If I were to spray an apple with toxic chemicals right in front of you and asked you to eat it, would you? My guess is you wouldn’t. Yet that is exactly what you’re doing when you choose to buy and consume conventionally grown food over organic.
Don’t you find it odd that in our society purchasing and consuming food that has chemicals in it is the norm? So much so that we call food that has been produced with the use of toxic substances “conventionally” grown. Actually most of the time we don’t call it anything at all. It is just food to us. However, food that has been grown the way nature intended it to be, without the use of contaminants requires a special name – organic. I don’t know about you but when I give this even a second thought, I can’t believe how backwards we are!
How is it “conventional” to grow food using hazardous pollutants? Our ancestors didn’t produce food in this manner. In fact in our great-great grandparents time, pesticides didn’t even exist. Makes you wonder if this is the major contributor as to why as a generation we’ve gotten sicker.
If you’re not yet convinced, keep reading.
THE GARBAGE IN NON-ORGANIC FOOD AND THE ASSOCIATED HEALTH RISKS
The number one reason I choose to eat organic is to reduce my exposure to toxic chemicals. Conventional farmers have access to more than 900 agrochemicals that have been approved for use in our food. Conventional farmers apply anywhere from 2-12 pesticides to their crops. An average serving of leafy greens, peppers, berries, tree fruits, and grapes contains 3-4 pesticide residues.
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Food Allergies
- Neurological Development
B. HORMONES AND ANTIBIOTICS
Consuming conventionally raised meat is even worse because the pesticides sprayed on feed store in animal fat cells and accumulate over time. In addition, conventionally raised livestock are often fed growth hormones, drugs, synthetic feed supplements and high-grain diets to push their animals to grow bigger faster and produce more eggs and milk. Animals are pushed so hard that they develop serious health problems leading to heavy antibiotic treatment.
Excess hormones can cause early puberty and menstruation, developmental problems, uterine cancer and breast cancer. Over-consumption of antibiotics, whether it be directly or by way of the meat we consume, puts us at risk of developing infections that are antibiotic-resistant. Public-health officials say antibiotic resistance is one of the leading human health threats of our time.
C. OTHER BAD STUFF
When you eat organic, not only do you avoid consuming pesticides, hormones and antibiotics but you can also be sure that your food is free of artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavours and dyes and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). For those of you who don’t know what a GMO is, it is made by putting the genes of one animal or plant species into another to form a whole new food. Doesn’t exactly sound like how nature had intended it, does it?
Since GMO’s are such a new technology, the long-term impact on our bodies has yet to be seen. One thing we do know for sure is that GMOs are created with the intention of being pesticide-resistant so that farmers can go buck wild on weeds and bugs without damaging their crops. Another serving of pesticides anyone?
Consuming too many artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavours and dyes can cause:
- Hormone Imbalances
- High Blood Pressure
- Hyperactivity & Learning Impairment in Kids
WHAT YOU’RE MISSING IN NON-ORGANIC FOOD
If learning how much garbage you’re consuming when you eat conventional food didn’t sway you (HOW COULD IT NOT?), maybe hearing what you’re missing will. When you choose organic fruits and vegetable you’re likely getting 20-40% more antioxidants, such as vitamin C, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. Compared to conventionally grown, organic produce has:
- 19% more Phenolic Acids
- 69% more Flavanones
- 28% higher Stilbenes Nausea
- 26% higher Flavones
- 50% higher Flavonols
- 51% higher Anthocyanins
Most people are in a constant struggle to be healthy and eat fruits and vegetables with the promise in mind that they deliver the vital nutrients and vitamins our bodies require. If conventionally grown is compromising that, I think it’s time to re-evaluate what “healthy” is!
I hope by now you’ve decided that the next time you go to the grocery store, you’re going to choose organic. A common concern for many people is that organic food is too expensive. My suggestion is to do what you can. Buy as much of your food organic as you can afford and consider giving up another regular expense in your life in order to make the switch. The fact is, you can pay with your wallet now or pay with your health later!
Yours in health,
The Well Girl
Natural Resources Defense Council
The Organic Center
Cambridge University Press
National Center for Biotechnology Information 1
National Center for Biotechnology Information 2
National Institutes of Health