So we’re back to this again are we?
A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has been making waves all over the news this week noting that organic foods aren’t any healthier for you than there conventional counterparts. It’s like déjà vu right? Just last July the UK’s Food Standard Agency released a study of the same nature and it was splashed all over the web and in other news venues. Many pointed out that last year’s study was massively flawed and I’m sure that train of thought will go down this year too.
In any case, the new review adds to findings reported last year in the same journal and by the same research team. In the previous study, researchers combed through 162 articles published in the scientific literature over the last 50 years, and found no evidence that organic and conventional foods differ significantly in their nutrient content. For the current review, the researchers were able to find only 12 published studies that met their criteria for evaluating the health effects of organic foods and the end result is that the new report says much of the same as the old report – organics aren’t healthier… blah, blah, blah. Right.
Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now – organics are healthier. Anyone who says differently is a little off their nut in my opinion.
Here’s why organics are healthier in one word – “pesticides”…
How healthy can food grown with deadly pesticides be?
Seriously. Yeah, there may not be ADDED health benefits to eating organics. You won’t run faster or get better eyesight (well maybe) but the point these reports are missing is what you LOSE by eating organics. You lose pesticides. Pesticides are poison. Pesticides were created to kill. Pesticides have been shown to cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, rashes and other skin problems, chronic adverse effects on neurological function, cancer, reproductive harm, reduced growth and development, birth defects and more.
In children alone, pesticide poisoning is so serious that it’s been mistaken for issues such as brain hemorrhage, head trauma, diabetic acidosis, severe bacterial gastroenteritis, pneumonia and whooping cough.
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that NOT having all the above health conditions is way healthier than having them.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Academy of Sciences, standard chemicals are up to ten times more toxic to children than to adults, depending on body weight. So if you think your adult organ systems are vulnerable imagine what toxic chemicals are doing to your kids.
Blood samples of children aged 2 to 4, have shown that concentrations of pesticide residues are six times higher in children eating conventionally farmed fruits and vegetables compared with those eating organic food.
The US Centers for Disease Control reports that a main sources of pesticide exposure for children comes from the foods they eat.
Worse the folks spraying crops with deadly pesticides really don’t care if they cause harm or not. The EPA doesn’t care if your family eats pesticides. In fact the EPA wanted to test low-income children by giving them MORE pesticides until people called them out as insane. Some of the parties who are supposed to certify organics don’t care. The USDA and FDA most certainly don’t care.
The OCA notes that the US Department of Agriculture “Strictly prohibits mixing different types of pesticides for disposal, due to the well known process of the individual chemicals combining into new highly toxic chemical compounds.” That said there are zero regulations when it comes to mixing pesticides for use by consumers and studies report that 62% of food products tested contain a measurable mixture of residues of at least three different pesticides. Nice!
Make no mistake, it’s up to YOU not any government agency to keep your kids safe from pesticides. Well, maybe the President’s Cancer Panel is taking some responsibility – see Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now (pdf). That’s a start.
In any case, a heaping platter of pesticides sure sounds like healthy fun to me.
Other reasons why organics are healthier:
- Most people I know who tend to shell out bigger dollars for organics cut back in other food areas – i.e. processed foods, chips, etc. The cost difference ends up making organics a healthier choice when folks cut back eating non-nutritious food so they can afford organics.
- Organics don’t pollute our land, air and water systems.
- Organic farming doesn’t harm farmers and their families.
- Pesticides in non-organics may be linked to ADD and obesity.
One last thing – nutrients are a seriously weak point when it comes to health…
Organics and conventional foods may overall contain the same amount of nutrients (although many believe organics really do contain more nutrients) but nutrients aside, once you put toxic chemicals into the ground, which then goes into the food, which then goes into your body, it changes your body for better or worse and no amount of nutrients will help you out.
If you’re healthy to start with, hopefully your body will absorb the max amount of nutritional value from the foods you eat. If you’re sick because you’ve been munching on toxic pesticides, maybe your body is functioning worse and you’ll be less able to soak up all those healthy nutrients.
You so don’t have to be a scientist to know that eating poison means your body won’t function well. Heck when my son was two years old he knew not to eat poison. When I was in college for nursing we learned that when you’re sick you’re not absorbing the best nutrients possible plus when your body is under attack it may respond by feeling less hungry.
To sum up: I don’t care if organic foods have more nutritional value than conventional food or not. Hell, organic food could be LESS nutritious and I’d still feed them to my son over conventional. I’d rather have him lose a few nutrients and give him a multivitamin than have him eat poisonous pesticides.
What do you think? What’s more important about the whole conventional vs. organic debate – nutritional value or pesticides?