I grew up on a farm. We poured Sevin dust on our broccoli plants. I waded in creeks of massive field corn run-off. I scoffed in the face of danger. Organic, to me, was just a catch phrase to lure in nervous consumers. Once, a high school friend, fellow mom, and pharmacist, asked me: “Do you feed your baby organic baby food?” I laughed at her through the telephone line. Are you kidding me? At the time I was a resident mom, and I was lucky to get any food for my family at all.
Organic. Does it matter? Here’s what I learned:
Pesticides from our food do get into our bodies in measurable levels and changing to organic foods takes the levels to a non-detectable range.
Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children’s Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides
Some studies suggest (not prove) a link between pesticides and neurological and cognitive deficits.
Effects of occupational pesticide exposure on children applying pesticides
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides
Pesticide Exposure and Stunting as Independent Predictors of Neurobehavioral Deficits in Ecuadorian School Children
Eating non-organic won’t kill you…but no mention is made of “quality” of life!
Life cycle human toxicity assessment of pesticides: Comparing fruit and vegetable diets in Switzerland and the United States
“…the absolute health damage via fruits and vegetable ingestion was small: The potential lifelong damage of pesticides is estimated to be only 4.2 and 3.2 min of life lost per person in Switzerland and the United States, respectively.”
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is getting in on the action.
American Academy of Pediatrics Weighs In For the First Time on Organic Foods for
“’At this point, we simply do not have the scientific evidence to know whether
the difference in pesticide levels will impact a person’s health over a
lifetime, though we do know that children – especially young children whose
brains are developing – are uniquely vulnerable to chemical exposures,’ said Joel Forman, MD, FAAP, a member of the AAP Council on Environmental Health and
one of the lead authors of the AAP clinical report.”
Organic Foods: Health and Environmental Advantages and Disadvantages, Clinical Report from the AAP
After much reading, I think this sums up what the experts from most all areas are saying:
1. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
2. If you can, buy organic.
3. If you can’t buy all organic, buy some organic.
4. If you can’t buy organic, still eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
The next post, life allowing, will post the list of fruits and vegetables with their rank in “pesticide” residue.
Have a great day!
Environmental Working Group releases the dirty dozen for fruits and vegetables every year. Great list to know which fruits and vegis are the MOST important to buy organic. Since all animals store toxins in their fat and breastmilk, it would be best to organic with fatty pieces of meat and all dairy.
Good points! Thank you! If readers can find local farmers, there is a huge discount over anything organic (and sometimes even over anything non-organic, as in the case of beef) you can buy in the store. I’ve noticed that our farmers market, however, isn’t always nice in their prices. But a lot of neighbors have gardens and too much produce and are happy to give things away once it comes out their ears.
We do drive awhile to get organic dairy, when we drink/eat it. It is so much richer and more delicious. And we like seeing the farm-woman and the milk cows she loves so dearly! Fun! It is a real field trip for us!