Should we eat organic Is food? The answer lies in this question: What is artificially added to our food and how may it harm us? Do you know? Pesticides and insecticides, Hormones, and antibiotics. All of these are not present naturally in the fruits, vegetables, grain, milk, chicken, fish and meat that we eat. They are added by the different industries for various economic reasons. Let’s deal with these artificial additions to our food briefly to see how they possibly effect us.
Pesticides: Let me play the Devil’s Advocate: Organic foods are not more nutritious than non-organic foods. This research came from Stanford University and is often used to discredit the proponents of organic foods…guess what? That is not the issue; the issue is not consuming poison with your fruits, vegetables and grains. The Stanford Study looked at many different studies done over the span of years. They did confirm that for the most part organic foods had a third less pesticides than non-organic foods. They also reported two studies of children consuming organic and conventional diets that found lower levels of pesticide residues in the urine of the children on the organic diets, though the significance of these findings on child health is unclear. http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2012/09/little-evidence-of-health-benefits-from-organic-foods-study-finds.html It is not clear because there are no studies that I could find to date that follow and compare the health of children and adults over years, where one group consumes organic foods and the other non-organic foods. This kind of study would be very expensive and to be honest, who would finance it? In the world of science someone has to be potentially benefiting from the results in order to pay for the study. Sad but true. Pesticides and insecticides are designed to kill. These are poisons. The amounts found in our fruits and vegetables are considered safe for our human bodies by the FDA but is it really the case? My conclusion: Eat organic fruits, vegetables and grains; and especially feed your children organic fruits, vegetables and grains. The younger bodies and the developing brains are more sensitive to environmental stress. Not all fruits and vegetables carry the same pesticide load and risks. You can prioritize your shopping list. You will find the list at the bottom of my article.* Hormones: In 1993, the FDA approved recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a synthetic cow hormone that spurs milk production when injected into dairy cows, and consumer groups have been concerned about it ever since. The manipulation of growth hormone in the AquaBounty salmon has sparked similar concerns. Since the 1950s sex hormones, predominantly estrogen derivatives have been injected to dairy cattle. Today most beef cows in the U.S. — except those labeled “organic” — receive an implant in their ear that delivers a hormone, usually a form of estrogen in some combination with five other hormones. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/31/hormones-in-food-should-y_n_815385.html There is a growing concern regarding the role of hormones in our food and the earlier onset of puberty ion the US. It is important to note that for menstruating women the amount of hormones in the beef or milk is negligent when compared with the estrogen the women produce themselves. On the other hand, for a girl or a boy before puberty, that same small amount may have a very dramatic effect. A 2009 study found that children who consumed the most protein from animal sources entered puberty about seven months earlier than those who consumed the least. “It doesn’t matter so much if its milk, cheese, or meat — all these animal proteins have a clear impact on [our] IGF system,” says Thomas Remer, Ph.D., one of the authors of the study and a professor at the Research Institute of Child Nutrition, in Germany. Conclusion: It is probably advisable to consume produce that is hormone free for all of us. If you are a survivor of a hormone-sensitive cancer, we know that some cancers are sensitive/related to estrogen and growth hormone so if you are at risk the less the better. Make a smart choice for yourself. Nevertheless, it is absolutely crucial to feed young children before puberty hormone free food! Antibiotics: David Kessler, the commissioner for the FDA from 1990-1997 writes: “In 2011, drug makers sold nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics for livestock — the largest amount yet recorded and about 80 percent of all reported antibiotic sales that year. The rest was for human health care. We don’t know much more except that, rather than healing sick animals, these drugs are often fed to animals at low levels to make them grow faster and to suppress diseases that arise because they live in dangerously close quarters on top of one another waste.” There is so much talk about the overuse of antibiotics in humans and how we are creating all these super bugs that are resistance to the known drugs. Rarely is it mentioned that a huge part of the problem is the extensive use of low dose antibiotics in the food industry. Mr. Kessler has some strong words to add: “We have more than enough scientific evidence to justify curbing the rampant use of antibiotics for livestock, yet the food and drug industries are not only fighting proposed legislation to reduce these practices, they also oppose collecting the data. Unfortunately, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, as well as the F.D.A., is aiding and abetting them.” It sounds like a conspiracy theory? Only it is the inside man that is telling us about it. Very scary indeed! http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/opinion/antibiotics-and-the-meat-we-eat.html Conclusion: For your own sake and your children’s avoid antibiotics in your food. If not organic food then at the least free of antibiotics. Make sure that you and your children are going to be less likely to develop a resistance and this way, if you do need to be treated with an antibiotic it will work for you. Be smart about your choices. The final word: Your children should eat organic (see the list below), hormone and antibiotic free food! If you are a cancer survivor or if you have a significant family history of cancer I highly recommend it for you as well. And finally, if you can afford it, the least you can do is eat all natural foods, free of hormones and antibiotics and choose organic fromm the ‘most important to eat organic’ list. * Most important to eat organic: (Adapted from EWG.org with modifications) Apples Peaches Nectarine Strawberries Grapes Celery Spinach Sweet Bell Peppers Cucumbers Cherry Tomatoes Snap Peas Potatoes Hot Peppers Kale/Collard Green?/ All leafy greens/All fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley, cilantro….) Safer to eat non-organic: Avocados Sweet Corn Pineapple Cabbage Sweet Peas Onions Asparagus Mangoes Papayas Kiwi Eggplant Grapefruit Cauliflower/Broccoli Sweet Potatoes