination Diet from dietitians, Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate and Friendly Food, by Swain and others, (Murdoch Books).