Why is organic food a better choice? By Andrea Minesaki, ND

February 28th, 2013

The word Organic has come to represent many things, but is most well known and discussed in the food industry.  Choosing organic food helps to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and pesticides that are used in traditional farming of produce.  Traditional farmers have to use a variety of harmful chemicals to control and grow their crops.  For example, chemical fertilizers are used in the soil to encourage the crops to grow, insecticides are sprayed on crops to control insects and herbicides are used to control weed growth.  Unfortunately, as a result, these chemicals are found in the produce that we ingest.

Health hazards of chronic exposure to pesticides are wide reaching, but there is a particular emphasis on damage to the brain and nervous system, thyroid and reproductive organs.  Studies show pesticide exposure can cause infertility, birth defects, miscarriages and stillbirths, learning disorders, ADHD and aggressive behaviors.  Pesticides are also linked to prostate, breast and lymphatic cancer.  In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 30% of insecticides and 60% of herbicides are known to cause cancer.  Disturbingly, pesticides in baby food have been highlighted to contain chemicals that are detrimental to the development of the nervous system and again, cancer producing!

Maybe this doesn’t seem significant, I mean, how much pesticide residue is really found on fruit or vegetables?  Well, to give you an example, a laboratory analysis done by the Environmental Working Group (www.EWG.org), found that domestic blueberries and apples tested positive for 42 different pesticides!  One single strawberry or celery stalk had 13 different measurable pesticide residues!

Now aside from the devastating scientific research on how pesticides affect her health, there is also research showing that conventionally farmed foods only contain anywhere from 60-83% less nutrients.  Traditional produce costs less, but you have to consider the cost that these poor quality foods have on your health.

Buying organic food is important and ideally, from local farmers who take pride in organic farming practices, so we can be fully confident that we are paying for the real thing.  Going organic is better for you and the environment.  I understand that organic food can be costly, so if there is a financial concern, the best advice I can give to patients is to try and buy the highest pesticide-laden foods, organically.  You may have heard of the “dirty dozen”, a term used to group the highest pesticide containing foods.  The Environmental Working Group updates this list yearly.  If you want to peruse their website and see the complete list of foods highest in pesticides, go here http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/.

Lastly, there are many other ways to improve your health in addition to choosing organic foods.  Enhancing the body’s detoxification pathways is one of the best preventative measures to take in efforts to counter balance environmental toxicity.  Call us today to learn how to detox safely and improve your health!

For more reading visit this article from an esteemed colleague: http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/15/1/4.pdf

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