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Should You Really Buy All Organic?

We all want to eat better and provide our bodies with quality food to help with healing and maintenance of our bodies as we age.

as a result, many of us spend a lot of extra money on organic produce to help ensure we are getting better quality, fewer pesticides, and a wider nutrient spectrum.

But the question for many is do we really need to spend money on certified organic? The general answer is that if you want to avoid pesticides, “yes” you should buy Organic.

% Of Pesticide Residue In Organic Versus Conventional Produce

Source: FiBL.Org: 2013 survey of 253 organic and 1803 conventional samples of fruits and vegetables.

Why Do We Want To Avoid Pesticides?

Many long-term observational studies show pesticides like glyphosates (the active ingredient in RoundUp™) are directly tied or linked to a myriad of diseases and serious health conditions including:

Alzheimer’s disease: In the lab, Roundup causes the same type of oxidative stress and neural cell death observed in Alzheimer’s disease.

Autism: Glyphosate has a number of known biological effects including aluminum accumulation in the brain, which may make it one of the principal cause’s of autism in the U.S.

Breast cancer: Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors.

Other Cancers: House-to-house surveys of 65,000 people in farming communities where Roundup is used found cancer rates two to four times higher than the national average.

Celiac disease and gluten intolerance: Glyphosates can create imbalances in gut bacteria, impairment in enzymes involved with detoxifying environmental toxins, mineral deficiencies, and amino acid depletion.

Depression: Glyphosate disrupts chemical processes that impact the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. Serotonin impairment has been linked to depression.

Heart disease: Glyphosate can disrupt the body’s enzymes, causing lysosomal dysfunction, a major factor in cardiovascular disease and heart failure.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (“Leaky Gut Syndrome”): Glyphosate can induce severe tryptophan deficiency, which can lead to an extreme inflammatory bowel disease that severely impairs the ability to absorb nutrients through the gut, due to inflammation, bleeding, and diarrhea.

Liver disease: Even very low doses of Roundup can disrupt human liver cell function, according to a 2009 study published in Toxicology.

Parkinson’s disease: The brain-damaging effects of herbicides and the onset of Parkinson’s following exposure to glyphosate have been well-documented is lab studies.

Obesity: An experiment involving the transfer of a strain of endotoxin-producing bacteria from the gut of an obese human to the guts of mice caused the mice to become obese. Since glyphosate induces a shift in gut bacteria towards endotoxin-producers, glyphosate exposure has a defined link to obesity.

Respiratory illnesses: Tests done over the last 20 years have repeatedly seen higher rates of chronic respiratory illnesses with people exposed to glyphosate, for humans.

Sources: (1) Williams GM, Kroes R, Munro IC. Safety evaluation and risk assessment of the herbicide Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, for humans. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2000;31(2 Pt 1):117–65.  (2) Antoniou M, Habib MEM, Howard CV, Jennings RC, Leifert C, Nodari RO, et al. Teratogenic effects of glyphosate-based herbicides: divergence of regulatory decisions from scientific evidence. J Environ Anal Toxicol. 2012006.  (3) Grube A DD, Kiely T, Wu L. Pesticides Industry Sales and Usage, 2006 and 2007 Market Estimates, United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA 733-R-11-001, 34 p. 2011. 

Pesticide Nation.

Due to legislation, Europe has greatly reduced the use of chemical pesticides in produce grown and sold there over the past 30 years.

Whereas in the US, we have very limited protection against these chemicals, and as a result, we have on average, over 600% more pesticide residues in our body versus people in Europe. (Source Banbrook, 2016)

But Do We Still Really Need To Buy ALL Organic??

When To Spend The Extra Cash On Organic.

There are a few simple rules to apply when choosing between pricier organic produce versus conventional.

A list called “The Dirty Dozen” has been put together every year by the “Environmental Working Group” (EWG). This list reveals the fruits and vegetables that are the most likely to be highly contaminated by pesticides.

Among the key findings in this year’s version include:

  • Almost 70% of conventional produce samples tested positive for at least one pesticide, and much more in many cases.
  • A single strawberry was found to have up to 20 different pesticide residues.
  • DDT, a neurotoxic insecticide banned in the U.S was found on an alarming number of Spinach samples.

The Dirty Dozen.

Fruits & Vegetables You Should Buy Organic (if possible).

These are the non-organic fruits and vegetables that consistently test high for pesticides, and are typically grown with little oversite. Bottom line if you can afford it, buy these items in a certified organic format.

The Clean 15.

Fruits & Vegetables You Can Still Buy Conventionally.

The clean 15 are the fruits and vegetables that scientifically test low for pesticides, meaning that due to the skin thickness and type of flesh, these fruits and veggies retain very little, to no trace of pesticide residue.

Bottomline, save your money and buy the conventional versions.

Download Our Printable Seasonal Produce Buying Guide.

Download and print out our handy seasonal produce guide, which will show you (by season) the certified clean produce versus the certified dirty produce, as well as seasonal varieties.

As always to your wellness!


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