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To Buy or Not to Buy Organic… That is the Question

August 6, 2010

by SirNatural

This is a great article by Cynthia McMurray a professional natural health writer. I read a lot of her work. But this help you with the whole Buy Organic thing. So things you just must buy organic like Chicken and all meats if you eat them should be organic. I really believe we need to be vegans and only have fish on rare occasion. All meat are acidic and produce acidic waste in your body which is a magnet for sickness, disease, cancer and aging. Eating more alkaline foods helps shift your body’s pH and oxygenates your system. Alkaline foods keep your body healthy and functioning correctly, preventing cancer. Remember Healthy tissues are alkaline. Cancerous tissues are acidic.

For those of us who love our fruits and veggies, nothing is more exciting than walking into a freshly stocked produce aisle. It can look like a veritable Garden of Eden with its tempting assortment of colorful and vibrant produce. A stroll down this aisle is almost comforting, like we intuitively know we are home. The food is alive and healthy and as we pile it into our grocery carts, we can feel a brief sense of relief from the guilt we invariably feel as we also load in the sugary treats lining the shelves five aisles over. A trade off we tell ourselves.

But is this bountiful selection of nature’s best really healthy for us? Should we be concerned about commercially grown produce and the chemicals we know are being used to increase not only the size and aesthetic quality of our food but also its shelf life? We are constantly told to “eat organic”, is this really necessary? Simply looking at a ripe, red tomato or a brilliant yellow summer squash for instance, often reveals no clues. In fact, the organic version can look much smaller and in many cases, even disfigured. And let us not forget the price – our organic friends can be almost double the cost in some cases. So, why are we constantly urged to buy organic?

Years ago, (and we are talking many at this point), long before we began spraying our crops with pesticides and other chemicals or genetically modifying them to create bigger, better versions, everything was essentially considered organic. It came from the earth, it was natural therefore it was organic. Simple. Well, unfortunately, it’s not so simple today.

Let’s look at pesticides for example. While conventional producers argue the amount of pesticides used in farming are essentially infinitesimal, causing no health risks to consumers, the bottom line is pesticides are toxic any way you look at it. And unfortunately, Canada misses the mark when it comes to protecting its consumers from these often-deadly chemicals. Currently, 50 pesticides known to cause adverse human health effects such as cancer, acute toxicity, interference with hormonal systems, developmental disorders, reproductive problems and organ damage are registered for use in Canada, despite being banned in other countries. In June 2007, the David Suzuki Foundation released a report called Northern Exposure: Acute Pesticide Poisonings in Canada, which revealed thousands of Canadians are acutely poisoned by pesticides each year, children under 6 being at the highest risk. While these poisonings resulted after exposure to a single dose of pesticide, typically through inhalation, eating, drinking, or direct contact with eyes or skin, it is a definite indication of the extreme toxicity of these chemicals. As of June 18, 2008, Ontario passed the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act, prohibiting the sale and use of pesticides on lawns and gardens in that province. Currently however, Quebec is the only province to restrict cosmetic pesticide sales (the Ontario ban doesn’t go into effect until 2009).

Studies do also show however, that even legally allowed levels of pesticides on the food we eat can and do cause neurotoxic effects on developing animals, including such things as fewer nerve cells, smaller birth weights and lower cognitive scores. Studies further show pesticides in a woman’s bloodstream can be passed to the fetus. In 2005, one study specifically looked at the umbilical-cord blood of 10 children, finding 21 pesticides easily crossed the placenta. Despite this knowledge and countless other studies pointing to the dangers of pesticide use, Canadian standards for pesticide residue on food are still far less protective than those in countries such as Europe and Australia. While more studies are being done on these toxic chemicals each year, according to a 2006 Consumer Reports article, we continue to consume small amounts of more than 30 pesticides each day when eating “healthy” foods.

Since a complete ban by government on all pesticides is extremely unlikely, as consumers, and more importantly, as parents, it becomes increasingly necessary for us to protect ourselves from these toxins. The best way to do that is to eat organic. In fact, one study supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency measured pesticide levels in the urine of 23 children in Washington State both before and after switching to an organic diet. This 2005 study revealed that after eating organic food for five consecutive days, specific markers used to detect commonly used pesticides decreased to undetectable levels and remained that way until conventional foods were reintroduced. Researchers concluded, “An organic diet provides a dramatic and immediate protective effect against such pesticide exposure”.

And our produce is not the only problem. Natural and synthetic hormones and steroids used to increase the growth rate of Canadian livestock are also becoming a real health issue for consumers. Studies show these synthetic growth hormones are not only carcinogenic but continued exposure to them may be linked to the unusually early onset of puberty we are now seeing in young girls. European nations banned the use and importation of beef containing steroids in 1989, but these hormones are still extensively used in the US and Canada.

The prolific use of antibiotics is another big health concern we are facing. Farmers routinely use antibiotics to not only increase an animal’s growth rate but also to deal with the numerous health issues arising as a result of overcrowded and unsanitary pens. Because of this overuse, many antibiotic-resistant bacteria are now cropping up, which means many of the antibiotics we used in the past to kill specific bacteria, no longer work. The issue has become so critical The World Health Organization (WHO) called for a stop to the routine use of antibiotics in animal feed. One study published in 2001, showed that by the 1990s, US farmers alone were feeding their livestock more than 10 million pounds of antibiotics a year, an increase of over 300 percent from the 1980s. It is further estimated more than 90 percent of these antibiotics are used simply to promote weight gain.

Because of the vast number of chemicals, hormones and antibiotics now being used in the farming industry, the government sets specific standards for foods labeled organic. While these foods are definitely more expensive depending on what and where you buy them, you can be assured they are safer than conventional foods. Often however, it is simply not feasible to buy only organic so we must pick and choose what organic foods to buy. Studies show certain foods pose more of a risk than others purely because they are known to contain more chemicals. So, if you can buy these foods organically as much as possible, you can help reduce the amount of toxins you ingest.

Foods That Tend to Be Higher in Pesticides, Hormones and Antibiotics (Always try to Buy Organic)

Imported Grapes
Lettuce and Spinach
Bell Peppers
Green beans
Hot Peppers
Meat (beef, chicken, pork, and turkey)
Dairy products
Coffee (coffee is typically grown in countries where chemicals are not strictly regulated)

Foods That Tend To Be Safer (Don’t Necessarily Need to Buy Organic)

Bananas or Plantains
Brussels Sprouts
Sweet peas (frozen)
Sweet corn (frozen)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 30, 2010 3:24 pm

    Hi Guy, this good blogs, thanks

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